Sri Vidya Samaya Tantra – Swami Rama
These excerpt on Srividya Samaya Tantra are from different books of Swami Rama. I collected these along the way for myself to be inspired again and again, to keep fathoming the depth of this Tradition… I thought I share them with you… so you can be inspired too <3 Please buy the books themselves if you are touched by them...link to amazon
Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita
Sri Vidya, in which the microcosm and macrocosm are thoroughly understood, is the highest of all the paths and is practiced by only very few accomplished ones. It is a practical path, but it requires strong philosophical understanding before it is trodden. Practice based on the mere information of books could be time-consuming as well as dangerous. A competent teacher is necessary in this spiritual practice, and the principles of tantra and other philosophies need to be thoroughly understood before a student takes such a venture. This extremely rare path is followed only by the highly accomplished sages.
Living with the Himalayan Masters pg. 217
Sri Vidya, in which the microcosm and macrocosm are thoroughly understood, is the highest of all the paths and is practiced by only very few accomplished ones. It is a practical path, but it requires strong philosophical understanding before it is trodden. Practices based on the mere information of books could be time-consuming as well as dangerous. A competent teacher is necessary in this spiritual practices, and the principles of Tantra and other philosophies need to be thoroughly understood before a student takes such a venture. This extremely rare path is followed only by the highly accomplished sages.
Choosing a Path pg. 183+ 187-194
There are three prominent schools that have different ways and methods of awakening kundalini [kaula, misra, samaya tantra] (pg. 183)… The highest of all schools is samaya. This school is purely yogic without any external rituals; it s very systematic and scientific. It is the purest and finest method of awakening kundalini. The word samaya means “I am with you.” This is the highest of all the schools of Shakti worship because its philosophy and practice lead the aspirant to moksha–liberation. This school practices nonattachment to the external objects of pleasure. The accomplished yogis who follow this path carefully select their students and prepare them to awaken the kundalini and lead it, illuminating all the chakras to the abode of Shiva, which is in the crown of the head, saharara. In this path, upward traveling or channeling the energy is one of the prominent practices. Such an aspirant is taught not to waste the semen but to direct the secretion of the testes and glands by a particular method of generating heat and evaporating it upward. This is done through the tube called centralis canalis. This initiation was common during Vedic period but is rare today.
When a student is trained to complete preliminaries and when his meditative posture has become steady, then he is led to the higher level. Siddhasana, called the accomplished pose, is perfected, and the knowledge of bandhas and pranayama is imparted extensively. In this school, advanced mudras like khechari and maha mudra are practiced. The raja yoga system and the system of samaya are very close, but the samaya practices are more systematic and finer than the raja yoga practices. This path is practiced by a very few yogins. The samaya school is most advanced school in all of yoga.
Bhutashuddhi seems to be important before one makes meditative effort to awaken kundalini. This is a purification process that uses mantra recitation coupled with pranayama practices. Through the bhutashuddhi kriya, or cleansing practice, the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind are completely purified. Ajna chakra is the focus point for meditators before they perform antaryaga, or internal worship, in the sahasrara. The student experiences unbelievable and inexplicable joy and the mind spontaneously goes beyond time, space, and causation. Such a state is acquired by the aspirants of this path, and they feel the presence of the union of Shiva and Shakti. This constant presence leads the student’s mind to the abstract attributeless state of bhakti. The aspirant becomes like a divine child, enjoying the perennial presence and experiencing the eternal union of Shiva and Shakti. When Shiva and Shakti are united it is called a state of Paramashiva. A constant awareness of Shiva and Shakti is the goal of this school. The student is liberated by attaining this state.
Among all the spiritual traditions, the tantric traditions is the most ancient, and among all the schools of tantra, samaya is the highest. The school of samaya is profound, with it’s philosophy and practices; the samaya school practices Sri Vidya. All the vidyas explained in the Tantric texts originate from Sri Vidya, the mother of all vidyas. Sri Vidya is known to students as the symbol of the law of manifestation. The process of manifestation emanates from the ultimate Reality and moves into expansion by dividing this original unity into two: Shiva and Shakti. Theses are the latent and active aspects of consciousness dwelling in eternal unity. Theses two aspects are represented in Sanskrit with the first and last letters of the alphabet: “a” and “h”, which, like alpha and omega, signify everything in between them also. Thus, all the energy and elements in the universe, from the most subtle to the most gross, are held potentially within this seed of the phonemes. This perfect stillness, called Samvit, manifests into thirthy-six gradations of cosmic evolution; the entire world is a continues unfoldment of what is already in Samvit, and it will all dissolve back into this origin again. The sounds principle of this manifestation, which emerges from two bindus, Shiva and Shakti, is called nada. This entire process of expansion and dissolution is displayed graphically in the Sri Yantra.
All forms manifest from unity into diversity and the return again into unity. This is the eternal law of the cycle of the universe that is reflected in all things. In the philosophy of Sri Vidya, these two movements are known as dissolution (layakrama) and evolution (srstikrama), and they are depicted by the concentric squares and circles and the interlaced, inverted and uprights triangles of the Sri Yantra which has the bindu point Samvit in its center. This union of Shiva and Shakti is called Mother Divine.
The cosmos manifests on various degrees and grades from this point, and in his spiritual journey, the aspirant travels inward form the periphery of Sri Yantra to the center. The students of Sri Vidya understand both the way the universal unfoldment and the way of individual dissolution. They are no longer caught in the web of maya, and they constantly enjoy the divine play of this cosmic energy. Students of this path meditate intensely on the Sri Yantra, realize the existence of Mother Divine, and practice japa with an aksamala, a mala of phonemes instead of beads that is comprised of all the cosminc sounds. This mantra is the auditory representation of the visual pattern described in the Sri Yantra.
Sri Yantra thus maps the path of eternal return to inner wholeness and perfection. It shows that the origin of life is perfect bliss, peace, happiness, and wisdom and that its final destination must be the same. The subtlemost supreme internal worship practices in the samaya school is called bhavana, and it is explained in the Bhavanopanishad. This scripture explains that that which is found in the individual self exists in the universe, and so in order to analyze and understand the universe, one can study the individual self. One’s own body, mind, and spirit are the Sri Yantra. When all symbols and rituals are internalized, then the human body itself resembles Sri Yantra, and the student becomes one with the ultimate truth.
Just as one is comprised of qualities of his mother and his father, so the nine triangles of Sri Yantra—five inverted and four upright—display the qualities of Shiva and Shakti. The inward spiritual journey mapped by Sri Yantra described progress through nine stages, depicted by its nice circuits. The central point of Sri Yatra is like an island whose immense base remains hidden in the ocean of bliss, peace, happiness and wisdom. In the samaya, the physical appearance of life—the human body—is the center of consciousness coming to the surface. It comes from the ocean of bliss, remains surrounded by it, and will return to it. To those who are aware of this reality, suffering, ignorance, and obstacles are unreal.
The components of this island, which comprise the physical body, are symbolized by precious gems, showing that it is an important means for higher attainment if utilized properly. On this island of gems, there is said to a celestial garden of wish-yielding trees, which represent the mind and desires. When undisciplined, this becomes a thick forest of suffering that hides the ocean of bliss. On this island are six seasons that are compared to the six tastes, which are the properties of food. Thus one’s diet affects one’s emotional life just as the growth of trees is affected by the seasons. The tastes are therefore important in developing attractive thoughts and desires that beautify the garden of mind. Regulation of food is therefore the foundation of all other regulation.
In the samaya school of internal worship the body and the mind are stilled and the student realizes that Sri Yantra is internal. Thus the nine levels of Sri Yantra have been equated to the chakras of the subtle body. Moving inward from the periphery, these are three sets of three chakras depicted in the design: muladhara, swadisthana, and manipura; anahata, vishuddha, and ajna; and two guru chakras and sahasrara. The Saundarya Lahari, the wave of bliss, of Shankara poetically explains the methods of practicing Sri Vidya, including the siddhis that are attained at various stages. In the samaya school various chakras are focused on for different purposes.
According to the samaya school, after a series of initiations, the aspirant learns to meditate in the sahasrara chakra. This school alone knows the meditation method in the crown chakra or thousand-petaled lotus. Other schools of Tantra do not practice this most advanced meditative method. It should be remembered that the samaya school of tantra is the highest of all school, and the Sri Vidya is the most profound way of attaining the ultimate truth. The goal of Sri Vidya is to attain turiya, the fourth state, which is beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping. There is another name for Mother Divine, who is the residing deity of this fourth state, and that is Tripura Sandari, the fountainhead of beauty, bliss, and wisdom.
There are numerous scriptures available on tantric literature of all schools, but a competent guru is the only guide. Without his help, the aspirant cannot go beyond and attain liberation. Actually any spiritual practice that leads to the awakening of kundalini is worth trying to know, but the aspirant who has decided to practice this path should first study Tantric scriptures and then prepare himself to take this voyage and not go in search of a guru but start working with himself. The requisite is to have a healthy body — a disease-free body; second, a balanced or tranquil mind; third, an intense desire to attain truth. In fact, in great traditions, most of the spiritual practices are clearly and systematically explained. Tantra literature is the highest of all, which deals with this subject in a very systematic manner. In all paths the aspirants may experience moments of ecstasy and illumination, but there is only one path that helps the student to experience such phenomena at his will.
The yogic practices are explained in tantric literature and practiced under the guidance of a teacher who has himself awakened this latent force and led it to the crown chakra. He is the awakened master and the representative of a perennial tradition. Such a master, through a series of initiations, guides the aspirants to their goal. The first initiation is imparting of a mantra, a seed sound, and when this mantra is assimilated in the unconscious mind and becomes a part of the aspirant’s life, then he is taught to practice the mantra in conjunction with a number of coordinated spiritual exercises and mental and physical disciplines to purify him for the next step. The next step of initiation is antaryaga, a special method of meditation that helps mind in looking within. This way, series of gradual steps are introduced to him. One of the most difficult steps is upward traveling, and the highest of all is shaktipata diksha, in which the master directly transmit his energy, which enable the student to remove the final obstacle. The advanced student of this path sometimes unconsciously influences those around him in the same way that a magnet influences metal objects in its proximity. It should be understood clearly that a master or a siddha only influences the who are already on the path. In shaktipata diksha, the influence is experienced in a fully conscious and extremely intense way. Through a touch or gaze, or even without any touch or gaze, a real master is able to transform the consciousness of his closest disciple into a blissful state. But no real master ever gives such an initiation to a unprepared student. Shaktipata removes the last stumbling block of samskaras and thus hastens the process of awakening the latent force. This experience is not frequently repeated. When the master works with his student, it is not on the gross or physical level, and the master is not alone I. Dealing with this powerful force. He has behind him the long tradition of the sages, of which he is only a representative.
The search for truth is an eternal quest of human life. The search does not stop by performing karmas, doing one’s actions skillfully, lovingly, and selflessly and then offering the fruits of actions as a worship, but a few great men renounce the worldly possessions so that they can devote their time and energy wholly for the attainment of enlightenment. Such renunciates are great and no doubt worthy of reverence. But in the philosophy of Tantra, the aspirant does not renounce the world, which are usually considered to be obstacles on the path. In this path, no renunciation and no sacrifice is made, but conquest is the goal.
Choosing a Path pg. 199 conclusion
But rare once who follow the path of samaya, the highest of all paths of yoga and Tantra. In this path, the aspirant does not desire any siddhis. This is a meditative order that does not believe in any sort of rituals of any type. In this path the primal force is worshipped as the Mother Divine. The kaula and mishra schools strive for succes in the external world aw swell as liberation — bhukti and mukti. But according to samaya, sushumna awakening after bhutashuddhi (internal and external purification) seems to be the first requisite. Then kundalini is awakened, and in the third step it is led to sahasrara and not allowed to flow again to the lower levels of consciousness. The path of samaya is the highest of all, in which the accomplished teacher imparts the knowledge of Sri Vidya to the prepared student. Such an aspirant attains the fourth state, turiya, the highest goal of human life. It is a state beyond. No other school of philosophy and yoga explains and experiences the transition period between death and rebirth. When a student meditates on the saharara chakra, the thousands-petaled lotus in the crown of the head, he receives the knowledge of consciously casting off his body and goes through the transition period very consciously. He knows the mystery of life hereafter. Such yogis a rare.
Living with the Himalayan Masters pg. 254
The philosophy of Tantra consistently maintains that one can advance spiritually by awakening the latent primal force called the kundalini. when this spiritual potential is systematically channeled along higher levels, living becomes effortless, spontaneous and attuned to the ultimate goal of existence.
Living with the Himalayan Masters pg. 258
During our conversation, he started talking to me about Sri Vidya, the highest of paths followed only by accomplished Sanskrit scholars of India. It is path which joins raja yoga, kundalini yoga, Bhakti yoga and advaita Vedanta . There are two books recommended by the teachers of this path, the wave of bliss and the wave of beauty, the compilation of the two books is called Saundaryalahari in Sanskrit. there is another part of this literature called “Prayoga Shastras” [book of yoga practices and application] which is in manuscript form only found in the Mysore and Baroda libraries. No scholar can understand these spiritual yoga poems without the help of a competent teacher who himself practices these teachings.
Later on I found that Sri Vidya and Madhu Vidya are spiritual practices known to a very few—only ten to twelve people in all of India. I became interested in knowing this science, and whatever little I have today is because of it. In this science the body is seen as a temple and the inner dweller, Atman, as God. A human being is like a miniature universe, and by understanding this, one can understand the whole of the universe and ultimately realize the absolute One. Finally, after studying many scriptures and learning various paths, my master helped me in choosing to practice the way of Sri Vidya. In this path the kundalini fire is seen as the Mother Divine, and through yoga practices it is awakened from its primal state and raised to the highest of the chakras. The chakras are wheels of life which form our spiritual body and connect the entire flow of consciousness.
The science of chakra is very terse, but if one knows this science well it serves him on all levels. The chakras operate on the physical, physiological, energetic, mental, and spiritual levels. These energy centers correspond in the physical body to points along the spinal cord. The lowest is located at the coccyx, the second in the sacral area, the third at the navel, the fourth at the heart, the fifth at the base of the throat, the sixth at the point between the eyebrows, and the seventh at the crown of the head. The lowest chakras are the grooves toward which the lower mind rushes. The heart (anahata) chakra separates the upper hemisphere from the lower hemisphere and is accepted as the center of divine tranquility. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism also recognize this center: that which is called anahata chakra in Hinduism is called the Star of David in Judaism and the Sacred Heart in Christianity. The higher chakras are the centers of upward-traveling energy. There are many levels of consciousness from the heart chakra to the thousand-petaled lotus inside the crown of the head. When one sits erectly for meditation these centers are aligned. Energy can be focused on one chakra or another. Developing the capacity to direct the flow of energy to the higher chakras is one aspect of spiritual development. Knowledge of pranic vehicles is important if one wants to experience all the chakras systematically.
There is a bulk of literature on the chakras in Hinduism and Buddhism, which was later explained and introduced by theosophical writers for Western readers. Western writers have also written many books on the subject of chakras, although most of them (with the exception of those written by Sir John Woodroffe) are misleading, for they consist merely of secondhand information, without anything to guide one’s practice. Such misleading literature on such a highly perfected science is found all over—even in healthfood stores. How ridiculous!
Swami Brahmananda was one of the rare siddhas [accomplished ones] who had the knowledge of Sri Vidya. His authoritative knowledge of the Upanishads, and especially of Shankara’s commentaries, was superb. He was also a very good speaker. Swami Karpatri, a renowned scholar, was the disciple who requested him to accept the prestige and dignity of Shankaracharya in the North, a seat which had been vacant for 300 years. Whenever he traveled from one city to another, people flocked in the thousands to hear him, and after his nomination as Shankaracharya his followers increased. One thing very attractive about his way of teaching was his combination of the bhakti and advaita systems. During my brief stay with him he also talked about Madhusudana’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.
Swami Brahmananda had a Sri Yantra made out of rubies, and as he showed it to me, he explained the way he worshipped it. It is interesting to note how the great sages direct all their spiritual, mental, and physical resources toward their ultimate goal. Among all the swamis of India I met only a few who radiated such brilliance and yet lived in the public, remaining unaffected by worldly temptations and distractions. I stayed with him for only a week and then left for Uttarkashi.
Living with the Himalayan Masters… whole chapter on 3 schools of Tantra pg. 262
The purest and highest path of Tantra is called Samaya or the right-handed path. It is purely yoga. It has nothing to do with any ritual or any form of worship involving sex. Meditation is the key, but this sort of meditation is quite uncommon. In this school meditation is done on the thousand-petal led lotus, the highest of all [somewhere i remember hearing Swami Rama say that you get there by going through anja chakra]. This method of worship is called antaryaga. The knowledge of of Sri Chakra is revealed in this school. Knowledge of the chakras, nadis ( subtle nerve currents) and pranas (vital forces) and a philosophical knowledge of life are required in order to be accepted as a disciple of this school.