From time immemorial, man has been trying to understand the role of sexual life in context with his spiritual evolution. Although it has been said that the sexual functions are a remnant of animal life, somehow, man has never been able to accept this. All along he has been wondering why nature created this special process? What is the purpose behind sexual life?
Sexual union between man and woman is part of the natural law of evolution. In every realm of nature, union between the two forces is taking place all the time. Creation of life, energy, matter is not possible unless the positive and negative forces unite. It is not the physical body that matters, but the quantum and nature of energy. One of the most important ways of creating energy is through sexual interaction between a man and a woman.
This is the highest concept, but man is still bound by his instinctive nature. He doesn't understand this philosophy of energy. He just runs after pleasure. He does not even know that pleasure is the outcome of the union between the two energy poles. Man and woman meet together just to have a child. They don't know that the creation of a child is nothing more than the two forces of energy becoming manifest in the mother's womb. Energy interplay is the cosmic law. The sun, moon, stars, ocean and earth, all are the interaction of energy.
The ultimate source of energy is prakriti. This homogeneous, omnipresent force pervades the body, mind and consciousness. It never stagnates, it is in constant motion. If you do not know how to direct this energy upwards, it finds expression in gross, empirical life. In India, the mahatmas and rishis realized this through their own experience and thus they devised a system for directing this great force in man which expresses itself in the form of sexual life. This science became known as the path of tantra.
Tantra is not a path of sexual life but a way of channelizing the sexual energy from a gross to a high level. This process is not brought about by believing or following any particular line of faith. The sublimation of sexual energy for the purpose of spiritual illumination needs a concrete process of practice. Even in ancient times there were practices known to the people and evidence of this can be seen in the archaeological remains from different cultures. In the present culture, however, these practices have been lost and man has only experienced the grosser aspects of sexual life. He has not followed it back to the primal cause. In modern society there is so much guilt, frustration and psychological disease for one simple reason; no one has understood the higher nature of sexual life.
According to tantra, every man and woman should know the basic fundamental kriyas - vajroli, sahajoli and amaroli. It should be understood very clearly by everyone that the ultimate purpose of sexual life is for awakening the mooladhara chakra. The momentary pleasure derived from the sexual act is just a window through which you can see beyond. No doubt there are many other ways for awakening the spiritual potential. You can do it through penance, fasting, or pranayama, but the easiest and quickest way is through the proper performance of the sexual act. That is the real purpose behind sexual life.
The experience of awakening kundalini is unbearable. The ordinary orgasm only lasts for a few seconds, and even that short period is an exploding experience. Imagine if it continued for ten minutes! No one could handle it. So sexual life is a preparation for this awakening. It balances the emotions, calms the passions, and minimises the excitement of mind, so that day by day you become more aware of inner life.
When a man and woman live together, they represent Shiva and Shakti. Therefore, they must learn to interact with a spiritual purpose, to give birth to the manifestation of energy. Love and affection are not sinful, but there should be clarity and discipline rather than anarchy. Then the sexual act becomes a powerful means for awakening the higher consciousness.