Sacred Erotic Love

Imagery of transcendental pleasure potency

“Let us first return to the apparently healthy continent of tantric eroticism. It is through love and in view of love that the world unfolds; through love it rediscovers its original unity and its eternal non-separation. Here too, the union of the male and female principles is a constant topic. Our phenomenal world is considered to be the field of action of these two basic forces. They are manifest as polarities in nature just as in the spheres of the spirit. Each alone appears as just one half of the truth. Only in their fusion can they perform the transformation of all contradictions into harmony. When a human couple remember their metaphysical unity they can become one spirit and one flesh. Only through an act of love can man and woman return to their divine origin in the continuity of all being. The tantric refers to this mystic event as yuganaddha, which literally means ‘united as a couple’. Both the bodies of the lovers and the opposing metaphysical principles are united. Thus, in Tantrism there is no contradiction between erotic and religious love, or sexuality and mysticism. Because it repeats the love-play between a masculine and a feminine pole, the whole universe dances. Yin and yang, or yab and yum in Tibetan, stand at the beginning of an endless chain of polarities, which proves to be just as colourful and complex as life itself.” The Shadow of the Dali Lama.

“The age when a girl’s breasts begin to sprout, when her eyes become a little restless, she smiles mildly, and the sentiment of amorous love begins to manifest within her, is called the beginnings of youth. ‘Your breasts are now a little raised, your words a little crooked, your eyes a little restless, your hips a little firm, and your waist a little slender. The romavali line of hairs between your navel and breasts is now becoming a little manifest. O beautiful-faced girl, your fresh youthfulness is now perfectly suitable to engage in the service of he who loves you.’”  Sri Ujjvala-Nilamani

“The sexual principle is a misunderstood symbol of Reality. It can no more be banished from our consciousness than consciousness itself. The male and female forms are also not the sole and distinctive possessions of this world. There is Reality behind them as well. The soul has a body which is symbolised by the female form and which is absolutely free from any unwholesome material association. The ascetic’s repugnance to the female form prevents an unprejudiced examination of the female sex that is a necessary factor of our conception of amorous love. This amorous love is the highest subject of human poetry and the most powerful factor in all human activities. Its worthlessness is not established by refusing to recognise it as a part of our nature. It would be much more to the purpose to try to understand what it really is.” Jayadeva Gosvami

“I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” Song of Songs

“Metaphors for the body and sensory images are fused within the mystic’s soul.  The mouth, the tongue, the throat, limbs, womb, breasts, hands, feet, eyes, ears, hairs, the perfected body of the soul’s are all manifestly present in intimate moments with the divine godhead.” Rosemary Hale. 

“I dress myself in his presence, and he shows me that his love supplies me with raiment. The night coming on and everyone going to rest, I find rest only in the arms of divine Love. I sleep leaning on his holy breast, like a child on his mother’s bosom... I say I go to sleep, but I continue to think of the love and praises of my God till I fall asleep. And then, many times in the night, this love rouses up all my senses, so that I cannot sleep the greatest part of the night. Instead, I spend the night in the embrace of the lovely grace of God, who never forsakes me, but preserves me, and takes special care of me.” The Good Armelle 1671

“I felt in my soul an unction which, as a salutary balsam, healed in a moment all my wounds. I slept not that whole night, because Thy love, O my God, flowed in me like a delicious oil, and burned as a fire which was going to devour all that was left of self. I was suddenly so altered that I was hardly to be known either by myself or others. I found no longer those troublesome faults or reluctances. They disappeared, being consumed like chaff in a great fire.” Madame Guyon

“When God means to enrapture this soul, it loses its power of breathing, with the result that, although its other senses sometimes remain active a little longer, it cannot possibly speak. At other times it loses all its powers at once, and the hands and the body grow so cold that the body seems no longer to have a soul - sometimes it even seems doubtful if there is any breath in the body. This lasts only for a short time because, when this profound suspension lifts a little, the body seems to come partly to itself again, and draws breath, though only to die once more, and, in doing so, to give fuller life to the soul. Complete ecstasy, therefore, does not last long. But, although relief comes, the ecstasy has the effect of leaving the will so completely absorbed and the understanding so completely transported - for as long as a day, or even for several days - that the soul seems incapable of grasping anything that does not awaken the will to love; to this it is fully awake.”  Teresa of Avilla

“The spiritual fire is directly linked to the sexual, (i.e. principle and most basic creative forces) in humanity. Here, the relationship between ‘bliss’, ‘ecstasy’ and the erotic impulse can be clearly seen and experienced. The development of a host of ‘sexual yogas’ and ‘sex magic’ practices bear this out to some degree. However, it is the sexual desire in humanity that acts as its basic drive and evolutionary force. It is also suggests that the ability and need for mystical experiences is biologically rooted. Only by ignoring the most basic of pleasures, sex, can we ignore the drive to ecstatic union on some level. The ‘little death’ or petite morte, is a forerunner of the big death as we let go and experience divine oblivion.” Mark Stavish

“In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of the iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew it out, I thought he was drawing them out with it and he left me completely afire with a great love for God. The pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by this intense pain that one can never wish to lose it, nor will one’s soul be content with anything less than God.” Teresa of Avilla

“Then were the eyes of my soul opened and I beheld love advancing gently toward me, and I beheld the beginning but not the end. Unto me there seemed only a continuation and eternity thereof, so that I can describe neither likeness nor colour, but immediately that this love reached me, I did behold all these things more clearly with the eyes of the soul than I could do with the eyes of the body. This love came towards me after the manner of a sickle. Not that there was any actual and measurable likeness, but when first it appeared unto me it did not give itself unto me in such abundance as I expected, but part of it was withdrawn. Therefore do I say, after the manner of a sickle. Then was I filled with love and in estimable satiety; but although it did well satisfy me, it did generate within me so great a hunger that all my members were loosened and my soul fainted with longing to attain unto the remainder. Then did I refuse either to see or to hearken unto any creature; I spake not, but my soul spake within me, crying out and beseeching that love would not make it thus to faint for Love’s sake, because it held life to be but death.” Angela Foligno 1536

“My precious life shall cleave for ever to your love,
 For fortune, life itself, spring only from your love.
I labour and murmur for your love,
And I am brought into bondage for your love,
And I have left my pleasures for your love,
And rendered you my all: beloved, think on this!”
A Goodly Orison to Our Lady. 13th Century

“O girl with very beautiful teeth, You now wear a pearl-necklace of scratchmarks, and Your lotus flower garland now lies scattered throughout these forest groves. O doe-eyed Radharani, how were You able to bind with a glance the handsome lion of hari, who is like an ocean of chivalrous power, and lead Him into the cage of Your breasts. In this stage, a girl’s hips become broad, her waist slender, her breasts large, and her thighs like the trunks of plantain trees. All her limbs are very lustrous and beautiful. Your two eyes check the waves of beauty emanating from the playful saphara fish, the beauty of your abdomen eclipses the charming sweetness of the moon, and your completely sprouted breasts bewilder the beholder into thinking them actually large waterpots. O Lilavati, your youthful beauty is quite unprecedented.” Sri Ujjvala-Nilamani

“Into this our blessed gum which dissolves itself and is named the sperm of the philosophers. Now he makes haste to bind and betroth himself to the virgin bride, and to get her with child. But the virgin will not become pregnant at once unless she be kissed in repeated embraces. Then she conceives in her body, and thus is begotten the child of good omen.” Melchior Cibensus 1602

Practice of Raganuga Bhakti: “The raganuga-sadhaka should meditate on his own form to be that of a beautiful youthful kisori-gopi, who is most attractive to the mind of Krishna. This form, which is created from the desire of the sadhaka, should also be contemplated as being dressed and decorated similar to the other gopis, with the outfit and ornaments previously worn by Srimati Radha. One should try and see one’s own very self as being similar to the forms and moods of the manjaris (young girls). In other words, one should firmly practice cultivating the mentality that this particular form which is being meditated on is my actual self - this is the real me, not this external material body that I now possess. By the continued practice of this type of meditation, that very form may be gradually seen from within one’s own heart. The soul’s nature is feminine, and one’s inclination is in the ecstatic knowledge of God. In the material world, this ‘parakya-rasa’ (sexual relationship with the gopis) is abominable, whereas in the spiritual world it is present in the super-excellent relationship of Krishna and the gopis. No one should think that this is nothing more than imagination; the spiritual body is eternal and true. When the disciple meditates on the transcendental activities of the Lord through a sense of identification with that spiritual body, mentally serving the Holy Couple in that body, then gradually, his absorption in identification with the material body is correspondingly reduced. Such a practitioner of raganuga bhakti, when he finally attains prema (pure love) and is completely absorbed in the anxiety of desire (even though he has not attained the higher stages of love of God which are actually impossible to attain in a material body), then the Lord himself appears along with his eternal associates and gives a direct vision of himself. Then he gives a spiritual body (in this case, the body of a gopi). After that, when the Lord makes his appearance in some material universe, his internal potency, Yogamaya, causes that very body to be born in the womb of some gopi in the Vrndavana of that world. Then in that body, the higher stages of prema are realisable by the devotee.”

Practice of Yogini Tantra: “Let him concentrate on the face of the Devi, and on her breasts, and below that on the womb. Think of three points above Kala (manifestation), and then that from these a young woman springs forth, shining with the light of a million suns, illuminating every quarter of the firmament. Think of Her body from crown to throat as springing from the upper point, and that her body from throat to middle, with its two breasts and three belly lines of beauty arise from the two lower points. Then imagine the rest of her body from genitals to feet is born from Kama (desire). Thus formed she is adorned with all manner of ornaments and dress, and is adored by Brahma, Isa and Vishnu. Then let the Sadhaka think of his own body as such Kamakala (manifestation of desire). The glorious men who worship in that body in Samarusya (union) are freed from the waves of poison in the untraversable sea of the world.”

The spirit comes clothed in femaleness, the form by which the male is possessed. Her descent is erotic, wide-eyed in sensuality and sensual in her spiritual make-up, her spiritual manoeuvrings draw the potent male into the waters of his own creation.

It is in the image of woman that man sees himself as God. To his creation he is God. His spiritual sister is the divine love of his life. Nature’s springing copulation is all the sexual animal requires to perform his ultimate act of selfishness. If he thinks himself God, then creation is all he needs.

 “Powers of visualisation, self-discipline and concentration are the qualities necessary. All magical practice, to be effective, needs great courage. By means of the Death Posture, total transportation of consciousness into the sex-centre occurs. This brings about pure aesthesis and the creation of a new sexuality by autotelic concept: the subsequent ecstasy is a sublimation. Because every other sense is brought to nullity by sex-intoxication, it is called the ‘˜Death Posture’. Everything is ‘a priori’ to the act. The ‘a posteriori’ illumination reveals the inter-sexual correspondences of all things, and great emotiveness becomes... My desires have made a sentient soul, an obsession, a vampire, an insatiable negress of pendulous breasts and fatted thighs riding me into the abysses of the quadriga sexualis.” The Zoetic Grimoire of Zos

“He becomes filled with God, fed upon God, intoxicated with God. Little by little, his body will become purified by the internal lustration of God; day by day his mortal frame, shedding its earthly elements, will become in very truth the Temple of the Holy Ghost. Day by day matter is replaced by Spirit, the human by the divine; ultimately the change will be complete; God manifest in flesh will be his name.” Aleister Crowley

“If there is leakage of sexual energy, the Buddha Unchanging Light is slain. Therefore, with the power of retraction, drawing up ‘˜love’ with the base energy of life-force, I held it in the pot of my belly, and maintaining the recollection of pleasure uncontaminated by lust, divesting myself of mind-created Samadhi, yet not slipping into an instant of torpor, I experienced the ascent of Awareness.” Lady Yeshe Tsogyel 

Process of Taoist internal alchemy: produce a feeling of sexual pleasure, draw this feeling from the sexual organs into the abdomen, continue to increase it with mindfulness, and at the same time lead the feeling of meditative bliss from the head into the abdomen. Energy flow then follows the feelings. In the abdomen, the heavenly or male energy from the head centres interacts or copulates with the female earth energy of the sexual and base centres. The ultimate goal of Taoist energy cultivation is the formation of an immortal body. This is not a physical body but a higher energy body, a light body. In the same way as in esoteric Buddhist practice, this is achieved by combining male and female sexual energies so that the practitioner becomes androgynic.

 “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female. Then you will enter (the kingdom).” The Gospel of Thomas 

“The Lord is so merciful that He Himself descends to take the fallen souls back home to the Kingdom of Godhead, where the erotic principles of Godhead are eternally relished in their real form, distinct from sexual love so much adored and indulged in by the fallen souls. The reason the Lord displays the Rasa-lila (pleasure potency) is essentially to induce all souls to give up their diseased morality and religiosity, and to attract them to the kingdom of God to enjoy the reality. A person who actually understands what is Rasa-lila will certainly hate to indulge in mundane sex life.” Caitanya-caritamrta 

The manipulation of sexual energy is control over life and death. When life is He and death is she, then death is never more becoming. Vampiric death in body beautiful is euphoria, an indescribable joy at coming death. One dies of a love attack: “I am dying of Love” is carved in flesh. This exercise in dying is not to be confused with sexual flirtations with death, the creation of the libidinous energy-body is concerned with ecstatic knowledge at the time of many mystical ‘˜deaths’ and not sexual excitement at a moment of intense life.

 “The men will keep (their minds fixed on) their loins, firmly preserving the Essence and distilling the Breath, which follows the spinal column and rises to the brain; this is what is called ’causing to return to the Origin’ huan-yuan; the women will keep (their mind fixed on) their hearts, nourishing the spirits, distilling an unchanging fire, making the Breath descend from the two breasts to the loins, whence it again mounts through the spinal column and also goes to the brain: this is what is called ‘transforming the real,’ hua-chen.  After a period, one reaches Transcendence.  If one practices this procedure for a very long time, one spontaneously becomes a Real Man, and, living eternally, one traverses the centuries - this is the method of not dying.” The Secret of the Golden Flower

 “Among the basic joys of human existence is the division into sexes, the difference between male and female, between penis and vagina, between you and me, even between mine and yours, and these are extremely pleasant and satisfying divisions, or could be; their elimination would not just be insane, but also a nightmare - the peak of repression.”  Herbert Marcuse 

 “Woman’s emptiness and frailty are inseparable from her fertility and depth: Although man has greater strength than woman, yet woman is a fountain of wisdom and a wellspring of deep joy, which man draws out to perfection. When Eve was created, she gazed at Adam as a soul, which longing for heavenly things stretches upward, for she set her hope in the man. Erotic love in women is by nature aspiring and even adoring.” Hildegard of Bingen 1098

 “Love itself is union, it admits no distant extremes.” Sor Juana 1691

 “Then you began to deal with me in a marvellous and secret way. Like spouse with his bride, you would always take pleasure with my soul... I felt as though an ineffable light from your divine eyes were entering through my eyes, softly penetrating, passing through all my interior being, in a way beyond measure wonderful, working marvellous power in every limb. At first it was if my bones were being emptied of all the marrow, then even the bones with the flesh were dissolved so that nothing was felt to exist in all my substance save that divine splendour which, in a manner more delectable than I am able to say, playing within itself, showed my soul the inestimable bliss of utter serenity. Seated in profound meditation, lost in contemplation of yourself, you have placed the sweetest kiss upon my lips, a kiss far surpassing every fragrance or honeyed drink... I was introduced to you - rapt, rather - into a close union with you that it seems more than miraculous that, after such hours of ecstasy I could still live as a mortal among mortals. On many occasions, I have felt in my soul your close embrace. For this and all the other embraces known to you alone, may you be offered that dew of sweetness, a sweetness transcending every sense, which is most joyously distilled from Person to Person in the heavenly storeroom of the divinity.” Gertrude of Helfta 1256

“Ah, Lord, love me passionately, love me often, and love me long. For the more passionately you love me, the purer I shall become. The more often you love me, the more beautiful I shall become. The longer you love me, the holier I shall become. I would willingly die of love, if it could happen to me.” Mechthild of Magdeburg 1286