YOGA JOURNAL- July 2017
GODDESS and WOMAN
Tantrism honors the creative power of the female. and invited to dance it with joy and devotion
Interview with Maya Swati Devi
by A.Bassi / photo by Marco Mudra
When it comes to Tantra, one of the things that most fascinates people is the idea of free sexuality, which permeates the days of pleasure, without feelings of guilt or accusations of immorality. An idea that seems revolutionary, especially for women, who over the centuries have suffered the weight of religious and social judgment, aimed at caging them in roles of submissive and monothematic devotion to home and family.
But what is tantra really?
"Tantrism is the set of spiritual teachings, ritual methods, meditative practices and yogic techniques with which introspective mental skills are refined, to achieve full control over the body, word and mind and obtain the purification of energies internal and physical and mental building blocks », explains Maya Swati Devi, yoga and tantra teacher, initiated in India to the Shakta and Kaula traditions, author of" The Tantric dancer ". «The practitioner's emotional, aesthetic and sexual impulses are a precious source of spiritual energy, which allows him to evolve internally. Tantra is the "way" that recognizes the majesty of life in all expressions of being. It is not a religion, but a culture and a spiritual science without imposed dogmas, with a holistic approach aimed at studying the universe from the individual's point of view ".
Sex is sacred
Tantra, on the contrary of what one tends to believe in the West, therefore, does not teach to obtain sexual performances that last for hours, but "can give a high value and meaning to the concept of sexuality by entering, with the practice of rituals, into a dimension sacred, where Sacred means "Love and respect for the multifaceted transfiguration of gestures, sounds, forms, life". Tantra teaches us to free ourselves from inhibitions and accept life in all its fullness by awakening all human and cosmic energies ». The "subversive" act of Tantra (for us Westerners) is therefore to consider sexuality not a low and potentially dangerous animal instinct, but an inalienable part of the human being. A natural and powerful instinct that permeates people's emotional and intellectual life and facilitates mutual interaction. "Sexual intercourse shakes the human being understood as an individual and eliminates his selfishness. The idea of the other as an isolated entity disappears, and a balance arises in which there is no subject who manipulates nor an object to be used, but there are unity and perfect reciprocity of values ». Sex is seen as a great mystical gesture of union.
The initiator woman
In this process, the woman has a central role. His body is not sinful, his power must not be harnessed. «In the sacred union the female being is transfigured into an earthly manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe, while man embodies the Male Principle. Every day in India the Liṅgam and the Yoni (a triangle enclosing a standing stone) are venerated as a symbolic representation of the perfect sexual union, the divine couple of Śiva, progenitor of pure conscience and Śakti, dynamic and creative force ». Tantra is the cult of femininity, of the Goddess, of women. A cult whose origins are lost in the mists of time, surviving in India (once, everywhere, the Divine had the face of a woman). Venerating the Goddess means meditating on her energies and functions, but also accepting them in their mysterious aspect. Devī, the Goddess, is indeed Lakṣmī, lady of beauty and prosperity, but also Durgā, powerful warrior or Kālī, terrifying projection of the time that devours everything. "Everything we experience in life is permeated by the immensity of Śakti Devī."
How can a Western woman today perceive this intimate and sacred dimension? Surely through yoga, meditation and dance, activities that can merge into a single expression. «Dance is an ancient ritual that leads to the roots of Being, a self-healing practice for the benefit of all humanity. It has always been a link between the worlds. Sometimes, dancing can happen to receive important understandings and revelations. We dance to renew ourselves, to recreate and for the pleasure itself of the movement that relaxes and illuminates the Self. Every dance is sacred, what makes it so is our intention. We intend to connect with the Divine and bring it to Earth. We can channel the healing energy and discharge what does not belong to us directly into the soil of the earth. Dance is a very powerful form of yoga that allows you to control your body and mind through constant discipline, study and devotion ». The vital woman, aware of her femininity, can then spontaneously live her sensuality, enhancing herself and bringing harmony within the couple.
Tantra for everyone
«To practice Tantrism, the primary condition is the conscious presence of one's Self. The physical practices of tantra yoga - asana, pranayama, bandha - and the alchemical ones - mantras, meditations, nyasa - can be applied by everyone. By obtaining many positive effects, such as rediscovering and cultivating sensoriality, learning to expand the senses; to develop presence and conscious intimate listening in every moment of life; do not run away from your shadows, but go through them, transform them without fear like the vira (hero) and start riding the tiger; understand that sexual energy is the most powerful energy of creation and resides in the body ".
Nothing is more magnificently creative and meditative than a sacred act of love. At that moment we understand that we are not alone and we are one with the macrocosm.
INTERVIEW with MAYA SWATI DEVI
on RDE Sicilia. Transmission "The veil of Maya" by Silvia Consolo