TANTRA YOGA starts from the idea that our sexuality and amorous impulses actually represent a debased metaphysical urge. In other words, our highest spiritual aspirations are imprisoned in the matter and shape of sexuality.
The only problem could arise from the 'misuse' of this fundamental force of sex which could prove harmful for a person's spiritual evolution. Otherwise, sexuality represents a fundamental tendency to join together (+) and (-),Solar and the Lunar, YANG and the YIN, Male and the Female, the HA and the THA, in order to attain the final condition of Union, the neutrality of the Absolute (0), the peace of the spiritual Androgen who has accumulated all the potentialities of manifestation. This goal, which is actually common within all spiritual paths of our planet, is achieved within TANTRA in various ways which gives rise to several branches within the Tantric system.
Generally, experts divide TANTRA into two main streams: TANTRA of the Right Hand path and of the Left Hand path. The first division comes from the nature of practical methods that are used for reaching the state of Unity: if the actual, physical methods of sexual union are used, than we are dealing with Left Hand TANTRA, if only symbolical or meditative techniques are used (and the physical sex is excluded) than we are dealing with Right-Hand TANTRA.
It is often very difficult to draw a sharp borderline between these two divisions, since there are schools which use methods belonging to both paths. TANTRA of the Right Hand often corresponds to some great ascetic spiritual paths of our planet, in which union is searched for with a divine entity, personification, incarnation, and so on, or sometimes merely with supernatural beings of various degrees. Though we deal here with a kind of "sexual" relationship, it is not an actual sexual manifestation that we encounter, but rather a sublimed, spiritual and sometimes symbolical way of interacting, closer to what we'd call love. One of the most accessible examples for the common Western understanding is that of 'astral sex', or otherwise said the erotic experiences that occur whilst in the dream state. Other historical examples could be the mystic-erotic relationship between Christian nuns and Jesus, the erotic devotion of the Indian GOPI-s for KRISHNA, mystic lovers - troubadours and knights, worshipers of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers in certain Tantric schools, etc.
Although tradition categorically states that TANTRA of the Right Hand is the highest of the two branches, Masters also state that the present day men of KALI YUGA, especially in the West, because of the grossness (or materiality) of their spirit, are practically incapable (with very rare exceptions) to follow this path, which starts from a point that is to high or to "abstract" for them to understand and practice. Therefore, we are advised towards the TANTRA of the Left Hand, which starts from a more "down-to-earth" or concrete situation and is better suited for our level.
As it has been said, TANTRA of the Left Hand actually involves practicing physical sexual activities; for this reason some scholars speculate (for example that the right hand path is "right", and therefore the other one must be "wrong"). A whole host of "moralists" and amateur outsiders have cast the Left-Hand TANTRA as being a horrifying heresy, and a spiritual deviation, connected with fornication and black magic which could not lead to any spiritual accomplishments. Even today, when morals have become loose (sometimes too loose), VAMA MARGA, the Path of the Left Hand is still looked upon with skepticism by narrow-minded and sexually frustrated people, and by people who never tried practically its methods. However, it must be clearly stated that in Left-Hand TANTRA sex is not practiced for the sake of sex itself, but as an instrument for going somehow beyond sex, for reaching health, balance, improved couple relationships, self-control, supernatural abilities, and eventually the superior states of consciousness, culminating with the state of Cosmic Consciousness, or SAMADHI (as it is called in YOGA).
Here, it would also be useful to mention that there are paths which are somehow placed on the "borderline" between the Left-Hand and Right-Hand paths, or that join and use harmoniously methods belonging to both these ways. One such surprising example can be found in certain schools of HATHA YOGA; few know that the word 'HATHA' comes from two Sanskrit roots HA - Sun, and THA - Moon, which makes HATHA YOGA the discipline of the "Union of the Sun and the Moon", or otherwise said of (+) and (-) and of Masculine and Feminine. Therefore, genuine HATHA YOGA is a kind of TANTRA in which the union of Male and Female aspects occurs within the being of the practitioner, through specific methods and thus he attains a final condition of inner balance, harmony and power. Iit is a well-known fact that HATHA YOGA is a typical Tantric instrument for training, therefore in most TANTRA ASHRAMS of the Left-Hand it is deemed to be an indispensable practice. That is why in our course there will be frequent references and exercises belonging to the HATHA YOGA system. However, returning to the initial topic of this paragraph, it can be noted that scholars still have difficulties in deciding if HATHA YOGA belongs to the Right-Hand path (since physical sex is not necessarily involved) or to the Left-Hand path (being physical, and bringing about a kind of physical "inner sex"). But, for real practitioners all these distinctions have little importance, since they are mainly concerned with practical, effective results of their spiritual discipline, and not with theoretical speculations.
From this last standpoint, it is possible to distinguish two main directions for the use of sexual energy: the evolutionary one, and the "magical" one.
The first teaches that Tantric techniques and their resulting energy should be used for attaining self-knowledge, for spiritual evolution and for Self-Realization, or Divine Consciousness. This may be done either by an individual practitioner who searches for the Truth, or by a couple who seek Transcendence, in their case accomplishment takes on the further dimension of making their love based relationship tangent to Eternity. This latter, though very cherished and tantalizing for the human soul, involves a great deal of spiritual commitment and abnegation from both partners and is a rare and exceptional accomplishment.
The second direction allows using controlled energy for attaining all kinds of mundane goals such as (health, success, wealth, power, seduction, influence, supernatural abilities, etc.) in an almost "magical" manner (the word magical is probably not the most suited, for it often evokes an occult, sinister and choking environment, but it has been used in absence of a better one). Here, it is often difficult to find a clear limit between the two directions, since there are schools and practitioners who follow them both, at the same time. However, from the standpoint of using energy in a "magical" way, three main possible ways have been agreed upon. They are conventionally called:
- "white TANTRA", in which energy is used exclusively for beneficial, superior, spiritual purposes, such as healing, psychic support and advancing spiritual evolution, etc.
- "red TANTRA" is dedicated entirely to obtaining as much pleasure and personal satisfaction as possible, in a somehow selfish manner and without any spiritual horizon. However it does not involve any evil, demonic, or satanic actions, or harming any sentient being. This direction or deviation is quite typical for Western practitioners.
- "black TANTRA" is directed towards obscure accomplishments that relate with dark worlds of a demonic and even satanic nature, and whose results are harmful for sentient beings, for spiritual evolution, and generally for the entire universal balance.
It should be made clear that on our site there will be only those elements from TANTRA that concern spiritual evolution, personal (or couple) development and obtaining and beneficially using paranormal capacities. Because for the YOGIN-s it is a very well known fact that egoism and evil create an endless chain of human suffering and that the law of KARMA (of cause and effect, action and its consequences) pays back - sooner or later - all the misdeeds of a person. Therefore, if we want to preserve ourselves in the spirit of the aforementioned beneficial path, we might say that we will study elements of TANTRA from the Left Hand path, connected where necessary with elements of HATHA YOGA and TANTRA from the Right Hand path, directed towards spiritual evolution of the individual or the couple and - when possible - towards the "white" use of the energy. Whenever it will be deemed necessary, elements from other parallel spiritual paths will also be added, such as: sexual TAO, IMSAK, other branches of the YOGA system, and so on. Also, elements from modern sexology, and latest research in medicine, physiology, physics, and chemistry, will be used for improving the understanding of these topics.