1. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    In some New Age circles I've been in, I've encountered people claiming that the Buddha once said, "Enlightenment is found in the Yoni" (or "Buddhahood/Liberation/Nirvana is found in/resides in the vagina/womb/female sexual parts"). I thought: that doesn't sound like Buddha, I thought he was totally against all that. Indeed, in the Vinaya Pitaka, he's quoted as telling a monk that "it would be better if he put his penis in the mouth of a viper than in a woman's vagina." So some debunking is clearly in order.

    It seems the quote appeared in a few New Age blogs in 2012, which appear to have taken it from a website called "Health - Science - Spirit" written by a chap called Walter Last:

    This is from 2007, and there is one earlier 'modern source' I was able to find, which dates back to 2005, and a collection of Tantric source materials:

    While other sources in this article/collection are referenced, this one isn't. Whether it's taken from an earlier online source or not, I'm not sure. Though I suspect the woman who wrote it there - Marnia Robinson - came across it in John Stevenson's "Lust for Enlightenment: Buddhism and Sex" and simply forgot that it wasn't Buddha who said it, but rather, some Buddhists.

    Now this is where it gets interesting, for rather than Buddha's staunch and steadfast attitude to sex, the Tachikawa-Ryu were a medieval Japanese esoteric cult whose practices were deemed so outlandish and depraved that they were outlawed and basically erased from history. I won't write about their practices here - but, needless to say, it's likely any unsuspecting New Ager misattributing her chat-up line to the Buddha would run a mile at the thought of some of the things they got up to.

    In a nutshell: not Buddha, medieval Japanese sex cannibals. Okay?
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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  2. Chew

    Chew Senior Member

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  3. Holy Irony

    Holy Irony New Member

    Best. TL;DR. Ever.
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  4. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    If I ever form a 'horrorcore' band, that what I'm gonna call it.
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  5. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    Medieval Japanese Sex Cannibals LIVE at Radio City Music Hall!

    Does have a nice ring to it.
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  6. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    I think just: "Sex Cannibals".
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  7. Gurnemanz

    Gurnemanz New Member

    The Buddha talked about a middle way instead of the extremes of abstinence or indulgence. In the scriptures of Tantric Buddhism we see that the energy contained within the sexual force can be harnessed for enlightenment instead of the feeding of desire. Here are some interesting readings on this subject.

    "Sensuality is enervating; the self-indulgent man is a slave to his passions, and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar. But to satisfy the necessities of life is not evil. To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our minds strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals. This is the middle path, O bhikkhus, that keeps aloof from both extremes."

    "For Buddhists, sexual intercourse can be used in the spiritual path because it causes a strong focusing on Consciousness if the practitioner has firm compassion and wisdom. Its purpose is to manifest and prolong deeper levels of mind (described earlier with respect to the process of dying), in order to put their power to use in strengthening the realization of the emptiness. Otherwise, mere intercourse has nothing to do with spiritual cultivation. When a person has achieved a high level of practice in motivation and wisdom, then even the joining of the two sex organs or so-called intercourse, does not detract from the maintenance of that person’s pure behavior..."
  8. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    I think when we talk about Buddha's 'Middle Way' these days it's to conveniently justify certain things that we want. ;)

    In my reading of 'The Sermon at Benares' Buddha is saying the middle way [to enlightenment, not just general day-to-day life] is somewhere between "mortification of the flesh" and "self-indulgence." He's saying starving and torturing yourself isn't where it's at. Sex doesn't really come into it.

    "Keeping the body in good health" probably refers to at least feeding it ("the necessities of life"), and not weakening it to the extent that spiritual and mental practise becomes difficult.

    What Tibetan Buddhism, or Tantric Buddhism, or the Dalai Lama (an abstinent monk) says about sex is a whole other matter, and not so closely related to the historical Buddha's teachings as perhaps we'd like to believe.

    The most interesting thing about "the middle way", for me, is why Buddha preached it when his own life and path was anything but 'balanced'. But that's a whole other matter.

    PS Here are some more of the Dalai Lama's actual genuine words on sex:

    Dalai Lama on sex.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  9. Gurnemanz

    Gurnemanz New Member

    It's relevant to look into Tantric Buddhism. There are quite a few different schools within Buddhism and they all claim to follow what the Buddha taught. That doesn't automatically imply a contradiction since there are multiple turnings of the wheel of dharma and different teachings from the Buddha himself. Vajrayana, or Tantrayana, is the third turning of the wheel. In order to reconcile the contradictions, it's important to look more deeply into what this path is. I'm not talking about the "middle way" to justify what I want. The "middle way", "keeping the body in good health," etc.; all these statements don't mean what you're suggesting. In Tantrism ("Alchemy" in western esotericism), the sexual energy is used to liberate oneself from desire. It is an act of renunciation. I think the right response to what I'm saying is to investigate for oneself. There are some interesting resources here: http://gnosticteachings.org/introductory-information/42-alchemy-and-tantra-sacred-sexuality.html I can provide more if you find this page inadequate.
  10. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    In some ways I agree with you, in others not. But, really, the point here is that Buddha isn't recorded as saying the original quote, and is actually recorded as saying things diametrically opposed to it.

    All else is probably discussion for another day. ;)
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