Vama Marga: Left Hand Path - Awakening through Sex
Imagine Kundalini awakening through unbridled, rampant, hedonistic sex! Not difficult at all, isn't it! And pleasurable beyond imagination too!
Sadly, with the number of taboos and restrictions associated with sex in society, this option remains the greatest but most unavailable option for the yogi. This is one of our strongest urges that can be used and translated into spiritual energy but finding a partner who is on the same tantric journey may not be easy. From the perspective of Tantra, the typical definition of sexual life doesn't have significance and oftentimes it's incorrect and unscientific. This deﬁnition has established a culture and a nation of sex-suppressed individuals with guilt complexes, minor forms of schizophrenia, and in extreme cases even psychopathic mania. When it comes to sex our societies are quite crazy!
Left and Right
Before we continue, let's make it clear that the Left Hand Path (Vama Marga) and the Right Hand Path (Dakshina Marga) are not righteous in their terminology. It's merely a description! One is not better or superior to the other!
Having said that, one must remember that Tantra does not judge - it simply provides techniques. Thus the follower of Vama Marga is simply using another technique for Kundalini Awakening. Yoga doesn't interfere with lifestyle, is neither religious nor non-spiritual, but if you practice yoga and learn the asanas, then everything becomes sacred.
Let me give you a modern interpretation of the word "sacred": anything you consider important and respect beyond the ordinary.
Thus, if you are immersed in something that you consider beautiful, respectful, endearing, loving... then you will give it importance way beyond the ordinary. The object/person is elevated to levels beyond the divine and the relationship becomes sacred. A passionate exploration of an idea or relationship will involve you existentially - your identity will get immersed in it. Consider workaholics and how immersed they get in their work. When the idea or relationship touches an innate instinct like the sexual act, then the relationship becomes more important than the life of the person himself/herself. Example: jilted lovers can go to the extreme extent of killing themselves or the person who has abandoned them.
Identity and existence get so thoroughly entwined that oneness is achieved with the lover. If this passion is reciprocated, then the man and woman are united in the oneness that is the communion of Shiva and Shakti or the union of the Lingam and Yoni. All the best in finding such a partner!
Unfortunately, most people enter into a relationship - or into a marriage - simply because both people have agreed. How long do such unions last! Most people get married so that they can throw a party (perhaps the biggest party of their lives). And then get entangled in long-drawn-out divorces. In the Art of Loving, Erich Fromm asks us to love with our minds and not hearts! To walk into love mindfully and not 'fall' in love! How many of us do that?
Vama Marga Communion
The contention of Vama Marga is that the stirring of Kundalini is possible throughout the interaction between woman and man. As stated above, this can happen extremely rarely only by chance. Else both partners need to be fully aware and mindfully walk the pathway. One can't explore any relationship or find fulfillment in it unless they have read many books on the subject. Writers like Nancy Friday, Anais Nin, and Simone de Beauvoir are must-reads for men and women who want to explore the Kundalini. In this context, all writers of erotica (not porn) are recommended!
In tantric practice, bindu is regarded as the nucleus of an entity. The bindu chakra helps in the manifestation of all creation. Let's understand this: there are forces that create and others that help in their manifestation. For example, if something is created but does not manifest itself then that thing's creation becomes meaningless; however, it doesn't mean the creation didn't happen! In one form, the bindu manifests itself in humans as semen and ova. It's really quite obvious: here is a manifestation that has the potential to be the perfect replica of you. Indeed, with cloning, this is perfectly true. This is the reason behind avoiding ejaculation during orgasms, especially for men.
Preserving the Creative Force
By preserving the semen, the man is using it for regeneration and by preserving the orgasmic fluid, the woman is maintaining her energy. Nowhere does it say that this should be done forever! If you have daily sex or masturbate daily, then it may be a good idea to enjoy non-ejaculatory orgasms for a few days. Ejaculation of semen could also lead to pregnancy. Therefore, this is one way of birth control - though it is not at all reliable. Another reason for not ejaculating is found in Evolution Biology: it is hypothesized that there is energy loss (deep relaxation) after ejaculation because this ensures that the male rests (sticks around) and provides greater opportunity for bonding. Very few creatures form mating bonds for their entire lifetime; most animals parts after the sexual act. Man (when viewed purely as an animal) falls in the former category.
A lasting relationship leads to explorations of things other than sex and tantric spiritual practice states that sex happens in the mind: before the intercourse and after the intercourse.
In Tantra, ejaculation can be controlled by practicing moola bandha, uddiyana bandha, vajroli mudra, and sahajoli mudra (for women). One can prevent ejaculation completely whenever these 3 kriyas are perfected. Please note: Women also ejaculate. The sexual act culminates in a specific experience that is achieved at the stage of the explosion of vitality. In other words: orgasm. One can only describe this as an explosion! Energy levels build up and finally there is an explosive release.
In the last thirty years, I have researched a lot about the orgasm and realized our focus on this even has blinded us to everything else associated with the sex instinct. Humans are perhaps the only creatures that can enjoy sex at will and for pleasure. It's possible to evoke both conditions at the same time, even when you are close to death. Remember all those C Grade movies where the hero and heroine start having sex in the midst of life-threatening danger!
Many ancient traditions in India have already explored these aspects: Kama Sutra, Koka Shastra, Ananga Ranga, and Gita Govindam to name a few.
Physiologically, this explosive release is focused on the ejaculation but Tantra states that the same muscles can be trained to reverse the direction of the orgasm. This makes the energy travel up the spine and into the brain. Obviously, the semen is not traveling up the spine (as mentioned in some foolish literature and websites), it is the energy created that is spreading. In fact, a simple breathing exercise during ejaculation can make the orgasmic sensation spread from the groin to the entire body making the skin tingle all over. Certain Hatha Yoga kriyas need to be mastered to produce this energy journey upward through the backbone and to be able to control it. Prevention of ejaculation also helps to preserve energy and therefore increase the frequency of sex, which is great for both spouses.
Some Hatha Yoga Asanas
In Tantra sex worship, there are two regions of orgasm: one is around the sexual organ and the other is at mooladhara chakra. Remember, the chakras are not organs or tissues that lie in a specific part of the body. They are considered to be symbolic energy structures lying in the general area of the body. In this context, mooladhara chakra awakens when an orgasm occurs.
With the practice of vajroli and sahajoli, the sensation of orgasmic pleasure can be prolonged. Note that the contractions are similar to holding one bladder, but there is more. The muscles can also be contracted upwards. In a sense, you can actually control the different muscles with practice and feel the different types of contractions. In foreplay and in pre-sexual romance, women take the active role and the man needs to be seduced. This is obvious but is not articulated. In the animal world, males are adorned with the paraphernalia to attract the females, but in humans, the roles are reversed: females do all the adorning and "dressing up" (or dressing down!). Using this fact - and merely as a technique - wearing of costumes is desirable in role-playing sexual acts.
There is a synchronicity in Shiva and Shakti - one cannot be without the other.
Different traditions of Tantra also give Shiva and Shakti different roles and some traditions merely state that both roles belong to one entity - Shiva or Shakti. In other words: some traditions say that Shiva and Shakti are two sides of the same coin while other traditions say that Shiva and Shakti are two names of the same coin. (Please re-read the sentence if you didn't understand!)
Sushumna and Everyday Sex
Vama Marga comprises all the aforementioned asanas, mudras, and techniques for foreplay and the sexual act. However, normal fornication is stated to be the easiest way to awaken sushumna. Remember, it is useless to awaken the chakras if there is no nadi to carry the energy. Therefore the sushmna needs to be awakened first! The two spouses or lovers may use each other to awaken Kundalini but their preparation has to be individual. They still need to practice their Hatha Yoga separately and pay undivided attention to their body. Practicing asanas, etc. with the partner will destroy one's body's connection with one's mind. Not unlike meditation, asanas and mudras too need to be practiced alone. The connection with another sadhaka-lover cannot take place if no connection has been established with one's own body first.
You may experiment with Vama Marga as an excuse for sexual self-indulgence, you may explore it for orgasmic gratification, but unless you find a tantric lover-partner, this journey will end in disappointment. You need to focus on Vama Marga's pre-Kundalini techniques of attracting the ideal lover before you jump into the physical act of sexual indulgence. From personal experiences, I can assure you it is not difficult to do so!