Sahaja: the natural way

Sahaja means that which is natural or spontaneous. Sahaja first found expression in India towards the end of the first millenium CE. It is a tantric approach to life and living, and to finding fulfulment in the midst of the vicissitudes of daily life. This book explores the teachings of the ninth century tantric adept Saraha.

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Extracts from the book:

Introduction

What is sahaja? Sahaja is a kind of tantra. Tantra literally means warp and weft or tapestry. So, one might say that to engage in tantra (for there can be and is no tantra in abstraction) means to spin or to weave. However just as there is no one pattern of a carpet and there is no one way to spin fabric, there is no one tantra. In fact, there are many tantras, and they all adopt quite different patterns and methods of weaving.

So as a tantra, sahaja is a particular kind of weaving. It’s not just any weaving. In short it is the tantra of weaving the energies of contracted existence into the energies of unconstriction and freedom. It’s called the path of bliss-emptiness because in sahaja the essence of mind is recognized as bliss-emptiness. And so, in sahaja the experience of existence is woven into bliss, love, joy and delight.

Verses:

 

24. Just That!

Whatever you see,
in front of you
or behind
or in any direction at all,
is that.
If you can just intuit this –
you won’t have to go on looking for it
in far-away places.

Commentary

In the Hevajra Tantra it is stated:

Whatever appears, whether animate or inanimate, they are all in truth of the same source. Everything that appears is of the same nature when experienced through the principle of undividedness.

The myriad things all appear as separate, yet they are not. Outside of interdependence and interrelatedness there is nothing at all. There is only the indivisibility of consciousness. In the Walled Garden of Truth, the Sufi poet Hakim Sanai expresses it like this:

Listen, don’t be fooled –
all these different shades
turn into one colour
in the bowl of undividedness.

27. The Inner and the Outer

It has no outside
and
no inside either.
It is neither within
nor without.
Yet that which is without form
is to be found in form.
So, if you are looking for it –
you’ll find it right here.

Commentary

The seen appears as the face of the unseen whilst the unseen remains hidden in the seen. The shape of things appearing as form is not other than the manifest expression of the formless.

That which is inner is reflected in the outer. And the outer is not separate from the inner. The gross manifestation of the body of form is the emanation body of the formless. The two are not separate. Ultimately, the inner is not different to the outer world, for the outer world is not outer. One is part of it. One is entirely pervaded by it. In the end it is the whole notion of inner and outer that is found to be misconceived.  

62. Fallen Out of Love?

Have you fallen
out of love my friend?
Listen!
Why make distinctions
between things?
Don’t break into fragments

that which is
perfectly whole.
Paint all the worlds

with the colour of your great delight.

Commentary

In the Subhasita-samgruha it is stated:

The foolish think that liberation
is something outside of the world.
But the awake realize that it is not to be found
outside of the experience of life itself.

The tantric sees Buddhas in every direction, radiating joy, delight and love throughout every dimension of the universe. The tantric sees a vast tapestry of beautiful life manifesting beautiful people and beautiful creations everywhere.

75. Let the Sunshine In!

Strangled by
your own narrow ideas
you complain
about your constriction.
That which constricts the small minded

frees the tantric.
So if you want to be free,

free your mind –
why not just

let the sunshine in?

Commentary

One imagines that all people experience the same world. It is not so. The experience of the world for each person is quite different. It all depends on how one sees things.

True freedom is to be found in the heart-mind. It is not found in ideologies. It is an inner state of being that is free of constriction. Joy, delight and happiness are the natural state. When the warm glow of the morning sun is felt, it melts away the cold of the night. When the heart is open, the inner stream of love and delight flows.

In the Hevajra Tantra it is stated:

The tantric should first realize the illusory and magical nature of the world of appearance. Then notions of good and bad, right and wrong, me and you, will all disappear like flowers in the sky.

87. The Taste of the Indescribable

You ask me
what it’s like?
Without colour,

shape or form –
it can hardly be spoken of
or explained.
How can you possibly put into words,

the blissful taste of the indescribable?
It’s like trying to describe

Mozart to the deaf!

Commentary

In the Acintya-dvaya-kramopadesa it is stated:

The highest bliss of
non-dual knowledge
transcends all colour,
sound and taste.

It is free of smell and touch.
It is beyond thought,
free of knower and the known –
it is the indivisible non-dual reality.