The Tantra Path - Techniques are used as aids for meditation and achieving spiritual power: Yoga, including breathing techniques and postures (asana), is employed to subject the body to the control of the will. Mudras: Gestures, Mantras: Syllables, words and phrases, Yantras: Symbolic diagrams of forces at work in the universe, Identification with deities. The process of sublimation consists of three phases: Purification, Elevation, and “Reaffirmation of identity in pure consciousness.”
न मत्रं नो यन्त्रं तदपि च न जाने स्तुतिमहो
न चाह्वानं ध्यानं तदपि च न जाने स्तुतिकथाः ।
न जाने मुद्रास्ते तदपि च न जाने विलपनं
परं जाने मातस्त्वदनुसरणं क्लेशहरणम् ॥१॥
O Mother, I know neither your mantra nor yantra, nor how to invoke you or how to meditate on you. I do not know your story or your glory or your various postures, and I am not given to weeping in distress. But one thing I know for certain is that seeking shelter under your protection, and following your order, is definitely going to end all afflictions.
Verse 1, Devi Aparadha Kshamapana Stotram, attributed to Adi-Shankaracharya.
Kaula means family member. Generally an individual wondering in the world of desire and multiplicity is considered Akaula, without family in the spiritual sense, when by the grace of the Divine Mother a person comes into contact with Sri Guru and makes the connection through dīkṣā or initiation they start the path of union and enter a spiritual family. By the grace of the Goddess we get Guru and by the grace of Guru we get the Goddess. The emphasis for this path is ALWAYS surrender to a Guru.
The Kaula Mārg is a path of the Tantra Śāstra , it’s completely complimentary to the Vedas, the rituals of the Vedas include saṃskāra, sandhyāvandana and Homa, tantric rituals include all of the above plus Mantra, Yantra, Nyasa, Japa, Puja, Stotra, Dhyana, Pratima, liṅgaṃ and Shalagrama, these are the more common practices of present day Hinduism for most traditions, the Kaula tradition is not heterodox or separate from the Vedic. Swami Vivekananda in his travels in the west hardly spoke of the Tantra or Kaula mārg, though his Guru Sri Ramakrishna was an adept of its practice, the reason for this was because culturally Americans and Europeans would certainly misinterpret the tradition, he emphasised Vedanta, the philosophical portion of Vedic literature, and wisely so. These days a macabre fascination for skulls and bones, sense satisfaction, a new age Dungeons & Dragons interpretation and an imagination fuelled by films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom have done no justice to the Kaula tradition. If your getting your information on the worship of Mother Kali from a Jeffrey Kripal book, your almost certainly engaging in cultural misappropriation in a very real sense.
There are seven ācāra or types of conduct given in the Tantra, of these seven Kaulācāra, Vāmācāra and Dakṣiṇācāra are considered the ways of approaching Devī. From the non-initiated/observer view, Vāmācāra has been interpreted as a path that ‘breaks taboos’, this is due to ignorance, we also see the spiritual tourist brigade has degraded it to some fetishism to satisfy perverse materialism, completely disregarding the tradition it came from. Generally these seven types of conduct are seen like this this: In the heart we follow Kaulācāra-we keep the Goddess there, externally Śaivācāra- we keep the outward appearance of the śaiva tradition, to the world Vaiṣṇavācāra- we follow the way of purity and decency, to the left Vamācāra- the Goddess as our beloved sits to the left of the sadhak, to the right Dakṣiṇācāra- we behave in a way that is pleasing to the Goddess, on the lips Siddhāṇtācāra- the teachings of Guru and scripture, and on the head Vedācara- divine knowledge. The only way to understanding the Kaula Mārg is to sit with a qualified Guru in the line of this tradition and learn from him/her.
Guru is a Sanskrit word. Gu means darkness, and ru denotes the remover
of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes darkness and ignorance.
On Guru Purnima, people believe in showing their respects to their Guru’s as an
expression of gratitude towards them.
“The wisdom of the highest scriptures, the doctrines of all sacred
texts, the epics of the gods and wise sagas of life, the science of mantras,
yantras, and so on, powerful incantations, the wisdom passed to each
generation, the sacred teachings of those who worship the Absolute as Divine
Father or Mother, and other revered works – all these doctrines and creeds only
bring the downfall of those whose minds are restless and deluded.
The Guru is not different from pure, unbounded consciousness, the Self.
This is the truth. Without a doubt, this is the truth.
For the embodied soul, knowledge of the Self is veiled by a false
perception of the world born of ignorance. The one by whose light
Self-realization arises is known by the name, Guru.
Any place where the Guru dwells is the holy land of Kashi; the water
that washes the Guru’s feet is the Ganges. The Guru is the Lord of the Universe
perceptible to the eyes. Indeed, the Guru is Brahma, the Savior. "16. (The
Mahakala, a wrathful deity, is considered to be the fierce and powerful emanation of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. This deity is one of the Dharmapalas in Vajrayana Buddhism who defend the Dharma from corruption and degeneration and from forces hostile to it. Said to guide and protect the individual practitioner from all kinds of deception and delusion; bestow the power to overcome life struggles; and to eliminate one’s obstacles and impediment that hinders.
Jantar Mantar, which is actually pronounced, as ?Yantra Mantra?, yantra for instrument and mantra for formula. A huge sundial known as ?Samrat Yantra? or ?Prince of Dials?, meant to measure accurate time of the day within half a second and the declination of the sun and other heavenly bodies dominates it. Jai Singh himself designed this yantra. Other yantras were also meant for the study of heavenly bodies, plotting their course and predicting eclipses. The Jantar Mantars may have fallen into disuse but they remain an integral part of India?s scientific heritage. It presents that the spirit of scientific enquiry was not dead in India and would have yielded rich results if only an opportunity of research and development had been given to it.