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Difference Between Tantra And Vedanta

The philosophy of Tantra and Vedanta are more or less the same. In Vedanta, we address Brahman and maya. In Tantra, we address Shiva and Shakti. In the Shakta tantra, God is worshipped as Mother. Here is a look at the difference between tantra and Vedanta.

Shiva is unchanging Consciousness and Shakti is its dynamic power appearing as mind and matter. Shiva and Shakti are, therefore, Consciousness and its Power. In the static transcendent aspect, Shiva, the one Brahman, does not change. In the kinetic immanent aspect, Shakti, it does. There is the changelessness in change. The individual soul is one with the transcendent spirit, the Paramatman.

Vedanta is similar in this respect: the individual soul, your soul, my soul; this Atman and Brahman are the same. Individual Consciousness and cosmic Consciousness are same. The room space and the cosmic space, both are the same. In tantra, however, there is a beauty. There is a little difference between tantra and Vedanta.

In the Vedantic tradition, we say that Brahman alone is the reality. This world is illusion, unreal. It is not permanent. It has an apparent reality, not absolute reality. We say again and again: ‘Do n0t take this world seriously.’ It is changing. Every day and every minute, this world is changing. Your body is changing; your mind is changing. But behind this changing reality there is an unchanging reality that is the Atman, which never changes.

Now, in tantra, sadhakas look upon this world as the manifestation of Shakti, the Divine Mother. It is real – not absolutely real, of course. But consider this comparison: Vedanta says, ‘Get away from maya, get out!’ Tantra says: ‘No, no, worship maya. Don’t get out; don’t throw it away; don’t discard it.’ This is the beauty of tantra. It does not deny the world; it says, ‘The world is beautiful; it is true; it is the playground of the Divine Mother, and we areall her playmates.’ According to tantra, we haveto realise Brahman through this world, not by negating this world. People are often confused by and fearful of the world, but God did not create the world to frighten people. There must be a purpose of this creation. What is the purpose? Play. However, what is play to God is death for us, and we suffer.

Sourceexcerpt from an article titled ‘What Is Tantra?’ by Swami Chetanananda in the Prabhudha Bharata 2016 edition. Page no 35 – 36