Tantric Radha-Krishna Devotion

In his book Sacred Sexuality, Georg Feuerstein explains:

“Whereas mainstream Hinduism tends toward puritanism and life-negating asceticism, the culture of the Vedic tribes of circa 1500 to 1000 B.C. was clearly life-affirmative and sex-positive. They loved music, dance, and gambling, were not at all averse to inebriation, and prayed for a hundred years life on Earth, many children, and plenty of cattle. As one Vedic hymn exhorts, “O men! Lift, lift up the penis, the bestower of satisfaction! Move it, dig deep for the acquisition of wealth [in the form of progeny]!” While some of the prayers have a symbolic content, many others are to be taken quite literally.

“The Tantric adepts have always claimed that their new teachings were really only a restatement of the old Vedic religion. This claim has never sat too well with the brahmins, the custodians of the Vedic heritage. It is true, however, that an examination of the ancient Vedas yields Tantra-like elements. In fact, the Vedas contain a rather elaborate sexual symbolism. (138)”

In the same way, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism mines the riches of the perennial wisdom from the past and presents them in a contemporary manner to create a life-affirming, sex-positive spiritual path for today. Sometimes the past holds the keys to the future. Just because certain views seem to have been around forever and dominate today’s thinking does not mean they are best, right, or useful. My primary approach to Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is to remove the detritus accumulated over the centuries and explain what remains in contemporary language to present a more workable, sustainable model for spiritual growth now and in the future.

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4 Responses to “Tantric Radha-Krishna Devotion”

  1. Tantrism was instrumental in elevating the status of women to that of men by seeing them as incarnations of the Goddess–the divine feminine archetype who is much more accessible than God, the divine male archetype.

  2. The Brahma-samhita 9-10, describes how Shiva-Shakti in the forms of the male and female generative organs united to form the world and the living entities. The Brahmavaivarta Puran PKh 2-3 describes how the universe is created by the copulation of Radha-Krishna.

    India became dominated by the Vedic priestly theology which emphasizes Undifferentiated Oneness and worship of a pantheon of male deities who displaced the earlier female Goddesses. Tantrism reintroduced the Goddess and re-popularized her worship. This revived some ancient neolithic beliefs. Tantrism represents an earthy, indigenous tradition of Mother Goddess worship as in the great pre-Vedic Indus Valley civilization.

    Goddess is at once a nurturing, protective mother, a spiritual change agent, and a destroyer of ego. God-dess, the archetypal male and female principles, govern desire, manifestation, and change, which cause the manifestation and dissolution of the cosmos. All is God-dess’ play.

    God-dess, Shiva-Shakti, or Radha-Krishna are ultimately one unitive whole. Their eternal union is the ultimate bliss. They exist within us as anima and animus, and when we mystically unite both sides of ourselves, we also attain wholeness and bliss. This is the goal of the Tantric practitioner. Krishna Chaitanya is considered the perfect union of Radha-Krishna in one body.

    Different tantric schools advocate different means of attaining this goal. It is a spiritual path which may or may not involve sexual practices, but it is not to be confused with material sense gratification. Transmutation of sexual energy from the mundane to the divine is an alchemical process of the highest order.

    Tantric sexual union is an emotional and spiritual experience. Lust strives for orgasm. Tantra heightens sexual energy and uses it to break through to the spiritual dimension and experience mystical union with the divine. This is often described as raising the feminine kundlini, Shakti, or serpent energy from the base of the spine to the top of the head where it unites with the masculine Shiva, pure consciousness. This process invigorates the whole body with increased conscious energy, strength, and vitality.

    As above so below. What exists in the macrocosm also exists in the microcosm. God-dess, Shiva-Shakti, Radha-Krishna, and their union exist within us. We are intimately related to them.

  3. bhakta says:

    Very insightful.
    I would like to know more!

  4. Thank you. Please see “An Historical Introduction to Erotic Spirituality.”