There is Yoga (most popular) and there is Tantra. Yoga is based on the following idea; we must fight our lower self (ego) and deny this and deny that…well, it is not easy.
Jesus was a Yogi of the middle east and subsequently of the West.
The premise of Yoga is asceticism and good deeds to eliminate bad Karma in order to advance spiritually. Attainment is only available once we are cleansed. Yoga requires man to fight and conquer his own animistic self. The lower self is the cause (mainly) of our separation but in reality there is no separation – it is only our illusion.
Tantra is accepting you as you are! The key is to use your lower self, as long as you remain in the NOW and use it for no wrong! (not to hurt anyone). Your basic instincts can lead you back to God. The key is LOVE, meditation, mantras and proper understanding of non-duality.
Tantra does not fight your lower self because there is a tremendous amount of energy wasted that way.
Actually, Tantra is ideal for Westerners as we cannot live an ascetic life, if we try they may lock us up or worse. Street people are the modern day ascetics, except many suffer mental illness, addiction. You cannot beg for food, as there is a food bank in any city and it is free…Do you see my point? Yoga and asceticism is almost impossible in the 21st century. It is a struggle, nor we can painfully count our karmic balance. Regardless of your Karma, you can attain! You may not stay attained (god’s consciousness) but even a little affirmation is better than nothing.
The Path of Yoga and the Path of Tantra
“One of the great tantrics of this age, George Gurdjieff, says that identification is the only sin. The next sutra, the tenth sutra on centering – which we are going to penetrate tonight – is concerned with identification. So first be crystal clear on what identification means.
You were a child once; now you are not. Someone becomes young, someone becomes old, and childhood becomes a past thing. Youth has gone, but still you are identified with your childhood. You cannot see it as happening to someone else; you cannot be a witness to it. Whenever you see your childhood, you are not aloof from it, you are one with it. Whenever someone remembers his youth, he is one with it.
Really, now it is just a dream. And if you can see your childhood as a dream, as a film passing before you and you are not identified with it, you are just a witness, you will achieve a very subtle insight into yourself. If you see your past as a film, as a dream – you are not part of it, you are just out of it…and really you are – then many things will happen. If you are thinking about your childhood, you are not in it – you cannot be. The childhood is just a memory, just a past memory. You are remaining aloof and looking at it. You are different: you are a witness. If you can feel this witnessing and then see your childhood as a film on a screen, many things will happen.” Osho