"She looks so cute, my God.... too cute!!"I looked around, confused, "Who?!"
"Meenakshi Amman!!" There was a look of sheer awe, joy and fascination on his face.
"You mean Goddess Meenakshi?!" I asked him in bewilderment.
"Ya!!" he nodded vigorously.
I quickly glanced at the poojari (of a famous temple near Chennai) standing next to me. The poojari nodded in agreement. It was the poojari who introduced me to the tantrik before the conversation started.
"Cute?!" I felt a twinge of resentment at the word "cute" in describing the Goddess. Before I could react the tantrik threw another shocker, "Kamakshi is not like that, She's ferocious, like Kali! But Meenakshi... oh God....She's damn cute!!" He exclaimed in joy, recalling the vision.
While I was struggling to digest his choice of vocabulary in describing the Goddess the tantrik diverted my attention, "You people see the main idol (moola vigraham) in temples whereas we tantriks feast our eyes on the actual core form which is subtle and a few inches in front of the main idol."
My eyes grew wide in wonderment, "You actually see the Goddess?!"
"Not in the big form but in a miniature form, full of light and life, pulsating and moving, in colours, in light..."
I once again glanced at the poojari who quickly nodded in agreement.
"Wow!!" I whispered, the sense of wonder I felt was overwhelming.
I couldn't believe that this less than ordinary looking man was a tantrik in the first place and that he had the ability to see the Goddess in Her sookshma (subtle) form.
The poojari interrupted, "He can also scan everybody's auras and he is an expert in measuring the ascension of kundalini in any person".
"Wow" this time the tantrik got my full attention.
Looking grim all of a sudden the tantrik said, "People need to be aware of their spiritual potential and be wary of their energies, the kundalini energy can be stolen, you know?"
My brows knit in consternation, "Stolen?! How??"
The Poojari told me with a smile, "There's a lot about this subject, please come home for some coffee, we will discuss."
A TANTRIK IS SOMEBODY WHO'S WELL-VERSED IN RELIGIOUS TEXTS, RITUALS AND PRACTICES. IT'S A VERY POSITIVE THING. LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD, EVEN TANTRA HAS A FLIPSIDE TO IT. THERE ARE PRACTITIONERS WHO USE TANTRA FOR NEGATIVE PURPOSES AND DON'T BAT AN EYELID IN CAUSING HARM TO A HUMAN BEING IF/WHEN NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THEIR DESIRED TARGET. THESE PRACTICES ARE COMMERCIAL TOO AND RITUALS ARE CHARGEABLE AND CONDUCTED ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE FOR A COST.
SPECIFIC YANTRAS, MANTRAS, BEEJAKSHARAS AND ARTICLES ARE USED IN THESE PRACTICES. IN THE WESTERN WORLD SUCH PRACTICES EXIST AND ARE KNOWN AS 'BLACK MAGIC'. 'VOODOO', 'SPELL' ETC. THE OUIJA BOARD WHICH IS USED IN CONTACTING SPIRITS CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE CATEGORY OF NOT-SO-RELIGIOUS PRACTICES.
IN INDIA THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TANTRIKS. A TANTRIK CAN LOOK LIKE YOUR GUY NEXT DOOR, A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, A BANK CLERK DRESSED IN PANTS AND SHIRT. THEY ARE NOT LIKE THE ONES SHOWN IN THE MOVIES, SPORTING A LONG BEARD, A THICK MOUSTACHE, FIERCELY GLOWING RED EYES, DRAMATIC LOOKS OR A GUTTURAL TONE TO MATCH. HE COULD BE A PEDESTRIAN WALKING PAST YOU ON THE ROAD, THE EYES ARE GENERALLY KEEN, OBSERVANT AND INTELLIGENT.