Monday, April 13, 2015

Kunal Singh: On Vedic/Tantric roots of Buddhism



Hinduism, Buddhism included is a meditative
religion and thus it marks meditative progress with the attainment of
various deities.  This has been confused by the non-religious writers as
leading to 'polytheism' and yet Hinduism is a religion that knows the path
well to the one supreme, after attaining to whom, all minor deities are
attained.  Unlike other religions, it also knows what is encountered in the
path.  If you haven't attained to a deity it will naturally be very
difficult for you to relate.  But I'm afraid if as a Buddhist you ignore
attaining to deities then you're the one whose wasting his time.  And at
least you seem to be on a different path from the original 500 Arhats of
Buddhism who discussed the land of Sakra in some detail.

 The statement of 'sense pursuits' has special significance when it is
applied to Indra, maybe one day you'll find out, though given that you seem
to be on the wrong path, it may be doubtful. The more correct statement
would be that there are higher deities than Indra to attain to.  Whatever
you do, do the world a favor and don't write any books on Buddhism until you
attain to a deity.  As until you do, neither your practice nor your beliefs
of any religion are confirmed by experience.  This is why tantra is there to
enable a practitioner to confirm his interpretation of scripture with real
physical experience.

All people will encounter the deities upon death!  But only a few lucky ones
acquire to them while still alive!

Apparently quite a few things have changed since Buddha died and Buddhism
was formalized as a religion afterwards, the first casualty almost always is
the truth, and it is replaced by the perversions of the subsequent followers
with imperfect understanding.  Therefore, it is important to discuss what
Buddha and Jain really preached!  Since both have been blamed/praised
depending on your viewpoint for the spread of vegetarianism in India, I
thought it interesting that neither really advocated vegetarianism, thus
reinforcing that meat-eating is in no way harmful to either the
meditative/tantric practices of Buddha or the fasting/praying practiced
espoused by Jain.

It is fascinating that people who took on the leadership of Buddhism
subsequent to Buddha's death, led by Mahakasyapa held Ananda accountable for
introducing women into the sect, while Buddha himself after expressing
initial reservations before giving into Ananda seems to have praised one of
the women Arhats in his own Sangha for her psychic abilities.  It is even
more interesting that despite Mahakasyapa's love for asceticism, none of the
more accomplished Arhats of Buddhism accepted his invitation, each deciding
to relinquish the world after the departure of Buddha but not before
expressing anguish at what was occurring, a reaction to Mahaksayapa's
politics.  Ananda was severly chastised by Mahakasyapa and excluded from the
initial gathering for not havng achieved enlightenment, and yet when he
finally did achieve it, Mahakasyapa explained it away as having done it to
give him further motivation.  It seems to me that Ananda, having been a
close relative of Buddha, may have been deliberately sidelined by
Mahakasyapa to assume the leadership of the sangha.
The most stubborn proponent of vegetarianism seems to have been Buddha's
evil cousin Devadatta, in an apparent attempt to be more 'religious' and
'enlightened' than even the Buddha himself!  Ha, ha, ha!  Reminds me of
quite a few vegetarians worshipping Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jain, Guru Nanak
etc.  Sometimes you wonder whom they hold in higher regard, their declared
role model or themselves!  But another interesting point seems to be that
evil men often tend to be vegetarians, there seems to be a strong
correlation between religious ignorance and vegetarianism.


The philosophy of the Buddha is contained in the various Sutras declared by
the Buddha himself.  Buddha spent twelve years at Rajgriha, the most sacred
spot in Buddhism due to its tantric nature.  It was here that he expounded
his Sutras (no surprise, Magadhan region was always known for Siddhas).  And
it is here that the spirit of Mahakasyapa awaits the coming of the next
Buddha (Maitreya).
 
What is surprising is that the words the Buddha uses almost describe
Hinduism.  He discusses death and the coming of Yama and the judgement
delivered by Yama.  Yes when I had earlier theorized that Yama represented
judgement day, I finally verified it due to the clear statements of the
Budha and correlating it to the legends of Savitri.
 
It is important to realize that Buddhism is exactly the same as Hinduism.
In sutras such as Bhaisajya Guru, commonly referred to as Medicine Buddha,
what Buddha describes as death and the after-life is exactly the same as
Hinduism.  Other Sutras such as Sukhavati Vyuha Sutras describing the pure
Western paradise, is exactly Hinduism.  Then of course there is the common
trend of people acquiring to birth after death in one of the various
regions.  The realms of the East, the West, the South and the North, are in
full agreement with Vedic Hinduism and indeed the Vedas themselves.  But the
central Sutra in Buddhism is considered the Vajracchedika.  And indeed the
Vajrayoga itself is considered the highest tantra in Buddhism practiced by
the Vajra acharyas of Buddhism, and of the traditional Sakyas of Nepal.
 
Even in the far east, there is the Vajra tradition in Japan of Heruka.
Interestingly, the Sakyas have preserved their ancient Vajra tradition by
ensuring that other Newari ethnicities will not modify their traditions.
Only a Sakya girl for example can be accepted for the Kumari temple and
there are other restrictions on the entry to the Vajracarya profession
ensuring continuity of Sakya tradition over all others.
 
 
Though the Sakyas have preserved their traditional culture, it is
interesting to note that the Buddhist tantra owes its origins to the
Magadhan region.  And this is not simply due to the origin of the Buddhist
sutras spoken by Buddha.  As far as Japan, the temples of Buddhism have the
founder as Hieun Tsang.  And amongst the Sutras taken by Hieun Tsang was the
Vajracchedika and the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra.  Many of the Sanskrit texts were
deemed lost in China and Japan, or so they claimed, until they were found in
Nepal, Kashmir (Gilgit), and many seem to be at least published from Bihar.
But I found it interesting that the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra found in Kashmir,
or at least the reproduction in Sanskrit published, seems to be missing two
very important pages that the Chinese translation seems to have containing
the mantra of the Medicine Buddha and the practice associated with it.
 
The Vajrayogini tradition itself may seem quite foreign or 'Buddhist' to
neo-Hindus due to its repeated association with Buddhism.  But every tantric
Hindu knows that the term Vajra, associated in the Vedas with Indra, when
associated with the word yogini (female deity) means Durga who is referred
to in many tantric Sanskrit phrases as 'vajrayogini.'  Some of her mantras
end in 'vajrayoginyai namaH'.  Even Kali is dismissed at the end of rituals
asking her to protect the ultimate 'vajra sthana.'  And any advanced
practitioner of yoga knows where that vajra sthana is.
THANK THE BUDDHA FOR HIS UNDERSTANDING,
THE LAST INCARNATION OF VISHNU!
HAVE TO COLLECT MORE OF HIS SUTRAS!
 
Some of the text of the sutras are quite amusing, as Buddha asks his
disciples if they will believe him if he told them of a tantric method to
protect the dying.  Ah, the burden carried by the Buddha due to having
perfect understanding, to be always misunderstood and disbelieved.
 

37 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. sorry I just saw , got lost in the comments tsunami :)

      I would prefer you live in India and work on some quasi autonomy for TN within the Indian union as I believe that is the best for all states as well as the country.

      Failing that why not Singapore or Malaysia. Lots of Tamils there. Malaysia has the Muslim Malays who are a pain but I hear the increasingly activist Tamils nowadays put them in their place!

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  2. South Africa --- very dangerous place
    Australia ---- will feel unhappy
    Best choice ---- Mauritius, Hindu majority

    In South America, there is a considerable population of Indian origin Hindus in Suriname and Guyana.

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    2. I had terrified of Guyana since I read Papillon LOL!

      There are also Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago. There have their own national diety "Trinidadeshwar"
      http://hindunet.org/hvk/articles/0896/0015.html

      A bit ironic since Trinidad was named by Spanish explorers/founders for the Catholic Trinity!

      BTW Sagar India wanted Indians in Mauritus to feel even more at home in the 1980s as Indira Gandhi was contemplating an invasion/conquest of the island

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lal_Dora
      http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/when-india-almost-invaded-mauritius/

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  3. I wonder why people are in a hurry to encounter the deities while alive if they can encounter them upon death.

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    1. Because if you do you are practically a god on earth! Imagine the abilities of a Shaolin monk combined with sexual prowess and youth of a Hollywood celebrity in the prime. That is apparently what its like.

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    2. I have met quite a lot of religious people who tell me in all sincerity that they have seen God. I want to believe them, but I have never noticed this correlation between strength or beauty and faith, which is the source of my skepticism.

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    3. You are right to be skeptical of them if they are decrepit and aging. There are quite a few of these characters who can barely walk. No they have not attained to the deities.

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    4. @ Prem Chand

      Have you met a lot of religious people who have seen God :) ? You have met Capt in his various avatars :P God-realisation comes when Kundalini enters the Ajna chakra and after that into the Sahashrar. As you said you are from the region around Kerala-TN(I am not sure about the exact location :) ) ,one person who had seen God and lived in your proximity would have been Aurobindo.But he has passed away.Another person would be Mahavatar Babaji(no evidence of his existence :) ) .See I was mentioning this to point out to you the rarity of people who actually see God in their lifespan.However you can read the experiences of Aurobindo and his yogic realisation in his books.Another person who had seen God was Samarth Ramdas.It is said that he had chanted the mantra of Lord Ram for 13 crore times in standing posture.My point is that they are extremely rare to come by.Unless you meet such people you will not find the qualities that you are mentioning.So no point searching for such people,they are one in a million in Kali yuga :) However after reading a multitude of books on yoga,tantra and kundalini I have come to understand one thing,ie,a few people do actually experience samadhi by following secret systems of yoga or tantra.It is just that they do not open themselves up in society.They might be your next-door neighbour doing the same daily chores as you,however you will never know that they are kundalini yogis or have seen God in Sahashrar (probably the Vajra-sthana in this post of YSV).

      @ YSV

      "Because if you do you are practically a god on earth! Imagine the abilities of a Shaolin monk combined with sexual prowess and youth of a Hollywood celebrity in the prime.That is apparently what its like." - If this is all about attaining a god then I am pretty sure that attaining a deity is not required and not even essential for supreme realisation.I am pretty sure this is not what Buddhism or Tantra stands for.My view is that it is far from what it's like :) . Anyway I guess we are poles apart here in our POVs,and I respect yours very much :) My point is that a shaolin monk might have attained to a deity(whatever that means) but he has not necessarily secured ultimate realisation or nirvana of Buddhism.Without doing all such things and just following the 8 fold path of Buddhism,you are bound to get nirvana,though I doubt if that is possible in a single life-span.Then you need not attain to any deities.As far as I know the buddha himself had become old .Ageing is the symptom of Kali yuga.Only the satya yuga had people who lived and died according to their own wishes.And supreme realisation has nothing to do with ageing,beauty,strength or decrepitude,mortality,immortality and all such things.Cultivating all these powers like immortality of agelessness are a separate thing.



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    5. Buddha aged because he never pursued mantras such Gayatri or Savitr or those in the Markendaya Purana which would bestow him youth, why? Because he was interested in moksha and he saw life no matter how desirable as burdensome.
      In short Buddha was interested only in Gnana yoga not Raja yoga

      Even so Buddha was accomplished enough to have killed an elephant with his bare hands. His arhats accomplished the ability to levitate and other supernatural phenomena.

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    6. @ YSV

      First of all (before I start out the daily round of dissension with you :) ) ,a wholehearted thanks for the new design of the blog.It was a pleasant morning surprise for me :) Another thing that has changed due to your updating of the pattern is that the lower end comments are loading easily.For some reason,in your previous design,my browser had problems in loading comments when the number crossed 200.

      "Buddha aged because he never pursued mantras such Gayatri or Savitr or those in the Markendaya Purana which would bestow him youth," - That's not easy ,even for Buddha I must say.I dont have doubt in the potency of mantras,but the fact is that the original frequency of mantras has been lost due to the karmic contamination of Kali yuga.Mantras are not just about words,they are also about the sound vibrations in a particular order.Just by reading words of the mantra we will not be able to catch the true frequency of the mantras in their original form.This was the reason why vedas weren't recorded in writing in the beginning and were passed on through hearing,just to keep the frequency intact.If you get the right frequency,then you will be able to see and feel Krishna,Rama or Shiva along with the pronunciations of their names.Bhakti yoga prescribes that even with incorrect frequency,the intent and bhakti will surely invoke the deity residing in the mantra,who will gradually clear off your karmic burden and help you get moksha .But it will not bring back the powers in wish-fulfilling mantras like those in Markendaya purana so easily.So I dont think Budda would have achieved that by chanting Gayatri or any other mantra.But Buddha was an incarnation of vishnu,and what might have been possible for him will not be possible for any other soul in kali yuga.It is said that the correct frequency of mantras are still held intact in the secret Gyanganj of the Himalayas.


      "In short Buddha was interested only in Gnana yoga not Raja yoga" - Raja yoga leads to ultimate gnana sooner or later.All streams of yoga or tantra fall on the same ocean,sooner or later.I think Buddha himself was a Rajayogi,but he recommended a punch of Gnana and Karma for the masses,which now stands as Buddhism.
      My point is that killing an elephant or the ability to levitate has very little significance with moksha or realisation.There are many examples of yogis getting deviated from their goals due to the ego problem that came with the acquisition of supernatural powers.
      Levitation is not something unachievable.Even if you raise kundalini to Anahata chakra,your body will become lighter with the upward pull of kundalini,and thus levitation will occur.What I am trying to say is that these don't mean anything wrt moksha.and moksha comes without levitation or killing of an elephant.

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    7. @JAM

      I noticed your reply to me only now.

      To be specific, several of my friends and relations have said that either they have seen god, or experienced him in some way. This doesn't surprise me, because how else would they be able to sustain their faith? Regarding Aurobindo or Baba, I would prefer concrete evidence over hearsay.

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    8. @ Prem

      "Regarding Aurobindo or Baba, I would prefer concrete evidence over hearsay." -It is the domain of experience and here concrete evidence is not possible.I put the names of Mahavatar babaji and samarth ramdas only to give you the extent of rarity of people who actually see God.


      "To be specific, several of my friends and relations have said that either they have seen god, or experienced him in some way. " -That's completely different from what I am talking about.The vision of God about which I am speaking will be achieved only when you start your inward journey with Kundalini and not before that.

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    9. To me JAM, seeing god and visiting other planets and galaxies through meditation are almost equally incredible. I don't differentiate between them too much for my purposes.

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    10. @ PremChand

      To me it is absolutely possible.As I said we must start looking inwards to understand our real potential.

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    11. I don't mean that it is not possible, but we can both agree that it is incredible. And incredible claims require incredible evidence.

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  4. @ YSV

    A few doubts here ,if you don't mind :) (I understand the article was originally written by Kunal Singh).

    " But I'm afraid if as a Buddhist you ignore
    attaining to deities then you're the one whose wasting his time. " - In understand Kunal is speaking from the tantric perspective but I think Buddha had recommended the perfection of Karma and Gnana yoga for the Buddhists.So if a Buddhist follows Buddha's 8 fold path,I believe he is well on his way to becoming a "Buddhist" even if he is not attaining to any deity.

    "Whateveryou do, do the world a favor and don't write any books on Buddhism until you attain to a deity. As until you do, neither your practice nor your beliefs
    of any religion are confirmed by experience. This is why tantra is there to
    enable a practitioner to confirm his interpretation of scripture with real
    physical experience." - Doesn't this apply to all tantric practices ? And not only tantra,all paths of yoga will enable a practitioner to confirm his interpretation of scripture with real experience.Tantra is not about that,it is about gaining Moksha in a single life-span.Other paths of yoga might take many incarnations to gain moksha,but perfection in tantra can give him moksha in the present lifespan only.

    " And any advanced practitioner of yoga knows where that vajra sthana is." - Is it the Sahashrar?


    "All people will encounter the deities upon death! But only a few lucky ones
    acquire to them while still alive!" - very strange proposition :)

    "It was here that he expounded his Sutras (no surprise, Magadhan region was always known for Siddhas)." - In one book on yoga and tantra I had read that the chief religion of ancient eastern India(comprising Orissa,Bengal or Magadha etc) was Tantra-Dharma.Tantra sadhana was the household style of worship in those ages.Later the vedic influence entered and forced Tantra to move into abandoned places like cremation grounds,jungles etc :) Otherwise there is nothing secretive about tantra,as I said,tantra is about moksha in a single lifespan.If you use it for gaining some powers to display,then it's different,but that is far from the essence of Tantra.In a way it is superior to vedic yoga.Tantra was a very open thing is the ancient prehistoric past in Magadha and adjacent regions,before it was chased away by vedic onslaught.The last remnants of this tantric abundance can be seen in the numerous Kali temples in and around Bengal area :P

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    1. I think his point was that acquiring to the dieties was part and parcel of Gnana and Karma yoga.
      A lot of Buddhism comes to us today in a somewhat anti Hindu prism that Buddha rejected the Vedas and the dieties associated with it but the Sutras prove it wasn't so.

      Doesn't this apply to all tantric practices ? And not only tantra,all paths of yoga will enable a practitioner to confirm his interpretation of scripture with real experience.Tantra is not about that,it is about gaining Moksha in a single life-span."

      Some confusion here. Kunal Singh is agreeing with your view basically. That statement I put in there out of context , my apologies. He was responding to some intellectual person who went on and on about Buddha without having any knowledge of the Vedas,yoga or tantra or how Buddha and others attained moksha.

      As for Vedism vs Tantra, Vedism IS tantra . Tantra is both a compliment and evolution of Vedic religion. Cant have one without the other. Since the fall of the Gupta empire , there were very few scholars and priests who promoted such rituals, The Rashtrakutas and Gurjaras were of a bhakti and Jaina bent who didn't care for it.
      Even in the south Agamas somewhat went underground as in they became divorced from Vedic studies.
      Only the Palas patronized tantra and even tantric Buddhism , much of the Nepali Hinduism which so looked rather strange to Indian Hindus comes from the Palas.

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    2. @ YSV

      Don't mind I would disagree with you here also :) I will come back to post my POV a few hours later .

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    3. @ YSV

      "I think his point was that acquiring to the dieties was part and parcel of Gnana and Karma yoga." - I don't think so.They might come as a side achievement of Yoga but they are not part and parcel.To be fair and frank,pure gnana yoga is "impossible" in Kali yuga.Gnana yoga was for Satya yuga only.And whatever path of yoga or tantra you are following,you are inherently doing karma yoga all the time,if you are perfectly doing anything.Probably this is why Buddha stressed only on Karma yoga and nothing else for the masses.He understood that for the majority of people who toil 15 hours a day,practice of yogic systems according to vedas might be a luxury.Bhakti Yoga also addresses the same thing .

      " Buddha without having any knowledge of the Vedas,yoga or tantra or how Buddha and others attained moksha." - The person with whom Kunal was discussing has no idea about the whole subject of yoga,as is evident from his POV which you have hinted in the above line :)

      "As for Vedism vs Tantra, Vedism IS tantra Tantra is both a compliment and evolution of Vedic religion. Cant have one without the other. " - Sorry Vedism is not tantra.Tantra is a compliment but not evolution of vedic religion.Tantra is not dependent on Veda and vice versa. Infact it is veda which took support of pure tantra dharma when they included Shiva in their fold.As I said earlier,Tantra dhama was the standalone religion in ancient eastern India.It was distinct from veda and also independent of the latter.Tantra owes its origin to Shiva .The marriage of Parvati and Shiva is an allegory of the union of Vedic system with that of Tantra,or rather vedic wisdom shedding its ego and accepting Tantric wisdom.The Tantra you see at present has incorporated vedic systems and so your statement is true in the modern context.But this was not so originally.

      "Only the Palas patronized tantra and even tantric Buddhism.." - Palas had to do that as Bengal was always inclined heavily to tantric dharma in the past,which I had said in my previous comment.This is why Palas were inherently respectful about Buddhist Tantra.Even today the large number of Kali,Durga,Chinnamasta etc temples throughout Bengal remain as some lost pages of a book which once existed.However only the temples remain,the tantra dharma is more or less absent,except one or two cremation grounds.And this is the saddest part.Today vedic dominance has forced tantra to move into abandoned places like jungles and cremation grounds.Ancient Tantra was the most advanced form of sadhana,which allows you to enjoy well-balanced materialistic life and yet get Moksha in a single lifespan.This is why it was the household religion in ancient prehistoric times,before the vedic onslaught.

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    5. "So you Bengali's also believe in Tantra's like Malayalee's?" - Is tantra popular in Kerala?I didn't know that.Actually Shakti Tantra is popular in Bengal.I believe Agama and Tantra are inherently the same thing expressed differently.
      Actually Aryans were forced to accept the magnanimity of Shiva.Initially they were not so(as shown by the anger of Daksha father of Parvati),but they finally put their ego away.

      "Now I see why you believe Shiva and Vishnu are the same! " - Yes I believe MahaVishnu and SadaShiva are inherently the same.This is why Ram worshipped Rameshwar Shiva and Shiva told Parvati that he always chants the holy name of RAM,which is the source of all.
      Shiva is the nirguna ParamPurush,over whom Kali stands(Kali represents Parashakti).Krishna is the Saguna Parampurush,with infinite beauty and splendour(which has been allegorically said as Krishna's 16000 wives).Both are essentially the same,no one is superior to the other.When you chant "Taarak Brahma Naam or Hare Krishna Mahamantra" you can dedicate the mantra to SadaShiva.Shiva is both "Krishna"( attractive) and Rama(blissful) in nature.Similarly when you chant "Om Namah Shivaya" or the name of Shiva,Krishna will be more than happy.There's no difference.All the differences that you see in some scriptures were written by bigotic Vaishnavas and uncompromising Shaivites.

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    8. I am not sure but I think Capt is losing a few of his older and saner readers.After I checked out comments section of the last two or three of his blogs,I found a few regular profiles missing.Maybe it is my wrong speculation.Anyway as you said ,Kalki will start with Capt :P

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    9. Iniyavel now you have started a constructive blog.You have written in the intro of your blog " This blog is dedicated to Saivism, and God Murugan in particular! May Almighty guide us in all our endeavors in life! I will be posting Tamil and Sanskrit hymns and mantras in this blog, mostly based on Saivism, and God Murugan in particular." This thing will help you far more than ultra-communism or Rothschild topics :)

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    12. Iniyavel the pic shows Chaitanya Mahaprabhu singing while walking on the street.His voice was so full of pure devotion that people used to forget their caste,creed or even religion and followed him on hearing his songs or mantra chants.It was much like the piper of hamelin,only difference being that it was "Indian" style :)

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  5. "I think his point was that acquiring to the dieties was part and parcel of Gnana and Karma yoga." - I don't think so.They might come as a side achievement of Yoga but they are not part and parcel.To be fair and frank,pure gnana yoga is "impossible" in Kali yuga.Gnana yoga was for Satya yuga only.And whatever path of yoga or tantra you are following,you are inherently doing karma yoga all the time,if you are perfectly doing anything.Probably this is why Buddha stressed only on Karma yoga and nothing else for the masses.He understood that for the majority of people who toil 15 hours a day,practice of yogic systems according to vedas might be a luxury.Bhakti Yoga also addresses the same thing .

    ysv: Perhaps a qualifier is in order. I don't think Kunal Singh is talking about the average Hindu Joe but those who yearn for higher understanding and abilities.



    "As for Vedism vs Tantra, Vedism IS tantra Tantra is both a compliment and evolution of Vedic religion. Cant have one without the other. " - Sorry Vedism is not tantra.Tantra is a compliment but not evolution of vedic religion.Tantra is not dependent on Veda and vice versa. Infact it is veda which took support of pure tantra dharma when they included Shiva in their fold.As I said earlier,Tantra dhama was the standalone religion in ancient eastern India.It was distinct from veda and also independent of the latter.Tantra owes its origin to Shiva .The marriage of Parvati and Shiva is an allegory of the union of Vedic system with that of Tantra,or rather vedic wisdom shedding its ego and accepting Tantric wisdom.The Tantra you see at present has incorporated vedic systems and so your statement is true in the modern context.But this was not so originally.

    ysv: THe marriage of Shiva and Parvati symbolizes the tantric meditative penance with the mainstream Vedic yagnas, havans ,rites and rituals. This occurred very early perhaps as early as the Vedas. So after the Gupta dynasty died out ,large scale gathering of scholars and yagnas not to mention actual yogic practitioners went underground(tantrics in cemeteries etc).
    This doesn't meant they were different philosophies or religion.

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    1. @ YSV

      "Perhaps a qualifier is in order. I don't think Kunal Singh is talking about the average Hindu Joe but those who yearn for higher understanding and abilities." - If Kunal's tantra is not for the average hindu joe,then I must say his system will be of no use :) Tantra dharma was originally designed for the average joe so that he might get moksha in one life-span.

      "The marriage of Shiva and Parvati symbolizes the tantric meditative penance with the mainstream Vedic yagnas, havans ,rites and rituals. This occurred very early perhaps as early as the Vedas. So after the Gupta dynasty died out ,large scale gathering of scholars and yagnas not to mention actual yogic practitioners went underground(tantrics in cemeteries etc).
      This doesn't meant they were different philosophies or religion." - Probably you are punching up yoga stream with tantra.There are three distinct systems,the vedic yajna or penance system,the yoga system of Patanjali and the Tantra system initiated by Shiva. To be frank,both vedic system and yogic system have borrowed from tantric methodology. Infact as a result of this,the mainstream sadhana of tantra has been sidelined. I think the underground travel of tantra had happened far before the Gupta era.It happened at a time when Vedas started flourishing over tantra.Vedic rishis understood that tantric penance was far more efficient than yajna system.Hence they accepted Shiva into their fold.
      It might sound eerie but I believe tantra is the most original form of sadhana to get moksha :)

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