Vishwa Yoga | Two Paths

Vishwa Yoga

Authentic Tantric Perspective - Ancient teachings for the modern life

Two Paths

As a human, we evolve every moment with each experience in this world. These experiences can be described of two kinds- outward and inward. Depending on how the energy (shakti) moves, the state of awareness changes.

In tantric term, when energy moves outward it creates our world of forms through senses, thus also comes the desire for enjoyment, fulfillment and accomplishment. The more the energy moves outward, it also moved downwards and thus it creates a vail of ignorance. No matter who we are, we all strive for happiness, we all want to reduce any form of suffering and find more happiness in life.  So, when the same energy moves inwards and upwards, we have more awareness and less suffering and more happiness.

Tantra divides people into two groups
1. Pravritti Marg (Natural Path) - it means natural trend or path of extroversion, path of the world of activity and sensual enjoyment or path of a householder. It means you spend whole life pursuing desires and happiness in external sensory world. However, even if you are living as a householder, performing your duties and activities to fulfil the desires in moderation, and aware of the impermanence of sensory pleasure, you are already on the path of Nivritti.

2. Nivritti Marg (Path to the source) – it means the path who wants to return to the source, turn away from sensory world in search of everlasting bliss. It literally means retirement or renunciates path. However, to follow the Nivritti path, you don’t have to be a hermit or swami, you do not need to live in forest or in an ashram. You may be living as renunciates from outside but if your mind and body are still looking for worldly pleasure, you are still following the Pravritti Path.

Majority of us follow the natural trend or Householder path, like to enjoy or indulge in sensory objects, this way the aim is more on enjoyment, fulfillment (bhoga) and accomplishment (bhukti), less on liberation (mukti) and freedom (apavaraga). Renunciates path emphasis more on liberation and freedom than fulfillment or accomplishment.

However, Tantra caters the need for both groups of people and prescribes special practices for each group. Since most people are ideally suited for Pravritti or householder path, so for the path of enlightenment, it suggests to first exhaust and fulfill all the interest in the things of the world, thus finally you will naturally come to Nivritti or renunciates path. As you will gradually realize that there is no end of desires for worldly pleasures. No force or effort is required, as it will arise spontaneously. Because it is the renunciates path finally leads to the experience of the infinite.

Thus, Tantra provides practices to the both paths for the individual based on personality and stage of development. It recommends to not force a path on a practitioner who is either not ready or disinclined towards it. This is one of the reason, you will see there is a progressive order and practices as per schools of tantra.