Tantra teaches reintegration with the Whole and highlights life from a wholesome perspective. It, therefore, doesn't ignore sexuality. It teaches the enhancement of sexuality from this wholesome sense so as to optimize living. Most everyday religion ignores or actively represses sexuality. This repressed sexuality can cause anomalies in life (cf. Sigmund Freud). Many students come to Tantra to learn techniques to cover up for a perceived sexual inadequacy. Genuine Tantra addresses sexuality as sacred, a way that leads one to salvation (mokṣa). Therefore, Tantrics are serious about their sexuality and their relationships. Indeed, sexuality is not a physical act to a Tantric. It is the basis of their spiritual science. There are numerous sexual techniques, but when you actually have love—none of them is even relevant.
Many see Tantra as offering the only way to free us from the limitations of narcissism and isolation that besiege urban existence. There are several reasons for this. One is that however we attempt to harmonize ourselves, there is always the problem of harmonizing from a relative, ‘I-centered’ perspective. This is the nature of an uncultured identity.
Traditionalists believe that instead of grappling with this, it is actually important to ignore it. They provide other avenues for dealing with the self. Having a spiritual identity dissolves many problems of narcissism and the uncultured identity. We learn to relinquish all limitations (for instance, identity as a male or a female, or according to race or geographical location) and express ourselves as a wholesome self. This is the age-old reason for going through the process of initiation in the spiritual traditions. A spiritual identity frees our minds from identifying with a little self. This frees us from the little mind and enables us to express our Divine self. This identifying with the little self is known as the ego. With the vanishing of the little self, life itself offers abundance. There is an old saying which highlights this, “A carpenter sees the species of wood while a child sees a wooden toy.” If we drop our tie-ups with our egohood we can see as a spiritualist, outside the limitations of the subjective self. This is the goal of Tantra.
Therefore, one who is spiritually mature sees the whole world of people as extensions of themselves. This forms the foundation for true love. This culture of love enriches us and frees us from the traps of fear that makes us scavenge for security and safety and limits us from expressing a positive existence. This can only be overcome by spiritualism, especially Tantricism.
Love is not a craving of the uncultured selfhood seeking mere sense gratification.
To get to this level, one needs an educated teacher (ācārya) belonging to a valid tradition. If one is a Buddhist, one needs to learn from an educated Lama or Rinpoche. An educated traditionalist always puts the student's life first because he or she has erased the narcissistic self and has unconditional love for all.
Therefore, traditionalists often economize learning time. Several years worth of information can be taught in a few months by a traditionalisT. Their experience and practical living of a spiritual science helps others learn effectively.
Children are better learners—this is because they copy, not just intellectualize. In copying, they are protagonistic to learning, not antagonistic. So students or sādhakas must not just learn intellectually but apply the knowledge and become Tantrics. This gives them a valid spiritual identity that is invaluable in addressing life's modern problems.
© Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved. Bhagavan Shri Shanmukha Anantha Natha and Shri Ma Kristina Baird.
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