Because Tantric art is meant to serve a religious, rather than an aesthetic purpose, and because artists believed that they acquired spiritual merit by copying prototypes, the art has not greatly changed over the centuries. The emphasis is not on style but on iconography. The earliest known motif is the naked Siva prototype, with phallus erect, who sit in a yoga posture. First seen in the Indus valley civilization of the third millennium B.C. , its corollaries are the representation of fierce deities, the protector gods, who are often portrayed with blue or black skin and set in furious scenes suitable to the deep-seated demonism that formed the Himalaya’s aboriginal faith. Another characteristic motif is the ever-popular Mithuna, or lovers, sometimes in sexual embrace.
Depicted in a variety of forms, these are known in Tibet as the “Yab Yum” or mother-father couple. A third anthropomorphic theme is the human-animal configuration , in which the deity appears as half-human and half-animal. An ensemble of these cardinal motifs and several other subsidiary symbols popular in the Himalaya is the Wheel of Life. First seen in the Gupta-perid painting at the Ajanta caves in India, the Wheel of Life sums up both pictorially and philosophically the Hindu and Buddhist view of life and the causes of human sorrow.
The religions and the art of the Himalaya are derived from those of northern and central India and remain closely allied to them, but the isolation- geographic hardship and vast spaces- have given the beliefs and the culture that expresses them a magnificence and mystery of their own. Like the hundreds of gods and goddesses of Hindu and Buddhist pantheons who aspire to the same divine ideals, the painted works express diversity and unity simultaneously.
Gerhard Heym: The literature of the latter sect contains only veiled allusions to the Tantra-cult. The older literature has been partly destroyed by the reformed sect; but its extant portions give us most frank and open commentaries on Tantra-practices, which are an invaluable aid in understanding goëtic literature in general. Prof. Grünwedel insists strictly on this, and holds that these commentaries alone enable us to comprehend the very subtle and diversified literature of the reformed Tibetan sect. As humanitarian and Buddhist phraseology is invariably employed to conceal the fundamental Tantric ideas, most Occidental scholars have failed to penetrate into the hidden meanings of the Tibetan writings and also into those of that part of the Tantra-literature written in Sanskrit. Read More: http://www.alexandrededanann.net/demonic_magic.htm a
…In the Tantra-texts, and especially in the commentaries of the older Tibetan sect, Prof. Grünwedel has found a certain ritual, repeated again and again, which corresponds in striking fashion to the ritual preserved in the Etruscan inscriptions. This recurrence of similar ceremonials has proved to our student of comparative demonology, that the Etruscan ritual is not simply the subjective interpretation of a scholar, but is, in fact, an earlier manifestation of a widespread system of “black magic” the counterpart of which exists today in its most undisguised form in Tibet. In addition, the Tantras contain many similarities to the witch-cult of mediaeval times. The position of the witches at the altar, known from old prints, corresponds to that of the Tantric sorcerer; sacrifices of children occur in the West, and similar practices are commented upon in the Tantras ; witches that fly through the air are counterparts of the Oriental Dâkinîs, so important in the Tantra-system; the hearing of children, according to the Tantras, is tabu, and woman is therefore cursed – sentiments which are professed by the witches and sorcerers in the West. In tracing the origins of mediaeval witchcraft and sorcery, there is found evidence pointing to the fact that mediaeval Tuscany, the former home of the ancient Etruscans, was one of the centres from which these practices radiated. Read More: http://www.alexandrededanann.net/demonic_magic.htm a
These Hittite stone texts, according to our author, were set up by the Medes, the people who destroyed Nineveh and exterminated demon worship, the state religion of the Assyrians, in order to expose the cult in all its frightfulness as a warning to the conquering nation and also to the vanquished. By means of the bilingual system the conquered nation was addressed in symbols which were understandable, and which, as magic formulae, had now lost their efficacy. These formulae closely resemble the texts of the Etruscan inscriptions, and, like them, are revolting and horrible.
The Median part of these so-called Hittite inscriptions describes the battle against the powers of evil, indicating the nature of the cult that had been destroyed, but without giving details as to the ritual.( Gerhard Heym)
Read More: http://amamariesimard.tripod.com/id13.html
Judith Simmer Brown: All of this is done through the medium of Buddhist meditations, in their varieties of forms. But this is most explicitly described in the tradition of Tibetan tantra, which strategically invites psychological material directly into meditation practice and transforms it into wisdom. How are we to understand this “not accepting, not rejecting” way of working with the “shadow” in Buddhism? A most instructive example can be found in the life story of the twelfth-century Tibetan yogin, Milarepa, who began his fife in great adversity. His father, a successful and prosperous trader, died when Mila was still a small boy, leaving him and his mother and sister at the mercy of a greedy uncle. Read More: http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-EPT/simm.htm a
When the uncle stole their inheritance and forced them into servitude, Mila’s enraged mother insisted that he avenge his family’s honor. He apprenticed himself to a powerful sorcerer and learned to cause devastating hailstorms and pestilence. Returning to his village, at his mother’s urging he murdered his uncle’s entire family and then fled into the mountains. When he realized what he had done, he experienced great fear and regret, and sought a Buddhist teacher to repair his damaged karma. In the language of Jung, Milarepa became enmeshed in the flight from his shadow at the onset of his spiritual journey. His training with the great guru Marpa was fraught with great hardship and misguided intentions, as Marpa exacerbated his troubled student’s neurosis.Read More: http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-EPT/simm.htm
The most striking example came in Marpa’s command that Milarepa build a series of tall stone towers with his own hands. With each tower’s completion, Marpa insisted that Milarepa tear it down and return the stones to their original spots. Throughout this, Milarepa experienced great devotion, but never understood the great agony of the tasks his master set forth for him. Finally, as Milarepa contemplated suicide, Marpa gave him the teachings he sought and sent him to the remote and desolate caves of southwestern Tibet to do a lifelong retreat. Through this retreat, Mila successfully met his own shadow and reclaimed its offerings.