Tantra means the leading, principal, or essential part, a system or framework, a doctrine, rule, theory, scientific work, or a class of works teaching magical and mystical formularies. Tantra is usually not associated with the Rigveda, although it is a key feature. The Rigveda is the teaching of the Superintendent of Schools, and is not about magical and mystical formularies, but a system for people to be happy upon the earth, a way to live in peace and attain the heavenly state.
There is the correlation between macrocosm and microcosm, heaven and earth in Tantra. Heaven and earth are outside of us for a place to exist and aspire to, and inside of us. The body has a limited lifetime, but the soul will go on to be reborn with a new skin, on the endless merry-go-round.
In the literature, you will find reference to five, seven, or more chakras located in the human body. These are mystical circles and are areas of greater psychic nerve ganglia than elsewhere in the body. The most prevalent theory is that seven chakras connect to a psychic channel in the backbone, with the first chakra being located at the base of the torso and the seventh at the crown of the head.
The name given to the first chakra in the literature is Muladhara, and the Sanskrit-English Dictionary says it is a mystical circle situated above the generative organs, at the navel. Mula means a foundation or the first and dhara means holding or supporting, and according to the text, a foundational practice is holding the breath within the navel. In the literature, you will find that the location and number of chakras vary, how they look, what they do and so on. There are many books on the subject with many different opinions. It is a difficult subject to come to grips with because they are not physical structures, but psychic and not seen with the physical eyes.
Luckily, when we study the original teaching, there is no mention of mystical circles. The Sanskrit word appears quite often in the Rigveda and it means a circle or a cycle, and does not refer to the psychic centers in the body. We find in their place, three places of special importance in the body, the navel or womb, the heart, and the top of the head. Remember, Brahma separates into heaven and earth and they are outside and within us. The Goddess of the earth in the womb is connected to the God of heaven by a channel, and the teaching is to bring both together as one.
The human body is called a nonentity, a person is a mover, a goer, a descendant, and the ego is the entity that inhabits the body. Interestingly, the ego, the “I” is also a nonentity, but is deluded into thinking it is an entity and a master of the body. We say the body is ours, we claim it for our self, a most precious possession, yet we have very little control over it. If we were the master of the body we would never be sick and would always experience happiness, but the body is non-self. In the translations of Wilson and Griffith, the body is a chariot and it is like that. If you plan to walk from point A to point B, the chariot will take you there. During the trip, you will find that you have lots of free time to look about and think about the three times of past, present or future.
The body is non-self but a precious possession, and food, water, and a breath from heaven are necessary to maintain it. The breath is god upon the earth as the moment it stops life ends. For the most part, breathing happens, and God says a breath will always be there for you as long as you return a breath to complete the circle. The air around us is called “that which is alive” and the teaching is fullness of breath for fullness of life.
Such is the beginning of the lesson.
Yes, prepare the way by giving, and anyone ought to be the one to honor.