Showing posts with label ritual sexuality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ritual sexuality. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Maithuna?

 (“copulation”) Sexual intercourse is the fifth and final of the Five Forbidden Things (panchamakara) in the secret ritual-based religious practice known as tantra; the panchamakara are used in their actual forms in "left hand" (vamachara) tantric ritual, whereas they are represented by symbolic substitutes in "right hand" (dak shinachara) tantric ritual.

Ritualized sexual intercourse is described in Hindu tantra as a symbol of the ultimate union of the deity Shiva and his wife Shakti in many religions.

The greater tantric context must be considered when looking at ritual sexuality.

The ultimate oneness of everything that exists is one of the most widespread tantric conceptions.

To proclaim that the whole cosmos is one principle from a tantric viewpoint implies that the adept must reject all dualistic conceptions.

The "Five Banned Things" give a ceremony for breaking down dualism; in this ritual, the adept defies society conventions prohibiting intoxication, nonvegetarian cuisine, and illegal intercourse in an attempt to sacralize what is generally forbidden.

Tantric adepts point to the ceremonial usage of banned objects as evidence that their practice entails a higher level of exclusivity (adhikara), and hence is superior to ordinary practice.

In certain versions of this rite, the lady is the initiate's wife, who is revered as a manifestation of the Goddess before intercourse.

In other circumstances, this ceremonial intercourse is misconstrued as adulterous, generally with a low-status lady, in order to emphasize the social boundaries that have been crossed.

This latter technique is now uncommon, at least in southern India, according to Brooks, where it is "almost unknown." 

See Arthur Avalon's (Sir John Woodroffe's) Shakti and Shakta, 1978; Swami Agehananda Bharati's The Tantric Tradition, 1972; and Douglas Renfrew Brooks' The Secret of the Three Cities, 1990 for further details.

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