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All About Tantra:
Yoga and Tantra form the primordial core of the Indian spiritual tradition, a foundation deeply connected to universal philosophies. Much has been written and discussed regarding these studies, but due to their profoundness and hidden symbolism they remain opaque. A secret throughout the centuries, Tantra remains diffuse, mysterious and puzzling yet constantly present in the diversity of yoga techniques, especially in its Tibetan forms.
With a determined investigation, it presents a genuine science of man where cosmic forces mingle with physiology, psychology, magic and spiritualism. Tantra offers a practical, multi-leveled vision of the human being, a unified theory that explains the most intimate aspects of man's behavior which have evaded current research. A detailed, sincere study and practice of Tantra would contribute to the enrichment of contemporary science and psychology in a manner not as yet conceived.
A WAY FOR OUR AGE
Tantrism recognizes in Kundalini the source of a mysterious energy -- an energy still not properly defined by modern science but of paramount importance for a complete spiritual emancipation. If we add that the Ageless Wisdom defines Tantra as the spiritual system best adapted to our era of Kali Yuga, where spirituality is declining even as man and woman are desperately trying to reintegrate themselves into a creative and spiritual cosmic center, we realize the significance of these techniques. Today we are bound to an "objective" knowledge which is becoming more and more mechanical and inhuman. Abstract thinking is linked less and less to real life yet it defines most of our activities. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to practice Tantra, a highly accurate, subjective knowledge which is accessible to everyone, through personal experience and validation.
THE WEB OF LOVE
Tantra envisions the Universe as an extremely complex, multi-dimensional web of invisible energies. This Science permits the controlled expansion of consciousness beyond the web of illusonary appearances and thus liberates us from ignorance. Tantra is also called Vama Marga , i.e. The Left Hand Path, due to the fact that women, who are of lunar influence, negative polarity or the left, play an essential role in this Science.
However, The Way which is recommended here is not at all made of negations or austerities as in most other spiritual systems, but of pleasure and beatitude. Tantric tradition puts forth clearly that the state of harmonious integration and spiritual freedom can be obtained only through direct experience and living of everyday life. The inferior levels of consciousness cannot be effortlessly controlled and surpassed unless fully and frantically, intensely and totally, lived in the whole plentitude of their power.
THE WAY OF PLEASURE AND FULFILMENT
In this respect, Tantric texts say that nobody will be able to obtain spiritual perfection using difficult and boring techniques. Perfection can be easily realized using the fulfillment of all wishes. The very same processes that for others could cause decay or death, venom or evil, can be used wisely and firmly for spiritual uplifting and transformed into a miraculous cure of the soul.
"One can fall due to the earth, another one can, without doubt, raise himself with the help of the earth." (Here "earth" is the symbol of the woman and sexual pleasure).
Another text says:
"If a man is a Yogi, he does not enjoy sensual pleasures; because one who enjoys them cannot know Yoga. That is why the Kaula (a Tantric School) way, containing the essence of sexual enjoyment and Yoga, is superior to all paths. In the Kaula approach, sexual enjoyment turns directly into Yoga. What in conventional religion is considered a sin, becomes full of merit in Kaula ."
Kularnava Tantra 2.23
In the Tantric tradition, Yoga (union with God) is simultaneous with the passionate yet detached living of worldly delights, leading to the state of enlightenment through the supernormal powers ( Siddhi -s), which are obtained through practical application of these special procedures. These powers serve a definite purpose in the way of attaining the Supreme.
THE HUMAN TEMPLE
The human body, with all its biological and psycho-mental processes, is only an instrument in which and through which the cosmic forces operate. The individual human structure and the outer macro cosmic manifestation, or Universe, are similar. Therefore all that exists in the Universe should also exist in a certain form and proportion in the micro cosmos , i.e. the human body.
The Tantric philosophy itself includes in its theory all the levels of the Universe and gives a paramount importance to astronomy, biology, parapsychology, anatomy, meditation, medicine, music, art and even sexuality. In fact, the sexual experience, considered to be a unification of the Everlasting Male (+) and Everlasting Female (-) principle, has a very important place in Tantric techniques and procedures which are often profoundly erotic.
Tantra is a complex discipline, an accurate method and a profound analysis based on rational foundations, it is a Meta-Science dealing with the different aspects of the Supreme Consciousness and ways to experience it. Here, sexuality forms only the basis of its techniques, and in this School, it is subjected to a rigorous discipline, because it is known that the secret of Life lies in controlling the sexual energy.
To understand the Tantric attitude toward sexuality requires a totally open mind and a reversal of perspective. Accustomed as we are by a puritanical mentality to seeing sexuality as a "sin" to be avoided and ashamed of (or, in any case, to keep it "secret" because of its "impurity"), we have all the chances to consider Tantric Love as being a defiant assault on conventional morality and thus to miss completely the tremendous spiritual value of such a perspective.
In order to understand it, we must first come to view the human dimension as vibrating in identity with the sacred, divine aspects of Creation. From this sacred perspective, sexuality is seen as re-producing, at a smaller scale, the continuous and beatific interaction of a Cosmic process which is manifesting the entire Universe from the Absolute Reality. In this new vision, "sin" disappears (it never existed, anyway!), being replaced by pure beatitude and total love. Sexual union is thus a form of meditative discipline with profound psycho-mental and spiritual effects.
The male worshipper has an attitude toward the woman which is different from that of an ordinary person performing the sexual act. The woman is transfigured into a living symbol and earthly manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe - Parashakti . Likewise, for the woman, man represents a vital embodiment of the Everlasting Male Principle - Shiva . The sexual beatitude raised at the transcendental level of an extraordinary psychic experience with a spiritual character reflects, then, the ineffable happiness of a subtle cosmic nature. This is known in Yoga as Ananda (i.e., cosmic beatitude) and in Tantra as Samarasa (i.e., the savor of equality).
Yearning tirelessly to grasp the enigmatic silence and the fascinating mystery of the Cosmos, the Tantric practitioner becomes an integral part of this mystery in the bosom of which he absorbs and identifies himself. For this, the external practice and the internal mutation are both indispensable. They make it possible to understand for one's self (through identification or Samyama ) the phenomena, leading to an authentic and sometimes ineffable understanding of the cosmic forces that surround us. Modern scientists are still making weak attempts to decode them, but for the Tantric practitioner these subtle forces are everyday realities.
"relies upon the practical realization of its teachings. Here, we are not dealing with endless talking and argumentation but instead with engaging ourselves fully and thoroughly in an exceptional practice which can lead the practitioner to Freedom, Pure Existence, Super-Consciousness, Beatitude and super-normal powers ( Siddhi -s)."
The Sahitya Tantra advises:
"Start the practice under the surveillance of a Tantric initiate. If, after a certain time, you do not obtain any positive results, then you are free to quit."
In the same way that benefits can be obtained only by using a remedy, the truth of the Tantric Science can only be proved through successful practice. However, it is necessary to stress here, that the Tantric practitioner must develop and perfect his Siddhis only for the purpose of raising himself to the level of the Supreme Being and from there for fusing with the Absolute. The Siddhis have no value per se; they are only a means to an end. But all these powers cannot be obtained by only talking about Tantra, only tireless practice and direct experimentation can lead to such unusual achievements. About this, there is no doubt.
THE LIBIDO — THIRST FOR UNITY
Another important aspect in Tantra Yoga, which is emphasized in the teachings, is that the libido, when manifested as sexual drive, is not at all considered to be only sensuality but, at the innermost levels, as the soul's ardent yearning for spiritual perfection. Here the erotic impulse appears as the psyche's abyssal thirst to reach perfection through unity of complementary polar opposites. In this way, re-born as a genuine Androgyne of the Secret Tradition — magical child of Shiva and Shakti — the Individual Spirit will have access to the highest levels of Consciousness.
THE MAGNETIC WOMAN, THE ELECTRIC MAN
Tantra teaches that, energetically speaking, woman is magnetic, passive, lunar, receptive and charged with power of negative polarity (Yin). In multiple ways, she attracts, absorbs and stores subtle energy which remains latent. When connected in a proper way with the male electric, dynamic and positively charged subtle energy (Yang), the female energy undertakes a complex alchemical reaction and thus the couple generates an energetic power station. This is very easy to verify. Certain Tantric techniques enable the practitioner to verify that the bioenergetic differences of polarity between man and woman are energized to the highest extent through the love play and that a mutual exchange between these two forms of energy (Yin/female, Yang/male) takes place during sexual intercourse in which the two partners harmonize themselves on multiple levels. Performed in the Tantric way (successive orgasms without ejaculation) these unions can intensify and develop the latent extra-sensorial capacities and the mental power of both partners beyond any expectations. The couple who practice Tantric sexual union use the subtle energies of the man's body and the complementary energies of the woman's body for attaining the state of harmony with the Absolute.
RETENTION — THE UNTOLD SECRET
It is important to emphasize that Tantra substantiates its techniques of spiritual development on the perfect yet effortless control of the sexual energy. Here the point is to return to the practitioner the enormous amount of raw sexual energy contained in semen and in the correspondent female orgasmic emanations in such a way that this subtle energy may be sublimated and its efficiency used for higher purposes, i.e. psycho-mental and spiritual ones.
Being in perfect physical, emotional and mental health is a must for approaching any of the sexual practices of Tantrism taught in this School. Modern civilization leaves its mark upon our integrity, so we need to open up and re-learn to experience everything as intensely as possible through senses. While it is true that cultivating sensory awareness, where different techniques of amplifying the sexual pleasure and experiencing deep sexual orgasm are, can be a useful preparation for Tantra, these incipient techniques are not yet considered Tantra if they are not accompanied by a total, yet effortless, control.
Tantra, in accord with the Science of the ancient Sages (Siddhas) teaches that the sexual reproductive power (the Life Force) can be transmuted into superior forms of energy called Ojas and Tejas. The practitioner causes his seed to rise up to his crown center of force( Sahasrara), where it becomes transformed into Soma, the Nectar of Immortality. Through the Tantric procedures, the semen is taken over by the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of the fluid (lymph) that bathes the tissues, being similar in composition with plasma. The lymph contains white cells involved in the immunity system of the body. These white cells produce antibodies, special substances which attack the foreign organisms (microbes, etc.) and render them harmless. Through the lymphatic system, the semen reaches the brain (Corpus Callosum) where it is processed into extremely subtle energies (Ojas and Tejas) used by the higher mind. As the physical brain needs oxygen and proteins to function properly, the higher mind ( superconsciousness ) needs big quantities of Ojas and Tejas energy. The Tejas energy is that energy which produces the halo around the saints' head. The Ojas energy is that energy which confers an extraordinary vigor, power and virility.
The transmuting of the semen's energy into Ojas and Tejas does not take place only in men. Women who practice Tantra Yoga realize the transmutation of that energy which produces the ova and the menstrual cycle. These energies are transformed into Ojas and Tejas exactly as in the men's case. As a result, the menstrual cycle becomes scarce or even disappears completely, and the ovulation process slows down or even stops. Nevertheless, when the conception of a baby is desired, the energies are permitted to accumulate at the pelvic area, the ovulation returns to normal and the menstrual cycle appears again.
The phenomenon of transmutation of the sexual energy has as scientific basis the phenomenon of Biological Transmutation. Biological transmutation is the process through which a living organism can produce controlled nuclear reactions of transmutation (transformation of an element into another by nuclear reaction) at low temperatures, with slow release of huge quantities of energy. Biological transmutation of the sexual energy is therefore the transmutation, with slow release of a huge quantity of energy, of the atoms contained in the sexual potential through continence.
The characteristics of biological transmutation are:
- takes place in all living organisms at the cellular level, in structures called Mitocondria, which occur in the cytoplasm of every cell. Mitochondria is the site of the cell’s energy production.
- implies both fusion and fission.
- the transfer is realized between atoms of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon (these being the dominant elements in living beings).
The process of controlled biological transmutation leads to the gradual awakening of the inner paranormal powers of the mind, reaching altered (higher) states of consciousness, awakening of intelligence, emotional balance, a state of constant happiness, etc.
Through consciously and effortlessly controlling the sexual function ( orgasm without ejaculation) of the human body, complex reactions of biological transmutation take place, leading to a slow and continuous release of an enormous quantity of energy, which can be directed, through sublimation to higher levels of being, for a specific purpose (magical, spiritual). Tantra teaches secret techniques (for example Oli Mudras or Shakti Mudras) through which the biological transmutation can be initiated and accelerated into the practitioner’s body (both man and women).
THE MAGICAL SPRING
Tantra’s teachings use sexuality for completely transcending it. Even at the level of ordinary sexual experiences, the couple sometimes has the strange and powerful feeling that sexual intercourse releases a tremendous energy inside the human psyche. Frequently superior and nostalgic truths can be inferred in this state. Pedro McGregor in his famous "Psychosexual Synthesis" confirms the Tantric teachings concerning sexuality. Our burning sexual or emotional beatitudes are nothing other than a degenerated mysterious enthusiasm. Our highest and noblest spiritual yearnings, the whole of our transcendental and sublime potential, would be somehow imprisoned in matter, i.e. in sexuality. This enthusiasm is materialized, therefore limited, absorbed and inert. It is logical to consider that a conscious change in our sexual behavior and in our most intimate attitudes could act as a magical spring, releasing truly super-human energies in the same way that a controlled mutation in the intimate structure of the atom can release a tremendous amount of nuclear energy.
THE ENERGY OF INTENSE EMOTIONS
Therefore, another important characteristic of the Tantric Way, which is very much emphasized, is that spiritual growth is realized through extreme intensity of energy spontaneously born during the passionate living of intense emotions, including both sexual and non-sexual emotions. The Supreme Existence reveals itself instantaneously during the tumult of violent emotions such as extreme terror, vivid curiosity, deep compassion, total anger, profound pleasure.
"In order to penetrate into the Supreme Reality, everything that is at hand is to be considered as a modality; because, as the Trika system puts it, the human being must not submit to any restrictions (in order to attain the Supreme)".
When controlled and directed by a lucid mind, the paramount intensity of extreme emotions creates the instantaneous welding of all levels of the human being (physical, sexual, emotional, mental, spiritual) which are normally disconnected and therefore acting independently. Thus, the practitioner becomes aware of the inner abyssal power that lies within himself and starts to bring it to the surface. The transcendence of the inferior levels of consciousness is realized through an exceptionally frantic living of every moment of everyday life. In this way, the duality disappears into the flashing unity of the Supreme Consciousness, without change ( Nirvikalpa ).
In the act of lovemaking the couple embodies the dyadic wholeness of the Supreme. Tantric sexual union resonates with the very foundational energies of the Universe: it captures, magnifies and re-directs the essential Cosmic Power of Life. It is therefore not by chance that sexual intercourse brings the most intense emotional experience that the human being can have while in the flesh. Therefore Tantra uses it predominantly to create that overwhelming unifying energy. The erotic impulse stirs up the Kundalini energy so that it can rise, through the subtle duct of power along the spine, to the highest center of power above the head. This process renders the adept immortal.
"Loss of semen is loss of power. Exposure to sexual stimulation arouses this power; controlled, the power is like steam in a boiler, no longer random."
"The Yogin who can protect his Bindu (semen), overcomes death; because death comes by discharging Bindu, and life is prolonged by its preservation."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, III, 87
"Bindu is under the control of the mind, and life is dependent on Bindu. Hence, Mind and Bindu should be protected by any means."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, III, 89
In this vision, intercourse becomes a genuine cosmic process at the level of the unified micro cosmos of the couple, who tries to reproduce the cosmic union of Shiva and Shakti , i.e. of Consciousness and Energy.
"In Yamala or Vira - Yogini tradition [Tantric schools], there is the physical union (Samghatta) between Vira (the male) and Yogini (the female). The purpose is to stimulate Nitya- Ananda (the eternal beatitude) by contact of the sexual organs. This contact gives intense delight for both body and spirit."
A text by Abhinavagupta
In this sacred act a savant analogy intervenes where physical postures ( Asana -s), gestures ( Mudra -s), colors, sounds ( Mantra -s), musical rhythms and perfumes blend to create a paradise-like environment. Thus, intercourse serves a purpose much superior to that of sensuality. This precise analogical correspondence leads to a profound intermixing between the level of the chaotic multiplicity in which we live and the Unique Macro cosmic Reality. Through frantic super-sensual fusion of the subtle complementary principles, man and woman realize the alchemical sublimation of the sexual energy. This phenomenon, which leads to a gradual liberation from the painful limitations of Space and Time that restrain terrestrial life, propels man and woman towards the cosmic ecstasy ( Samadhi ).
ORGASM AND EJACULATION
Stated with extreme simplicity, orgasm is an intensely beatific state of consciousness and canceling of ego, with profound harmonizing, relaxing and regenerative effects. Male and female ejaculation is only a complex physiological process of explosively energetic discharge with a dim manifestation of a brief, incipient orgasm, experienced in a selfish unilateral way. During ejaculation, the energy is quickly wasted and for no purpose (except when conception is wanted).
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
The most important differences between an ordinary orgasm with ejaculation and Tantric successive orgasms without ejaculation are illustrated in the following comparative analysis:
|TOTAL SUCCESSIVE TANTRIC ORGASMS
|Explosion (outward-bursting energy). Inevitably, the erotic energy is lost permanently and uselessly. The intensity of a following sexual act diminishes greatly compared to what was felt at the beginning.||Implosion (inward-bursting energy). The erotic energy sublimates and is transmuted in ever more refined forms of energy which are gradually accumulated in the depths of our being, producing extremely refined and intense states of pleasure and expanded consciousness. The intensity of the following sexual acts increase constantly and do not diminish in the end.|
|Lasts a very short time, creating a nostalgic state of frustration due to the partial lack of fulfillment (especially for women, who need a long time to reach the peak of excitement).||Beyond time, lasting indefinitely therefore is contiguous with Infinity. Ocean-like state of beatific fulfillment felt by BOTH man and woman as a shared feeling of happiness and joy of living which expands the perception of pleasure. The two lovers become gradually aware of the God(dess) within. Man can share woman's multi-orgasmic capacity without losing the erection.|
|In the physical body only.||Inside as well as outside the physical body, in the subtle invisible body and in the surrounding environment. All beings and objects seem to make love at the same time.|
|Playing with the other.||Playing within yourself with a simultaneous, telepathic perception of the other through empathy, "I feel the other as if he/she is myself."|
|Dependency.||Independence. The other "disappears" due to the spontaneous transfiguration. Both man and woman expand endlessly their merged consciousness into the Universe.|
|Woman passive/man active.||Woman active/man passive.|
|Heavy breathing.||Easy, calm and quiet breathing.|
|A reflex or instinctual act leading to loss of control, an unconscious, animalistic, irrepressible experience.||Hyper-conscious and fully controlled act leading gradually to ecstatic, erotic abandon and happiness which lasts as long as two to three days after a successful Tantric experience.|
|Chaotic movement.||Non-movement followed by slow wavelike movements to which the other's body answers tenderly and insatiably in a perfect harmony.|
|Limited sexual availability due to the exhaustion which follows ejaculation. This leads gradually to a state of permanent fatigue and drowsiness which can manifest as instinctive repulsion for the other or as lack of self-esteem.||Unlimited sexual availability making possible an overwhelming erotic experience of a paramount intensity which can last eight to ten hours without interruption --providing that BOTH man and woman perfectly yet effortlessly control the sexual energy. The erotic vitality of the couple amplifies leading to a clear state of inner power and of complete sexual fulfillment.|
|Fear of undesired pregnancy. The use of contraceptives has many unhealthy side-effects such as hormonal imbalances leading to obesity.||Complete freedom from any restrictions or fears. Because of the total semen retention irrespective of the duration of the sexual act, pregnancy is out of the question when undesired. Man becomes a completely safe lover and his woman will never have to use contraceptives when she makes love with him. This leads to a totally natural birth control.|
|Attachment, selfish desire, possessiveness and jealousy.||Detachment, desire transcended into fulfillment, leading to a state of peace with oneself and of tender happiness which overflows to other human beings as love and compassion.|
|Due to the huge loss of sexual energy, the sexual experiences become less and less fulfilling and, through a reflex mechanism, the psycho-mental potential decreases.||Due to the complete transmutation and sublimation of the sexual power, the psycho-mental potential is increased leading to the awakening of paranormal powers (telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.). A state of overwhelming euphoria grows gradually, opening the couple to positive, affectionate feelings. Dramatic increasing of vitality leading to the shortening of the need for sleep and awakening of the creative imagination and lucidity. Man's virility and woman's pluri-level multi-orgasmic capacity awakens and amplifies to the highest extent, leading to ever more fulfilling sexual experiences.|
|The dynamics of the couple decreases with time and desire transforms quickly into habit. Monotony kills the desire and the relationship becomes ever more trivial.||The dynamics of the couple is enriched every day with new and amazing discoveries of the other's inner world and, through reflection, of one's own inner profile. Desire transforms gradually into genuine and pure love, a feeling rarely known by humans and which grows constantly, fed with new and unexpectedly delicious experiences. Habit cannot survive due to the hyper-intense and spontaneous living in the ever-changing present.|
In Tantra, sexual union is one of the possibilities offered to man and woman to concentrate and direct the consciousness's activity toward the Supreme Being. Due to the enormous intensity of this union, the consciousness of both partners develops and fuses , at the beginning between themselves and later with the Cosmic Consciousness. The indescribable beatitude then felt embraces all things and beings. All that still subsists is a never-ending thirst for unity, only a Lover and a Loved-one.
Tantra is a genuine and exceptional form of yoga which puts sexuality in its right place, recreating the missing spiritual dimension of the sexual experience. This practice expands the human consciousness to the greatest extent and considerably enriches the knowledge of Man and the Universe. At the same time, through the surprising links established among apparently heterogenous phenomena and scientific facts, Tantra opens the road toward infinite horizons, where many extraordinary discoveries wait for the tireless practitioner.
Text by Dinu Roman from nathayogacenter.com