Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Lost Tantric Sex Rituals

Rituals of many kinds have been an important part of the Tantric tradition since the very beginning. Tantrics practiced rituals of many types, including many that were totally innocent and not related to sex in any way. Most of these ancient rituals are as old as Tantra itself. These other rituals may have involved yoga, meditation, chanting, and many other activities that were not controversial to the uninitiated. 

 Nevertheless, it is the sex rituals that have gained the most notoriety. Not surprisingly, these are the rituals that most people are generally the most curious about, and the ones they always immediately associate with Tantra. These rituals were designed to take the act of lovemaking and transport it to a whole new level, thus, elevating sexual union to a higher spiritual plane. My post (Maithuna Ritual: Tantric Sexual Union describes a Tantric sex ritual.)

Unfortunately, some sex rituals practiced by ancient Tantrics are no longer documented in modern texts. Perhaps because they were misunderstood, these rituals were often practiced in secret and kept “underground." The details were passed down almost completely by word of mouth, and many were lost along the way. These rituals were considered so powerful that they were only revealed to a select few. Unless someone was advanced along the spiritual path, they weren't considered ready to partake in such rituals, as it was believed they would get lost in the purely sexual aspects and forget their spiritual purpose.

It is important to note that to Tantrics, these sexual rituals were much more than just a good time. While it is true that in some cases they may have resembled orgies to outside observers, they had a much deeper purpose to the people who practiced them. These rituals were seen as a means to an end - the end being a state of higher consciousness. Participants in sex rituals were seeking spiritual liberation and wanted to achieve a oneness with the universe through sexual union.

Tantric rituals have managed to survive due to the hard work of a few dedicated gurus and yogis in the east, who have carefully recorded, preserved, and passed down these rituals so that their importance can live on through future generations. Still, there are those Tantric scholars who claim that the ritualistic sexual exploits of ancient Tantrics have been exaggerated or misunderstood. Although many ancient Hindu texts give elaborate directions and descriptions of group sex rituals, these scholars say these writing were not meant to be taken literally. In their opinion, the passages were meant symbolically, were translated incorrectly, or taken out of context. However, there seems to be ample proof that sex rituals did play a role in Tantric practices.

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