We have always heard that tantra is basically concerned with sex energy and sex center techniques, but you say that Tantra is all inclusive. If there is any truth in the former standpoint, the majority of techniques in Vigyana Bhairava seem to be non-tantric. Is this true?
The first thing is to understand sex energy. As you understand it, it is just a part, one part, one fragment of the life force, but as Tantra understands it, it is just synonymous with life. It is not a part, not a fragment – it is life itself. So when Tantra says “sex” energy it means “life” energy.
The same is true about Freudian concepts of sex energy. Freud was also very much misunderstood in the West. It appeared to people that he was reducing life to sex, but he was doing the same thing that Tantra has been doing for so long. Life is sex. The word “sex” is not confined to reproduction, the whole play of life energy is sex. Reproduction is just a part of that play. Wherever two energies are meeting – negative and positive – sex has entered.
It is difficult to understand. For example: you are listening to me. If you ask Freud, or if you ask Tantra masters, they would say that listening is passive, feminine, and speaking is male. Speaking is a penetration of you and you are receptive to it. Between a speaker and a listener, a sex act is happening because the speaker is trying to penetrate you and the listener is receiving. The energy in the listener has become feminine, and if the listener has not become feminine there will be no phenomenon of listening. That is why the listener has to be totally passive. He should not think while listening because thinking will make him active. He should not go on arguing within because argument will make him active. While listening, he should be simply listening, not doing anything else. Only then can the message penetrate and become illumined. But then the listener has become feminine.
Communication happens only when one party has become male and the other party has become female, otherwise there can be no communication. Wherever negative and positive meet, sex has happened. It may be on the physical plane – positive and negative electricity meet and sex has happened. Wherever polarities meet, opposites meet, it is sex. So sex is a very wide, a very spacious term, it is not concerned only with reproduction. Reproduction is only one type of phenomenon which is included in sex. Tantra says that when the ultimate bliss and ecstasy comes inside you, it means your own positive and negative pole have come to a meeting – because every man is both man and woman, and every woman is both man and woman. You are born not only from woman or from man, you are born out of a meeting of the opposites. Your father has contributed, your mother has contributed. You are half your mother and half your father and they both co-exist within you. When they meet within, ecstasy happens.
Buddha sitting under his Bodhi tree is in a deep inner orgasm. The inner forces have met, they have melted into each other. Now there will be no need to seek a woman outside because the meeting has happened with the inner woman. And Buddha is non-attached to, or detached from, woman outside, not because he is against woman, but because the ultimate phenomenon has happened within. Now there is no need. An inner circle has become whole, now it is complete. That is why such grace comes to Buddha’s face. It is the grace of being complete. Now nothing is lacking, a deep fulfillment has happened, now there is no further journey. He has achieved the ultimate destiny. The inner forces have come to a meeting and now there is no conflict. But it is a sexual phenomenon. Meditation is a sexual phenomenon, that is why Tantra is said to be sex-based, sex-oriented – and all these hundred and twelve techniques are sexual.
Really, no meditative technique can be non-sexual. But you have to understand the wideness of the term “sex”. If you don’t understand you will be confused, and misunderstanding will follow.
So whenever Tantra says “sex-energy” it means the “elan-vital”, the life-energy itself. They are synonymous. Whatsoever we call sex is just one dimension of life-energy. There are other dimensions. And really it should be so. You see a seed sprouting, somewhere flowers are coming on a tree, the birds are singing – the whole phenomenon is sexual. It is life manifesting itself in many ways. When the bird is singing it is a sexual call, an invitation. When the flower is attracting butterflies and bees it is an invitation, because the bees and butterflies will carry the seeds of reproduction. Stars are moving in space . . . No one has yet worked on it but it is one of the oldest Tantra concepts that there are male planets and female planets – otherwise there would be no movement. It must be so because the polarity is needed, the opposite is needed to create magnetism, to create attraction. Planets must be male and female. Everything must be divided into these two polarities. And life is a rhythm between these two opposites. Repulsion and attraction, coming nearer and going far . . . these are the rhythms.
Tantra uses the word “sex” wherever the opposites meet. It is a sexual phenomenon. And how to make your inner opposites meet, is the whole purpose of meditation. So all these hundred and twelve methods are sexual. There cannot be anything else, there is no possibility. But try to understand the wideness of the term “sex”.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #76, Q1
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