Tantrik Sadhana
Sadhana means "holy action". This may be performed once in the case of a prayoga, or spell of sorts, or it may be performed many days in a row for a special favor from a deity. These complex set of puja are Tantrik method. This implies a magickal intention, and to be getting something in particular from the deity worshipped. as such, the ritual is more complex than the simple puja.

There are NUMEROUS different ways this can be done for special intentions of all sorts. I am describing the most basic form.
Preparation
One meal of only Satvic, or light foods should be eaten during the day. These can be fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, or butter. Nothing should be heavy or starchy.

This ritual is done at night. Starting at 10:00 p.m. local time, take a ritual bath. This is done in exactly the same way as the simple puja as is the same for Wicca, including Samkhya Wicca. A bath is prepared to the temperature of your liking. It is scented with essential oils or bath salts. The person sits in the tub, relaxes, clarifies their mind for the purpose of the ritual, and gets in the mood for it. This can be done with the lights dimmed or with candlelight, if preferred.

Loose clothing of an appropriate color for the deity involved is worn.

The ritual area is swept, and perhaps otherwise cleaned. It must be free of debris, dirt, and clutter.

The altar is set up. An altar cloth of an appropriate color for the primary deity worshipped is used. A small wooden table with one candle, statue of the god or goddess to be worshipped, one of Shiva and one of Ganesha as well. A yantra or symbol for the deity primarily worshipped is used. These may be found in any of numerous sites or books about various Gods, or you can even make one up. 2 pieces of cloth, essential oil, flowers, incense, potable water, food for offering, and a musical instrument. None of this has to be elaborate. Or, a small area on a floor or the ground will do nicely as well. The altar may stay up, or it may be taken down when not in use, as per needs and preference.

The working area is not of a set size. It should accommodate a circle large enough for the participant and the altar. As this is normally done solitary, the circle may be as small as about 4 ft in diameter. The size should make it feel "cozy" and "intimate" with the person celebrating.
Method
  1. Facing south, take the cup of water in your left hand, cover it with your right hand, and hold it in front of you. Look at the statue of Shiva and mentally ask Him to take away all impurities. Say AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA 11 times. With your right hand, take drops of water from the cup in your left hand, and sprinkle it over your body.
  2. Take a drop of water in your right hand and sip it. Make no noise as you do this. Then, say each the following mantra once, sipping water between them:
    • AUM EN ATMA TATTVAIYA SWAHA
    • AUM HRIM VIDYA TATTVAIYA SWAHA
    • AUM KLIM SHIVA TATTVAIYA SWAHA

    The inside and outside of your body is now purified.
  3. Take a little water in the left palm. Starting in the south, sprinkle water in that direction as you say AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA Repeat for west, north, east, then finally repeating south.
  4. Worship Ganesha briefly. He is the God of luck. Worshipping Him is auspicious to the success of your ritual.

    Repeat AUM GAM GANAPATYAI NAMAH 11, 21, or 108 times. Offer Him incense, light, rice, flowers, and tilak, as per the simple puja. Pray to Ganesha in that puja that this sadhana or "Holy action" will be successful.
  5. A vow is taken. take water in the right hand and hold the arm at shoulder level. State the date, place, your name and family, what you intend to do, and that you are going to be successful in the sadhana. Then, let a drop of water roll down your fingers and fall onto the floor to the right side. This must not fall on the altar. Be very determined when you make this vow. The vow, or Samkalpa, makes the siddhi or success.
  6. Guru puja is performed. This is to send energy and thanks to whoever taught you this. You can very well thank the gods Themselves for this. Repeat the mantra AUM PARAM TATVAYA NARANYA NAMAH and AUM GURU BRAHMA, AUM GURU VISHNU, AUM GURU MAHASHVERA"
  7. The yantra, or symbol of the deity is now worshipped by offering incense, light, rice, flowers, and tilak.
  8. Repeat 4 or 11 mala of 100ish mantras of
    AUM PARAM TATVAYA NARANYA GURUBHYO NAMAH
    This is to get the blessing from the TEACHER. The true teacher is not the human being who taught you to do any of this, but rather the divine Itself. There is much confusion over the concept of "guru worship". You do NOT worship the human being in front of you! No human being deserves worship! It is from the divine Who led you to the teaching. The divine used whatever people or tools He/She/It had most available and most appropriate.
  9. Repeat the mantra for whatever deity you are offering the sadhana, or holy action to 11 or 21 mala of 100ish mantra each. The mantra can be found in various books or websites about particular deities.

    If you do not have a mala appropriate for the deity, or one at all, you may use a crystal mala, or you may have 2 sets of stones on your altar. One set of 100 or 108 stones to count mantra. The other set is of 11 or 21 and is used to count malas.
  10. Repeat 4 or 11 mala of 100ish mantras of
    AUM PARAM TATVAYA NARANYA GURUBHYO NAMAH
  11. When finished, leave the candle or lamp burning until it goes out. Never extinguish this light in any way.
  12. This ritual is done once for a prayoga. For a full sadhana, or holy action to a god, this is done 3, 7, 9. 14. 28, 40, or 108 consecutive days.
  13. The next day after the sadhana is completely finished, wrap all of the unused items - incense, oil, food, yantra, stones, partly burned candles, etc and either bury them or drop them into a river, lake, or stream. Thus, it is very important to use biodegradable things in this entire ritual.

    The sadhana is done. Good luck.
Rules
The Tantra I described here is right hand. This means that there are rules to follow. These rules are important for Tantra. They are very "hard and fast" for right hand. The rules are looser for left hand Tantra in some ways, but tighter in a few others.

I have already discussed the time and preparation, and the one meal to be eaten during the day. That meal should be eaten after sunset or before sunrise. There are particular days that are auspicious to various deities.

After the ritual is started, it is not permissible to leave the circle for ANY reason! Any actions of "creature comfort" must be done before, or put off until the ritual is complete. Otherwise, the whole thing doesn't count. The whole sadhana has to be restarted at an auspicious time!

As you go through these mantras, you will no doubt stumble over one or two. It's no matter. Just restart that mantra.

Once you have started a mala of 100ish mantras, you may not adjust your posture, scratch an itch, take a sip of water, or the like. If you NEED to make these adjustments, you may restart that mala. You may adjust your posture or scratch itches, or the like between malas. Once in awhile, after you've just said a particular mantra several hundred times, you'll find that you've forgotten the mantra! This is just Goddess testing you. Either remember it or refer to where you've got it written on a piece of paper you have inside the circle.

Do not be alarmed if you see or hear things outside your circle. Sometimes these things happen. Just ignore them. If you fear that something will get into your circle, you may, between malas, sprinkle some water toward the direction from which you feel the threat.

For a multi-day sadhana, one is to sleep on the floor or ground, and alone. Sex is completely forbidden. This includes with another person which includes your spouse as well as yourself.

Women are forbidden from participating in sadhana during menstration. Yes, this precludes premenopausal women from doing the long sadhanas.

Tantrik deities are not as kind and forgiving as the Wiccan view of gods. The same methods do NOT work with Tantra that work for typical Wicca worship. The rules are for a reason. They keep the power and energies focused in a particular direction. If the rules are disregarded, the sadhana can either fail, or work in reverse, or work in some unexpected way, or work on someone other than for which it was intended.
Tantra Unforgiving
As you can see, a Tantrik sadhana is VERY unforgiving of ANY little mistake. These are NOT rituals like Wiccan rituals - not in the slightest! Deities as viewed by Wicca are quite forgiving. As such, many Wiccan rituals tend to be written to be missing important elements. These may work anyway! The Gods love us! But... it helps to be able to protect yourself and to put as many things in order as possible to ensure success. At the very least, know what you are leaving out or cutting corners on. With a Wiccan or Samkhya Wiccan ritual, the worst that is likely to happen is that it will do nothing. A Tantrik ritual can easily backfire or work in reverse if the "wrong" corners are cut. That is more true for a left hand Tantra than a right hand Tantra.

The purpose of this Tantrik ritual here is for some comparison and contrast. Some elements of the form are quite similar to Wicca. I found it remarkably so when I first encountered a Tantrik ritual. Yet, in subtle ways, they are quite different. The rules are MUCH stricter in Tantra. I've gotten into some slight trouble by attempting to do Tantrik rituals with a Wiccan outlook. I discovered this was wrong rather quickly! Right hand Tantra has a lot of rules and left hand Tantra has fewer. I have not discussed left hand Tantra. It has fewer rules, although the ones there are tend to be stricter even than right hand Tantra. However, it is much easier to harm yourself or others with left hand Tantra. It's much more likely to backfire or work in reverse. As such, if you want to learn left hand Tantra, it is imperative to have a teacher who is with you in real life.

I am also attempting to show what Tantra is - and is not. Yes, it is magick. Yes, it is powerful. Yes, it works! But, it is certainly not a "license" for wild sex and drugs. Those rumors about Tantriks were, I believe, started for the same reasons that all sorts of things are said about Wicca that are not true. It's fear of the unknown, and fear that someone is going to step outside the approved envelope.
Copyright 2004 by Elizabeth Harper
All Rights Reserved
No part of this page may be copied as a whole or in part, except in brief citations under the "Fair Use" provision of US and International Copyright Law without written permission of the author.