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  A N    A T T E M P T    T O    C L A S S I F Y    T H E    V A R I O U S    B R A N C H E S    O F    T H E    T A N T R I C    S Y S T E M

TANTRA YOGA starts from the idea that our sexuality, our amatory impulses actually represent a debased metaphysical urge, otherwise said that our highest spiritual aspirations are imprisoned in the matter in the shape of the sexuality.

It is only the wrong directing, the misuse we could say, of this fundamental force of the sex, which proves harmful for the spiritual evolution of the human being. Else, basically the sexuality represents the fundamental tendency of joining together the (+) and the (-), the Solar and the Lunar, the YANG and the YIN, the Male and the Female, the HA and the THA, for attaining the final condition of Union, the neutrality of the Absolute, (0), the peace of the spiritual Androgyne, who has summed up in itself all the potentialities of the manifestation. This goal, which is actually common with all the spiritual paths of our planet, is achieved in TANTRA through various ways, and this gives birth to several branches of the Tantric system.

Roughly, the experts divide TANTRA in two main streams: the TANTRA of the Right Hand, and the TANTRA of the Left Hand. This first division proceeds from the nature of the practical methods that are used for reaching the condition of Unity: if the actual, physical methods of sexual union are used, than we deal with the TANTRA of the Left Hand, while if only symbolical, or meditative techniques are used (and the physical sex is terefore excluded) we are within the sphere of the Right-Hand TANTRA.
br<> Often, it is very difficult to draw a sharp borderline between the two divisions, since there are schools which use methods belonging to both paths. The TANTRA of the Right Hand often corresponds with some of the great ascetic spiritual paths of our planet, in which union is searched with a divine entity, personification, incarnation, and so on, or sometimes merely with supernatural beings of various degrees. Though we deal here with a kind of "sexual" relationship, it is not an actual sexual manifestation that we encounter here, but rather a sublimed, spiritual, sometimes symbolical way of interacting, closer to what we'd call love; one of the most accessible examples for the common Western understanding is that of the so called astral-sex, or otherwise said the erotic experiences that occur in the dream-state. Other historical examples could be the mystico-erotic relationships of the Christian nuns with Jesus, the erotic devotion of the Indian GOPI-s for KRISHNA, the mystics of love of the troubadours and knights, the worship of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers in certain Tantric schools, etc.
Although the Tradition categorically states that the TANTRA of the Right Hand is the highest of the two branches, the Masters also state that the men of KALI YUGA, nowadays, especially in the West, because of the grossness (or materiality) of their spirit, are practically almost incapable (with very rare exceptions) to follow this path, which starts from a too high, or "abstract" point; therefore, we are advised towards the TANTRA of the Left Hand, which starts from a more "down-to-earth", or concrete situation, and is more fit for their level.

As it has been said, TANTRA of the Left Hand involves the actual practice of the physical sexual activities; because of this reason, and some ridiculous scholar speculations (like that: the right hand is the "right" one, and therefore the other one must necessarily be the "wrong" way), a whole host of "moralists" and amateur outsiders have cast upon the Left-Hand TANTRA the blame of being a horrifying heresy, and a spiritual deviation, connected with fornication and black magic, and which could by no means lead to any spiritual accomplishments. Even today, when the morals have gone quite loose (sometimes too loose), VAMA MARGA, the Path of the Left Hand is still looked upon with a lot of scepticism by the narrow-minded ones, by the sexually frustrated, and by those who never tried practically its methods. However, it has to be stated clearly that in the Left-Hand TANTRA sex is not practised for the sake of sex itself, but as an instrument for going somehow beyond sex, for reaching health, balance, improved couple relationships, self-control, supernormal capacities, and eventually the superior states of consciousness, culminating with the state of Cosmic Consciousness, or SAMADHI (as it is called in YOGA).

Here, it would be also useful to mention that there are paths which are somehow placed at the "borderline" between the Paths of the Left-Hand, and Right-Hand, or that join and use harmoniously methods belonging to both these ways. One such surprising example can be found in certain schools of HATHA YOGA; as few know, the word 'HATHA' proceeds from the two Sanskrit roots HA - Sun, and THA - Moon, which makes HATHA YOGA the discipline of the "Union of the Sun and the Moon", or otherwise said of the (+) and (-), of the Masculine and Feminine. Therefore, the genuine HATHA YOGA is a kind of TANTRA in which the union of the Male and Female aspects occurs within the being of the practiser, through specific methods, fact which entails a final condition of inner balance, harmony, and power. As a matter of fact, it is a well-known fact that HATHA YOGA is a typical Tantric instrument for training, and that in most of the Left-Hand TANTRA ASHRAM-s it is deemed to be an indispensable practice. That is why, also in our course there will be frequent references, and exercises belonging to the HATHA YOGA system. However, returning to the initial topic of this paragraph, it can be noted that scholars still have difficulties in deciding if HATHA YOGA in itself is belonging to the Right-Hand current (since physical sex is not necessarily involved) or to the Left-Hand one (being so physical, and bringing about a kind of physical "inner sex"). But, for the real practisers all these distinctions have little importance, since they are mainly concerned with the practical, effective results of their spiritual discipline, and not with theoretical speculations.

From this last standpoint, it is possible to distinguish two main directions of use of the sexual energy: the evolutionary one, and the "magic" one.
The first involves that the Tantric techniques, and the resulting energy are used for self-knowledge, for spiritual evolution, for attaining the condition of Self-Realization, or Divine Consciousness. This may be done either by an individual practiser in the search of the Truth, or by a couple of Seekers of the Transcendent, case in which the accomplishment takes the further dimension of making their love-relationship tangent to the Eternity. This latter ideal, though very cherished by the human soul, and tantalizing, involves however a great deal of spiritual commitment, and abnegation from both partners, and is a rare, and exceptional accomplishment.

The second direction allows the use of the controlled energy for attaining all kind of mundane goals (health, success, wealth, power, seduction, influence, supernormal capacities, etc.) in almost a "magic" manner (the word is maybe not the best, for it often evokes an occult, sinister and choking environment, or stand, but has been used in absence of a better one). Here it is also often difficult to find a clear limit between the two directions, since there are schools, and practisers who follow them both at the same time. However, from the standpoint of the "magic" use of the energy, there have been settled three main possible sub-directions. They are conventionally called:

- the "white TANTRA", in which the energy is used exclusively for beneficial, superior, spiritual purposes, as healing, psychic supporting, easing of the spiritual evolution, etc.

- the "red TANTRA", dedicated entirely to the obtaining of as much as possible pleasure, and personal satisfaction, in a somehow selfish manner, and without any spiritual horizon, but however without involving any evil, demonic, or satanic actions, or the harming of any sentient being. This direction, or deviation is quite typical for the Western practisers.

- the "black TANTRA", directed towards obscure accomplishments, that are related with the dark worlds of a demonic and often even satanic nature, and whose results are harmful for the sentient beings, for the spiritual evolution, and for the entire universal balance generally.

It must be obvious for anybody, that in our site there will be exposed only those elements from TANTRA that are concerning the spiritual evolution, the personal development (or of a couple), and the obtaining and beneficial use of the paranormal capacities, since for the YOGIN-s it is a very well known fact that the egoism, and the evil create the endless chain of the human suffering, and that the ineluctable law of KARMA (or of the reaction that fits perfectly to the done action) pays back - sooner or later - all the misdeeds of anybody, till the last dime. Therefore, if we want to preserve ourselves in the spirit of the above-classification, we might say that we are going to study elements of the TANTRA of the Left Hand, connected where necessary with elements belonging to HATHA YOGA and TANTRA of the Right Hand, and directed towards the spiritual evolution of the individual or of the couple, and - when possibly - towards the "white" use of the energy. Whenever it will be deemed necessary, elements from other parallel spiritual paths will also be added, such as: sexual TAO, IMSAK, other branches of the YOGA system, and so on. Also, elements from modern sexology, and latest research in medicine, physiology, physics, and chemistry, will be used for improving the understanding of these topics.
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