2002-08-02 15:12:18 -- http://www.tantramag.com/tantra/poza20-3.jpg
Tantra has been the target of a lot of misconceptions in the last century. Imported from India into the western world, it was quite difficult to be presented in its true spirit because of the cultural differences and also because of its somehow confusing exterior aspects. Many believe that Tantra has to do with group sex and magic; to many Tantra represents just another weird sexual practice and nothing more.
In fact they couldn't be further from the truth and they have no idea what they are missing. It is true that some Tantric practices involve sex but sex is not an object of Tantra and not its finality. In fact in Tantra, love is much more important than sex and sex without love has nothing to do with its ways.
An ancient Tantric maxim says that "What made many others to fall because of their lack of self control, in turn makes the Tantric advance on his spiritual path. What is for some people a vice, the Tantric can turn into a virtue". Sex was banished by many religions because they considered it is impure and incompatible with the pursuit of spiritual life. On the other hand, Tantra takes a different, more nuanced position here : it says that uncontrolled sex is a cause of decay BUT the use of sexuality in a controlled manner, in accord with the golden rule of SEXUAL CONTINENCE is a cause for great spiritual progress.
Yes, not any kind of sexuality is damaging for the spiritual evolution, only sex followed by ejaculation and respectively explosive discharge in the case of the women. This is a radical attitude because it turns sex form an enemy of spiritual life into a friend. Instead of running from it, Tantra embraces it.
As you know, by seeing sex as impure many religions created a state of unnecessary tension. Sex is a natural instinct, it is a basic need of any human being; the role of sexual continence and Tantra is to remedy this situation by showing how both sexuality and spirituality can coexist and enhance one another.
In Tantra the sexual potential (i.e. sperm and sexual secretions) are considered the source of a vast energy. This energy is clearly perceived by anyone when he/she is sexually aroused, this is the sensation of sexual pleasure. The transformation of this sexual potential in energy is called transmutation.
When transmutation of sexual fluids takes place, the matter is converted into energy. We all know that basically all matter is energy (Einstein said that E=mc^2, remember ?). A huge amount of energy is compressed in each atom, each electron and photon - but Tantra says that humans can tap into this extraordinary source at will if they follow a correct and constant practice.
The practice of sexual continence is not that easy but we all know that no valuable achievement in life is easy to come by. Tantra is a pleasure but still, you have to work for it and this is a demanding undertaking. The end results are beyond any imagination.
Imagine a nuclear plant. In the reactors, the matter is converted into energy, then transformers are used to convert this energy and wires are used to transport it to anywhere you need to use it. The same process, analogically, happens in the human body. The SEXUAL FLUIDS are the source, the so called NADIS are the path of energy through the subtle body, and the destinations are the seven plans of the human being : vital, sexual, will-related, emotional, creative, mental and spiritual, as described by the yoga system.
When you practice SEXUAL CONTINENCE consequently for at least a month you will start perceiving great positive effects in your body. The health is improved and your vitality is at its peak. You are full of a radiant force and have a very good disposition. All your complexes and fears related to sexuality are banished and you feel completely free. When having sex, you can make it last many hours on end without ever being exhausted. After making love you won't feel tired and drained of energy any more but you will experience exactly the opposite - a great force. After having sex you will not be less affectionate to your lover but you will feel a deep state of love that deepens with each Tantric sexual encounter.
Practicing sexual continence you will make very happy your loved one, even if she does not practice sexual continence herself (and this is true for both sexes). You will quickly find again your lost happiness that you had in the beginning of your relation and any feelings of boredom and lost of interest will disappear.
But the biggest advantage of sexual continence is the use of sexual energy as a power that will amplify your feelings of love, your mental power, your will, and ultimately, your spiritual force. This is why Tantra uses sexual energy instead of letting it be wasted, turning an obstacle into a great help.
Everybody wants to be happy - this is the ultimate wish of any human being, but the problems appear when people try to define happiness. What is happiness for some is indifference or even suffering for others. Even if all seems relative, the spiritual paths found out that some types of happiness are more enduring and profound that others. With regard to sexuality, Tantra found that sexual continence is the way to achieve the deepest most enduring happiness in couple.
The relation between Tantra and sex is not one of sweet comfortable abandon but one of hard work and the end result is worth every effort.