In India today, mention of the word Tantra inevitably leads to the related Sanskrit words mantra and yantra. Tantra-mantra, Tantra-yantra, or Tantra-mantra-yantra are, in modern Indian culture, virtually synonymous. These three very similar, related words tell of the subtle and immensely potent interconnections between ourselves and the universe we inhabit. A person who perceives and can apply the interconnectivity of Tantra, mantra, and yantra has access to tremendous personal power and unlimited spiritual potential.
The sound of our breathing and our heartbeat are our most personal mantras, as is our most intimate name. Mantras are the keys to our identity; in Tantric tradition, they are used to unlock our personal power. They are power words or phrases, loaded with energy derived from spiritual realms. When they are repeated with willful spiritual intent, they focus, empower, and transform the psyche.
A mantra is by definition a protection of mind. It can be a personal prayer or chant, used in meditation, in ritual, and in all types of magical acts. All archaic spiritual traditions used them. In traditional Tantra, mantras are primordial vibrations, revealed originally as spiritual insights, then passed on from one initiate to another. By repeating such mantras, following initiation, minds are protected and connected, mental processes purified, and the spirit liberated.
The Kalarnava Tantra, an important Hindu text, explains how a mantra gets its power: The perfection of a Mantra is caused by the power of transmis-
sion, by the teacher's grace, by the natural effect of the Mantra, and by the reciter's devotion.
The first, simplest, and most potent Hindu mantra is om, which is comprised of three sounds: aah, ou, and mm, transcribed as aum. The threefold nature of aum or om reflects its triple interactions on every level, from the very subtle to the gross. From om follow all the other mantric seed-syllables, which, by their subtle and gross vibrations, manifest and define the invisible and visible universe.
The word yantra means "instrument." Our body is our sacred yantra, through which we communicate spiritually. In traditional Tantra, yantras are viewed as mystical diagrams, the tools of Tantra that define, contain, and channel what is normally considered undefinable and uncontainable.
In some traditions of Tantra, special postures, generally derived from Hatha Yoga, are used as yantras and are dedicated to specific tasks or functions. By a process of resonance with spiritual energies or divine powers, created through use of the human body as a yantra, the whole process of spiritual evolution can be sped up.
The use of mantras in conjunction with yantras enhances the whole process of spiritual evolution. This is a secret science and an occult art. It is an authentic ancient teaching derived from shamanism. For success in the use of mantra-yantra interactivity, initiation is key.
As can be seen here, oral evocations are inherently powerful and are used prolifically in Tantric practices. According to Tantric tradition, the five principle Chakras are activated by five seed-sounds (known as bija mantras). These are the sound lam in the sex center, vam in the assimilation center, ram in the navel center, yam in the heart center, and ham in the head center. In Tantric rites devised to awaken the Kundalini Shakti and guide the potent evolutionary energy through these five principal Chakras, these five seed-syllables are used. They are evoked at each of the centers.
The whole procedure of awakening and channeling the Kundalini energy is a mystical process, not a physiological one. Tantras teach different methods, some of which are closely guarded secrets. The identity, however, of the five primary Chakras and the seed-sounds used to evoke and transform the Goddess energy at each of them remains consistent. The overall picture of the relationships among the parts of the fivefold Chakra system looks like this:
These five principle Chakras and their "correspondences" are of prime importance to the Tantric practitioner and to anyone earnestly desirous of practicing spiritual sex. The elemental and sensual correspondences of these five Chakras are key to taming the "wild horses" of consciousness and empowering one's spiritual evolution. These are easily accessible truths that can be applied in a straightforward manner, with just enough mysticism to make spiritual sex interesting rather than mechanical.
The fivefold correspondences aid the process of self-realization, steering the raw sexual energy through the various stages of refinement down the Tantric path. These correspondences help focus the mind, help structure and organize the normally disorganized, and by the powers of resonance, speed up the evolutionary process.