The word “Tantra” in the Sanskrit-English Dictionary 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 humans to be happy upon the earth, a way to live in peace for attaining a state of Heavenly Bliss.
Another feature of Tantra is the correlation between macrocosm and microcosm, heaven and earth. 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 “I” will go on to be reborn with a new skin. The merry-go-round of life is called a chakra, in Sanskrit the word is written as “cakra” and it means a circle or a cycle.
In the literature you will find reference to five, seven, or more chakras located in the human body. They are referred to as 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, 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, or Mū́lâdhāra, and the Sanskrit-English Dictionary says it is a mystical circle situated above the generative organs, at the navel. The word Mū́la means foundation, or the first, and dhāra means holding or supporting, and according to the Sacred Text, a foundational practice is holding to 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 differences of opinion. It is a difficult subject to come to grips with because they are not physical structures, but psychic and cannot be 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, Grandfather separates into heaven and earth and they are within us for a place to be with Grandfather. The Goddess of the Earth is in the belly and is connected to the God of Heaven at the top of the head by a channel, and the teaching is to bring both together as one.
The human body in the Rigveda is called a nonentity, a person is a mover, a goer, a descendant, and the ego, the “I” is the entity that inhabits the body. I say the body is me, or mine since I claim it as my own and is my most precious possession, although really, the “I” has very little control over it. In the translations of Wilson and Griffith, the body is called a chariot and it is like that. If you plan on walking 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 may be the most precious, but you will find that you have very little control over it. If you did, you would never be sick or feel bad, but the body is non-self. The body is maintained with nourishment, food, water, and the breath of Brahma. Interestingly, the air around us is called “that which is alive” in the Rigveda, and to bring it into the non-entity to bring it to life. All of the critical activity for keeping the body alive is carried on without a person’s knowledge and the wind is crucial for every activity. Everything that moves, moves because of the wind. All of the important activities of keeping the body alive are automatic, so people can be engaged in whatever, but the teaching is to give back for the gift of life.
Peace, Rgvedaschool, an Ancient Tradition Today