“Tantra” is a Sanskrit word of two parts. The prefix, Tan, means “to expand, join or weave.” The latter part, tra, means “tool.” Therefore, the definition of the term Tantra has a two-fold meaning – a tool to expand, liberate, and bring together. What is known about Tantra is that the most common form is preserved through such writings as the Kama Sutra (probably written around the time of Christ) and the Ananga Ranga (a collection of erotic works from around 1100 A.D.) The purest form of Tantra was not passed down in writing, but only by way of initiations and personal instruction.
Some people believe that Tantra evolved from the practice of yoga, which, like Tantra, is about liberation and joining. In fact, many of the physically challenging sexual positions of Tantric lovemaking are actually yoga postures used for personal awakening. When we say Tantra, some say “Yoga of sex”.
Although most “spiritual disciplines” insist on evolving into higher states of consciousness by controlling or “denying the senses”and so called lower states of consciousness, Tantra teaches that we cannot experience complete personal and spiritual liberation while restricting a part of our being. How can one experience Total unity whilst denying a part of that Totality?
This concept is amazing, since it shows us that the ancient Tantrics knew and perceived the “Universe “at a level that only today we begin to understand.
Tantra is also often translated as “warp”, like the warp on a loom. This means that in this Universe, everything is actually “connected” as woven fabric, etc. In this Universe there exists a web that connects all to all.
According to Tantra, everything in the universe is perfect as it is; the limitations that exist are within the mind. It is said in the Tripurarahasya: “Though in reality there is no bondage, the individual is in bondage as long as there exists the feeling of limitation in him…
The banishing of Tantra
TANTRA is indeed dangerous…. It is a threat to all those belief systems and institutions that have “limited our potential”, stolen our power and sought to “control” through “guilt” and “fear”. That’s why it’s been literally forced underground for thousands of years.
When man is in fear, even though he has been a life long atheist, he starts turning into a theist. Priests/Gurus came to know about it, and then they manipulated it down the ages. The whole past of humanity is fear ridden. And the greatest way to create fear is to make man feel guilty about natural things. He cannot drop them, and he cannot enjoy them because of the fear of hell, so he is in a double bind. That double bind is the base of man’s exploitation. We cannot just drop our sexuality because some priest/Guru is saying that it is wrong. It has nothing to do with our idea of right and wrong; it is something natural, something in our very being. You were conceived out of it, each of your cells is a sexual cell. Just by talking, we cannot drop it. Yes, we can start repressing it, and by repressing we can go on accumulating it in the unconscious, and that becomes a wound. And the more we repress, the more obsessed we become with it. And the more obsessed we become, the more guilty we feel. It is a vicious circle. Now we are caught in the trap of the priests/Gurus, and of those seeking to control us.
Margaret Miles observes that “the regulation of sexuality was a major power issue in the fourth-century Christian churches. Regulation of sexual practices was a way to inject the authority of church laws and leaders into the intimate and daily relationships of Christians. Analyzing the canons of the Council of Gangra in AD 309, [Samuel] Laeuchli found that 46 percent of the eighty-one canons were concerned with sexual relationships and practices.” Philip Yancey notes that “between the third and tenth centuries, church authorities issued edicts forbidding sex on Saturdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and also during the 40-day fast periods before Easter, Christmas, and Whitsunday–all for religious reasons. They kept adding feast days and days of the apostles to the proscription, as well as the days of female impurity, until it reached the point that, as Yale historian John Boswell has estimated, only 44 days a year remained available for marital sex.
The concept of nakedness is also a subjective one. To a simple mind, to an innocent mind, nudity is not offensive; it has its own beauty. But up to now, man has been fed on “poison”, and gradually, with the passage of time, this poison has “spread” from one pole of his existence to the other. Consequently, our attitude to “nakedness” is completely unnatural.
How Tantra came to be
It’s possible that man had his first luminous glimpse of Samadhi during the experience of intercourse.
Samadhi can be seen as a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of the experience.
Only in the moments of coitus did man realize that it was possible to feel such profound love, to experience such illuminating bliss. And that in the moments of climax the mind becomes empty of thoughts. All thoughts drain out at that moment. And this emptiness of mind, this void, this vacuum, this freezing of the mind, is the cause of the shower of divine joy.
The Tantrikas (those who practice Tantra) had the first insight that man’s sexual energy can be transformed easily. The only barrier is repression. If you repress it, then you cannot transform it. They tried to transform sex into spirituality, but the preachers of morality in our history did not allow the message to reach the masses.
What is this sex energy? Why is it such a powerful disturbance in our lives? Why does it pervade our entire beings? Why do our lives revolve around it, even to the end? What is the source of this urge?
Quantum theory thus reveals the basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated basic building blocks but rather a complicated set of relations between the quantum particles. These relations always include the observer in an essential way.
It is thus obvious that, as all things and beings are part of the creation, nothing can exist and not have this spark of Divine Consciousness.
Just like the esoteric oriental tradition of spirituality, modern physics does not conceive matter as being passive, inert, static, but as being in a continuous vibratory movement.
The rhythms of these movements are determined, among other things, by the atomic, nuclear and molecular structures. Therefore both science and spirituality converge toward the idea that the Universe is dynamic, being in a continuous movement of oscillation.
The deeper meaning
The Maithuna Ritual is basically sex with complete attention, when One places high emphasis on the squeezing of the male and female Pc muscles, with practice you will be able to lay or sit with your partner fully connected, hardly moving except for the internal squeezing, this action brings waves of ecstatic orgasms, which travel up the spine to the brain, rapturous mind orgasm and complete unity Is a common experience…
This is also termed the small death. And because of that small death in sex, there is so much release of joy in you. For a single moment you disappear, and that moment is the “climax”, the “orgasm”. In that single moment you don’t know who you are. In that single moment you are pure energy vibrating, pulsating. With no center to it, with no “ego” in it.
“When you are making love don’t control. Go into un-control, go into chaos. It will be fearful, frightening, because it will be a kind of death. And the mind will say ‘Control!’ And the mind will say ‘Jump in and keep control, otherwise you will be lost in the abyss of it.’ Don’t listen to the mind, get lost. Abandon yourself utterly. And without any technique you will come to see a timeless experience. There will be no two in it: “oneness”. A consciousness will be there, a lucid passive consciousness will be there, you will know what is happening, because you will be fully aware.. But you will not be there. Awareness will be there. You have to imbibe the Tantra spirit — it is not a technique to be learned.
In that single moment of orgasmic space you lose all boundaries, separation. You become vast, huge. You are no more separate from the other. That’s why there is so much joy — although the moment is very small”.
Because the moment of orgasm is very small. In Tantra That moment can become very deep, that moment can remain there for hours. That moment, once you know the art of remaining in it, can surround you twenty-four hours. Tantra transforms sex.
Sex is not a need like food or thirst or hunger. Sex has a definitely total dimension, a different dimension altogether. It is a way to contact the ultimate reality. It is an urge to move to the original source. The Tantra attitude about sex is that sex is not a need. It is a cosmic experience, it is an experience of meditation. It is an instinctual return to our ultimate reality, one of the highest forms of meditation.
Tantra says: The appeal of sex is because it gives you a moment of egolessness, timelessness, meditation.
Real Tantra is not technique but love. Is not technique but prayer. Is not head-oriented but a relaxation into the heart. Please remember it. Many books have been written on Tantra, they all talk about technique. But the real Tantra has nothing to do with “technique”. The real Tantra cannot be written about, the real Tantra has to be imbibed. How to imbibe real Tantra? You will have to transform your whole approach to it!
The first thing is to understand sex energy. As you understand it, it is just a part, one part, one fragment of the life force, but as Tantra understands it, it is just synonymous with life. It is not a part, not a fragment – it is life itself. So when Tantra says “sex” energy it means “life” energy.
Life is sex. Now, the word “sex” should not be confined to reproduction or just carnal pleasure, because the whole play of life energy is sexual. Reproduction is just a part of that play. Wherever two energies are meeting – negative and positive – sex has entered. We have to understand the wideness of the term “sex”. If we don’t understand we will be confused, and misunderstanding will follow.
It may be difficult to understand but take this example: If you ask “Freud”, or if you ask Tantra masters, they would say that listening is passive, feminine, and speaking is male. Speaking is a penetration of you and you are receptive to it. Between a speaker and a listener a sex act is happening because the speaker is trying to penetrate you and the listener is receiving. The energy in the listener has become feminine, and if the listener has not become feminine there will be no phenomenon of listening. That is why the listener has to be totally passive. He should not think while listening because thinking will make him active. He should not go on arguing within because argument will make him active. While listening, he should be “simply listening”, not doing anything else. Only then can the message penetrate and become illumined. But then the listener has become feminine.
Communication happens only when one party has become male and the other party has become female, otherwise there can be no communication. Wherever negative and positive meet, sex has happened. It may be on the physical plane – positive and negative electricity meet and sex has happened. Wherever polarities meet, opposites meet, it is sex.
Tantra says that when the ultimate bliss and ecstasy comes inside you, it means your own positive and negative pole have come to a meeting – because every man is both man and woman, and every women is both man and woman. You are born not only from woman or from man, you are born out of a meeting of the opposites. Your father has contributed, your mother has contributed. You are half your mother and half your father and they both co-exist within you. When they meet within, ecstasy happens.
Another example, the meaning of “Buddha sitting under his Bodhi tree” is that he is in a deep inner orgasm. The inner forces have met, they have melted into each other. Now there will be no need to seek a woman outside because the meeting has happened with the inner woman. And Buddha is non-attached to, or detached from, woman outside, not because he is against woman, but because the ultimate phenomenon has happened within. Now there is no need. An inner circle has become whole, now it is complete. That is why such grace comes to Buddha’s face. It is the grace of being complete. Now nothing is lacking, a deep fulfillment has happened, now there is no further journey. He has achieved the ultimate destiny. The inner forces have come to a meeting and now there is no “conflict”. But it is a sexual phenomenon.
So whenever Tantra says “sex-energy” it means the “elan-vital”, the life-energy itself. They are synonymous. Whatsoever we call sex is just one dimension of life-energy. There are other “dimensions”. And in really it should be so.
You see a seed sprouting, somewhere flowers are coming on a tree, the birds are singing – the whole phenomenon is sexual. It is life manifesting itself in many ways. When the bird is singing it is a sexual call, an invitation. When the flower is attracting butterflies and bees it is an invitation, because the bees and butterflies will carry the seeds of reproduction. Everything appears to be divided into these two polarities. And life is a rhythm between these two opposites. Repulsion and attraction, coming nearer and going far… these are the rhythms.
So in this perspective “Sex is not sin; repression is a sin. Sex is very natural, very spontaneous. You have not done anything to have it, it is inborn, it is part of your being”.
“Don’t condemn it, don’t judge it, don’t fear it, don’t fight with it. Simply go into it more, more meditatively. Let it happen in such silence, in such deep acceptance, that you can know the very core of it”.
Tantra loves, and loves unconditionally. It never says no to anything whatsoever, because everything is part of the whole, and everything has its own place in the whole, and the whole cannot exist with anything missing from it.
So tantra says yes unconditionally. There has never been any other vision of life which says yes without any conditions – simply yes. “No” disappears; from your very being “no” disappears. When there is not a “no”, how can you fight? How can you be at war? You simply float. You simply merge and melt. You become one. The boundaries are there no more. “No” creates the boundary. “No” is the boundary around you. Whenever you say “no”, watch – immediately something closes in. Whenever you say yes, your being opens.
Just as some of the world’s greatest “spiritual teachers” have said that Heaven cannot be accurately described in words, the essence of Tantra cannot be captured in either “oral or written words”. To truly understand Tantra, it has to be experienced.
Although most “spiritual disciplines” insist on evolving into higher states of consciousness by controlling or denying the senses”and so called lower states of consciousness , Tantra teaches that you cannot experience complete personal and spiritual liberation while restricting a part of your being…
So we should put away our pointless taboos and restrictions on sexual energy, and rather help others to truly understand its wonder and beauty, as we let go and realise this freedom, this incredible lightness of being, we honor the many sensefull moments, this Blissful Tantric unity, that arise, from a mind that is free.
“In truth everything in life is about that dance.
When the rain goes onto the parched earth, that’s tantra in a sense, that’s creation, that’s merging.
When the wind blows through trees, that’s merging.
Everything in life is always dancing with the polarities, with the interchangeable energies.
And so expanding your understanding of sex beyond the body can open up a world where you’re truly living in a very ecstatic state.
And then you just become a dancer in that dance.
And it doesn’t even matter how it turns out, it’s the joy of dancing that allows your heart to celebrate every day.”
And this is the joy of sex, because you disappear for a moment. That moment is very small, but immense is its impact. For one moment you are no more the ego, you don’t think in terms of ‘I’, for one moment you dissolve into the unity of the all, you become one with the whole, you pulsate with the whole. You are no more an individual, … you are no more confined to your body. You don’t know limitations, for a moment you are unlimited, infinite.
That is the meaning of sexual orgasm in its purest form — that your frozen energy melts, becomes one with this universe, with the trees and the stars, and the woman and the man, and the rocks — for a single moment, of course. But in THAT moment you have a kind of consciousness that is religious, that is holy, that is one with all things. One tree merging into another tree, earth merging into the trees, trees merging into the sky, the sky merging into the beyond… you merging in me, I merging in you… everything merging… distinctions lost, melting and merging like waves into other waves… a vast oneness vibrating, alive, without boundaries, without definitions, without distinctions… the sage merging into the sinner, the sinner merging into the sage… good becoming bad, bad becoming good… night turning into the day, the day turning into the night… life melting into death, death molding again into life — then everything has become one.
Tantra is the original ‘holistic’ way of life, yoking body, mind and spirit into living life as a whole. Polarities of good and evil, pure and impure, matter and spirit are done away with as unnecessary barriers to a direct experience of cosmic consciousness. With great finesse, tantra uses material reality for spiritual unfoldment.
In Tantric writings, a woman’s sexual and spiritual energies are often referred to as shakti. In Hindu traditions the goddess Shakti represents the female principle or energy. Although the female force, or shakti, exists in both women and men, women are seen as the “guardians” of the shakti energy. According to ancient Tantric writings, the power of the shakti is limitless. Once awakened, this spiritual, energetic, and sexual force can be channeled creatively.
“Shiva” and Shakti can thus be called polar opposites that are thought to be in a constant state of union, the one sustaining the other, and the other nurturing the one. They are visualized as diametric opposites that fit perfectly in one another— cosmic consciousness embedded within the creative impulse. Together, they hold up creation. “Shiva is able to function when united with Shakti; otherwise he is inert.”
Upon “Kundalini” awakening, “Shakti rises up the spine to meet Shiva”, her male counterpart. Together their merged energies create an alchemical fusion of bliss. Thus in Tantra, the coupling of a man and woman serves to represent this greater, universal creative process, as the intercourse between a couple simulates the creation dance of “Shakti” and “Shiva”.
When we become lost in our lover,
what is happening is that our souls are merging.
This is an experience that is independent of the physical body.
It can be compared to two lights moving
closer and closer until they occupy the same space.”
– Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
“The goal of human life, is for the individual self to seek union with supreme undifferentiated consciousness, to merge in union with the Divine”.
For more insight into this subject consult our course The Secrets of Breathing and Tantra.