REPUBLICATION | Chapter 14 |
The Female Experience
In the female body, the point of concentration is at muladhara chakra, which is situated at the cervix, just behind the opening of the uterus. This is the point where space and time unite and explode in the form of an experience. That experience is known as orgasm in ordinary language, but in the language of tantra it is called an awakening. In order to maintain the continuity of that experience, it is necessary for a buildup of energy to take place at that particular bindu or point. Usually this does not happen, because the explosion of energy dissipates throughout the body through the sexual medium. In order to avoid this, the woman must be able to hold her mind in absolute concentration on that particular point. For this, the practice is known as sahajoli.
Actually, sahajoli is concentration on the bindu, but this is very difficult. Therefore, the practice of sahajoli, which is the contraction of the vaginal as well as the uterine muscles, should be practiced over a long period of time.
If girls are taught uddiyana bandha at an early age, they will perfect sahajoli quite naturally with time. Uddiyana bandha is always practiced with external retention. It is important to be able to perform this in any position. Usually it is practiced in siddhayoni asana, but one should be able to do it in vajrasana or the crow posture as well. When you practice uddiyana bandha, the other two bandhas – jalandhara and mulabandha occur spontaneously.
Years of this practice will create a keen sense of concentration on the correct point in the body. This concentration is more mental in nature, but at the same time, since it is not possible to do it mentally, one has to start from some physical point. If a woman is able to concentrate and maintain the continuity of the experience, she can awaken her energy to a high level.
According to tantra, there are two different areas of orgasm in the female. One is in the nervous zone, which is the common experience for most women, and the other is in muladhara chakra. When sahajoli is practiced during maithuna (the act of sexual union), muladhara chakra wakes up and the spiritual or tantric orgasm takes place.
When the female yogi is able to practise sahajoli for say 5 to 15 minutes, she can retain the tantric orgasm for the same period of time. By retaining this experience, the flow of energy is reversed. Circulation of blood and sympathetic/parasympathetic forces move upward. At this point, she transcends normal consciousness and sees the light. That is how she enters the deep state of dhyana. Unless the woman is able to practise sahajoli, she will not be able to retain the impulses necessary for the tantric orgasm, and consequently she will have the nervous orgasm, which is short-lived and followed by dissatisfaction and exhaustion. This is often the cause of female hysteria and depression.
So, sahajoli is an extremely important practice for women. In uddiyana, nauli, naukasana, vajrasana and siddha yoni asana, sahajoli comes naturally.
The Tantric Guru is of the Feminine Polarity
Just as in the scheme of creation, Shakti is the creator and Shiva the witness of the whole game, in tantra the woman has the status of guru and the man of disciple. The tantric tradition is actually passed on from the woman to the man. In the tantric practice, it is the feminine partner who initiates.
Devotion Not Lust
It is only by her power that the act of maithuna takes place. All preliminaries are done by her. She puts the mark on the man’s forehead and tells him where to meditate. In ordinary interaction, the man takes the aggressive role and the woman participates. But in tantra, they switch roles. The female becomes the operator and the male her medium. She has to be able to arouse him. Then, at the right moment, she must create the bindu so he can practice vajroli. If the man loses his bindu, it means that the woman has failed to carry out her functions properly.
In tantra it is said that Shiva is incapable without Shakti. Shakti is the priestess. Therefore, when vama marga is practised, the man must have an absolutely tantric attitude towards the woman. He cannot behave with her as men generally do with other women. Ordinarily, when a man looks at a woman he becomes passionate, but during maithuna he should not. He should see her as the divine mother, Devi, and approach her with an attitude of devotion and surrender, not with lust.
Feminine Spiritual Receptiveness
Free flowing feminine polarity seeks to receive the consciousness of direction of the male. We are all spiritual receivers, however, according to the tantric concept, the feminine is more endowed with spiritual qualities and it would be a wise thing if tantric women were allowed to assume higher positions in social and sexual affairs. Then there would be greater beauty, compassion, love and understanding in all spheres of life. What we are discussing here is not the politics of patriarchal society versus matriarchal society, but the social model of tantra, particularly left hand tantra. What we are talking about is male liberation as well as feminine powered intuitiveness.
Path of Yogis Not Bhogis
In tantra, the practice of maithuna is said to be the easiest way to awaken sushumna, because it involves an act which most people are already accustomed to. But, frankly speaking, very few are prepared for this path. Ordinary sexual interaction between male and female is not maithuna. The physical act may be the same, but the background is totally different.
In the relationship between husband and wife, for example, there is dependency and ownership, but in tantra each partner is independent, one unto himself. Another difficult thing in tantric sadhana is cultivating the attitude of passionlessness. The man has to virtually become brahmacharya in order to free the mind and emotions of sexual thoughts and passion which normally arise in the presence of a female.
Exploding the Subconscious Mind
Both partners must be absolutely purified and controlled internally and externally before they practice maithuna. This is hard for the ordinary person to comprehend because for most people, sexual interaction is the result of passion and physical or emotional attraction, either for progeny or pleasure. It is only when you are purified that these instinctive urges are absent. This is why, according to tradition, the path of dakshina marga must be followed for many years before the path of vama marga can be entered. Then the interaction of maithuna does not take place for physical gratification. The purpose is very clear – awakening of sushumna, raising the kundalmi energy from muladhara chakra, and exploding the unconscious areas of the brain.
If this is not clear when you practise the kriyas and sushumna becomes active, you will not be able to face the awakening. Your head will get hot and you will not be able to control the passion and excitement, because you have not tranquilized your brain.
Therefore, in my opinion, only those who are adepts in yoga qualify for vama marga. This path is not to be used indiscriminately as a pretext for self-indulgence. It is meant for mature and serious minded householder sadhakas, who are evolved, who have been practising sadhana to awaken the energy potential and to attain samadhi. They must utilize this path as a vehicle of awakening, otherwise it becomes a path of downfall.