The Tantric Fire is part V of tantra series. The siddhis attained through tantric mantras are used for various purposes both good and bad. Certain practitioners do not realise the consequences of using their siddhis for evil purposes. Not only they lose their power, but also physically suffer physically. At the same time, if the siddhis are used for healing or other good causes, the practitioner’s power increases. Each practitioner has his own way of practice and use different accessories. The most commonly used is the fire altar. Fire altars are constructed with a few bricks and stones and their shape depends upon the type of appeasement. Sometimes, for performing evil rites, altars made out of iron are also used. Normally square, triangle and circle are the shapes used for the construction of altars. The location of the altars also differs. Fir auspicious purposes, the altars can be located anywhere and mostly the shapes of such altars are square. For evil rites the altars are constructed at the burial ground and the shape of the altar is either a circle or a triangle. In rare cases, a corpse is used as an altar. The logs used during the oblations also differ depending upon the nature of the rite. For auspicious rites logs of bilva or palasa are used. Many herbs are dried and used along with these logs in auspicious rites. For inauspicious rites logs of neem tree, logs of thorny plants and trees are used. The sacrificial fire has seven tongues.

The nature of the fire can be noticed from the colour of the flame. For auspicious rites the sacrificial fire is called ‘suprabha’ which is deep yellow in colour and for inauspicious rites the fire is called ‘rakta’ which is deep red in colour. In the same way the ladles used for auspicious rites are mostly made from the logs of fig tree. For other purposes, iron ladles are used. The materials used for oblations also differ depending upon the nature of rites. The main ingredient of oblation is ghee. Additional materials are used depending upon the nature of worship. For auspicious rites honey, milk, turmeric powder, etc are used with ghee. For destructive rites blood of sheep is used along with ghee. A vessel made of brass, silver or gold is used to hold the ingredients for the oblations in auspicious ceremonies. In the case of evil rites, iron or clay vessels are used. The posture of the practitioner while performing the rite is also prescribed.

For auspicious rites padmasana posture or any other posture comfortable to the practitioner can be used. For inauspicious rites, the practitioner has to kneel on his knees while performing the oblations. Finally, the practitioner offers prayers to the concerned deity (now in the fire altar) and makes offerings to appease the deity. The offerings are then given to the yajamana (yajamana is the one, on whose behalf a rite is performed). If such rites are performed strictly in accordance with the prescribed methods, the wishes for which rites are performed will be surely fulfilled. One important thing to remember is that such rites should not be performed for destructive purposes. If done for such purposes, both the practitioner and the yajamana and their respective families will be subjected miseries and sufferings. (to be continued)

Further Readings:

Introduction to Tantra Sastra

Tantric Initiation

Tantra and Five Elements

Tantra and Creation