by Swami Nostradamus Virato
At a time when even the word "sex" is suspect, with a former U.S. President, and numerous sports stars in the news continually with negativity around sex, it's vitally important to explore the depth of this misunderstood phenomenon from a new perspective...a spiritual one.
We came into this body through the act of procreation...better known as sex. Unless you were artificially inseminated, you wouldn't be here unless a man and woman had sexual intercourse. They had it because it gave them animal pleasure, yet triggered by a deep spiritual pursuit.
While we are in a body, this pleasure underpins much of our lives. It matters not if you are a nun, monk or prostitute. Whether you deny it or not, sex runs much of your existence. Unfortunately most of us have lost that special ingredient of this physical attraction that moves us beyond mere physical pleasure to a deeper and more satisfying wholeness.
At one time, long before so-called civilization permeated our culture, humans cultivated this pleasure to transcend into higher dimensions of consciousness, beyond the material, animal orgasm. Thousands of years ago, people had achieved a high degree of awareness and an alchemical formula for converting what we know as sex energy -- called by many names such as Chi, vital force, soul, etc. -using it to enter into a state of Divinity. Their spiritual philosophy held sexuality as a divine rite and an expression of union or yoga.
Unfortunately, as our planet moved out of the Taurien Age (4300-1700 BC) and became masculine and aggressive, it also lost this deep spiritual connection to this vital sex energy. While sexuality touches every part of our lives, it's sad that this most pleasurable life-affirming phenomenon --the act of creating our very birth--is today tainted with fear, abuse and general negativity.
There was a time when people with an awakened consciousness practiced Tantra with an artistic and cultural lifestyle of pure bliss and harmony with each other and the universe. They lived in a state of enlightenment. Tantra, the art of spiritualizing sexuality, offers practical tools to transmute fear and attachment into love and universal power
Like the spring flower freeing itself from the frozen snow, Tantra is again budding, offering the Aquarian Age an alternative--a way to reverse the negative energy on the planet, and a way to release yourself and reach transcendence. Put simply, Tantra is the total surrender, or letting go of all mental, emotional and cultural conditioning, so that universal life energy can again flow though us like a river without any effort. It is a letting go to universal oneness...to love. When fear is removed, Tantra remains.
The word "Tantra" has many definitions, and perhaps its real meaning has been lost to antiquity. Some scholars claim it comes from the Sanskrit or Hindi word for fabric or tapestry, meaning that it is woven into one's life. Others say that is comes from two Sanskrit words tanoti and trayati. Tanoti means to expand consciousness, and trayati means to liberate consciousness. One might then say that Tantra expands and liberates consciousness, making it the fabric of existence.
The highest possible synthesis between love and meditation, Tantra is also the connection between the third dimension and other planes of existence beyond mere materiality. While not a religious philosophy, Tantra embraces a deep spiritual understanding of life, and an ancient art of living in harmony with existence. It is a poetic science of super sexuality that dates back thousands of years, not only to India and Tibet, but to the Far East, Polynesia, and indigenous cultures of all parts of the world! The North America's native Cherokee culture, even practiced a form of Tantra called Quadoshka. It was used as a vehicle to achieve cosmic consciousness and union with Divinity.
Tantra treats sexual energy as a loving friend, rather than something to be suppressed or talked about secretly in low tones. It does not deny sex, or consider sex a hindrance to enlightenment or Heavenly Grace. To the contrary, Tantra is the only spiritual path that says that sex is sacred, and not a sin, or something against God, whether in a marriage or not. Tantrikas are God-loving, rather than God-fearing.
There is a most beautiful word for sex in the Sanskrit language, and that is Kama, which means sex-love together, undivided and indivisible. In Tantra, sex is always loving. Almost everyone is familiar with the 7th century classic the Kama Sutra, a Tantric treatise on lovemaking. Kama is also the name of the Hindu Goddess of love. And love is what Tantra encourages--total unconditional love, including the mind, the spiritual and the body.
Letting Go To God
Tantra doesn't tell you to control or suppress your sexual urges to reach God, but rather says the opposite. It supports development of this vital energy to achieve union with Divinity. The essence of Tantra is the full expression of being--a merging with, rather than a withdrawing from. It is the ultimate yoga, which is Sanskrit for union. In Tantra, the orgasm is with the universe. You become part of the primal energy of everything. In the Kama Sutra, genital contact is but one of the many kinds of intercourse. Tantrikas learn to make love with everything, letting go of all barriers to pure bliss.
Sex becomes sacred and divine when you approach it from your heart and body, rather than your mind. It is common for Tantrikas to "drop their mind" when engaging in Tantric lovemaking. When the energy comes from a space deep within you--your essential Self--it connects you to God/Goddess/All That Is...moving you into the realm of spirit.
The body is only layers of invisible energy in form, and it can be awakened if we let go to the sexual energy. This is the way of Tantra. It affirms the life energy within you in totality, so that those on this path find themselves whole and self-confident, with a positive panoramic view of everything.
Tantra changes one's view of relationships as well. Tantrikas are less co-dependent, jealous or neurotic. They tend to be harmonious, fun and energy-filled. In the way of Tantra, you also discover that the relationship you seek outside is already within you. You simply need to learn about and cultivate the Tantric vision, a vital, bliss-filled approach to sex, love and life in general.
Today, many people have been exposed to the use of energy for healing, as with Chinese medicine, Reiki, Touch for Health, etc. Yet, few people, except for the Taoists, use the body's most powerful energy center--the sex center--for the achievement of divinity, immortality and enlightenment.
In Tantra, sexual energy is used as the ignition for firing the Kundalini force, the body's biological life-energy system, merging it/you with universal energy. Mystics and metaphysicians call this reaching or achieving Godhead, Nirvana, Samadhi, Mooksha or union with Divinity.
However, unlike Taoism (which actually stemmed from ancient Tantra) that says bring your energy inside for longevity, Tantra says let it go..let it all go! There is no reason to hang onto anything if eternity exists.
In Tantra, sex is used as the Cosmic union of opposites to create the polarity charge, or potential, that connects with the primordial energy from which everything in the universe arises--the totality of ALL.
On the Tantric path, we learn to use sexual energy in an extended way, not denying the physical (though nothing is really physical), but going further...deeper...higher. We dance with the electromagnetic force field of our partner, and that dance leads to Cosmic oneness. When this energy is matched and balanced correctly through a loving surrender with a partner, the sparks fly. In that moment of sexual embrace and energy exchange, a couple may achieve a Cosmic orgasm, with their essential selves exiting the body. Those who claim to read auras can often tell if people are Tantrikas. In Tantra we learn to open ourselves to others, not only on the physical but on all levels. Yes become more prominent in our vocabulary...
The basic difference between unenlightened sex and Tantra, is that Tantra declares "the kingdom of God is within your heart." In Sanskrit it is called Pinde So Brahamande, "the physical body is the temple of God, and the body is the replica or representation of the entire Cosmos."
21st Century Spirituality
Contemporary society considers neurosis and deviant behavior normal, no more a problem than the common cold. Our present social and cultural structure supports separation and has created division among individuals and nations, manifesting in violence, war and in general a world without beauty and love. Western (and now even Eastern) culture uses sex for manipulation--sexy models being used to sell cars, soap and other products--while at the same time suppressing sexual expression. With sex being such a powerful force, we have created the perfect environment for neurosis, and sexual violence.
Tantra says we can celebrate life when the idea of separation, or otherness, disappears from the body and mind, allowing people to meet on all levels of consciousness--physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual. In fact, Tantric partners often consider themselves "soul partners."
Tantra, the art of spiritualizing your sexuality, offers practical tools to transmute fear and attachment into love and universal power. Jealousy, possessiveness, guilt and other negative emotions that drain your life-force energy, drop away.
While most fundamentalist religions--even Eastern, Moslem and Christian philosophies--focus on the elimination of sensual pleasures, Tantra welcomes the full expression of bodily pleasure, recognizing that in the body is hidden the "bodiless," or the spiritual. The body is only layers of invisible energy in form, and it can all be awakened if we let go to the sexual energy.
The art of Tantra should not be mistaken for material hedonism. Perhaps it could be called "spiritual hedonism," which says, "eat, drink and be merry, but with full awareness." Remain awake as you enter into sex before the old habits come and take over. Just remain conscious of the energy. Tantra says Yes! to sex, Yes! to love, and Yes! Yes! Yes! to unconditional love.
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