Sacred Prostitution - Ancient India - Buddhism

Buddhism

In Tantric Buddhism, yab-yum is the male deity in sexual union with his female consort. The symbolism is associated with Anuttarayoga tantra where the male figure is usually linked to compassion (Karuṇā) and skillful means (upāya-kauśalya), and the female partner to insight (Prajñā).

The symbolism of union and sexual polarity is a central teaching in Tantric Buddhism, especially in Tibet. The union is realized by the practitioner as a mystical experience within one's own body. Yab-yum is generally understood to represent the primordial (or mystical) union of wisdom and compassion.

Maithuna is a Sanskrit term used in Tantra most often translated as sexual union in a ritual context. It constitutes the main part of the Grand Ritual of Tantra known as Panchamakara, Panchatattva, and Tattva Chakra.

Maithuna refers to male-female couples and their union in the physical, sexual sense and is synonymous with kriya nishpatti (mature cleansing). Just as neither spirit nor matter by itself is effective, but both working together bring harmony, so is maithuna effective only when the union is consecrated. The couple becomes divine for the time being: she is Shakti and he is a Shakta. The scriptures warn that unless this spiritual transformation occurs, the union is carnal and sinful.

Candi Sukuh is a 15th century Candi of Indonesia located on the western slope of Mount Lawu a sacred place for worshiping the ancestors, nature spirits and the sexual union of the fertility cults. Monuments include a standing lingga, now in the National Museum of Indonesia. The lingga statue has a dedicated inscription carved from top to bottom representing a vein followed by a chronogram date equivalent to 1440. The inscription translates "Consecration of the Holy Ganges sudhi in ... the sign of masculinity is the essence of the world."

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Famous quotes containing the word buddhism:

    A religion so cheerless, a philosophy so sorrowful, could never have succeeded with the masses of mankind if presented only as a system of metaphysics. Buddhism owed its success to its catholic spirit and its beautiful morality.
    W. Winwood Reade (1838–1875)