Union of Shiva and Shakti

Tantra has become the most popular yoga in present days both in west and the east because of its association with sexual union also known as “Maithuna” which simply means Union in Tantric culture. Many people have written vast books in the name of Tantric Sex, Yoga for Lovers, Sex Yoga and some even calling it as Divine Sex.

According to Tantra tradition, one has to use the Five “M’s” as part of the ritual and practice. They are Madya (Wine or Alcohol), Mamsa (Meat), Matsya (Fish), Mudra (Grains), Mudra is also referred as Posture, Maithuna (Union)

The practitioner has to do the following

  • Drink Wine/Alcohol
  • Eat Meat
  • Eat Fish
  • Sitting in a Posture, practice the ritual
  • Sexual union with partner

Wow, could this cult be real? Drink alcohol, eat meat or fish and then have sex with the partner. On top of it, they call it a ritual and spiritual practice. Can life get anything better than this? This is the state of thinking of present generation who are grossly involved in physical pleasures. These are the people who are running after Yogic Sex and practices.

It is quite unfortunate that without understanding the real spiritual meaning of Tantras, People with limited knowledge are exploring Tantra with no real understanding and depth of the texts.

The aspiration is great to awaken Kundalini and many consider that sexual union is the easiest path. It has become a popular culture for western men and women to seek sexual union with people who has awakened their Kundalini Shakti. It is also a pity that many men and women from west are coming to India in a hope to find some Indian men and women who are tantriks (Practitioners of Tantra) and the so called self proclaimed Guru’s who claim to have their Kundalini awakened.

How many people have lost time, money and efforts in these futile attempts over the years?. If some Guru or Swami tells you that he/she has Kundalini Shakti awakened and agrees to pass it to you through sexual union, Know that he/she is lustful or they are interested in your money. No spiritual person who has awakened their Kundalini with years of practice and who is serious about his/her goal will never commit such acts with Pasu’s (People with animal instinct towards sexual union). The real tantra practitioner is the one who is a “Vira” (Heroic) who has transcended their lust and who is seeking liberation through sexual union. The one who is adept in practice and who has experienced blissful consciousness through practice is known as “Deva” god like.

Awakening Kundalini Shakti is not an easy thing, very few were able to achieve this and it usually takes years of practice. Even if a Guru has Kundalini Shakti and can give Shaktipath (transferring shakti to other person just like a match stick can light up other stick), He or She can directly give it to you using mantra (word) or mere touch. They don’t need to have divine sex with aspirants.

These days many people started initiating others into Tantra and sexual union. In tantra, more than the act, the purpose is important. Using sex as a meditation technique, one is trying to transcend to higher level of blissfulness and consciousness. That is the real Tantric purpose, If one is not able to do that, they are just doing it like normal people in the name of Divine sex.

The real practice is this

  1. You are drunk to subdue your senses and still have to focus completely to meditate. Can you do this?
  2. You are involved in a ritual by drawing Yantras and invoke the Divinity with mantras. Can you do this?
  3. You are consummating with your partner but leaving the lustful urge aside, you are in control of your breath and focused to meditate during the act and wish to achieve the higher state of bliss. Can you do this?
  4. One also need to practice and attain perfection with various mudras and bandhas. Using these techniques, one should be able to stop ejaculation at will. Can you do this?

It takes years of practice to get there, till then you are drinking alcohol, eating flesh and having normal sex with your partner.

Satyananda Saraswati in his article on Vamamarga comments

“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 is not maithuna. The physical act may be the same, but the background is totally different.” Document here – Vama Marga Tantra (Left Hand)

Most people might have read Yoni Tantra and the language can mislead many.  These texts are purposefully written to mislead people and many has fallen into the trap. Their true meanings has to be learnt from Guru directly. Document here Yoni Tantra

To understand the real spiritual meaning of Yoni Tantra, one should read the commentary of YogaNiketan on the text which is available for online reading at www.yoganiketan.net – Library – Contemporary Kriya Writings – Yoni Tantra by Bala . One will be surprised with the context and meaning after reading both original Yoni Tantra and Bala’s explanation of the text.

It is only natural for people to get fascinated about the possibility of reaching supreme state of consciousness just with a normal act of sex. Like any other spiritual practice, it will take continuous effort and devoted practice even with Tantra. There are no shortcuts for Realization.

Basically this article was my attempt to make people understand the real meaning of Tantra, not to discourage people who wish to take the path. This is a glorious path where the practitioner can make the best of the both worlds,  Yoga (Union) through Bhoga (Enjoyment). One has to be realistic about the goal and work towards the liberation. Tantra is for those who seek Mukti (Liberation), it is not a sex ritual.

To enlighten yourself with the true spiritual meaning of Tantra, You can read Kularnava Tantra where Lord Shiva reveals the true spiritual aspect of Tantra to Devi Parvati. Document here Kularnava Tantra

Excerpts from Chapter IV of Kulanarva Tantra



The ingredients to be used in the worship of the Devi are of many kinds. These comprise, in the Kaulachara, madya, wine, mamsa, meat, matsya, fish, mudra, grain, maithuna, woman, well known as the Five M’s, panca makaras (each item beginning with ma).

The true spiritual meaning of the Five M’s

The wine , says the Tantra , is not to be drunk in the manner of the animal drinking, pasupana vidhau. Unless the
Dynamic Lord is invoked, worshiped and the dedication is sanctified by the prescribed ritual of Mantras which includes their repetition, invocation of the Deities presiding over them , identification of oneself with them and the merging of oneself in their rythms = too elaborate and exhaustive preliminary, one should think , for the mere pleasure of a drink ! – unless the Feet of the supreme Guru are invoked and duly worshiped, unless the science of the Divine worship is throughly known , one has no right to participate in this ritual . To hell he goes who dares to infringe these conditions and seeks to enjoy the wine . Such a sinner, libertine that he is, shall be shunned . For him there is fulfillment neither here nor there. Drinking of wine that is not sanctified is as reprehensible as rape.

One whose being is overcome by intoxication is aware of nothing ; for him there is no meditation, no tapas, no worship , no dharma, no activity of merit, no good, no Guru, no thought of his self; he cannot be a votary of this path ; addicted only to sense-enjoyment he, verily, falls. Not for true worship and dedication, but for his own animal enjoyment he takes to wine, eats flesh and resorts to woman. He may be most learned in the Science of the Truth but if in practice he is given to these objects, he is indeed condemnable.

Madya (Wine, Alcohol)

In a crowning peroration of memorable import, the Kularnava declares unequivocally: From the Muladhara at the base go up again and again to the Brahmarandhra at the crown; bliss issues out of this meet of the Kundali Shakti and the Moon of Pure-Consciousness. What flows from this Lotus in the supreme Ether above is the wine, this is the real wine to be tasted by man; what is drunk otherwise is only liquor.

Mamsa (Meat)

The animal that is killed is the notion of good and bad, merit and demerit, the animal of duality which is cut asunder by the knower of yoga with the sword of knowledge. And the consciousness so freed is merged in the supreme. This is the true eating of meat.

Matsya (Fish)

The host of the senses must be brought under the mind’s control and yoked to the self; this is the true eating of fish. The others merely hurt the creatures.

Maithuna (Union)

And the woman to be waited upon is none other than the inner Shakti that is lying asleep in the ordinary animal man and is awake in the Kaula.* This is the ‘Shakti’ to be served, attended to. The rush of Ananda that ensues on the meeting of this Divine Pair, the Supreme Shakti and the Supreme Self, the Lord that waits above, that is the real maithuna, the final ma. Anything other is only copulation.

This, then, is the yogic, and we shall say, the ultimate meaning of the Five M’s. This is the sense in which the highest class of Shakta worshipers understand the five components of this ritual and take steps to realise them progressively in practice. In the Tantra, the worshipers are, it is well known, divided into three broad categories of pasu, animal man, vira, the heroic man, divya, the godly man*. To each of these classes of seekers, it should be mentioned, the Five ingredients have different connotations: divya tattva, the divine or symbolic meaning for the divya sadhaka†; pratyaksa tattva, literal, to the Vira who is constitutionally and temperamentally equipped to ride on the crest of Nature, subjugating and transforming her in the course of his sadhana and fulfils the onerous conditions laid down by the Sastra.

To one who is neither a divya nor a vira but is on the lowest rung of the ladder, pasu, Panchatattvas are substitutional, anukalpa tattva. Instead of wine they use coconut water, instead of meat, garlic and so on*. The Mahanirvana Tantra lays it down :

When the Kali age is in full sway, in the case of the householder whose mind is entirely engrossed with domestic desires, the three sweets should be substituted in the place of the first element of worship. Milk, sugar and honey are the three sweets They should be deemed to be the image of wine, and as such offered to the Deity. Those born in Kali age are by their nature weak in intellect, and their minds are distracted by lust. By reason of this, they do not recognize the Shakti to be the image of the Deity. Therefore, O Parvati, for such as these let there be, in place of the last element of worship, meditation upon the Lotus-Feet of the Devi and the inward recitation of their ista mantra.

* There are further gradations leading from one class to another e.g. svabhava vira, vibhava vira, mantra siddha vira etc. The meaning may vary from text to text, but everywhere it is in the yogic sense. For instance, Wine is the nectarous stream that flows from the Brahmarandhra (Agamasara) or the high knowledge of Brahman in which the sense of the external world is lost (Kaula tantra)

Meat (mansa) is speech (amsa, portion of ma, tongue) which is ‘eaten’ i.e. controlled; or it means the dedication of all action to the Lord

‘Mam.’. Fish (matsya) are the two fishes moving in Ganga and Yamuna i.e. the two currents of breath, expiration and inspiration, constantly moving in Ida and the Pingala; they are eaten i.e. controlled by psycho-physical disciplines like Pranayama; or it means refined knowledge by which through the feeling or ‘ Mine’ mat one identifies oneself with the universal life.

Mudra is the knowledge of the luminous Atman, Self, in the thousand petalled Lotus above; or it means abondonment of one’s participation in evil that goes to bind.

Maithuna is the bliss enjoyed by the sadhaka in identification with the Atman in the Sahasrara; or it is the union of the Kundalini Shakti in the Muladhara of our being with the Shiva in the Sahasrara.

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