Tantra Magazine

MAITHUNA is the central axis around which most of the TANTRA YOGA metaphysics turns and it is a frequent topic in religious hindu sculpture and art.

Missionaries, people from the West and even hindu men influenced by the Westal culture regard these works of art to be pornographic and claim that sexual YOGA is a perverted and degraded form of Eastern spirituality.

But scholars with high qualifications (such as WOODROOFE, DASGUPTA, COOMARASWAMI, ELIADE and others) established the irrefutable truth that these images are not pornographic at all, but represent in a symbolical way a metaphysical doctrine and a sacred act.

MAITHUNA has therefore nothing in common with sexual orgies. It symbolises the eternal union of Spirit and Nature and epitomizes the fulfilment of the contemplative love or the spiritualized sexuality.

The dominant idea of the MAITHUNA rite and of its TAOIST equivalent is that sexual love can become a profound meditative worship in which the participants become living embodiments of the Divine.

MAITHUNA also implies a transmutation of the sexual energy that is generated, i.e. a trasnformation of its attributes.

It is well known that TANTRA YOGA uses a complex symbolism of the subtle human anatomy. The spinal column represents the axis of life, having its roots in the Underworld and its branches in Heaven.

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The base of the spinal tree is the site of The Serpent Power, the symbolic image of the divine power (vitality) manifested in Nature and sleeping under the spell of MAYA .

Sexual YOGA consist of the awakening of the Serpent and of its controlled ascent from the roots of the spinal tree to the branches. This process defines the spiritual enlightenment and the final liberation of the human Self.

When the Serpent stays at the base of the spinal tree, it manifests as sexual energy; when moving upward, it is called KUNDALINI ; when at the top of the tree, it manifests as spirit.

During the MAITHUNA rite, the Serpent is awakened and raised, being eventually directed toward the contemplation of the Divine embodied in woman and man.

The two lovers sit facing each other, the man in full lotus posture ( padmasana ), the woman sitting in his lap and wrapping her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck in a state of ecstatic surrender.

The Tibetan name of this position is YAB-YUM, which means “the Mother-Father”. This posture is obviously static: the couple remains motionless and prolongs the embrace so that the energetic exchange is passive and receptive rather than active and demanding.

Nothing special is done to arouse the sexual energy: it is permitted to follow its natural flow, without being seized and exploited by the will.

However, the mind and the senses are not permitted to jump randomly, but are consciously yet effortlessly directed toward experiencing “that which is” (the immediacy of the present experience).

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Both TANTRIC and TAOIST traditions emphasize the necessity for both lovers to control and refine the sexual energy ( orgasm without ejaculation) and to remain in an undemanding state of mind, not using the discriminating reason but relying on the combined forces of the body, the soul and the spirit as a whole.

For us the importance of these ideas reside less in technical details and more in their psychological value. These ideas represent a highly evolved attitude toward relationship, sexuality and life.

If these ideas would be assimilated by the modern civilisation and put to work, they would contribute unexpectedly to clarify our confusions related to marriage and sexuality.