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Although the methods employed by Tantric practice, the so-called Left
Hand Path of Yoga, differ greatly from most "traditional" Hindu/Vedic
methods, their purpose is identical.

Yoga means "yoke," implying not an onerous yoke forced on a work animal,
but a yoke of union; a joyous yoke of the Atman, or individual Self with
the Brahman--Universal Self. Although Hindu religion invokes all kinds
of gods, demi-gods, semi-gods, etc., it's basically a *monotheistic* rel
igion in the same sense that Christianity is--Brahman is called the One,
the Unknowable. All other gods and goddesses are simply manifestations
of It. Yes, "It," because Brahman is conceived of as neuter or
androgynous. That is why the main Hindu Trinity of Brahma/Visnu/Siva are
referred to as "aspects;" Creator, Preserver, Destroyer/Transcender.

The purpose of all Tantric ritual goes far beyond simple sex magick or
better orgasms--although, recognizing the pleasures of the flesh and the
potency of the act of love, these are certainly part of Tantra--but the
true goal is the same as that of a celibate Brahmin or ascetic swami:
union, merger, oneness.

 People were created by Brahma/Saraswati with dualistic natures;
thinking in terms of things, feelings, and forces only as they relate to
one another: male/female, joy/sorrow, light/dark. This causes much
grief, for humans often feel caught in a world and circumstances they
have no control over. Many Yogis and swamis have solved this problem by
withdrawing from 'the material world' physically, isolating themselves,
practicing severe physical hardships to 'kill' their physical desires.
The Tantras and their teachers recognize this world, as a realm itself,
and as a gateway to other realms. They also acknowledge human nature,
fleshly pleasures, and human emotions as valid. The Tantras and their
teachers do not say: withdraw from the world. The flesh is evil. All is
Maya. Rather, they tell the practitioner to seek with a sincere and pure
heart for Li beration, enjoy the pleasures of the world you live in,
always keeping the spiritual intent alive, and you will come to live in
the bliss of Pure Being.  "I and my father are one."  "Thou art That."

Physical instincts, natural urges and actual needs, were installed in
human beings by Brahma when he created them. Therefore, they cannot be
thought of as 'evil' or something to get rid of. If you don't eat, you
will die. So, rather than seeking to control your physical body through
severe fasting and starvation, the Tantras te ach that one must nourish
the body, and *more importantly but less understood* that the act of
eating can become sacramental in and of itself. Similarly, the
repression of sexual desires may lead to eruption of the sexual energy
in other ways. Although the Tantras do not condemn those who practice
celibacy as a way of channelling the energy, they *do* say that the
energy can be channelled during lovemaking as well. It is the intent
that elevates the merely physi cal to the sublime.

Behind these thoughts is basic common sense: if you don't eat, you will
die. If no one has sex, the entire human race will die. Rather than
attempting to 'master the flesh' by punishing it or ignoring it, master
it by using it as it was given to you, freely and naturally; master if
by using it as a vehicle to spirituality. Without the "body" where would
the "mind" be? How could anyone even think about merging with god if he
had no body, no mind? The body is a temple, to the deity within. It can
be used for worship. Do *not* despise the flesh or wish it gone.
Believers in reincarnation as it applies to the law of karma may be said
to be 'evil' even as they call the left-hand path evil and dark: for
encouraging all to be celibate as they burn up their own karmas, they
per se urge all to stop populating the earth, to refuse the non-realized
soul another vehicle in which to work out his/her karma. What could be
more selfish? "I got mine, so you abstain from anything fun and
meanwhile, who cares if you work out your karma or not?"  There is but a
fine line between pleasure and Bliss, and Tantra recognizes both as
valid. Partake of pleasure, realize Bliss.

The denigration of women by certain Hindu treatises is hypocritical and
could also be called 'evil.' Only women are able to give birth. What
could be more sacred than the act of creation? Thus, woman *is* Brahma.
When she preserves the child, or the lover, or her place in the world,
she *is* Visnu. And when she transcends mere being and knows the purity
and grace of Being, she *is* Lord Siva. Sakthi and Kundalini are both
thought of as feminine. As is water, without which all would very soon
die. Honor each woman as divine Sakthi, and recognize the feminine
contained within every male as well: the kundalini, the sakthi, the
creative power without which none could continue.

It is often said "Within each yoni is a lingam." Physically, this refers
to the clitoris; meta-physically, to the masculine powers within each
woman. Truly we all have Siva/Sakthi within our bodily temples.
Recognize, u nite, be free from the pain of confusion!


At one time, the Tantras and their followers were not secretive; they
practiced and espoused their beliefs openly and honorably. Some
misunderstanding was bound to occur at the outset, simply because the
average Hindu had been taught to suppress the very things that the
Tantras recommended as ways to liberation. So, with hypocritical
contempt and attitude of superiority, Yogis sneered, calling Tantrists
fools, bound for hell, revelers, misguided, etc. This attitude,
unfortunately, exists in the modern western world, with Fundamentalist
Christians, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, all sniping at each other
and other sects. In Northern Ireland and the Middle East, religious
contempt expresses itself through violence and death. Where is the Kalki
Avatara, the Rider of the White Horse, who will destroy bigotry and
evil, and transcend, opening the three realms?  AUM KANG KALIKA NAMAH

 While at first this religious or cultural bigotry took the form of
simply looking down upon Tantrists, traditional gurus teaching their
students to 'stay away lest you be tempted' and name-calling; with the
Moslem invasion Tantrists were truly driven underground. These invaders
were horrified, not so much by the sexual rituals, but by the elevation
of the female principle. Temples dedicated to goddesses were destroyed;
beautifully-crafted statues of Kali, Uma, Parvati, etc., were
desecrated. Tantrists bec ame more secretive and practiced
'underground.' And the British occupation brought with it more secrecy
still: some practitioners allowed the invaders to read the sacred texts,
and even to observe or hear about Tantric Sexual Union. Filled with
horror and outrage, again, Temples were destroyed, Dancing Yoginis
executed, Tantric Ashrams burned, and many jailed. No one knows how many
original sacred texts were destroyed due to misunderstanding or
ignorance or racial/religious prejudice. Is it any wonder so few really
know Tantra today?

Thinking of th is makes me contemplative and sad. AUM MANI PADME HUM. At
this point in history, the knowledge is there and again may be had by
any sincere man or women. NAMA SIVAYA!

To be fair, many Tantric texts were written rather allegorically or with
symbolic language, Twilight Talk, so that the inner meanings behind the
literal meanings were unable to be grasped by the ignorant. This was
done purposely, so that any who studied the Tantras alone would either
realize all three meanings of every text: the literal, the allegorical,
and the mystical; or shake his/her head in confusion and say 'Get outa
here, Jack.' Or words to the effect. The original writers--or
transcribers, for those who believe that the words came directly from
Siva/Sakthi--likely did not realize that their teachings could be
corrupted and suppressed by this. I believe their intent was simply to
separate the sincere from the curious. But they may in fact have
realized the potential for persecut ion, much as Christ's apostles were
said to have done, and gone ahead anyway, either with the idea that it
didn't matter who called them evil, they would seek Liberation anyway,
or even that this would be the ultimate test of sincerity: anyone
looking for a simple excuse to eat meat, drink wine, and get laid is
*not* likely to risk imprisonment or death for the sake of a good time!

The key to bhoga (pleasure) co-existing with or leading to Ananda
(supreme Bliss) lies in the attitude of the practitioner. Proper
attitude, or Will, can transform the mundane to the hi ghly spiritual.
Tantra is non-sectarian; recognizing and allowing any follower of any
path or religious access to its *secrets* so long as that follower is
sincere. In the words of the Tantratattva: "Spiritual Self-culture
*must* begin from the beginning! External worship leads to internal
worship. Internal worship purifies the mind. Purity of mind intensifies
concentration and meditation. When meditation is ripe Samadhi ensues,
and the Sadhaka (*practi tioner, aspirant*) attains a last the highest

The potential for growth is even recognized in those who would exploit
the Tantric teachings as license for any and all acts of pleasure in and
of themselves or those who use it merely as a form of sexual magick. The
Tantratattva goes on to say: "From hankering after sensual pleasure or
power in the form of money, fame, popularity, orgiastic sex, one
gradually lifts his eyes upward and wonders about the pleasure and power
of the unseen world. He longs for it, seeks after its acquisition. And
when he obtains but the smallest morsel of it, he at once realizes the
transity of worldly desires. He forthwith parts with them as a serpent
sheds its dead skin."

 If a Tantric practitioner decides to voluntarily become celibate, to
concentrate on what he has learned through Sexual Union, this is honest
renunciation. Krsna, in the Bhagavad Gita, says: "The abstinent run away
from what they desire, but carry their desires with them. When a man
enters reality, he leaves his desires behind him."

 I want to emphasize that no distinction is made between the *white*
Tantric practitioner and the *red* Tantric--white being a solo
practitioner, and red being those who engage in sexual practices with a
partner or partners; as certain other spiritual paths do. White Tantrics
may practice *astral sex* or masturbation as a way to achieve Liberation
and Unification through his/her own body; rather than in conjunction
with a partner. Even should a Tantric practitioner decide to become
celibate, he is *not* co nsidered in any way superior to those who
continue the process of spiritual evolution through Tantric Sexual
Union. It is all a matter of the Will of the individual Self; and as
long as the Will pursues evolution, evolution will be granted.

Ideally, each of us would learn the Sacred languages of the Sacred texts
and translate for ourselves; however, that's not realistic for most
people. It would, however, serve to reveal the meanings of such
often-misquoted passages as "Having drunk, drink and drink again; having
fallen, rise again and attain liberation." Translated by Englishman W.A.
Ward in 1822, he fusses and fumes that Tantric thought teaches that
drunkenness leads to liberation," when in fact the passage *clearly*
describes this as an allegory for the 'drinking' of the drops of wisdom
and the awakening of the Kundalini.

Ward and his contemporary, H.H. Wilson, condemn the Tantric texts,
'translating' the Panchatattva in the early 1800's full of ellipses,
references to 'abominations' and 'orgiastic rites too terrible for
civilized m en to hear.' Having been entrusted with the texts by a
Tantric Master, and having heard the spiritual explanations behind the
literal practices described, these men nevertheless chose to focus on
the sensation, at times even outright lies. The reasons for this could
be two: (1) as any modern tabloid writer knows, sensationalism sells;
and (2) the earliest English translations were compiled by puritanical
men who believed themselves superior to women, non-Christians, and
people who were not sufficiently white-skinned. These prudes held that
the very lowest of their own cultural and religious practices were
infinitely higher than the wisdom developed over centuries by Indian

To be fair, in 1912, Sir John Woodroffe began to translate and publish
English-language version of the Tantric Texts, taking trouble to explain
fairly the meanings behind the acts. (Sir John, BTW, was held in high
regard, and permitted to view Dancing Yoginis and Temple Dancers in
private ceremonies; he found himself quite im pressed, stating that the
dances were erotically arousing yet left him with a strange feeling of
peace and spirituality...!) He was able to recognize, as his
predecessors did not, the compassion and egalitarianism of the Tantras:
they were open to people of all castes, at a time when the caste system
had been in place for thousands of years in India, they taught that all
men and all women had equal capacities for enlightenment within
themselves, and that the Tan tras were guides for spiritual training,
and *a* path to liberation, not in any way inferior to any other
Self-Willed path choice.

Siva Bless him! and thank Kali that the physical realm has now at least
reached a point of evolution when men and women of understanding may
once again perceive the truth of the Tantras, follow the path, and
attain enlightenment.


D. Yogini Padma Ushas Suryananda, other texts as cited.


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