WHAT DOES TANTRA MEAN BY PURIFICATION OF THE MIND, PURITY OF THE MIND, AS A BASIC CONDITION TO FURTHER PROGRESS?
Whatsoever is ordinarily meant by purity is not what is meant by tantra. Ordinarily, we divide everything into bad and good. The division may be for any reason. It may be hygienically, morally or in any other way, but we divide life into two — good and bad. And ordinarily, whenever we say purity we mean goodness — the “bad” qualities should not be allowed and the “good” qualities should be there. But for tantra this division of good and bad is meaningless. Tantra does not look at life through any dichotomy, any duality, any division. Then “What is meant by purity in tantra?” is a very relevant question.
If you ask a saint, he will say that anger is bad, sex is bad, greed is bad. If you ask Gurdjieff, he will say that negativity is bad, that whatsoever emotion is negative is bad and to be positive is good. If you ask Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians or Mohammedans, they may differ in their definition of good and bad — but they have definitions. They call certain things bad and certain things good. So to define purity is not difficult for them. Whatsoever they take as good is pure, whatsoever they take as bad is impure.
But for tantra it is a deep problem. Tantra makes no superficial division between good and bad. Then what is purity? Tantra says that to divide is impure and to live in non-division is purity. So for tantra purity means innocence — undifferentiated innocence.
A child is there; you call him pure. He gets angry, he has greed, so why do you call him pure? What is pure in childhood? Innocence! There is no division in the mind of a child. The child is unaware of any division into what is good and what is bad. That unawareness is the innocence. Even if he gets angry, he has no mind to be angry, it is a pure and simple act. It happens, and when anger goes, it goes. Nothing is left behind. The child is again the same, as if the anger has never been there. The purity is not touched; the purity is the same. So a child is pure because there is no mind.
The more mind grows, the more the child will become impure. Then anger will be there as a considered thing, not spontaneously. Then sometimes the child will suppress the anger — if the situation does not permit it. And when anger becomes suppressed, then sometimes it will be transferred onto another situation instead. When there is really no need to be angry he will get angry, because the suppressed anger will need some outlet. Then everything will become impure because the mind has come in.
A child can be a thief in our eyes, but a child himself is never a thief because the very concept that things belong to individuals doesn’t exist in his mind. If he takes your watch, your money, or anything, it is not a theft for him because the very notion that things belong to someone is non-existent. His theft is pure while even your non-theft is not pure — the mind is there.
Tantra says that when someone becomes again like a child, he is pure. Of course, he is not a child — only like a child. The difference is there and the similarity is there. The similarity is the innocence regained. Again someone is like a child. A child is standing naked — no one feels the nakedness because a child is still unaware of the body. His nakedness has a quality different from your nakedness. You are aware of the body.
The sage must regain this innocence. Mahavir stands again naked. That nakedness again has the same quality of innocence. He has forgotten his body; he is no longer the body. But one difference is also there, and the difference is great: the child is simply ignorant, hence the innocence. But the sage is wise, that is the reason for his innocence.
The child will one day become aware of his body and will feel the nakedness. He will try to hide, he will become guilty, and he will feel shame. He will come to be aware. So his innocence is an innocence of ignorance. Knowledge will destroy it.
[Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1]