Ancient Indian Heritage indicates that the sensual is a part of the sacred. How does one achieve this?

Ancient Indian Heritage indicates that the sensual is a part of the sacred. How does one achieve this?

16 replies
Shailendra Gulhati
June 7, 2017


Anonymous July 13, 2017 - 10:21 am
ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

a beautiful reply, Saheli. Yes , indeed the ancients respected women as harbingers of fertility.And yes the Shivlinga is our ultimate symbol, which means different things at different levels. While it is obviously suggestive of procreation, it also points to transcendence.Shiva as pure light , cannot be 'held' except by the cosmic yoni, which is creation itself!*p*

ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am


ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Maya has often been described as magic, illusion, etc, but its best understood as the  play of the Goddess. Everything is shiv mayi ( of shiva) says the shaivite sage, what then is not sacred..?*p*

ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

we worship the shivling,but we are not able to question why we call shiva the destroyer. we ostracise the word 'Tantra" but are not able to delve deep into why our two biggest days, Independence day and Republic day have this word in them svatantrata divas and Gantantra Divas. Maybe we need to wake up from the imperial dream!*p*

ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

well articulated devraj. but what happens to our timeless understanding that 'nothing is outside of God' ? wonder if we have regressed..*p*

ShailGulhati June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

wonderful one has to already have some discipline ,"adhikari bheda" as the tantras say, to be able to partake in panch makaras, and not let that stray into wanton indulgence.?*p*

Madhuri Maitra June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

I think ancient Indian heritage indicates that just about everything is part of sacred…actualy that everything IS sacred. the walls of our temples are petty much adorned with evrything from birds, scenes of everyday life to the most exquisite and inricate carvings and etchings. everything that occurs in human life is sacred, becasue humans are the only creatures capable of transcending their sensual natures to achiee spiritual bliss. and it stands ot eason that unless you recognise and expore your sensual nature, you cant transcend it.*p*

I am Krishna June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Well! because of the Moghuls and then the victorian era perhaps we have lost touch with our roots! We have the Ellora temples, Kamasutra was writen here. All our gods are sensual. We worship the shivling! Why then…this regression! A very food point raised! *p*

Urmi June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

The sensual being part of the sacred is an idea rooted in the Tantras. Tantra views the human body as a smaller version of the cosmos itself, pervaded by Shiva and Shakti. If god resides in it, it is sacrosanct. Unlike the asccetic way, which sees the body as an impediment to spiritual progress, the Tantras viewed the body as a tool to achieve enightenment. But it must be borne in mind that sensual/ erotic pleasure that is so commonly associated with Tantra is but a small part. The ultimate goal is to be able to transcend the endless cycle of desire. In the Tantric tradition, when one indulges the body sexually, one only sees it as the coming together of Shiva and Shakti and not a mere act of pleasure. It takes immense spiritual discipline to keep this view in mind, and slowly ascend to god consciousness. The body then ceases to be home to basic carnal instincts, and becomes the abode of unsullied divine energy. *p*

Urmi June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Absolutely. It is not for everyone, and as with all spiritual pursuits, needs a guru's guidance. Thank you for the question, though. This is not something people (like to) discuss very often. :)*p*

Utkarsh Patel June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Interestingly the sensual was always part of life in the ancient times. However, depending on which side of the sex you were, the sacredness could be a transgression or a transcendence. But the sexual act was always important part of life and if one follows the righteous path, then sex and procreation was an important part of ones responsibility. *p*

SAHELI MITRA June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Ancient Indian Heritage has always celebrated the female form as Shakti contrary to the women suppression in a patriarchal Indian society that we see today. It is n atural a female form is sensuous, It is said in Indian mythology and ancient Hindu scriptures like Vedas, women were created to be sensuous as they were messengers of fertility, through them new lives came to this earth and hence their sensuousness was celebarted as a precursor to sex and birth. If we come to the ancient concept of Shivling, we find the Linga or the male penis being surrounded by Joni or female uterus, we worship that Shivling as a symbol where all desires (ultimate being sexual pleasure) merges and gives rise to dedication. Hence sensuous has always been sacred in India. Over the ages dominance of Brahmins and repeated invasions and plunder by foreign invaders forced Indian society to hide their women and their sensuousness behind closed doors *p*

DEVRAJ KALSI June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Sensual was sacred perhaps. Carvings reveal state patronage during those times. But modern India seems to be repressed as we do not find the depiction of sex in art permissible. We cannot imagine a leader employing sculptors or painters or architects to construct sexually explicit images on the walls. The link between sensual and sacred snapped long ago. Now sacred is purely sacred without any space for the sensual touch. Separating the two has been our big achievement while the heritage monuments narrate a different story of weaving a bond between the sacred and the sensual. We are happy keeping the two distinctly different and have zero tolerance for those trying to revive those times. We do not consider the depictions sacred, but the monuments are still part of our heritage. *p*

DEVRAJ KALSI June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Dear Shail, we have already relegated sex to another zone in our daily lives, and divine pursuits do not list sex as one way that brings us closer to God. Sex for procreation and sex for pleasure are two different concepts and our society treats the former as a necessary act while the latter is inherently devilish and it does not bring us closer to God, In fact, it leads us far away from Him. *p**p* *p**p* *p**p* *p**p* *p*

DrSanjeevTrivedi June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

In ancient times when people became over-religious and started staying away from sex, the population started dwindling.The kings then built temples (like the famous Khajuraho) so as to depict even God and Goddesses indulging in the sensual pleasures, for spreading the message, that sex is healthy and required.*p**p*The hollow inverted 'stoop', depicting vagina, on top of santum sanctorum above the 'ling' was also a depiction of Shiv and Shakti, to drive home similar message.*p**p*One is free to feel that there is something sacred about the 'sex education' of the ancient times.*p*

Amit Shankar Saha June 8, 2017 - 8:55 am

Sensual is a part of the sacred because the whole idea of devotion is based on the principle of pleasure. A devotee finds pleasure in his devotion. Even austerities give pleasure. And the pleasures of the body and the mind and equally important because both have to go hand-in-hand in order to give satisfaction. In ancient times the body and the mind were two media to achieve a kind of transcendence in pleasure. So much of our mythology are myths of procreation and union of male and female including foreplay leading to coition. And it was quite logical to give sensual acts the status of sacredness. *p*

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