Note: For the Original
Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
- A Sages Jumping Seed (Audio)
July 23, 2009
It is recommended you read from the beginning of this tantra yoga archive,
as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "What
is tantra yoga?"
Tantra Lesson 4 on the holdback method, it says,
"Hundreds of years ago the great reviver of yoga in India, Shankara, said,
Even the greatest yogi cannot gaze into the eyes of a beautiful woman
without having his seed jump." While I find the AYP lessons to be beautiful
and ecstatic stuff, this quote bothers me.
Does this mean that great
yogis like Yukteswar and Paramahansa Yogananda
succumbed to the beauties and curves of the female body? I remember reading
a line from "Autobiography of a Yogi," where Yogananda quotes his guru,
Yukteswar, saying, "Do not allow yourself to be marred by the beauty of a
beautiful face. Don't let the frogs of desires kick you around," or
something like that. Based on your quote from Shankara back then, were
advanced yogis like these not immune to these things? I remember reading
through Yogananda's lessons about the
complete mastery over sex. and that this occurs
when the muladhara (root) chakra is fully awakened by kundalini.
If you can shed some light on this, I will be grateful.
A: The methods of yoga are what enable us to reach mastery over
sexual desire. It would be more accurate to call it transcending sexual
desire. The AYP approach to full-scope yoga covers the preservation and
cultivation of sexual energy (regardless of sexual lifestyle) along with the
necessary cultivation of inner silence and ecstatic conductivity and
radiance. Prior to and during all of that is our bhakti (spiritual desire).
The combination of all these means leads to a transcendence of the dominance
of reproductive sex.
Sex will always be there in the neurobiology,
but our intention with that energy and its manifestation is transformed in
stillness through the purification and opening of the spiritual neurobiology
within us. This includes the opening of the muladhara
(root) and all other aspects of our spiritual neurobiology. Then a
"sexual" impulse will rise up through us as an ecstatic spiritual impulse,
and our conduct will be affected according. This response becomes quite
automatic, so it is true that we go beyond the grasp or need to act on such
impulses in a sexual manner. Instead, when the
seed jumps in a sage, it jumps as a wave of ecstatic energy through the body
(and beyond) as part of rising ecstatic conductivity and radiance,
and the conduct coming out of that is divine.
So there is no
need for fear or obsession about this natural biological response. Like
everything else in time and space, it becomes a wave on the ocean of our
infinite Being, and we cannot be swept away by it any more than the
ocean can be swept away by one of its waves.
statement is taken in this context, it makes perfect sense. Remember, he was
still a young man at the height of his great mission, with his vitality in
full swing, no doubt. From the standpoint of self-identified awareness ("I
am the body"), I can see that Shankara's statement could be disturbing.
However, here we are talking about going far beyond the limits of
self-identification with the body, and that is where Shankara was speaking
from also. It is much better to be honest about our urges and transcend them
by effective means, than to be worrying and fighting with them on the
surface level of the
mind where they can never be
With the effective expansion of sexual function to enliven
the full capability of ecstatic conductivity and radiance, it becomes the
vehicle for stillness cultivated in deep meditation to flow outward in an
unending outpouring of divine love, leading to unity and liberation from
suffering in this life, for ourselves and many others. This is the real
import of a sages jumping seed, assuming the journey of human spiritual
transformation has been undertaken with sincerity. With effective practices
in hand, including tantric methods for
the sexual function upward through the awakening
spiritual neurobiology, then sex can do us no harm. In fact, this
vast storehouse of vitality becomes a boon in spiritual life.
spiritual teachings may view sex with this same degree of optimism, but the
outcome of any effective teaching will be the same, as expressed through the
awakened inner capabilities of the human nervous system abiding inner
silence, ecstatic bliss, and outpouring divine love!
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
Note: For detailed
instructions on the methods of tantra in relation to the broad scope of yoga
practices and the enlightenment process, see the
AYP Tantra book,
and AYP Plus.