Once upon a time, Narada Muni (a disciple of heavenly musician Tumburu), the future messenger of the gods and the medium between the divine and all of the mundane worlds, got the feeling that he could stop studying and begin creating his own music. He decided to leave his guru and begin making his own compositions. But then suddenly something happened in the universe-- disharmony and imbalance begin to dominate. Worried gods started looking for the source of this trouble and soon found it: the creativity of Narada Muni, who was very busy with the production of his sounds. So the suffering gods asked Lord Shiva, who was (as usual) immersed in Samadhi, to stop the artistic activity of Narada and thus save the universe. Compassionate Shiva agreed. He found out Narada Muni’s whereabouts and then invited him for a walk through the Himalayas. As they were walking they discovered strange beings of both male and female gender that were injured and deformed. Even the air and space were filled with the odor of decay and screaming voices of half dead creatures. Narada was shocked and immediately asked Shiva, “Who are these beings? What happened to them? Who is the monster that committed this crime?” Shiva reanimated some of these beings and then asked them who they were and what had happened to them. They said, "We’re ragas and raginis, creations of a bastard called Narada Muni, and now see our miserable condition and suffering which is also affecting the entire universe". As a result, terrified Narada experienced the life changing effect of art. He immediately returned to his guru with apologies and continued his studies on the secrets of blissful liberating art while realizing more fully the responsibility of an artist. Finally, after eons of study, Narada Muni became a true messenger of the gods.

’Enlightenment’ or ‘Self-realization’ are not abstract ideas. It is a very certain physical, chemical and psychological state. This is a result of a certain process, caused by different ‘techniques’ of awakening, and sublimation of energy/matter. Tantra Yoga is the perfectly selected collection of techniques of enlightenment or self-realization that has been offered to humanity through the great masters due to their compassion and sense of unity in all things. Tantra yogic ‘art’ is a set of certain awakening and liberating techniques for the body, senses, and mind and also for instinct, intuition, and mind, which when in sublimated and united form, will be turned into unlimited, blissful, and transpersonal super-consciousness.

The visibly effortless and spontaneous enlightenment of some of the modern Masters today is a result (though invisible to most of the world) of their sadhana. Their practice, preparations, and the overall tantra yogic process in general has been accumulated in their previous lives and is now ripe for manifestation. Therefore the common and modern tendencies of the ordinary person are to try and grasp these tantric fruits without the actualized yogic ripening process. This is considered to be a naive and irresponsible attempt to cheat the natural laws of life.

The tantra yogic process has three main stages:

The nature and speed of this process depend on the degree of individual ignorance and limitations as well as the nature of the particular tradition being followed. Yoga (a science and the art of the inescapable comeback to the Source) has two main directions: the ascetic path of denial or suppression of the body, senses, and mind; and the path of Tantra Yoga (acceptance, development, sublimation, and transcendence of the body, senses, and mind). As already mentioned, the tantric path has a threefold (Trika) nature of ‘universal absorption’: purification, sublimation, and samadhi. These are all associated with three main characters of aspirants:

Threefold (Trika) Reality is an inseparable unity of the following: Shiva (transcendence), Shakti (energy), and Anu or Nara (an atom or individual- creation of Shiva-Shakti Lila); the threefold nature of Shakti: Para,Parapara, Apara; Iccha Shakti (energy of will), Gyana Shakti (energy of knowledge), and Kriya Shakti (energy of action); the three gunas (qualities) of nature: sattwa (essence/ balance), rajas (activity/dynamic), tamas (inertia/potentiality); three key energetic channels of Tantra Yogic Kundalini sadhana: ida, pingala, sushumna.

The Trika path has four main schools:

What is the difference between a yogi and a non-yogi or between a spiritual artist and non-spiritual artist? 

It is consciousness (meditative awareness) in any aspect of life. This is the essence of all arts in Tantra Yoga. There is no samadhi without meditation. There is no meditation without one-pointedness. And there is no one-pointedness without balance and unity of apparent polarities.

The consciousness of the environment, living space, and elemental energy is the key art of Vaastu. The consciousness of resonance and the links between an individual and the Universal is the key art of astrology and body reading. The consciousness of one’s life style, the power of mental and physical habits, and of one’s human patterns is the key art of Ayurved and Yama-Niyama. The consciousness of the body is the key art of Asanas. The consciousness of the role and nature of one’s breathing is the key art of Pranayama and Swara Yoga. The consciousness of structures and living diagrams of elements is the key art of Yantra. The consciousness of the nature of sound (speech) is the key art of Mantra. The consciousness of one's own energetic fields and channels is the key art of Kundalini.The consciousness of one’s mental nature is the key art of jnana. The consciousness of the unity of polarities is the key art of Shiva-Shakti Yoga. The consciousness of the very center of any phenomena is the key art of Dhyana. The consciousness of absorption into the universal center is the key art of Samadhi.

The ‘basic arts’ of yoga are universal for any type of human being. However, ‘creative’ and ‘liberating arts’ are based on the consciousness of the nature of image (in visual arts); consciousness of sound (in the art form of music); consciousness of motion, image, and sound (in the art form of dancing). The actualization of Universal consciousness is the main purpose of the educational program at Trika art ashram and all of its classes. 

An artist in general is a human being who may be considered as the ‘highlight of evolution’ (which is made up of about 8,400,000 forms of life). According to tantric view, the human being is an accomplished model or a yantra of the Universe. This yantra is made up out of 36 elements-- from pure Transcendence to the grossest form of matter. "Self-Realisation" is a realisation of the potentiality of this living yantra and the involutionary process of the dissolution of gross elements into fine elements; fine elements into the finest elements; and finally the finest elements into Transcendence (ultimate Samadhi). In other words it is a dissolving process of present identities and experiential memory into past knowledge (cognitive memory); then cognitive memory into collective (cosmic memory); and finally the cosmic memory melts into its Source--space and timeless Transcendence.

This method of awakening, body/energy sublimation, reorientation, going from downward to upward, and from outgoing current to ingoing current, is the way of Kundalini. Therefore the main form of sadhana at Trika ashram is the practice of Kundalini Yoga and Tantric Arts which are both equally powerful tools of Self- recognition and realization.