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The tantras are the teachings and writings that set out the practices of Vajrayana Buddhism, the stream of Buddhism prevalent in Tibet. The tantric teachings are based on the principle of the transformation of impure vision into pure vision, through working with the body, energy, and mind. Tantric texts usually describe the mandala and meditation practices associated with a particular enlightened being or deity. Although they are called tantras, the Dzogchen tantras are a specific category of the Dzogchen teachings, which are not based on transformation but on self-liberation. [1] According to some sources, the word Tantra is made up by the joining of two Sanskrit words: tanoti (expansion) and rayati (liberation). In this sense, Tantra means the liberation of energy and expansion of consciousness beyond its gross form. In other words, Tantra is a method to expand the mind and liberate the dormant potential energy, and its principles form the basis of all authentic yogic practices.
Tantra is also not a religion. It is a non-denominational spiritual system that can be practiced by anyone, given the right attitude and dedication.

The tantric writings, teachings, and practices are purposely obscure so that only initiates – those who had demonstrated that they reached certain levels of spiritual achievement – could understand them. Traditionally the true tantric teachings, at least those that were authentic, were closely guarded and only transmitted orally from master to disciple after long periods of preparation, practice, and purification. Luckily, these spiritual gems are more widely accessible to modern spiritual seekers then in ancient times.

Tanra & Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a part of the tantric tradition. Even though you may have already been introduced to yoga, it is necessary to know something about tantra also. Since ancient times, the wise men have realized that mind can be expanded and that experiences do not necessarily depend on an object. This means that if somebody is playing music, I can hear it, and if somebody has painted a picture, I can see it, but I can also see if there is no picture, and I can hear if there is no music. This is also a quality of man’s personality which has been ignored in the last 150 to 200 years. Tantra says that the range of mental experience can be broadened. With the help of the senses, your mind can have an experience based on an object. There can be an experience within the framework of time, space and object, but there can also be an experience beyond the framework of time, space and objects. The second form of experience can happen when the present mind expands beyond its given definitions and borders, and when this experience occurs, energy is released from yourself. For hundreds of years, people have been talking about an experience called nirvana, moksha, emancipation, self-realization, salvation or liberation, without understanding it properly. Yogis call this experience samadhi. Although many people think that in samadhi or nirvana, everything is completely finished, it is definitely not a process of quitting the world. Nothing finishes, only one level of experience ends, but then another begins. Since the dawn of creation, the tantrics and yogis have realized that in this physical body there is a potential force. It is not psychological, philosophical or transcendental; it is a dynamic potential force in the material body, and it is called kundalini. This kundalini is the greatest discovery of tantra and yoga. Scientists have begun to look into this, and a summary of some of the latest scientific experiments is included in this book. We can see from this research that science is not actually going to discover anything new in this field. It is only rediscovering and substantiating what yogis discovered many, many centuries ago [6].

When, through yoga and tantra, the awakening of kundalini takes place, a process of metamorphosis occurs in the realm of nature and in the realm of spirit. The elements of the physical body change and the elements of the mental body also.

Vama Marga and Kundalini Awakening

In the context of yoga and tantra the common definition of sexual life has no relevance. It is absolutely unscientific and incorrect. This definition has created a society and a nation of hypocrites. It has led thousands of young people into mental asylums. When you want something which you think is bad, all kinds of guilt complexes arise. This is the beginning of schizophrenia, and all of us are schizophrenic to some extent. Therefore, the yogis have tried to give a correct direction to the sexual urge. Yoga does not interfere with sexual life. Normal sexual life is neither spiritual nor a spiritual. But if you practice yoga and master certain techniques, then sexual life becomes spiritual. Of course, if you lead a celibate life, that is spiritual too.

The science of tantra has two main branches, which are known as vama marga and dakshina marga. Varna marga is the left path which combines sexual life with yoga practices in order to explode the dormant energy centers. Dakshina marga is the right path of yoga practices without sexual enactment. Previously, due to the barriers in sexual life, the path most widely followed was dakshina marga. Today, however, these barriers are rapidly being broken, and the path most sought after by the people everywhere is vama marga, which utilizes sexual life for spiritual development. According to tantra, sexual life has a threefold purpose. Some practice it for procreation, others for pleasure, but the tantric yogi practices it for samadhi. He does not hold any negative views about it. He does it as a part of his sadhana. But, at the same time, he realizes that for spiritual purposes, the experience must be maintained. Ordinarily, this experience is lost before one is able to deepen it. By mastering certain techniques, however, this experience can become continuous even throughout daily life. Then the silent centers of the brain are awakened and they start to function all the time.

The contention of vama marga is that the awakening of kundalini is possible through the sexual interaction between man and woman. The concept behind this follows the same lines as the process of fission and fusion described in modern physics [6].

Man and woman represent positive and negative energy. On a mental level they represent time and space. Ordinarily, these two forces stand at opposite poles. During sexual interaction, however, they move out of their position of polarity, towards the center. When they come together at the nucleus or central point, an explosion occurs and matter becomes manifest. This is the basic theme of tantric initiation. The natural event that takes place between man and woman is considered as the explosion of the energy center. In every speck of life, it is the union between the positive and negative poles that is responsible for creation. At the same time, union between the positive and negative poles is also responsible for enlightenment, and the experience which takes place at the time of union is a glimpse of the higher experience. This subject has been thoroughly discussed in all the old scriptures of tantra. Actually, more important than the energy waves that are created during the mutual union, is the process of directing that energy to the higher centers. Everybody knows how this energy is to be created, but nobody knows how to direct it to the higher centers. In fact, very few people have a full and positive understanding of this natural event which almost everybody in this world experiences. If the conjugal experience, which is generally very transitory, could be extended for a period of time, then the experience of enlightenment would take place. The elements that are brought together in this process of union are known as Shiva and Shakti. Shiva represents purusha or consciousness and Shakti represents prakriti or energy. Shakti, in different forms, is present in all creation. Both material and spiritual energy are known as Shakti. When the energy moves outwardly, it is material energy and when it is directed upwards it is spiritual energy. Therefore, when the union between man and woman is practised in the correct way, it has a very positive influence on the development of spiritual awareness [6].

Retaining the Bindu

Retaining the bindu Bindu means a point or a drop. In tantra, bindu is considered to be the nucleus, or the abode of matter, the point from which all creation becomes manifest. Actually, the source of bindu is in the higher centers of the brain. But due to the development of emotions and passions, bindu falls down to the lower region where it is transformed into sperm and ova. At the higher level, bindu is a point. At the lower level, it is drop of liquid, which drips from the male and female orgasm. According to tantra, preservation of the bindu is absolutely necessary for two reasons. Firstly, the process of regeneration can only be carried out with the help of bindu. Secondly, all the spiritual experiences take place when there is an explosion of bindu. This explosion can result in the creation of a thought or of anything. Therefore, in tantra, certain practices are recommended by which the male partner can stop ejaculation and retain the bindu. According to tantra, ejaculation should not take place. One should learn how to stop it. For this purpose, the male partner should perfect the practices of vajroli mudra as well as moola bandha and uddiyana bandha. When these three kriyas are perfected, one is able to stop ejaculation completely at any point of the experience. The sexual act culminates in a particular experience which is reached only at the point of explosion of energy. Unless the energy explodes, the experience cannot take place. But this experience has to be maintained, so that the energy level remains high. When the energy level falls ejaculation takes place. Therefore, ejaculation is avoided, not so much to preserve the semen, but because it causes a depression in the level of energy. To make this energy travel upwards through the spine, certain hatha yoga kriyas have to be mastered. The experience which is concomitant of energy has to be raised to the higher centers. It is only possible to do this if you are able to prolong and maintain that experience. As long as the experience continues, you can direct it to the higher centers. But as soon as the energy level undergoes depression, ejaculation will inevitably take place [6].

The sexual act does not have to create weakness or dissipate the energy, on the contrary, it can become a means of exploding the energy. Therefore, the value of retaining the bindu should not be underestimated. In hatha yoga there are certain practices which must be perfected for this purpose. You should begin with asanas such as paschimottanasana, shalabhasana, vajrasana, supta vajrasana and siddhasana. These are beneficial as they place an automatic contraction on the lower centers. Sirshasana is also important because it ventilates the brain so that all of one’s experiences will be healthy experiences. When these postures have been mastered, shambhavi mudra is perfected in order to hold the concentration steadily at bhrumadhya. Then vajroli mudra has to be practised together with moola bandha and uddiyana bandha in kumbhaka. Practice of kumbhaka is necessary while the ejaculation is being held. Retention of the breath and the bindu go hand in hand. Loss of kumbhaka is loss of bindu, and loss of bindu is loss of kumbhaka. During kumbhaka, when you are maintaining the experience, you should be able to direct it to the higher centers. If you are able to create an archetype of this experience, perhaps in the form of a serpent or a luminous continuity, then the result will be fantastic. So, in spiritual life, bindu must be preserved at all costs [6].

Commentaries on Tantra

Tantric sex or sexual yoga refers to a wide range of practices carried on in Hindu and Buddhist tantra to exercise sexuality in a ritualized or yogic context.

In the past Tantric sex may have been associated with antinomian or elements such as the consumption of alcohol, and the offerings of substances like meat to deities. Moreover, sexual fluids are viewed as “power substances” and may have been used ritualistically, either externally or internally. [2] While there may be some connection between these practices and the Kāmashāstra literature (which include the Kāmasūtra), the two practice traditions are separate methods with separate goals. As the British Indologist Geoffrey Samuel notes, while the kāmasāstra literature is about the pursuit of sexual pleasure (kāmā), sexual yoga practices are often aimed towards the quest for liberation (moksha). [3]

Osho’s commentaries on Tantric sex [4][5]:

“Hence, Tantra was created. Tantra is a scientific approach. Tantra is alchemy; it can transform your centers, it can transform the other’s centers, it can create a rhythm and harmony between you and your beloved. That is the beauty of Tantra. It is like bringing electricity into your house. Then you can turn it on and off whenever you want. And you can have a thousand and one uses of it; it can cool your room, it can heat your room. Then it is a miracle. These seven centers in you are nothing but centers of body electricity. So, when I am talking about lightning, don’t think of it only as a symbol – I mean it literally.

“In your body, there exists a subtle current of electricity, very subtle. But the subtler it is, the deeper it goes. It is not very visible. Scientists say that all the electricity that is in your body, if put together, can be used to light a five-candle bulb. It is not much. Quantitatively it is not much, quantitatively the atom is not much, but qualitatively… If it explodes, it has tremendous energy in it.

“These seven centers, these seven chakras Yoga and Tantra have talked about down the ages, are nothing but five knots in your body electric current. They can be changed; they can be rearranged. They can be given a new shape, form. Two lovers can be transformed so deeply that all their seven centers can start meeting.

“Tantra is the science of transforming ordinary lovers into soul mates. And that is the grandeur of Tantra. It can transform the whole earth; it can transform each couple into soul mates.””Tantra is the natural way to God, the normal way to God. The object is to become so completely instinctual, so mindless, that we merge with ultimate nature – that the woman disappears and becomes a door for the ultimate, the man disappears and becomes a door for the ultimate.

“This is the tantric definition of our sexuality: the return to absolute innocence, absolute oneness. The greatest sexual thrill of all is not a search for thrills, but a silent waiting – utterly relaxed, utterly mindless. One is conscious, conscious only of being conscious. One is consciousness. One is contented but there is no content to it. And then there is great beauty, great benediction.

“The questioner asks: ‘What is tantric sex…a sex which is a meditation based on certain techniques?’

“If you are too technique oriented you will miss the mystery of Tantra. It is pseudo-Tantra that is based on techniques because if techniques are there, ego will be there, controlling. Then you will be doing it – and doing is the problem, doing brings the doer. Tantra has to be a non-doing; it cannot be technical. You can learn techniques – you can learn a certain breathing so that coitus can become longer. If you breathe very, very slowly, if you breathe without any hurry, then coitus will become longer, but you are controlling. It will not be wild and it will not be innocent, and it will not be meditation either. It will be mind – how can it be meditation? The mind will be controlling. You cannot even breathe fast, you have to keep your breathing slow – if the breathing is slow then ejaculation will take a longer time, because for ejaculation to happen the breathing has to be fast and chaotic. Now, this is technique but not Tantra.

“Tantra 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.”Now, one thing to be remembered always: if you are not very alert you may go on believing that you are moving into tantra, and you may be simply rationalizing your sexuality – it may be nothing but sex, rationalized in the terminology of Tantra. If you move into sex with awareness, it can turn into tantra. If you move into tantra with unawareness, it can fall and become ordinary sex. It has happened in India – because only India has tried it.

“All Tantra schools in India, sooner or later, were reduced to sex orgies. It is very difficult to keep aware…it is almost impossible to keep aware. If from the very beginning the discipline has not gone very deep in you, there is every possibility that you will start deceiving yourself. Tantra schools arose in India with great energy, with great insight. And they had something – because that is the last center humanly available: the seventh is superhuman, the seventh is divine. The sixth is the spiritual center.

“From sex to tantra: a great revolution, a mutation, is possible in man. And in the East, people became aware that if you become meditative while making love, the quality of sex changes and something new enters into it – it becomes tantric, it becomes prayerful, it becomes meditative…it becomes samadhi.”


[1]. Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, revised and updated edition, Harper San Francisco, 2002, page 404.

[2]. Flood, Gavin D. (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0.

[3].Samuel, Geoffrey (2010). The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521695343.

[4]. Osho, This Very Body the Buddha, Vol. 1, Talk #8

[5]. Osho, The Divine Melody, Talk #6

[6]. The Serpent Power, Swami Satyananda Sarasvati

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