Summary of Tantra: The Supreme Understanding

What this Book is About?

Cover of the book "Tantra: The Supreme Understanding"The book Tantra: The Supreme Understanding consists of discourses by Osho on Tilopa’s song of Mahamudra.

Tilopa was a tantric adept in India in the 11th century AD. Osho shares wisdom found in this tantric text apart from few tantric meditations for modern day seekers.

Brief Summary of the Book:

This book has been divided into ten chapters –

    1. The Ultimate Experience

      Osho explains the meaning of following song of Tilopa:

      “Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols, but for you, Naropa, earnest and loyal, must this be said:
      The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought. without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – thus gaining liberation.”

      He shares that the Mahamudra, which means the experience of the ultimate, is not an experience at all as the experiencer is lost! That is to say, it cannot be told in words.

    2. The Root Problem of all Problems

      The next few verses of Tilopa’s song continue in this chapter.

      “If one sees nought when staring into space; if with the mind one then observes the mind, one destroys distinctions and reaches Buddhahood…”

      Osho explains that the root problem of all problem is the Mind itself. It is important to know the nature of mind if we want to solve any problems of our life. Osho shares the technique of witnessing to do the same and address this problem right at its roots.

    3. The Nature of Darkness and Light

      The next few verses of Tilopa’s song continue as follows:

      The darkness of ages cannot shroud the glowing sun; the long kalpas of samsara ne’er can hide – the mind’s brilliant light…

      Osho explains how it is foolish to fight against the darkness. One just needs to bring in the light and darkness leaves on its own accord!

    4. Be like a Hollow Bamboo

      The song of Tilopa continues as follows:

      “Do nought with the body but relax; shut firm the mouth and silent remain; empty your mind and think of nought. Like a hollow bamboo rest at ease with your body. Giving not nor taking, put your mind at rest. Mahamudra is like a mind that clings to nought. Thus practicing, in time you will reach Buddhahood.”

      Osho explains these verses in this Chapter.

    5. The Innate Truth

      Tilopa’s song continues as follows:

      “The practice of mantra and paramita, instruction in the sutras and precepts, and teaching from the schools and scriptures, will not bring realization of the innate truth. For if the mind when filled with some desire should seek a goal, it only hides the light…”

      Osho explains these verses in this Chapter by making it clear that Tantra has ‘Yes’ attitude towards whole life. It is not about negation or choices. It accepts life as it is.

    6. The Great Teaching

      The song of Tilopa continues as follows:

      “In Mahamudra all one’s sins are burned; in Mahamudra one is released from the prison of this world. This is the Dharma’s supreme torch. Those who disbelieve it are fools, who ever wallow in misery and sorrow…”

      Osho explains these verses by asserting that Tantra is a very poetic approach towards truth. It is a path of love and believes in sudden enlightenment rather than a gradual development of the soul.

    7. The Pathless Path

      The song of Tilopa continues as follows:

      “To transcend duality is the kingly view. To conquer distractions is the royal practice. The path of no-practice is the way of all Buddhas. He who treads that path reaches Buddhahood…”

      Osho shares how the path of Yoga which incidentally all the religions of the world follow except Tantra, creates duality. It is a path of a soldier, fighting against odds inch by inch.

      But Tantra is the royal path as compared to Yoga, as it is a way of acceptance which transcends all duality.

    8. Cut the Root

      Tilopa’s song continues as follows:

      “Cut the root of a tree and the leaves will wither; cut the root of your mind and samsara falls. The light of any lamp dispels in a moment the darkness of long kalpas; the strong light of the mind in but a flash will burn the veil of ignorance…”

      Osho explains that choice is bondage while choicelessness is a freedom. Choiceless awareness is the way to transcend the mind.

    9. Beyond and Beyond

      The song continues as follows:

      “One should not give or take, but remain natural – for Mahamudra is beyond all acceptance and rejection. Since alaya is not born, no one can obstruct or soil it; staying in the unborn realm all appearance will dissolve into dharmata, and self-will and pride will vanish into nought.”

      Osho explains that Tilopa’s emphasis is on one’s on self. He encourages one to rest within oneself and not even be indifferent to the outside world because indifference also creates an attachment to the object towards which one is indifferent!

    10. The Supreme Understanding

      The song ends with these verses:

      “The supreme understanding transcends all this and that. The supreme action embraces great resourcefulness without attachment. The supreme accomplishment is to realize immanence without hope. At first a yogi feels his mind is tumbling like a waterfall; in mid-course, like the Ganges, it flows on slow and gentle; in the end, it is a great vast ocean where the lights of son and mother merge in one.”

Who should read “Tantra: The Supreme Understanding”?

Anyone who is interested in Tantra should read this book.
Even if you are looking for general life wisdom or some real spiritual insights, this book is for you.

In case you are looking for advanced Tantra Meditation techniques, check out the summary of The Books of Secrets

There are 27 reviews on Amazon with 4+ star rating, which speak volume about the value this book has provided to its readers.

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Here’s a Quote from “Tantra: The Supreme Understanding” 🙂

Quote of Osho from the book "Tantra: The Supreme Understanding"


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