Mastery of 5 M [ June 2005 ]


Arjuna Taradasa

The Mystery of the "five M".(extract from the article)

One of the most essential components of doctrine and practice of Kaula-tantrism is panchatattva or the mystery of the "five M" (panchamakara). In the context of sadhana (religious practice) panchatattva is the main ritual, the sacrifice of Kula and the mystical communion with the Goddess. Doctrinally it reveals itself as a gnosiological matrix upon which the Body of the Godhead, macro- and microcosm are classified.

According to the doctrine of Tantras, the method to reach full perfection is enjoyment of the world in love towards the Goddess. Yoni-tantra 6.25 says: "Happiness is achieved through enjoyment, through enjoyment liberation is achieved. Thus one has to devote himself completely to enjoyment". But alongside it is stressed that love is the most essential on this way. For instance, Meru-tantra 10.67 says: "Only that one whose love is strong succeeds on this way of the Left"; same is stated by Kularnava-tantra, Parananda-sutra and other Tantras.

Why enjoyment is so important? Because enjoyment is the means to reveal that spiritual bliss which is said to be the form of the Absolute manifested in body (Kularnava-tantra 5.80). And as Devi-rahasya puts it, "the Supreme Lady is satisfied through the worship of the taste of bliss" (Uttarakhanda 58.11).

However this path of enjoyment is opened not for everyone; Tantras underline that only "hero", vira, is capable of following it. Such vira possesses complete faith in himself and God, right knowledge and logic (saljnana and sattarka), devotion to Shakti (Goddess and beloved woman) and appropriate initiation into Kula lineage. Then there is only one prescription which he has to follow - svechchhachara, "following one's own [true] will" (Kali-tantra 8.19).

Thus Kaula-tantrism gives the same Law of Thelema as Liber AL does.

The doctrine of "five M" has to be set in this context. Panchamakara is the essence of kula-yoga. It is stated in Jnanarnava-tantra 22.68 that "the union of male and female is the true yoga". Through the union in love one enters the transcendent abode, paramapada. As Shiva says in Maheshvara-tantra, "being in love is [being] above the world".

Five essences of Kula, panchatattva, are five aspects of amorous union with Shakti. Mahanirvana-tantra 5.22 insists that panchatattva is necessary in the worship of Her. The "five M" are that much important so Kularatnavali states that without 5M the Goddess is never pleased.

Five kula-tattvas are signifying the totality of the Goddess' presence. It can be put that the tantric communion exists in five forms: wine, meat, fish, mudra and maithuna. In sanskrit all these words start from letter "m", thus the title panchamakara. Out of these five two last are left without translation; the reason is that their meanings are several. Mudra commonly stands for fried grain (which symbolise that seeds of karmas are burned in the fire of knowledge), but original sense must have been "sexual partner". This reading is supported not only by buddhist tradition but also by the tantric etymology of the term: "that which brings joy is called mudra". Final makara, maithuna, is a sexual communion and its result, emission of secretions.

From one side the ritual usage of 5M was the act of antinomianism, transgression of socio-religious law of Smriti. Like that Niruttara-tantra suggests to reject vedic prescriptions. However this is merely surface of this ritual; its essence is much deeper.

Symbolically five tattvas represent five aspects of the Goddess, five parts of Her Body. In their succession 5M constitute the method of tantric yoga. Wine(madya) symbolises the mystical intoxication of love-feeling, prema-rasa, which occurs as a result of awakening of the heart under the impact of divine grace (anugraha-shakti). Wine corresponds to Shakti, feminine side of the Divinity. Meat on the other side stands for Its masculine side, Shiva. It symbolises awareness, inner silence, contemplation(dhyana). Wine and meat are Shakti and Shiva (see Kularnava-tantra 5.78), they are Nuit and Hadit. The verse of Kularnava further reads: "The one who enjoys [their union] is himself Bhairava, and the bliss springing up from their union is Liberation". Bhairava or Hor of Liber AL is symbolised by a fish (matsya or mina), dragon or serpent. This dragon is arising, it is a personification of arohana-shakti, energy of uplifting. As Shiva-sutra says: "Bhairava is raising". This is also sankshobha, sexual arousing of the Goddess[see Niruttara-tantra 5.19). Then, the bliss of union is mudra, "that which brings joy". Mudra is Maat and Babalon, Scarlet Woman and the lower Shekhinah of Kabbalah.

The four elements described are corresponding to the four letters of the Holy Name of God, four sphiroth, four aeons of Liber AL and four directions. They are the four aspects of fifth tattva, which is above all. Maithuna represents the return to the primal Unity, which is the state of the Godhead. It is the perfect union of man and woman in love-taste, mahasukha of buddhist Tantras. While wine and meat correspond to the descent of Shakti, graceful power of the Divine, and fish and mudra - to the consequent accent of lower kundalini, maithuna is samarasya, "merging in one taste". It is in maithuna, sexual union with shakti, that the highest bliss, paramananda, is realised.

As Tantras say, "happiness that manifests in the union has the quality of bliss supreme"(samyoge jAyate saukhyaM paramAnandalakShaNam).

According to the teaching of Kula, the ritual of 5M ought to be performed only when one has an authority (adhikara) given by the Goddess and guru and when he has love towards his shakti, woman. Tantras underline that woman has to be viewed as an incarnation of the Goddess (for instance, see Mahakala-samhita Guhyakali-khanda 10.1663). Moreover, Annadakalpa-tantra 15.46 goes as far as to say that "one can reject his mother and father, one can reject Shiva and Vishnu, one can even reject the Goddess - but never his beloved woman".

"That Supreme Lady Shakti, who is glorified as [the Giver] of Liberation, She is manifested in the form of a woman" (Bhutashuddhi-tantra 7.17).

Len Rosenberg

How does this system work if the worshipper is female? Or gay?

Msbauju

There's a discussion on the SS Webpage about this:

"Q: How [is] a female aspirant [...] supposed to approach Tantric Shaktism when virtually all of the extant scriptures appear to have been written by and for male sadhaks?"

and

"Q: What are the relationship between Tantra and alternative (gay, lesbian) forms of sexuality?"

I couldn't extract a one-line summary for the first question, but here's a soundbite for the second:

"[Devi] selects the partners and you cannot protest. if you protest you are ineligile. [....] Your sexual preferences are irrelevant." I believe that I've read that the O.T.O./ceremonial magician take on Tantra includes homosexual sacramental sex. I'll try to dig up the reference later if I have time.

Mary Ann

What I glean from this is that, no matter how you or others define your sexuality, the spiritual nature of Tantric sexuality is available between certain people at certain times, regardless of such definitions. The only reason it would be necessary to include descriptions of homosexual acts is so that people have guidance and/or affirmation, not to speak to "the other half" externally, but to speak to each of us, wholly and fully.

It reminds me of a beautiful poem by Gurumayi which I paraphrase below, and will post in full later:

No matter how we judge the course of love
It is not judged by our judgments.
This is why the sages tell us become love.
It does no good to say
This is how love should be.
This is how love can be.
Become love as it is.

Msbauju

Hi Mary Ann,

If we were to substitute the phrase "sacred sexuality" or "sacramental sex" for the word "Tantric" in the paragraph below, does the altered paragraph still capture your meaning, or is your meaning firmly tied to the specific word "Tantric"?

Mary Ann

YEs, probably so. I think highly enough of the Hindu spiritual sciences/philosophies that I would apply it as the same thing. However, I I recognize Hindu purists may consider this to be an abomination and a lack of respect for their works; I think it's just carrying on the spirit of the work without dogmatic trappings, i.e. not mistaking the raft for the shore, or the journey, etc

Arjuna Taradasa

There is no shakta-sadhana for gays LOL.

For female it works with slight differences, but essentially same. For female it is more advaitic so to say.

devi_bhakta

"Shakti Puja is considered to be the life and soul of Sri Chakra Puja. The adepts can perform all parts of the puja to Shakti, a living person. Shakti could be any lovable person, male, female, or your own self." – Amritananda

Mary Ann

Why does anyone get the idea that there is no shakta sadhana for gays? Is there something scriptural, or something missing scripturally, that seems to indicate that?

devi_bhakta

I think Amritananda is saying just the opposite.

Mary Ann

I know that Amrita is saying that, and I appreciate that very much. But I have felt that actual texts (like hathayoga pradipika), and Hindu scriptures, do NOT include sexuality as wholistic within one person (a la Ardhanari), and are specific regarding heterosexual practices externally, either Tantric, or householders. So I am just asking - is this true, regarding strict scriptural (or other respected text) references?

devi_bhakta

As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue. As in the West, homosexuality -- while not necessarily condemned -- was not until recently considered an actual "lifestyle choice." It was certainly out there; people were aware of it; but in the main it was something that took place behind closed doors -- it was nobody's business but those involved. Marriages, then as largely now, were not intended as romantic matches, but as interfamilial and social contracts. If she happened to prefer ladies, or he happened to prefer gentlemen ... well, that was something they could discretely arrange on the side as they wished -- so long as they also fulfilled the dharma of upholding the contract. But no one was writing instruction books on the Tantric ritual implications of such arrangements.

The thing is, it doesn't even matter. Hindu scriptures have never been seen as carved-in-granite laws for the ages. Each generation elucidates them anew, building on past elucidations and adapted for the times. Historical longevity -- i.e., whatever was said first in time is more correct -- does not really apply here. Whether an interpretation was made a millennium ago, five centuries ago, 50 years ago, or last night doesn't really matter; only the authority that you place in the sage matters.

So the Tantras did not arise in a world where homosexuality was considered a legitimate "lifestyle choice" -- but Amritananda's elucidations were made in a world where such arrangements are increasingly commonplace. So, accordingly, he addressed it. If you accept his teachings, that is all that matters. If you do not, you can surely find other modern sages who will insist (as do the various traditionalists of other religions) that it's an abomination against nature. Whatever floats your boat. But that's the way it works.

Arjuna Taradasa

U know my love and respect to Amrita :), so i accept his view.

But traditionally still the situation is like what i told - there is no gay variant of shaktopasana. And I believe there are no descriptions of it in any Tantra.

Mary Ann wrote : Why does anyone get the idea that there is no shakta sadhana for gays? Is there something scriptural, or something missing scripturally, that seems to indicate that?

1. There is no reference in Tantras describing shakta sadhana for gays in any way.

2. There is a prohibition against making kula-chakra without at least one woman.

3. It is stated that sadhana without a woman is useless.

Of course we can interpret this and that and turn anything upside down. But that will be an invention - even if it really works. The only thing i want to say that there is no place for gay culture in traditional kaulism. It is not a question of inferiority of gays but ONLY of compatibility with particular tradition and method. Being gay doesn't make one incapable to become saint.

Gays i believe can go into aghora-shaivism or vaishnavism, there it is of no trouble :).

sankara menon

I think there is some confusion here. I did come accross some auto erotic methodology in some palm leaf once. I do not remember where.

The actual position, as I understand - and my understaning is not perfect or authoritative - is to reach the immediate pre ogasmic state and to hold the position there and then go into meditative practices. This can be achieved in hetro; gay or auto erotic states.

But then how many can reach that state and hold it there for any length of time? very very few. So I feel it is better to concentrate on other practices til you are ready. When you are ready the teacher and the methodology to practice in harmony with your particular persuation will appear. Have no doubt on that.

Please forgive if I am being foolish.

Mary Ann

Hi DB:

Not having human wholeness recognized externally matters in that it makes it that much more difficult for people -- esp. those who are not valued externally -- to recognize their self-worth, the value of their lives, and what they have to contribute to the world. The caste system, racism in the west, sexism, compulsory heteroxuality in all cultures' practices and religions, the imposition of the heterosexual lifestyle "choice" that marriage has been, whether more recently as a romanticized ideal, or in its longstanding tradition as a means of carrying on lineage or family property rights, these are externals imposed in ways that do not honor human wholeness.

I think when matters of the heart are only handled "discreetly behind closed doors" it says that the heart is something to hide, not to admit to, something shameful. Or, possibly, something one must "protect" by not allowing the world to see. Either way, the cycle of imposed false externals continues.

This is why the sages tell us:
Become love. ...
Become love as it is.
And then bring that love out into the world! (I added that part myself

Arjuna Taradasa wrote : [2]. There is a prohibition against making kula-chakra without at least one woman. [3] It is stated that sadhana without a woman is useless.

Well, there is always a woman there, if you recognize that male and female are one within each being, like the Ardhanari. So I think kochu and Amrita must be right about this

vikram vanam

I would fully accept what Sri Amritananda would saythe teachings in the past ie from scriptures may not have included the preference people would make in the future

About homosexuals , His holiness Dalai lama has said, that they might be identifying themselve with there previous birth where they might be of the opposite gender

If we carefully analyse what Sri amritananda's statement, The shakthi can be ourselve, can a estimate be made of how much we love ourselve than someother person have been the opposite gender.

devi_bhakta

Hi Mary Ann:

You wrote: *** Not having human wholeness recognized externally matters in that it makes it that much more difficult for people ... to recognize their self-worth, the value of their lives, and what they have to contribute to the world. ... [C]ompulsory heteroxuality [and other acts of societal discrimination] are externals, imposed in ways that do not honor human wholeness. ***

Precisely. Which is why, I think, Amritananda -- in the brief passage I quoted -- dismisses human gender and sexual-orientation issues outright: So that people don't get bogged down in parsing such "externals" at the expense of more spiritually productive endeavors.

*** I think when matters of the heart are only handled "discreetly behind closed doors" it says that the heart is something to hide, not to admit to, something shameful. Or, possibly, something one must "protect" by not allowing the world to see. Either way, the cycle of imposed false externals continues. ***

Right. And as societies evolve beyond these "false externals," so new elaborations and clarifications of the traditions are called for. A few advanced souls are already responding, as Amrita did in his statement, "Shakti could be any lovable person, male, female, or your own self." Or our own Kochu, in his statement, "This can be achieved in hetero, gay or auto-erotic states." Two simple sentences, both essentially saying "Stop wringing your hands over these externals, and get back to your sadhana!"

Satisharigela

According to the dharma shastra Homosexuality is considered patanIya i.e makes one fallen. That is the traditional Hindu position.

You may refer to related ancient literature on the same.

People like that might be there in ancient India but that behaviour was never accepted.

Mary Ann

Hi DB:
I interpreted Amritananda's words that you posted, and what Kochu posted, as inclusive, not dismissive. Have you been interpreting my posts on this topic as hand-wringing? I consider it as taking action, even in a small way of sharing words with others online.

I guess some who would be accused of "wringing their hands" over such issues would be people who have been hurt by such externals, including parents and friends and family members of gay teens who commit suicide or gay adults that live broken lives, or whose children/friends/family members are murdered or beaten, or die of AIDS, or gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender people who have suffered. Many such folks begin to take action in the world, to bring awareness and compassion, if they aren't stuck in believing their child/friend/family member/self to be damned by God.

Being compassionate to the suffering of others is sadhana, I feel, and my words were meant compassionately.

vikram_vanam wrote : I would fully accept what Sri Amritananda would saythe teachings in the past ie from scriptures may not have included the preference people would make in the future About homosexuals , His holiness Dalai lama has said, that they might be identifying themselve with there previous birth where they might be of the opposite gender If we carefully analyse what Sri amritananda's statement, The shakthi can be ourselve, can a estimate be made of how much we love ourselve than someother person have been the opposite gender

Well, I think the Dalai Lama's idea assumes that human attraction and sexuality is only about procreation. I think it's a lot broader than that, about creative energy, not just procreation, and that all love is valid, not only heterosexual love. I agree with Amritananda's statement, too.

suresh deepak

Anangananadanatha once said,it is only when people identify with the physical body there is male and female. Once you identify with yours soul there is no difference.In this context, gays too can practice kaula sadhana.

Rsast

"Sri Swami Sivananda on Tantra (and the 5M)

Max Dashu

Arjuna wrote : 1. There is no reference in Tantras describing shakta sadhana for gays in any way. 2. There is a prohibition against making kula-chakra without at least one woman. 3. It is stated that sadhana without a woman is useless.

That it is not described does not surprise, but the points below do not rule out lesbians. And let's not forget the lesbian sex scenes on the walls of some temples...

devi_bhakta

Mary Ann write: *** Have you been interpreting my posts on this topic as hand-wringing? ***

Not at all. Quite the contrary, in fact: The "hand-wringers" I refer to are those who get stuck in the easy trap of criticizing external human characteristics (invariably of others, not themselves), rather than doing the hard work of getting on with their own sadhana, and living their professed beliefs.

As soon as we begin condemning and excluding others rather than working on our own shortcomings, we have basically missed the whole point of spiritual endeavor. At the low end of this dark scale, we waste time calling others names and trying to elevate ourselves by denigrating others; at he extreme end, we lose our grip altogether -- blowing up abortion clinics and discotecques, crashing planes into buildings, and so on, all in the name of whatever limited notion of God that we cherish. It's patently absurd.

The ideal, of course, is to get rid of the idea of "others" altogether. To attain that completely is of course impossible, short of truly experiential enlightenment. But you've gotta start somewhere.

*** Being compassionate to the suffering of others is sadhana ***

The truest kind, I think. There can be no doubt of it.

Max Dashu

Devi bhakta wrote : [1] As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue.

Manusmrti is one that prohibits lesbian sex, prescribing cutting off fingers for second or third "offense."

[2]Hindu scriptures have never been seen as carved-in-granite laws for the ages.

I agree this is mostly true, tho many fundamentalists today would disagree.

devi_bhakta

I wrote: *** As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue [of how homosexual people should practice Shakti puja]. ****

You replied: *** Manusmrti is one that prohibits lesbian sex, prescribing cutting off fingers for second or third "offense." ***

Oh, I know that negative references to homosexuality exist in the impossibly vast Hindu canon (tho' I have share some of the growing doubts about the reliability and complete authenticity of Manusmrti). The apparent omission I spoke of specifically concerned ritual references in the various Tantras.

I wrote: *** Hindu scriptures have never been seen as carved-in- granite laws for the ages. ***

You replied: *** I agree this is mostly true, tho many fundamentalists today would disagree. ***

That's for sure. This gem just appeared in my mailbox a few hours ago:

Arjuna Taradasa

suresh deepak wrote: Anangananadanatha once said,it is only when people identify with the physical body there is male and female. Once you identify with yours soul there is no difference.In this context, gays too can practice kaula sadhana.

There is an opinion - and i take it to be right - that difference of sexes remains on level of soul. Logically it must be like that. Siva and Sakti are not bodily forms only - there is sexual polarity on every level up to Paramashiva.

Satisharigela

devi_bhakta wrote: The apparent omission I spoke of specifically concerned ritual references in the various Tantras.

See this : Arjuna wrote : 1. There is no reference in Tantras describing shakta sadhana for gays in any way. 2. There is a prohibition against making kula-chakra without at least one woman. 3. It is stated that sadhana without a woman is useless. Of course we can interpret this and that and turn anything upside down. But that will be an invention - even if it really works. The only thing i want to say that there is no place for gay culture in traditional kaulism. It is not a question of inferiority of gays but ONLY of compatibility with particular tradition and method. Being gay doesn't make one incapable to become saint. Gays i believe can go into aghora-shaivism or vaishnavism, there it is of no trouble.

On matters where Tantra does not say anything regarding a particular issue, it is generally understood that the word of the smriti-s is the one which determines what is acceptable and what is not.

A related example will be the statement of the Kularnava where it says that there should not be any varNa difference in the chakra but when the chakra ritual is complete the varNa differences exist as usual, i.e as in the smriti-s.

Of course people who grew up in a gay (accepting) atmosphere/ surroundings will find it hard to accept with their non-authoritative (pseudo?) liberal drivel.

Lars Hedström

devi bhakta wrote:

"*** Being compassionate to the suffering of others is sadhana ***

The truest kind, I think. There can be no doubt of it." One thing I have been thinking about is women, their empathy is more natural than men's, this ought to mean that they are much better yogis?

Msbauju

Lars Hedström wrote: [women's] empathy is more natural than men's, [....]

I know you mean well, Lars, and this is not a criticism of you.


But compassion is simply not gender-linked; both men and women have an equal capacity for compassion.

Mary Ann

Arjuna wrote : There is an opinion - and i take it to be right - that difference of sexes remains on level of soul. Logically it must be like that. Siva and Sakti are not bodily forms only - there is sexual polarity on every level up to Paramashiva.

Why would there be such a distinction on the soul level? Why would that be logical? What is the basis for the opinion, and who came up with it initially?

Len Rosenberg

Arjuna wrote : There is no shakta-sadhana for gays LOL.

As I have said in the past, I do not agree that the only or primary relationship between the mortal male devotee and the Devi is erotic. The Goddess is maternal, and the incest taboo is pretty universal. I see my relationship with my Ishta as that of shishya to his Guru, or little brother to elder sister.

Furthermore, don't let the apparent gender of Godhead keep you from loving Brahman. Straight women can fall in love with Shakti. Straight men can fall in love with Krishna. And I know gay men who have no attraction to women, who are totally besotted by Durga. For Godhead, gender is as fluid and arbitrary as skin color or body size.

If Godhead revealed itself to Arjuna T. as Lord Shiva, would A.T. pout and say, "No, I want a WOMAN! LOL" Maybe. His loss.

Satisharigela wrote : According to the dharma shastra Homosexuality is considered patanIya i.e makes one fallen. That is the traditional Hindu position. You may refer to related ancient literature on the same. People like that might be there in ancient India but that behaviour was never accepted.

Then why are there sculptures of same-sex couples (and groups!) making love on the outside of South Indian mandapanas? The Ancient Hindus were more accepting of sexual variety than today's Hindus, who have adopted Moslem and Christian views of sex.

Satisharigela

kalipadma108 wrote: Then why are there sculptures of same-sex couples (and groups!) making love on the outside of South Indian mandapanas? The Ancient Hindus were more accepting of sexual variety than today's Hindus, who have adopted Moslem and Christian views of sex.

If we observe the temple sculptures closely, we can also find depictions of humans mating with animals. Such behavior is apparently condemned in the smriti-s. Given that, having sculptures of same-sex couples on temple panels doesnt really say anything about their acceptance or non-acceptance.

As an aside, as far as my observation goes(it is possible that I might be mistaken here), such depictions usually find place only on the lower level(s) of the structure. As one's gaze progresses upwards, only carvings of devata-s and their various avatara-s can be seen.

Lars Hedström

satisharigela wrote:

"If we observe the temple sculptures closely, we can also find depictions of humans mating with animals. Such behavior is apparently condemned in the smriti-s. Given that, having sculptures of same-sex couples on temple panels doesnt really say anything about their acceptance or non-acceptance.


As an aside, as far as my observation goes(it is possible that I might be mistaken here), such depictions usually find place only on the lower level(s) of the structure. As one's gaze progresses upwards, only carvings of devata-s and their various avatara-s can be seen."

I asked about this on the list a couple of mounths ago but no one answered.

I think sculptures mating with animals symbolize sheer sexual desire without human moral or love etc This ought to be true if it is as you say, that such depictions usually find place only on the lower levels.

Arjuna Taradasa wrote: There is an opinion - and i take it to be right - that difference of sexes remains on level of soul. Logically it must be like that. Siva and Sakti are not bodily forms only - there is sexual polarity on every level up to Paramashiva.

I agree. My perception of the souls of the women is that these are different. A male soul + a female soul = wholeness.

But I accept homosexuality to 100%. We are all different. I think that two male homosexuals can perceive a mixture of female and male ingredients in their spiritual unity.

Arjuna Taradasa

Mary Ann, I do not try to convince you, please note this. You as anyone else are totally free to hold any opinion and do what they will.

However there are certain objective laws independent of point of view. To that I address currently.

If we take as truth that there is Siva and Sakti in yamala on *spiritual level* and we clearly see they exist on physical, there are all grounds to admit that they exist on intermediate levels as well. Otherwise it is illogical. Why does sex exist on body level? U may say to procreate - but procreation could exist without sexual polarity. If there is polarity in Godhead, NECESSARILY is is reflected in EVERY level of existance. Because everything that is is in GOD only. For this reason souls have gender - not in bodily sense but in essence. Second reason is intuitive knowledge - when U love someone U feel her/him as a polarity, not as same as U kind of friend. Even gays do feel in same way!

Once again, i do not impose my view upon U or anyone. But i state that this is truth. And I have a full right to.

Mary Ann

Hi Arjuna:

I read your post accurately. You said "there is an opinion" and that you take it to be right. You said that "logically it must be like that" that there are differences between male and female at the soul level. But you give no real basis for this, other than opinion, which comes without even whose opinion (what sources beyond yourself) this comes from. I was asking for any other kind of basis you could share. Your responses have not satisfied my request. I don't think it is logical to make the assumptions you have asserted, but I don't question or challenge your right to assert them. They just aren't necessarily accurate, nor automatically logical.

Lars Hedström

msbauju wrote:
"I know you mean well, Lars, and this is not a criticism of you. But compassion is simply not gender-linked; both men and women have an equal capacity for compassion."


Yes I agree but that wasn't my point. My point is that women has a more natural gift of emphaty. Women has a higher EQ, and that is not so strange, women need it to raise their children.

Who is the real psychopaths? Who started and fought ww1 and ww2? Was it women?

colin777au

devi_bhakta wrote: As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue. As in the West, homosexuality -- while not necessarily condemned – was not until recently considered an actual "lifestyle choice."

If I remember correctly, male-male embracing is mentioned in the Kularnava Tantra as one of the things that can happen in a particular sort of worship circle. I will try to find the exact verse as soon as I can.

vikram vanam

From reading the mails on this topic, I observe We have forgotten the goal of using tantric means to propiate the Divinity.

It is to overcome our basic instinct to feel attracted towards the opposite sex( and not the same sex) and regard the opposite sex as the divinity personified. As one great mystic, Swami satyananda saraswathi of bihar school of yoga has said that the shortest way to reach the enlighted stage is thru 5Ms but it is so difficult once a devotee falls,he can never get back to the path and very few are eligible again there is a solution, swami premananda ( purity personified ) of sri ramakrishna ashram has said if we cant overcome the basic instinct, let us consider the opposite sex as the companions of the divine lord, here he was saying to men specifically, since in the tantras the women are considered to be the forms of the divine mother. Yes the Divine mother would forgive the greatest of the sinners, so a gay is not such a big sin then, since the basic desire exist even in straight people too. why should we try to change the rules set down by Great lords like Sri Ramakrishna to suit our selfish desires isnt?

Arjuna Taradasa

This is wrong according to Tantras and according to proper common sense.

Attraction to opposite sex should not be overcome, there is no need and moreover if you do so you degrade yourself. Tantras teach that Passion and Love are essential for spiritual life. Human should not become passionless like stone ;).

na virAgAt paraM pApam - there is no greater sin than lack of passion Chandamaharoshana-tantra

sankara menon

Mary Ann wrote : Being compassionate to the suffering of others is sadhana

devi bhakta wrote : The truest kind, I think. There can be no doubt of it."

Oh yes. being compassionate is the higest sadhana; and being compassionate when you are yourself in need of compassion is the test.

Arjuna Taradasa

Mary Ann wrote : I read your post accurately. You said "there is an opinion" and that you take it to be right. You said that "logically it must be like that" that there are differences between male and female at the soul > level. But you give no real basis for this, other than opinion, which > comes without even whose opinion (what sources beyond yourself) this > comes from

In order to determine whether a statement is correct we have to agree about the basic knowledge that is taken apriori. Otherwise it isn't possible.

For I am discussing tantrism, I take as a base Kaula-agama. Then, applying logic to that I come to above given conclusion.

Of course if U take some other background be it islam or shinto, result will differ.

Finally, to the point of origin of that doctrine - I have met it in some Tantras but do not remember exact reference. That are volumes, it's impossible to hold everything in head LOL. BTW Kabbalah has the same view, rooted in Sepher ha-Zohar. And Thelema also.

Mary Ann

Yes, you are correct. Which teachings one ascribes to form the bases for different opinions. Thank you for sharing the bases for your opinions.

Of course, even statements in scripture can be "inaccurate" due to limits on human knowledge and understanding at the time the source was written, and then of course, in the interpretations thereafter.

FYI if you haven't seen it, in Devi Bhakta's post today about the Ardhanari picture, there is a link to information at Exotic India that gives details on different views of male/female in one, the soul, etc.

Eric Otto

vikram & colin -

strangely i have had similar discussion with a woman friend who has been following tantra for a long time. she subscribes to the notion that one has to find the balance between the male and female "and when that happens, you know what happens?" of course i didn't know but i said that one should in relationship with a bisexaul famale. she laughed about that but i wondered if one got to that place, wouldn't one be self contained therefore and not in need of the other of the opposite sex?

my experience with sexuality is that (men at least) are bit unbalanced without a woman. part of that is biological but not always even if the trip is for the sake of biology. though the act of love and sexual embrace (sexual conversation) there is a completion emotionally and energetically that doesn't exist in other relationships. that is the sacredness between the communion (yab-yum) between a man and a woman. it has taken me a while for me to understand that the woman is the vessle for men to learn about himself and his spirituality.

to propitiate devinity is a better way to put it. from what i understand of tantra, it would seem energetically something limited to a man and a woman because of our devine design. there is a lot of connection between our spirit and souls with our body. HOWEVER, i don't see that it could be impossible for same sex relationships though i don't know if it could be as powerful of an expression. love is love, isn't it?

Lars Hedström

I agree wholeheartdely! And apparently also Taoism as Jolan Chang write in his book The Tao of Love and Sex:

"A taoist usually cherish an endless love to universe and all living. Every form of destruction or annhilation is to the taoist an evil which must be prevented ... (taoism) does not demand that we must give up earthly or heavenly pleasures ... neither a denial of desire - as the need of beatuy in form of sound, smell, taste, touch and sex - which almost all schools of buddhism do. Instead Taoism advice us to enjoy fully earthly and heavenly pleasures ... these are united in the ecstacy by a taoist as he then is united with universe - his expression of God."

These words picture my religon of life.

Mary Ann wrote : "I read your post accurately. You said "there is an opinion" and that you take it to be right. You said that "logically it must be like that" that there are differences between male and female at the soul level. But you give no real basis for this, other than opinion, which comes without even whose opinion (what sources beyond yourself) this comes from. I was asking for any other kind of basis you could share. Your responses have not satisfied my request. I don't think it is logical to make the assumptions you have asserted, but I don't question or challenge your right to assert them. They just aren't necessarily accurate, nor automatically logical."

Personally I have to a great part left logic behind, my soul decides what is rigth or wrong to me. If 2000 years of tradition says that I am wrong, then so much worse for the tradition!

Arjuna Taradasa

Lars Hedström wrote: I agree. My perception of the souls of the women is that these are different. A male soul + a female soul = wholeness.

Exactly.

Thus Tantras say, ekAM shaktiM samAnIya eka eva tu sAdhakaH.

But I accept homosexuality to 100%. We are all different. I think that two male homosexuals can perceive a mixture of female and male ingredients in their spiritual unity.

There is no problem, 'coz each human being is totally free and fully responsible for himself. As it is said, "Thou hast no right but to do thy will".

Mary Ann

"There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002. This is a phrase used by the title character in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Hamlet suggests that human knowledge is limited.

http://www.bartleby.com/59/6/morethingsin.html

Sankara Menon

Eric Otto wrote: strangely i have had similar discussion with a woman friend who has been following tantra for a long time. she subscribes to the notion that one has to find the balance between the male and female "and when that happens, you know what happens?" of course I didn't know but I said that one should in relationship with a bisexaul famale. she laughed about that but I wondered if one got to that place, wouldn't one be self contained therefore and not in need of the other of the opposite sex?

Maybe I am wrong, but i would like to say that the sexual part in Tantra is at a stage where pure erotism ends and the pleasure one gets is NOT the "little death" but eternal life. And at that stage the erotism ends.

Mary Ann

Lars wrote : Personally I have to a great part left logic behind, my soul decides what is rigth or wrong to me. If 2000 years of tradition says that I am wrong, then so much worse for the tradition!

That sounds like a good approach. It can be hard to buck the effects of tradition, though.

I was thinking about your post about women seeming to have easier access to being compassionate. Although I made a joke based on something else you had posted about men having greater lung capacity, of course there are differences in the hormones that affect our bodies, combined with what we are taught we should be as male and female. These things (and other things too, no doubt) make it different for women and men to access their emotional aspects. But I do think msbauju is right, men and women have equal capacity for compassion. I also felt kochu's post was very apt, about being compassionate toward oneself.

colin777au

devi_bhakta wrote: As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue.

I wrote earlier :If I remember correctly, male-male embracing is mentioned in the > Kularnava Tantra as one of the things that can happen in a > particular sort of worship circle. I will try to find the exact > verse as soon as I can.

The verse I was thinking of is purushah purusham mohad alingaty ananganam
Kularnava Tantra chapter 8 verse 68
a man, fascinated, embraces a man not a woman This verse is part of a passage describing unconventional behavior which expresses what the immediately preceding verse (67) calls praudhanta ullasa or fully ripened bliss.

Eric Otto

sankara menon wrote: Maybe I am wrong, but i would like to say that the sexual part in Tantra is at a stage where pure erotism ends and the pleasure one gets is NOT the "little death" but eternal life. And at that stage the erotism ends.

Sankara - Are you suggesting that in tantra the eroticism is irrelivant? Or are you saying that body is just a vehicle to the numenous?

sankara menon

The erotism of tantra is at such a level that "ordinary sexual erotism" is nothing. The aim is to reach and maintain the pre orgasmic state and meditate. Naren R

IMHO the point of all sadhana/tantra/mantra etc is to take us to a stage where gold or stone mean the same.

Somewhere along the line while going towards this state, we'll probably pass a state where passions no longer control us instead we'll do something bcos we have to do it and be dispassionate abt it be it relationship with the opp sex,money,whatever.

Eric Otto

sankara menon wrote: The erotism of tantra is at such a level that "ordinary sexual erotism" is nothing. The aim is to reach and maintain the pre orgasmic state and meditate.

Thank you for the gracious clarification. So in the West, we are going after tantra wrongly or with the wrong understanding? I think so. That is why I am very appreciative to this newsgroup.

Vinay Mamidi

Hello Group members,

Its very interesting to read the discussion on 5M. But as one member has said, isnt our goal to become a complete whole (male and female). Then why should we continue to emphasize on male/female which only increases duality after the initial stage is through.

The discussion doesnt take into view the philosophy of the Samaya School, Shouldnt the worship become more internal than external as we progress. I understand that the 5M helps break down the mind and frees it, but after that when you are happy internally why find it through external means.

Sri Ramakrishna's exhaustive Tantra Sadhana as detailed in The Great Master is an excellent treatise looked much safer and surer after the initial obstacles are overcome.

Francesco Brighenti

devi_bhakta wrote: As far as I know, Hindu scripture doesn't address the issue. As in the West, homosexuality -- while not necessarily condemned – was not > until recently considered an actual "lifestyle choice." It was certainly out there; people were aware of it; but in the main it was something that took place behind closed doors -- it was nobody's business but those involved.

Check out the following article:

Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex

By Amara Das Wilhelm

Arjuna Taradasa

Naren R :Hi,IMHO the point of all sadhana/tantra/mantra etc is to; take us to a stage where gold or stone mean the same.

; Somewhere along the line while going towards this; state, we'll probably pass a state where passions no ; longer control us instead we'll do something bcos we ; have to do it and be dispassionate abt it be it > relationship with the opp sex,money,whatever.

The point of all sadhana is pure love and nothing else. That is the teaching of my gurus and of holy Agama.

Eric Otto

Hi All -
Went back up the thread to the original article and realized it was only the abstract. I'm kind of currious where the original article is and where I can find the full text.

The course of discussion seems to be going into a lot of direction where the article (abstract or not) seem to be taking the reader. Is eroticism, hedonism and enjoyment (inner-joy-ment) three exclusive things? From my profession, I tend to be legalistic but isn't what this is NOT saying: "Because enjoyment is the means to reveal that spiritual bliss which is said to be the form of the Absolute manifested in body." That is saying that there is somekind of relationship between the physical and the spiritual.

Now I maybe odd in that I've not been all that impressed with the notion of the dicotomy between spirit and body that was given to us through the the gnostics and worked it way through so much western religions. D.H. Lawrence addresses this with his critics who just didn't grok what he was going after in terms of sexuality and eroticism. For myself and perhap for Mr. Lawrence, I didn't see as the two being separate or one better (higher?) than the other. The abstract is going along that direction with the starting point TOWARDS bliss with the body & enjoyment. Then again, we are men.

If the article was written by a woman, it is suggesting many things than where the threads are going. For men or women, she is suggesting that one has to proceed after one's authentic path or direction.

If I can be pointed to the original article, I'd like to read it. I appreciate your collective patience with me. Remember, being clueless is the begining of enlightenment. I'm pretty clueless.

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