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Is Vamachara marga Dharmic ?

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  #1  
Old 14 April 2006, 02:12 AM
rkannan1 rkannan1 is offline
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Is Vamachara marga Dharmic ?

The following link has some information on Vamachara Marga from Advaitic view point.

http://www.ambaa.org/archives/frm03286.html

Shankaracharya has clearly condemned this unVedic pratice according to couple of Shankara Vijayas.

Quote:
http://www.geocities.com/advaitavedant/shankarabio.htm

This is a presentation of his life based on Anandagiri's Shankara Vijaya, Maadhaveeya Shankara Vijaya and works by Swami Apoorvananda.

At Tulaja Bhavani, there lived many Shakta followers of Vamachara. Many of them indulged in practices like Narabali and Yoni Puja. These so called Shaktas indulged in the name of religion, in meat, wine and women and had thus considerably sullied the moral life of society. As a result of their diabolical rituals, people were misled to indulge in many evil practices. The Acharya knew this and therefore decided upon reforming these Vamachara tantrics.
One day during his stay at Tulaja Bhavani, some Vamacharis came to the Acharya and began to abuse him as a hypocritical ascetic. Explaining their own view they said, " The primal source of the world is Shakti and it is her that we worship. There is no importance of your Advaita knowledge whatsoever. You too should follow this creed. This will bring you supreme good".
The Acharya listened to their arguments patiently. Then he said, " There can be no deliverance through senseless rituals by which you claim to please Shakti. In the scriptures it is written that one should never take to meat and wine. By taking meat and wine, you have lowered yourselves. You have stayed away from the region of the Brahman. Do not call yourselves Shaktas any more. Try for deliverance from sins through atonement and by surrendering yourselves to the supreme Brahman".
The followers of Vamachara were filled with self-remorse at these words of the Acharya, full of substance and quite in accordance with the scriptures. The Acharya initiated them into Samayachara worship of the great Goddess and showed them the proper way to attain self- realization. His invaluable works like Prapanchasara Tantra, Tantravatarakrama and the Saundaryalahari acted as guides to the path of liberation by way of worship of the supreme Parashakti , at the same time following the rules laid down in the Vedas.
Here is what Vivekananda says about vamachara marga.

Quote:
http://www.vivekananda.btinternet.co.uk/veda11.htm

Vol.3: The Vedanta in All Its Phases, pp.340-341.

When I see how much the Vamachara [Tantra] has entered our [Bengali] society, I find it a most disgraceful place, with all of its boast of culture. These Vamachara sects are honeycombing our society in Bengal. Those who come out in the daytime and preach most loudly about achara, it is they who carry on the horrible debauchery at night and are backed by the most dreadful books. They are ordered by the books to do these things. You who are of Bengal know of it. The Bengal Shastras are the Vamachara Tantras. They are published by the cart-load, and you poison the minds of your children with them instead of teaching them our Shrutis. Fathers of Calcutta, do you not feel ashamed that such horrible stuff as these Vamachara Tantras, with translations too, should be put into the hands of your boys and girls, and their minds poisoned, and that they should be brought up with the idea that these are the Shastras of the Hindus? If you are ashamed, take them away from your children and let them read the true Shastras - the Vedas, the Gita and the Upanishads.
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Old 14 April 2006, 01:41 PM
ramkish42 ramkish42 is offline
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This is my response. For practitioner it will be heaven to do such things but for abstainers it is not so.

As it is said, Wolf might attach a sheep flock. When shepherd drives of the wolf, wolf complains that shepherd blocks natural resources for its survivial offered by lord, whereas sheep praises for shepherd for upholding its survival right offered by lord.

Jai Shree Krishna.

If I am shepherd, I will protect what I am supposed to and I will protect my cult from Vamachara
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Old 14 April 2006, 02:39 PM
rkannan1 rkannan1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkish42

This is my response. For practitioner it will be heaven to do such things but for abstainers it is not so.

As it is said, Wolf might attach a sheep flock. When shepherd drives of the wolf, wolf complains that shepherd blocks natural resources for its survivial offered by lord, whereas sheep praises for shepherd for upholding its survival right offered by lord.

Jai Shree Krishna.

If I am shepherd, I will protect what I am supposed to and I will protect my cult from Vamachara
This does not seem to be very convincing. Based on this logic every adharmic activity can be made to look dhramic relative to somebody or some circumstance.

Dharma is well defined in Vedas. Vedas say clearly(in one of the Upanishads) that none can obtain Moskha and gain Brahma Jnana without knowing Vedas. All Shastras talk about control of senses, avoiding meat and alcohol, and control of sexual urges. Hence VAmAchArA marga cannot be right at the same time when Vedas reccommend just the opposite teachings.

What is right and wrong cannot be relative.
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Old 14 April 2006, 05:45 PM
Arjuna Arjuna is offline
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Namaste,

Seemingly U want to bring this topic again and try to prove Ur opinion on sexual side of Tantrism and Hinduism in general.
Again, i will show it's invalidity. (No one tries to make U a Vamachari or Kaula or convince U to accept Tantric doctrine. What is the problem in fact? Every one is free to choose his path. If U personally aren't fond of Tantrism, it is not a reason to impose Ur views on others and divert the facts.)
I am totally aware of that i won't make U agree with me. Actually i do not try to convince U since i see it as useless thing. But i have to reply to protect the Truth - for the sake of those who may read Ur posts and get deluded about Tantric path. So, again, i do not suggest U to agree or change Ur personal views - it is totally up to Ur wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkannan1
The following link has some information on Vamachara Marga from Advaitic view point.
It is not advaitic, it is Harsha's. His personal opinion is not a standard of truth. He has been noted in yahoo groups for baseless condemnation of Vama-marga. Harsha has no initiation into high levels of Shrividya-sadhana and i am not sure if he at all belongs to any authentic tradition.
The view of Shri Amritanandanatha of Devipuram is much more trustable. And he clearly says Vamachara was and is an esoteric, sublime part of Shrividya tradition. Which is in full accordance with Agamas and other sacred texts of Shrividya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkannan1
Shankaracharya has clearly condemned this unVedic pratice according to couple of Shankara Vijayas.
First of all, this kind of writings (half-mythical stories about lives of some saints) are not of primary importance to any tradition. Secondly, they are valid only for Shankara's tradition - and in no way have to be accepted as general Hindu authority, let alone Tantric one.
Leaving aside the matter of historical accuracy (which is questionable) of such stories, in any case they cannot stand as a proof of adharmic nature of Vama-marga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkannan1
Here is what Vivekananda says about vamachara marga.
Same thing, this is a personal opinion which is to be followed by his disciples only (and not all Hindus). With respect to Swami Vivekananda, his statements are incorrect in general (maybe it was said in some context and needed at that particular moment). Actually his own Guru, Sri Ramakrishna, did follow Vamachara for certain time (until he became divya-sadhaka). Many well known saints of Bengal were Kaulas and Vamacharis (Shri Vamakshepa and Tarakshepa are just two examples).

I can understand that some practices of Vama-marga are in contradiction with Smriti-shastras. However, Tantras (as Agamas in general) are traditionally held to be a part of Shruti (dealing with vishesha-jnana as opposed to samanya-jnana in Vedas) and their authority is higher than that of any Smriti (for the followers of Tantric path). And Tantras do prescribe Vamachara as a necessary level of Shakta-upasana, which is more advanced than conventional ritualistic or yogic sadhana.
To be clear, one doesn't have to follow niyamas of Tantras unless he is a Tantrika (moreover, he has no right for Vama-sadhanas without special diksha and upadesha).

Sexual rituals were present already in ancient Vedic cult, and they aren't prohibited by Smriti (if varnshrama-dharma is not violated).
They are present in Shaiva- and Bhairava-agamas, as well as in Shakta- (Kaula-)agamas. Even in Vaishnava tradition there is a place for sexual rituals - both in South Indian tradition of Shri-sampradaya and traditions of North. I do not mean to say that all Shaivas or Vaishnavas followed Vamachara (which is of course not the case), but some of them did - and their practice is fully dharmic and based of their Agamas.

Vamachara is prescribed in almost all scriptures of Shakta tradition. This fact is beyond any doubt. If needed i can easily provide any numbers of quotes. Hope it is not necessary, i simply have no time for reproducing here those text which are available in India. U may check some Tantras in Muktabodha Online Library, that will be enough. I can show U needed places as well.

Please, do not divert the facts. Vamachara is a valid path in Hinduism, and necessary part of Tantrism. But it is not for everyone, and primarily is meant for grihasthas with intention to Moksha or knowledge of God.
Also, Kaula-tantra is impossible without Love (bhakti), which is to be taken into account.

I really do not want to enter a huge disputation, since the issue is transparent. Hope U will have enough respect to other ways in Hindu-dharma which are different from Ur own.
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Old 14 April 2006, 05:49 PM
Arjuna Arjuna is offline
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To conclude,

There cannot be any objection for Vama-sadhana for grihasthis who got proper initiation into Kaula tradition. And Scriptures accept this as a path to Brahma-jnana (Shiva-vyapti in Tantric terms).

Let us agree on this and finish unnecessary clashes.

Best regards,
Arjunananda
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Old 14 April 2006, 08:31 PM
rkannan1 rkannan1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Namaste,

Seemingly U want to bring this topic again and try to prove Ur opinion on sexual side of Tantrism and Hinduism in general.
Again, i will show it's invalidity. (No one tries to make U a Vamachari or Kaula or convince U to accept Tantric doctrine. What is the problem in fact? Every one is free to choose his path. If U personally aren't fond of Tantrism, it is not a reason to impose Ur views on others and divert the facts.)
I am totally aware of that i won't make U agree with me. Actually i do not try to convince U since i see it as useless thing. But i have to reply to protect the Truth - for the sake of those who may read Ur posts and get deluded about Tantric path. So, again, i do not suggest U to agree or change Ur personal views - it is totally up to Ur wish.
It is not about personal opinions but trying to see facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
First of all, this kind of writings (half-mythical stories about lives of some saints) are not of primary importance to any tradition. Secondly, they are valid only for Shankara's tradition - and in no way have to be accepted as general Hindu authority, let alone Tantric one.
Leaving aside the matter of historical accuracy (which is questionable) of such stories, in any case they cannot stand as a proof of adharmic nature of Vama-marga.
The Shankara Vijayas are accepted as authentic by the Advaita tradition. Hence Shankara's opinions on vAmAchArA is explicit. As for proving whether vAmAchArA is adharmic or not, Shankara's words provide additional support for my claim. It is not a independent evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Same thing, this is a personal opinion which is to be followed by his disciples only (and not all Hindus). With respect to Swami Vivekananda, his statements are incorrect in general (maybe it was said in some context and needed at that particular moment). Actually his own Guru, Sri Ramakrishna, did follow Vamachara for certain time (until he became divya-sadhaka). Many well known saints of Bengal were Kaulas and Vamacharis (Shri Vamakshepa and Tarakshepa are just two examples).
Ramakrishna has told that vAmAchArA is for Bhangis. Again the words of Vivekanada is to provide additional support to my statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
I can understand that some practices of Vama-marga are in contradiction with Smriti-shastras. However, Tantras (as Agamas in general) are traditionally held to be a part of Shruti (dealing with vishesha-jnana as opposed to samanya-jnana in Vedas) and their authority is higher than that of any Smriti (for the followers of Tantric path).
Only for tantrics, but need not be true. Besides nowhere in Sruti it is told "sex" is a way to reach Bhagavaan. Infact many Srutis and Smritis make it clear that lust and desire(includes sex) takes one away from Brahma Saukya.

In addition Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is very clear that sex is merely a tool for procreation and hence is explained as a ritual here in this upanishad. This Upanishad never says that "sex" as a way to atttain Brahma Saukya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
And Tantras do prescribe Vamachara as a necessary level of Shakta-upasana, which is more advanced than conventional ritualistic or yogic sadhana.
To be clear, one doesn't have to follow niyamas of Tantras unless he is a Tantrika (moreover, he has no right for Vama-sadhanas without special diksha and upadesha).
The question is whether these tantric agamas are Dharmic or falsehood. There is every evidence for tantric agamas(left ones) going against Vedas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Sexual rituals were present already in ancient Vedic cult,
Where ? Provide quotes. Otherwise it is mere statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
and they aren't prohibited by Smriti (if varnshrama-dharma is not violated).
They are present in Shaiva- and Bhairava-agamas, as well as in Shakta- (Kaula-)agamas.
Only these agamas you mentioned above allow, all of which contyradict sruti in this regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Even in Vaishnava tradition there is a place for sexual rituals - both in South Indian tradition of Shri-sampradaya and traditions of North.
This is absolute nonsense. Merely stating more lies proves nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
I do not mean to say that all Shaivas or Vaishnavas followed Vamachara (which is of course not the case), but some of them did - and their practice is fully dharmic and based of their Agamas.
Which Vaishnava agama has this. Provide references, verses and your sources. Mere faulty, (intentionally/unintentionally) misleading statements will not help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Vamachara is prescribed in almost all scriptures of Shakta tradition. This fact is beyond any doubt. If needed i can easily provide any numbers of quotes. Hope it is not necessary, i simply have no time for reproducing here those text which are available in India. U may check some Tantras in Muktabodha Online Library, that will be enough. I can show U needed places as well.

Please, do not divert the facts. Vamachara is a valid path in Hinduism, and necessary part of Tantrism. But it is not for everyone, and primarily is meant for grihasthas with intention to Moksha or knowledge of God.
Also, Kaula-tantra is impossible without Love (bhakti), which is to be taken into account.

I really do not want to enter a huge disputation, since the issue is transparent. Hope U will have enough respect to other ways in Hindu-dharma which are different from Ur own.
The whole point is that this kaula tradition is anti-Vedic and adhrmic in nature. To remove doubt of bigotry of my side or the doubt that this is my faulty opinion, I quoted some of the opinions of great acharyas too.

From Vedas and smritis it is clear that vAmAchArA is an adharmic and anti-vedic tradition. To show this fact is my intention of this post.
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Old 14 April 2006, 08:50 PM
rkannan1 rkannan1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
To conclude,

There cannot be any objection for Vama-sadhana for grihasthis who got proper initiation into Kaula tradition. And Scriptures accept this as a path to Brahma-jnana (Shiva-vyapti in Tantric terms).

Let us agree on this and finish unnecessary clashes.

Best regards,
Arjunananda
Which scripture ? Please quote relevant scriptural quotes to support your contention.

As far as grihastas, they still have to follow Vedic path and sense control. Definitely sex is not part of any authentic Yoga process acceptable to Vedas.
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Old 15 April 2006, 04:41 AM
Arjuna Arjuna is offline
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Namaste,
Currently i am off place, and will be able to reply in detail tomorrow only.

For now, just check Tripuropanishad, it has a reference to 5M including sex. As U might know, Tripura is one of the 108 (Muktika) canon and is thus generally authorative.
Lalita-sahasranama has many references to Vama-upasana, and it is not from a Tantra but from Purana. Kalika-purana mentions ritual sex also.
In Vaishanava Agamas it is Lakshmi-tantra, as i already mentioned. I do not have a book presently, but will try to get the exact verses.
Brihadaranyaka doesn't say sex is only for procreation (U did not prove this point, only mere assumptions). Neither Vedas and Smritis prohibit Vamachara for initiated grihasthis (where they do?).
If U do not accept the authority of Agamas, it is Ur wish. But they are a basic authority for many great Hindu traditions. They were accepted by hundreds well known Masters. It is awkward to say Agamas are anti-Vedic, nobody in India claims this. There are many strict Vaidika brahmanas who do follow Vamachara. Sex and alchohol are used in almost all Shakta traditions. If U get more knowledge on this theme, we can discuss. Since U have no, how can U judge? If U are lazy to check with books, ask some Shakta-pandita, there are some to be found in Varanasi for example.

Abhinavagupta and Bhaskararaya are accepted authorative Gurus by all Shakta traditions. And Bhaskara promoted Vamachara is his life and writings. In is a known historical fact that he opposed brahmanas who condemned Vama-marga in Varanasi. Bhaskara is one of the most high authorities in Shrividya tradition.

In support of Vamachara we have many Agamas, opinions of acknowledged Masters, some places in Shruti and Puranas. Isn't this enough to admit (even if U take the most strict Smarta position) that it is a valid path for those who have a right for it (according to Smriti)?

BTW U won't find in Vedas any yoga, mantra-japa, murti-puja etc. Are these things also anti-Vedic? Some, like Dayananda Saraswati, claimed so. But do U agree? Vamachara is not less Vedic than these practices.
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Old 15 April 2006, 01:39 PM
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LalithA SahasranAma [793] Kapardini

Kapardini

Ka, water, ie of Ganga, para, the flow, da, sanctifies. His [Siva's]
matted hair sanctifies even the water of the GangA.

According to the commentator of the SU-sam., "Kaparda means, earth,
mockery, and praise." Hence Kapardini, greatly praised.

Or, kapardini, decked with the garland of cow-dung cakes. When Siva
incarnated as MailAra, his wife called MahAlasA, was decked with a
garland of cow-dung cakes. The Visva says, "Karpada means the matted
hair of Siva and cow-dung cakes"..

According to Devi Pr, Karpadini is the wife of Kaparda. [Siva], a
deity worshipped at ChagalAnda, one of the sixty eight sacred places.


BhAskararAya's Commentary
Translated into English by R. Ananthakrishna Sastry.
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Old 15 April 2006, 02:52 PM
rkannan1 rkannan1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Namaste,
Currently i am off place, and will be able to reply in detail tomorrow only.

For now, just check Tripuropanishad, it has a reference to 5M including sex. As U might know, Tripura is one of the 108 (Muktika) canon and is thus generally authorative.
Tripuropanishad is probably as unauthentic as muktikopanishad. Muktikopanishad does not find mention anywhere in literature before 19 th century. To my knowledge Tirupuropanishad also do not find mention before 18th century(Bhaskararaya).

http://www.dvaita.org/list/list_46/msg00018.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Lalita-sahasranama has many references to Vama-upasana, and it is not from a Tantra but from Purana. Kalika-purana mentions ritual sex also.
Lalita Sahsranama is not authentic as it contradicts Sruti, while Kalika Purana is also not authentic as it is not counted among 18 Mahapuranas.(I have rephrased my statement as the moderator has warned me).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
In Vaishanava Agamas it is Lakshmi-tantra, as i already mentioned. I do not have a book presently, but will try to get the exact verses.
Please provide if you find any with source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Brihadaranyaka doesn't say sex is only for procreation (U did not prove this point, only mere assumptions).
The portion of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad containing sexual union of man and woman is called "Putramantha-Brahmana". Hence it is only logical to conclude that sexual union is used only as a tool for obtaining a PUTRA. Nowhere in the upanishad it is mentioned that "sex" as a process for Brahma Gnana, only as a tool for obtaining good sons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
Neither Vedas and Smritis prohibit Vamachara for initiated grihasthis (where they do?).
Ofcourse scriptures do prescribe sense control even for grihastas and no Vedas or authentic smritis prescribe sex as a way for Brahma Gnana. Infact it is considered inauspicious to perform sexual acts during performance of good acts like Vedic yagnas etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
If U do not accept the authority of Agamas, it is Ur wish. But they are a basic authority for many great Hindu traditions. They were accepted by hundreds well known Masters. It is awkward to say Agamas are anti-Vedic, nobody in India claims this.
Just because somebody follows vamachara, it does not become right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
There are many strict Vaidika brahmanas who do follow Vamachara. Sex and alchohol are used in almost all Shakta traditions. If U get more knowledge on this theme, we can discuss. Since U have no, how can U judge? If U are lazy to check with books, ask some Shakta-pandita, there are some to be found in Varanasi for example.

Abhinavagupta and Bhaskararaya are accepted authorative Gurus by all Shakta traditions. And Bhaskara promoted Vamachara is his life and writings. In is a known historical fact that he opposed brahmanas who condemned Vama-marga in Varanasi. Bhaskara is one of the most high authorities in Shrividya tradition.
Vedas clearly prescribe SENSE CONTROL. Indulgence in sexual activities is definitely not sense control. Hence vamachara is automatically anti-vedic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
In support of Vamachara we have many Agamas, opinions of acknowledged Masters, some places in Shruti and Puranas. Isn't this enough to admit (even if U take the most strict Smarta position) that it is a valid path for those who have a right for it (according to Smriti)?
Which Sruti says that sexual activity is a process of Brahma Gnana ?

Except Pancaratra and other authentic smritis that agree with Srutis, all other tantric works and smritis are obviously wrong and/or interpolated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjuna
BTW U won't find in Vedas any yoga, mantra-japa, murti-puja etc. Are these things also anti-Vedic? Some, like Dayananda Saraswati, claimed so. But do U agree? Vamachara is not less Vedic than these practices.
The whole of Vedas contains mantras. The varnashrama system is for Veda parayana for dvijas. Hence one cannot say Brahmacharya etc. is not mentioned in Vedas, for Brahmacharya is mentioned explicitly in Chandogya upanishad etc.

Also it is clearly mentioned in this upanishad that Brahman world is attainalble only through Brahmacharya(8:5:2). It is because of these explcit statements in upanishads like this that vAmAchArA needs to be rejected as anti-Vedic.

Regarding Murti Puja, there is no such explicit statements in Vedas that rejects making of images etc.

Last edited by rkannan1 : 15 April 2006 at 10:00 PM.
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