Today we will consider what the tantric vehicle of teachings is in the lineage called the Light of Himavanti. The word ‘TANTRA’ in a first approximation means ‘getting rid of primitiveness’. Tantric teachings are attributed to the female line of teaching in the yoga tradition, and therefore have their source in the message coming from Lord Śiva’s wife, Devi Parvati. If we ask what is refined in tantric work, what sphere is has primitiveness removed, it is worth remembering that it is primarily the sphere of the sacred.
What is the sacred sphere? According to tantric teachings, this is the sphere associated with the base centre of the torso, with the so–called root chakra, muladhara. The abode of the Kundalini Fire, the serpentine power, the power of nature (śakti) is seen at the base of the torso, in the centre also called the sacral plexus in Christian culture. A nervous plexus and a chakra are of course not the same, although it can be said that the first one in the corporeal sphere and the second one in the spiritual sphere – these are somehow cooperating centres.
The sacred sphere is one of the greatest taboos in world cultures and religions. We know that this is the sphere of gender and sexuality. What does the word sacred mean? It means holiness! Yes, exactly holiness. The sphere of influence of the sacral plexus, the physiology of gender – this is holiness, the sacred. And that is why even the Christian language uses the word sacral here – in reference to the centre that manages the sexual sphere of human existence. Maybe we are not used to treating gender issues as essentially sanctifying and sacred, but when studying Tantric teachings we must be clearly aware of this.
Based on mystical teachings about the root centre, we probably know something about the three and a half spirals of Kundalini, a secret power or energy that lies dormant at the bottom of our spine, and is the energy that is the basis of the miracle–making abilities of all sages and saints, both Eastern and West. Even imagining such a coil immediately causes a feeling of warmth and an increase in the potential to influence with thoughts, suggestions, affirmations or prayers.
Sanctity, fertility and sexuality are topics that are inextricably linked in probably all religious traditions. There are many different instructions and advice regarding the culture of sexuality in all traditions and spiritual schools. Only the Christian doctrine, originating from the Middle Ages, seems to make the topic of sexuality a morally forbidden topic and something akin to evil, all because of a complete misunderstanding of the Jewish arguments about Paradise, Adam and Eve.
A small digression regarding this first cause of interpretation errors will allow us, in the name of Truth, to demystify the entire sphere of biological or natural force, as it is taught in the Circles of Spiritual Knowledge by the Wise Men of the East. Paradise is a Persian word meaning the land of perfection and happiness, inhabited by angels, in other words, pure souls! Therefore, the paradise story does not take place on earth at all, it is a story taken from devachan, from heaven. It is known as a multi–threaded myth in many religions. In modern Hebrew, Adam means man, but in ancient Aramaic it rather meant all of humanity! Adam is not one single man, but all human souls taken together and living in heaven at that time. Eve (Chava) means the living one or the mother of the living one, and this phrase referred to the spirit of life on the material plane of existence.
God created man as male and female, and not just male as is wrongly interpreted, probably only because there were no women among the clergy to maintain the correct spirit of interpretation. The snake is not just any snake, as is wrongly said, but a class of beings called Asmodeans, snake–like creatures that inhabit the material plane in the astral plane. Man is drawn into the trap of births and incarnations on the material plane of existence due to the action of the Asmodeans on the spirit of life (Chava, Eve), so that the souls of people in the heavens begin to desire life in the material plane of existence. This becomes the cause of the degradation of human race, which was a class of eminent angels (devas) among the heavenly, paradisiac spheres of existence of a perfect world. This is how the whole story could be summarized and greatly simplified. Let us also note that man, as both man and woman, has the power to rule and is forbidden to kill creatures. Divine Law excludes power through killing. Dominion over animals does not mean the right to kill them. Food is only plants, and not all of them, as only cereal grains and fruits of trees. Also note that this is heavenly eating style of humanity. This part of human existence also requires removal of primitivity and de–mythification.
Returning to the issue of sexuality, we can draw attention to the connection between the path to holiness and the treatment of the entire sphere of the sacred, which is the field of gender, gender culture and the proper or improper use of biological forces and reproductive potential. It is commonly or increasingly commonly believed that this area should be left to one’s own conscience and that one should always follow the voice of conscience in all decisions related to sexuality. Opponents, on the other hand, try to impose views and requirements specific to their religiosity, especially social principles and rules. The problem, according to tantric teachings of yoga lies also in the purity of conscience. The yogi will say that if the conscience is purified and sublimated, we can be guided by the voice of conscience, but if the conscience is contaminated, unfortunately its whispers do not lead us in the best direction.
Tantra accepts man as he is, at the point where he is, with all his habits and needs, but also helps in sublimation and removal of primitivity in all his spheres, of which the womb and scepter are fundamental. From the point of view of the path of spiritual, internal development, we have many aspects of the topic that need to be considered deeply, studied, understood and practiced. The main tantric principle is to improve the tenderness and gentleness of mutual contact, with particular emphasis on sexual intercourse. Therefore, the tendency to use rape and violence in mutual relations should be eliminated first of all. At this point when it comes to removal of primitivity in interpersonal relationships, including sexual ones, we have a lot to do, and even criminal law agrees with this.
Developing tenderness and delicacy in touch, gestures, facial expressions, as well as in words and mutual attitudes and behaviours, is the entire sphere of work on one’s self, of course, from the point of view of tantra. Unfortunately, when a child is beaten, spanked, and then his mother assures him that she loves it very much, it subconsciously associates the act of beating as an expression of motherly love and tenderness. And woe if it stays like this forever, because when it is not beaten, it does not feel loved, and when it in turn is beating someone, it feels like it is showing love. After all, it does what its parents taught it to do. The ban on beating children for any „educational” purposes is one of the healthiest social medicines that can be applied to the young generation.
By hitting children, we damage their sacral plexus, especially by hitting the so–called back part of the body, where the back loses its noble name. In this way, through educational beatings we degenerate the young person’s sacral sphere, inducing basic sexual fears. A pattern appears in subconscious thinking that says: love is pain and suffering. From this arise later victims of love (read: flagellation), who constitute the majority of patients with sexual disorders, victims and criminals. What’s worse, we also damage the sacred sphere through beating. The sexual centre is also responsible for the tendency to worship and spirituality. Beating causes inhibition of spiritual development, and the cult turns towards violence and terror based on fear of violence.
The psychological feature that is probably the most worthy of sublimation and removal of primitivity is jealousy, especially sexual and gender based jealousy. It has been well noted in our Western academic medicine that this type of jealousy is at the root of many serious mental illnesses. Forms of paranoia or schizophrenia very often have such a primary cause. The more morbid the jealousy, the bigger it grows as the weed between our feelings. If we are a field full of such weeds, it is quite bad, we need a special doctor, tantric teachings alone may not be able to cure it. However, the very will to purify oneself from jealousy (envy and malevolence) or possessiveness is a good prognosis for many serious mental illnesses to which it may lead.
Jealousy is the reason why marital fidelity is broken. Firstly, the envious person will tend to do what they are envious and suspicious of. Secondly, the suspicion of betrayal introduces and psychologically forces the other party onto the path of infidelity. And so it is jealousy which is the cause of the broken lives of families, not betrayal, because the latter is only an external result of often hidden and well–masked jealousy.
Possessiveness towards one’s children is another form of jealousy. Its results include addicted people who are mentally immature for life. Young people’s tendency to use addictive substances is, among other things, the result of parents’ possessive attitude towards their children. Jealousy and possessiveness are emotions that need to be sublimated and made non-primitive. It should be added here that the Polish legal system particularly allows parents to impose a jealous–slavish model on their children. We forget the truth taught by the old Sages, that a child is given to parents only as a deposit for a dozen or so years, and their only duty is to help another person become completely adult and independent so that he or she can walk with dignity in life.
Jealousy (possessiveness, suspicion) is the second energy that pollutes the sacrum centre of our being, the centre that is the source of all the creative potential of our lives. Uprooting the weed (tares) of jealousy from the field of our feelings is one of the basic works on the path to remove primitivity in human existence. The principle of the Golden Age of Truth (Satya Yuga) says that if you acquire something, think of someone who does not have it and wish with all your heart that they also have it. We can use this simple exercise to develop a healthy attitude, free from any jealousy. An additional advantage in eradicating the tares of jealousy is the fact that it damages both the physical organ of the heart and the liver. The health of the heart depends on how thoroughly we deal with the energy of jealousy and envy.
Jealousy in the field of sexual intercourse is a stain not only within the Semitic–Christian culture, but also even in such pure forms of religion as the Ramaic or Zoroastrian cult. Rama himself and his wife Sita had many misunderstandings and problems in their relationship precisely because of jealousy and suspicion in the sexual sphere. Tantra, therefore, by showing these events in the history of the Ramayana, also teaches us what complications can arise in the history of righteous and otherwise noble people, precisely because of mutual possessiveness and suspicion on the part of the environment, in this case the subjects of King Rama. Tantra leads the way to mutual trust without a trace of suspicion. Only then can we be sure of our innocence towards the events. Sita is an example of trust without a hint of jealousy or suspicion, and Rama is an example of the Sage who was possessed by the tares of jealousy and led astray.
Developing delicacy and tenderness in intimate and interpersonal contacts in general is contrary to the so–called military and martial upbringing in which the cultures of the Mediterranean basin excel. A man brought up to be tender will not have a tendency to fight and use swordsmanship, and will view killing with disgust. Tenderness, the divine sensitivity of the depths of the human being does not allow the killing of fellow human beings. Therefore, the tantric adepts have always opposed the tendency towards war, military robbery and any resorting to violence. If tenderness is discriminated against in our conscience, if it has no proper place and enough space to express itself, then we become neurotics, then the personality becomes sick and neurotic. Therefore, Tantra teaches tenderness in relations between parents, so that children have a proper example as an upbringing, because only example brings up proper education.
Sensitivity in the sphere of language and speech is primarily the sacralization of the often vulgarized and primitive language regarding sexual functions and sex organs. If a person knew what great harm he does to himself in the mental and spiritual sphere by using vulgar terms and names for the field of sexuality, he would probably never use any of these terms, even in his thoughts. The fastest spiritual degradation comes through the use of vulgar language in relation to what has been made holy and pure by God. A subtle, poetic and tender–sounding language of expressions for everything that is intimate must become a permanent part of our consciousness. More sensitive souls are rightly outraged and even want a system of penalties for vulgar descriptions of sexual organs and activities.
Hell or heaven
Using the traditional Sanskrit terms for sexual organs, yoni and lingam, we introduce in the tantras the sacred and mysterious connotation of the extensive influence of the system of subtle energy centres on human life. The colloquial term for male genitalia in Sanskrit, naranga, reminds us that it is an quality or attribute of both humanity and the highest spirit, the Holy Spirit. Narah is both a man, a male, and the personality of the Supreme Spirit. Narah is also a term for a sage in the system of primitive cultures. Eroticism and wisdom are deeply intertwined in this. Hence, probably, the wealth of completely intelligent primitive cultures, where the art of erotic intercourse was not a taboo, and the cult of fertility was rather a form of its sacralization.
The hells that exist separate from the divine and angelic also derive their name from the word narah. In Sanskrit terms, hell is naraka – literally ‘the spirit of man in the flames of desire’. A deeper analysis of these tantric terms shows us clearly that an incorrect approach to one’s sexuality leads a human being either to divinity or to hell. The term naranga (penis) literally means that which serves to humanize and spiritualize what is gross and material. This is how, according to the tantric ideal, one should use one’s own intimate organs and the biological power hidden in them. The original path or vehicle of humanization and spiritualization is traditionally called Narayana Tantra.
Tantra uses phrases like Om Narah in the service of developing fullness of humanity. The appropriate phrase for the feminine gender is Om Narm. Fullness of masculinity and fullness of femininity, respectively for each gender, is the first step towards divinity. Before we become deities in the likeness of angels (devas), we must first become fully human beings, without the rude and demonic contaminations that are characterized by brutality and vulgarity.
Tantric spiritual development is, first of all, contemplations that allow us to thoroughly identify our own gender, to identify ourselves as the embodiment of the pole of masculinity, if we have male sexual organs, or the pole of femininity, if by birth, for anatomical reasons, we are in a female body. We must never make the mistake of rejecting our own biological gender, as this leads to the falsification of our own nature of humanity and divinity. By feeling our own sexual organs we merge in tantric contemplation with the essence of our masculinity if we have male biological features or with the essence of our femininity if we have female biological features.
The term yoni means the essence of femininity in its deep, archetypical meaning, and lingam correspondingly means the essence of masculinity. Yoni is often understood as a 'source’ in the sense of the source from which life is born, from which form and shape emerge. The function of the feminine energy is to give form and shape. Lingam is the potential of creation itself, the initial beginning contained in the idea of form or shape. In the sense, as the essence of masculinity is called creating, the pole of femininity is the shaping energy in this process. Full harmony and acceptance within one’s own sexual energy is necessary for the proper process of spiritual development. Any condemnation of our own gender or sexuality may prevent us from proper spiritual development. There is a well–known tendency towards violence, fanaticism and brutality among people who strive for asceticism or rather sexual deprivation in their everyday life. This can be traced, for example, to monastic orders of knight monks.
Śiva and Parvati teach the tantric path as everyday, gentle contact with each other in the spirit of tenderness and affection. Each pole has its own specific functions to perform in the cooperating wholeness called the relationship, although neither side is greater or lesser because of this. Both sexes have equal rights, although they differ in specific functions and features, with which they always try to serve and help each other as best they can. Mutual spiritual partnership means helping and serving each other. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate the tendency to dominate and direct the other person. A fully human relationship between two people requires cooperation and agreement. It will never be the case that one gender dominates the other. The essence of humanity in this dimension lies in balance and harmony, which means some work to eliminate the conflict between the sexes and replace it with harmony, agreement with each other and mutual acceptance. A particularly diabolical phenomenon that destroys the spiritual potential of man is ideological chauvinism proclaiming the superiority of one gender over the other. In every direction it is a demonic phenomenon destroying the power of our intimate sacrum. Hell on earth is created by the suffering that partners in relationships inflict by taking over the leading and dominant role over the other sex.
As we work on ourselves, we can deeply consider confirmation and strengthening our awareness of our own gender. The feeling of becoming the embodiment of femininity for women and the embodiment of masculinity for men is a very intimate and essential basis for all tantric practices. From the point of view of tantric teachings, any claims to change the gender to the opposite sex are a kind of severe mental illness developing on the basis of improper upbringing that damages gender identification in society.
Tantric teachings in a broader aspect are a kind of spiritual social science preparing for a fully human life in society, starting from the simplest social bond, which in every community is the intimate sexual union of two poles of human existence in love with each other: female and male. Deeper teachings mention the search for the so–called twin flame, which can be said to be a being created together with us. It can also be said that in this case it is arranging such a state of consciousness in which harmony, consent and mutual support will be entirely complete. However, we will leave our considerations on the deepest spiritual ideal of the tantric vehicle in order to be able to calmly implement first the less sublime, but basic and necessary steps in the process of raising the awareness of mutual contact to increasingly subtle levels, towards the heavens of enlightened beings. Hum!
Many Blessings on your Path to Awakening and Realization!
Om Namaśśivaya! Hum!
Acharyacharya Swami Lalita–Mohan G.K.