by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
The primordial androgyne is an image of reunification of the polar opposite, complementary and even contradictory elements of the human being. It also achieves the plenary fusion of the human being’s complementary aspects and it represents his primary state. This explains why “universal man” is originally represented through the Adam-Eve assembly (which also has the same numeric value as Allah, thus showing its similitude with the Supreme Identity), which signifies the fact that man was initially created masculine (man) and feminine (woman) or, otherwise put, in the actual meaning of the word, in an adrogynal state that exists as a germ in his inner universe. For this very reason, we can say that the androgyne’s state is the complete human state, in which complementary aspects, far from opposing, mutually balance in an ideal manner. Thus we can notice that the Supreme Identity is thus already virtually achieved, in a certain way, in the Edenic stage.
The androgyne, achieving the harmonious union of complementary aspects, is symbolized through the spherical form which is the least differentiated among all geometrical figures, since it extends in all directions simultaneously. Besides, this is the reason why Pythagoreans considered it as being the perfect geometrical figure, which represents the Universal Totality. We will also notice the similarity of the Androgyne’s figure to the Hermetic Rebis from the Secret Science of Alchemy, which is made from a body having two heads, one masculine (+) and the other feminine (-) and it represents the human being that is perfectly integrated in the totality of human and natural potentialities, ready to ascend to superior, divine states of the Manifestation.
The initial androgyne only represents an aspect or, in other words, it is an anthropomorphic figure of the Cosmic Egg, which we encounter in the dawn of any cosmogony, and in the end of any eschatology, because in the alpha and omega points of the world and the manifested being lies the plenitude of fundamental unity, where contraries melt into unity, either they are only potentiality, or that their final integration has been fulfilled. Mircea Eliade quotes numerous such examples, taken from the Greek, Egyptian, Iranian religions, or from the Nordic, Chinese or Indian ones. It is therefore natural that this image of a primordial unity, once applied to man, to acquire a sexual expression, often depicted as the first innocence or virtue, as the golden age that must be regained.
The mystic of all authentic spiritual currents says it clearly: the duality of the world in which we live is apparent, false, illusory, deceiving. To fall in its slavery is the state of sin, and salvation only exists in the perfect fusion with
the divine Reality, that is the return to fundamental unity. This is the meaning of the cries of the reed’s stem, which is pulled out of the ground, in the prelude of the famous poem “Mathnavi” of Islam’s most important mystical poet, Djalad ed-Din Rumi.
This first division, which at a cosmic level creates, that is differentiates day from night, Heaven from Earth, is similar to that of the YANG (+) and YIN (-) principles, which adds to these fundamental contraries those of heat and cold, up and down, masculine and feminine.
In the “RIG VEDA”, the androgyne appears in the form of the milk-giving cow, which at the same time is the divine bull with vigorous seed. ONE gives birth to TWO (YANG (+) and YIN (-)), says the Tao. In the same way, Adam the divine, the first one, who was not a man, but was a perfect androgyne, becomes Adam and Eve.
The androgyne is often represented as a double being simultaneously having the attributes of the two still united sexes, but on the verge of separating. This is what the cosmogonic significance of Indian erotic sculpture predominantly explains. Thus, SHIVA, androgyne divinity, because he identifies with the informal principle of the Manifestation, is often represented as powerfully holding Shakti (The Feminine Eternal) in his arms, and she is then represented with a very beautiful body, with large and firm breasts, emanating a state of stirring femininity, his own power depicted as feminine divinity.
One can also notice traces of androgyny in Adonis, Dyonisos, Cybele and Castor and Pollux, which evoke Izanagi and Izanami from the Japanese tradition. Examples can multiply endlessly, because ultimately any divinity the ancient Greek theogonies fully prove it – is bisexual, which then determines the lack of a need of a polar lover for procreation or for love. This mysterious androgyne, which holds a multitude of extraordinary psycho-mental powers represents – as Mircea Eliade underlines in a few instances – the totality of beneficial vital , psychic, mental and spiritual paranormal powers, united and now perfectly unified in the same human being, which combines and synthesizes the qualities of the two sexes.
countless secret traditional texts, thus making one think of the image of SHIVA embracing SHAKTI.
In light of these revelations, we can intuit the manner in which the two lovers achieve the first step towards the state of ANDROGYNE when in the ecstatic Tantric amorous games, in which sexual continence is perfectly achieved, they mutually savor their intimate secretions and even urine.
From here also derives the most wide-spread explanation of barbaric circumcision and excision rites, which are motivated by the permanent integration of the adolescent as adult in the community, the clitoris being a sort of reminiscence of the virile organ and the manly foreskin being a feminine (-) reminiscence.
This is the meaning of the Chinese hierogamy of FU-HI and NIU-KUA, united through their snake tales (and, which is even more important, mutually changing their attributes, at will). It is the same meaning of the Hermetic Rebis, which is simultaneously Sun and Moon, Heaven and Earth, being essentially one, although apparently double, being at the same time Sulfur and Mercury.
Hindu and Tantric symbols not only refer to the primordial androgyne, but also to the final glorious return and to a return of the human being to this non-differentiation, to this Divine Unity as quickly as possible. Such a total and glorious integration constitutes the final goal of psycho-somatic practices from HATHA YOGA and of amorous ones from TANTRA YOGA.
The Chinese Phoenix, symbol of regeneration, is hermaphrodite, not at all accidentally. The unification of seed and breath for the reproduction of the Embryo of immortality occurs right in the yogi’s body. The return to the Divine primordial state and the gradual liberation from cosmic contingencies is easily, almost spontaneously achieved through the COINCIDENTIA OPPOSITORUM and through the fulfillment of the initial Unity, the mixture of the MING and SING principles [YANG (+) and YIN (-)], as Chinese alchemists say, which are nothing but the two polarities of the being [(+) and (-)].
Therefore, Plato reminded one of the androgyne’s myth in “The Banquet”: “This was then called androgyne, because its appearance, as well as the name, contained one part man and one part woman.” Either this myth is evoked in certain secret cabalistic texts regarding Adam’s androgyne’s state, or it is contained in the mysterious doctrine of Christian Gnostics, androgyny is presented as an initial divine state, which has to be regained again. Man and woman had, in their primitive form, according to a tradition, a single body endowed with two faces. GOD split them, giving each one a back. Only from now on will man and woman begin a differential existence. To say – according to the myth of Making – that Eve comes out of Adam’s rib actually means that the humane whole was originally non-differentiated (was a perfect divine ANDROGYNE).
By discovering the divine androgyny as one of the characteristics of spiritual perfection, in the Epistles of Saint Paul and in the Gospel of John, Mircea Eliade writes: “Indeed, to become man and woman at the same time, or to be neither man nor woman, or just man and just woman actually represents the plastic fundamental expressions through which language strives to describe the metanoia, the amazing modification, the total upheaval of values. To be simultaneously and permanently man and woman is equally paradoxically as the APPARENTLY IMPOSSIBLE fact of re-becoming a child, of being born again, of passing through the tight gate”.
(METANOIA = term that comes from the Greek word METANOEIN that means the transformation of the human being through penitence. This word indicates, in current language, a process of spiritual transformation, the reorientation in a beneficial direction of the course of a human being’s life, or penitence).
The masculine and the feminine do not constitute, actually, but one of the aspects of the multiplicity of oppositions that are called to again unite. This fulfillment of androgyny should also be studied in the mineral and vegetal kingdom because, in turn, they know the division into masculine and feminine, according to the alchemical perspective. Any opposition is finally destined to be annulled through the union of the heavenly (+) with the terrestrial (-). This happiness bestowing union, which awakens amazing paranormal powers (SIDDHIS) in the human being can quickly and successfully be achieved only by a perfectly initiated human being that is permanently beneficially oriented, which perfectly controls the creative-sexual potential and whose occult power must be exerted ONLY in good, both upon the MICROCOSM, and upon the MACROCOSM, when he interferes or, in other words, when he is in an ineffable state of OCCULT RESONANCE with them.