The “superior and inferior” gates of the body have already been mentioned in the article “The Temple of the Body”.
Briefly, the superior gates are all the orifices placed in the area of the head: mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and the opening on top of the head visible for a short time when you are a baby. The inferior gates are the anus and the genitals.
All these are ways through which the force of life is channeled either to come out or to get inside the body. From this point of view the superior gates are more efficient because they lead to high spiritual states.
Tantra says that the inferior gates lead the consciousness to inferior forms of existence, even sub – human ones.
The force of life is divided into two main energetic fields: one ascendant, called prana and one descendent, called apana. Usually prana appears in the region of the heart and acts as an intelligent ‘string’ of energy, whose role is to maintain life.
Apana appears generally in the inferior region between the stomach and the anus. There are three other types of energy, which are placed in the area of the navel, neck and around the entire body; these types of energy are named samana, udana and vyana.
Thus, there are five energetic strings of energy:
Prana – ascendant motion, located around the heart;
Apana – descendent motion, located around the anus;
Samana – around the bellybutton;
Udana – around the neck;
Vyana – throughout the entire body;
Each of these five currents of energy has a well-determined function in the body, having a role in our general state of health.
Goraksha Shatakam presents the following allegorical description of Jiva‘s motion through the body:
“Just like a ball, that comes back into the air when it’s smashed against the ground, jiva (the individual soul) does the same thing when led up and down by prana and apana.”
When you get control over the motion of the individual soul (jiva) and can focus it in a single place, only then will you be able to conduct your life exactly the way you want to. Tantra says that a person can change his/her own destiny and not accept it fatalistically.
The Tantras (secret Tantric texts) say that these energetic strings, both ascendant and descendent, can be controlled and unified through different physical techniques or through the force of the mind and by practicing certain Hatha Yoga positions, such as reversed postures (sirshasana and sarvangasana).
Gheranda Samhita presents a description of the way reversed positions help to control the flow of energy, in its different forms:
“Normally the Solar force resides at the level of the navel, while the lunar force resides in the head. The Sun consumes the divine nectar springing from the moon, and this is the cause of death.
However, one may overcome death by practicing sirshasana in the following way: place your head on the ground and support it with your hands; raise your legs in the air, and remain like this.
The flow of energy reverses, and thus you will be able to control the energies of life and to prevent premature aging and death.”
The contraction of the anal sphincters and the abdominal contractions help the transmutation of the descendent flow of energy. You can get the same result with the mind by focusing and visualizing on redirecting the energy upwards. When apana unites with prana the spirit centers in the heart.
During intercourse, subtle energies strongly vibrate, elevate and expand. In the moment of ejaculation, an electric charge, like a thrill or a vibration that almost stops you from breathing is acutely perceived.
The heart beats faster, the face becomes flushed, energy flows in waves through the orifices of the body and the mystical moment, the one of “spirits coming together”, is wasted in ejaculation.
The ecstatic, vibrating sentiment gets lost and the body becomes cold and empty. Unpleasant thoughts start to pop up in the mind and an involuntary contraction may go through the body.
“The apparent death” is one of the most frequent themes in both Eastern and Western erotic treaties. Though this experience seems very attractive because of the fact that it leads to forgiveness, Tantra shows us that the “apparent death” or “the little death” is a negative form of mysticism, connected to the loss of communion with the universal source.
Traditional texts show us that before erotic experiences end the body’s orifices will block the energies from flowing between the two lovers, because the couple often wastes its own ecstatic potential energy due to the fact that the union of their consciousness is too short in the case of intercourse without sexual continence .