Interview with world renowned Tantra teacher Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita PhD
Mahasatvaa Sarita lived in India for 26 years learning and practising Tantra from Osho, her spiritual Master. She is the author of two books Tantric Love and Divine Sexuality and has spent the last ten years travelling around the world, giving many workshops to groups of couples and singles.
Q: What is Tantra?
When I started teaching in the UK about 10 years ago, people were carrying this idea that Tantra means six-hour sex, Sting and orgies. I decided to shift this corrupted idea and spread the awareness of what Tantra really is.
Tantra is a very refined path of spiritual awakening. In the teachings of Buddha, ‘Enlightenment’ describes the ultimate attainment of consciousness. In Tantra the word is ‘Mahamudra’ which means the great gesture arising out of the ultimate orgasm with the universe.
Tantra is a wonderful and far reaching path because it offers human beings the way to enlightenment through everything that we are, whether it be through the senses, emotions, sexuality – the whole human being is included.
The secret of Tantra is, you bring awareness and love to any kind of human situation, no matter what it is. If we explore more deeply, Tantra is the meeting of contradictions. Bring together any two contradictory elements and in that meeting there is an alchemical explosion, which is the Tantra experience.
In Zen they call it Satori. It is an explosion of consciousness. We become one with all that is, or sense that the whole universe is in us. Those opposite polarities could be day and night, summer and winter, birth and death, male and female – any opposite polarities that come together in awareness will create this experience.
Q: Can sex and spirituality go together?
We can enter into Tantra through any door. It could be, as I said, through emotions or senses or sexuality or whatever door is relevant to the person in the moment.
Sexuality is very important because it is our basic instinctual life force energy. We need to own it and embrace it and then that same energy can start moving through our whole body and our whole being. So essentially, we are moving on a journey which begins with sex and moves through 6 more doors of power and potential.
3) our soul calling
4) love and compassion
6) expanded consciousness, intuition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience
7) orgasmic oneness with the whole
There is a saying in Tantra that sex and super-consciousness are one. There is also a very lovely symbol which is used to describe the Tantra journey, the lotus.
The lotus has its roots deep in the mud on the bottom of the lake and from there it can start growing upward. On the surface of the lake it appears as an exquisite open lotus flower, but if there were no mud there would be no lotus. This symbolism reveals to us that if we don’t accept our sexual energy, the mud of our being, we cannot hope to have a lotus of consciousness opening in us.
We really need to embrace sexuality and nourish it and then our lotus of consciousness will grow. So how do we nourish it? We nourish it by bringing loving awareness to it. For that reason, if we practise Tantra meditations which use sexuality, we will create a sacred space, a divine ambience – very lovingly and with a lot of attentiveness to detail on how we create our space, how we create our sacred time and then we devote ourselves to a certain practice, bringing the light of awareness into sexuality and relating.
The light of spirit starts helping us to unfold more and more potential within our sexuality and finally it opens into all of those aspects that I was describing.
Q: Are women more drawn to Tantra than men?
It is true that women are initially more drawn to the spiritual path of Tantra because they are longing for this sacred quality in their sexuality and relating. Tantra does honour male and female equally. But many men may initially shy away from it, not realizing the huge benefits which are possible for them, how it is going to empower them, how it is going to help them to be more of the man that they always dreamed they could be. They are a bit scared of the emotional and spiritual aspects.
The way men get lured into Tantra is through the woman and her sensuality and sexuality. Tantric sexual practises are alluring to the man, the idea of being able to make love for hours! He says ‘Ok, if I can have better sex that’s a path that I may be interested in’! And so we are going to offer him that door and with it we are also going to nourish the feminine – what the feminine longs for, which is the heart connection, depth and emotional fluidity leading to spiritual oneness.
The man gradually discovers that sexual experience is so much richer when he can bring in these other qualities. We also work very much on helping men to come in contact with their true male power and creative potential.
For women it is about reclaiming their feminine strength, which is rooted deeply in love, nurturing, compassion, intuition, and emotional fluidity – these qualities need to be awakened in the woman and integrated into who she is in the world, including business.
I would like to say, the Goddess is back! But this time, we need to discover the balance offered by Tantra, where neither the man dominates the woman nor the woman dominates the man, but male and female are holding hands and together creating the new world of yin and yang in perfect harmony.
Q: How can cultivating Tantra improve a couple’s relationship?
In couple’s work I see miracles happening in every group. I’ll just give one case, which was perhaps one of the most extreme. This couple hadn’t even touched each other for 10 years. It took 2 levels of our couples training before they were able to touch and even more time until they were able to make love. Eventually they were like teenagers with their arms around each other, kissing and cuddling and so much in love.
We asked them “So now it must be like it was when you first met?” And they looked at us in amazement and said, “It’s never been like this, this is the first time we are experiencing this depth of love.” They were very devoted to their Tantra practise and they just kept at it. That’s what makes the miracle happen when couples are devoted to continuing with the practise no matter what is coming up. This creates a space where everything is possible.
Many lovers come to my groups who are not able to merge fully and deeply because of various restrictions. Once they start opening up and letting go of their protections then love just flows in. And that is not to say that is all easy. You have to be prepared to go very deeply into your process and your emotions, exposing the roots of your pain.
Tantra functions like bringing light into a dark house. With the light there, you start seeing the cobwebs in the corners or little piles of junk in the cupboards and you realize ‘O my god now I have to clean the house’ Tantra meditations help us to see and to clean things that are not really serving us. Once our house is clean, with fresh air and light streaming in through the open windows, we discover the power of love, which heals our wounds and reveals to us who we really are, gods and goddesses.
The new dawn is going to arise through Tantra. Male and female holding hands in partnership will give birth to a new world based on the Tantra principles of love and meditation. That is what tantra is all about.
Marketa and Joginder have completed the three year Tantra Master’s training programme with Sarita and are running couples and singles Tantra workshops in the Midlands.