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Pancha Makaras
Hatha Yoga
Mantra Yoga
Tantra Yoga
Laya Yoga
Swara Yoga
The Pancha Tattva is essential for the worship of Sakti. The Pancha Tattvas are wine (Madya), meat (Mamsa), fish (Matsya), parched cereal (Mudra) and sexual union (Maithuna). As they all commence with the letter M, they are vulgarly called Pancha-ma-kara or five M's. The Pancha Tattvas stand for drinking, eating and propagation.

The Pancha Tattvas, the five elements of worship destroy great sins, Maha-pataka-nasanam. They are also called the panch makaras.

The Pancha Tattvas have not always their literal meaning. The meaning differs according as they refer to the Tamasic (Pasu), Rajasic (Vira) or Sattvic (Divya) Sadhanas respectively.

The esoteric meaning of these five Makaras is: "Kill egoism, control flesh, drink the wine of God-intoxication, and have union with Lord Siva. The main hatred for shaktism is publicised by criticising 5 Ms used in Shakti sadhna viz. Maans (meat), Madira (wine), Maithun (sex), Meen (fish) and Mudra (special sign). The real shakti sadhna has different meanings for these 5 Ms. The panch makaras actually mean:

MadiraMadira (wine)
Brahmsthhan sarojpatra lasita brahmandtripti prada….Ya shubhranshu kala sudhavigalita saa paanyogya sura!

That means: In the sahasradhara lotus (chakra), Chandra kala has gathered a nectar, this sura (wine) is to be drunk by a Shakti sadhakaa). Wine may be wine; or it may be coconut water or it may mean God-intoxication or the intoxicating knowledge of Brahman or the Absolute. Wine is a symbol to denote the Supreme, eternal Bliss of Yoga knowledge, or knowledge of Atman (Atma-jnana).

Maans (Meat)
Kaam Krodh sulobh moh pashu kamshichhatva vivekasina….Maansam nirvishayam pratm sukhadam khadanti tesham budhaa

That means: Kama (sex), krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha ( false affection), are the animals in you. O shakta take the sword of regular Viveka (good intelligence) and sacrifice these animals to the Mother and eat their meat (finish the residue). Mamsa (meat) is the act by which the aspirant consecrates all his actions to the Lord.

Meena or Matsya (Fish)
Ahamkaro dambho mada pishunata matsardwisham…shdetanminaan vai vaishya harjalen vidhritaan

That means: Dwesh (jealousy), maan (self-appraisal), Dambha (ego-ahamkaar) these fishes are swimming in the Chitta (mind) of the worshipper who should catch them, fry them and eat them that is recognise them and destroy them. Matsya (fish) is that Sattvic knowledge by which the Sadhaka sympathises with the pleasure and pain of all beings.

Mudraa (sign)
Mudra is like asana in Rajyoga. When shakti is evoked, certain organs of the worshipper take a special shape to let the energies flow evenly. Mudra is practiced while worshipping, to avoid stoppage of energy. Mudra is the act of abandoning all associations with evil which leads to bondage.

Maithun (sexual-act)
Kula Kundali Shakti Dehini Dehdharini…tathha shivasya samyogo maithunam parikirtittam

The body of worshipper has kundalini shakti (feminine power)…its mating with the Shiva (male power) in Sahasrachakra (crown chakra) is a real Maithun (sex) for the Shakta. Hence,the union of Siva and Sakti in the upper brain centre known as Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus is Maithuna

All these constitute the five elements (or the five tatva) of which the atmosphere is made.

Wine is fire; flesh is air; fish is water; cereal is earth; sexual union is ether.

Milk, ghee, honey are all substitutes for wine. Salt, ginger, sesamum, white beans, garlic are substitutes for meat. White brinjal, red radish, masur (a kind of grain) and red sesamum are substitutes for fish. Paddy, rice, wheat and grain are Mudra. Offering of flowers with the hands formed with a particular Mudra is Maithuna.

The Sadhaka thinks that he has got a Deva body. This is Bhuta- Suddhi. Various Nyasas are performed. Mental worship is performed of the Devi who is thought of as being in red raiment seated on a red lotus. Her dark body is like rain-cloud. Her forehead is shining with the light of the crescent moon. Japa of Mantra is then done. Thereupon there is external worship.

Sexual intercourse by a man with a woman who is not lawful to him is a sin. The Vaidika Dharma is very strict on this point. It forbids not merely actual Maithuna but Ashtanga or eightfold Maithuna namely Smaranam (thinking upon it), Kirtanam (talking of it), Keli (play with women), Prekshanam (making eyes at women), Guhya-bhashanam (talking in private with women), Sankalpa (wish or resolve for sexual union), Adhyavasaya (determination towards it), Kriyanishpatti (actual accomplishment of the sexual act).

A Tantric can have copulation with his wife. He calls his wife his Shakti. Wife is a house-goddess Griha-lakshmi or Griha-devi united to her husband by the sacramental tradition ( Samskara) of marriage. She should not be regarded as an object of enjoyment. She is his partner in life (Ardhangini). The union of a man and his wife is a veritable sacred scriptural rite.

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