On the Adoration of the Lingam
- "He who desires perfection of the soul must worship the lingam."
- Linga Purana
- "Suck cock until you can’t think."
- Daniel Suders, The Fourteen Steps
Tantra, as a form of spiritual practice, has received much attention from advocates of Gay Spirituality. Some writers are concerned with the need to demonstrate that, despite the heterosexual structure and language in Tantric texts and practices, that homo-erotic practices did exist historically, albeit as Jeffrey J. Kripal puts it, as ‘secret sadhanas’ (sadhana = practice). This search for ‘historical proofs’ has its place, and is fascinating for those of us who have an interest in the recovery of gay & bisexual archetypes and myths, but we should not forget that Tantra is a living discipline and a practical one at that. The test for modern practitioners is not merely to rely on old texts and practices, but to draw on the spirit of Tantra and make it viable for our contemporary needs and desires. This article presents a Tantric dimension to fellatio, and describes a puja (ritual) for dedicating blowjobs to Shiva.
The Lingam of Shiva
The term Lingam, in Sanskrit, means ‘sign’. Shiva, as the Absolute - that which is unmanifest, can only be perceived by the means of his creation - the source of life from which the world is issued. This is the principle upon which the veneration of the phallus is based in Shaivite mysticism.
"Shiva is without sign, without colour, without taste, without odour, beyond the reach of words or touch, without qualities, immutable and immovable."
- "The distinctive sign by which one can recognise the nature of something is therefore called lingam."
- Linga Purana
In some legends, the Shivalingam ‘pierces’ the three worlds or cities. In one version, it is related that the gods Brahma and Vishnu were debating which of the two of them was the ‘greater’, when there appeared before them a vast column of light. Brahma, mounted on his swan, flew upwards to find its peak, whilst Vishnu, taking the form of a boar, descended to find its foundation. Although they searched for thousands of years, they could find neither peak nor foundation. Finally they found a Ketaki flower which had fallen from the lingam’s head. The flower told them that it had been falling for ten eons and that no one knew how much more time it would take it to reach the ground.
Thus we may understand the lingam as being a primordial axis mundi - a form of world-tree or shaman’s ladder which passes through all of the known worlds. In the microcosm, the lingam springs forth from the bindu (point) within the triangle formed by Iccha-Kriya-Jnana Shaktis (the powers of ‘think-decide-act’) and rises, piercing the chakras.
A central concept in Tantra is that of divine immanence that one can experience the divine through the worship of god or goddess in a living form. This commonly appears in the forms of tantric puja (ritual) where a goddess is worshipped in the form of a living woman. Jeffrey J. Kripal notes the teachings of Vaishnavacharan, a nineteenth-century tantric contemporary of Ramakrishna, whose Kartabhaja sect of tantrics practised the method of "delighting in God in the forms of man." That is to say, Vaishnavacharan’s followers sought to experience divine ecstasy by making a living man the subject of their adoration. Kripal infers that this would have included sex-play.
One of the central homo-erotic interludes in Hindu myth is Agni’s swallowing of the semen of Shiva, which led to a chain of events culminating in the birth of the god Skanda. Skanda is considered by some writers to be the object of devotion by a homo-erotic cult in India and elsewhere.
- "Then from his linga Shiva released his perfect seed which had the fragrant perfume of jasmine or the blue lotus. Agni took it into his hands and drank it, rejoicing, thinking, ‘Elixir!’ and then Shiva vanished."
- Saura Purana, quoted in Conner, Sparks & Sparks, p44
Semen is the purest form of sacrificial elixir the Soma offering given to the fire of desire. The Vedic texts contain many references to semen as a form of food. On an esoteric level, the ingestion of semen is a form of eucharist whereby the deity resides in the semen and enters the body of the practitioner. The magical properties of ingesting semen appears in a wide variety of cultural contexts.
Sucking cock is an act of worship. Kneeling before a man is an adoration, or an abasement. Accepting the semen of a stranger or lover is immensely powerful. There’s a power in yielding, in abandoning oneself, and a power in one’s ability, through passion and skill, to bring about the pleasure of another.
In the Kama Sutra, fellatio is referred to as auparishtaka ‘superior coition’, and associates its practice with hijras or male prostitutes. Although describing the ‘eight ways’ of performing fellatio in some detail, Vatsyayana warns against its practice. Such injunctions however, do not apply to practitioners of tantra.
Jivantalingapuja Worship of the Living Lingam
This is an outline, using tantric principles, for a sexual puja employing fellatio. This ‘rite’ may be performed externally which is to say, with a magical partner, or internally wherein the other participant is unaware of the ‘magical’ elements of the act. This is contrary to those texts which avow that acts of sexual magic may only legitimately take place between consenting ‘magical partners’. This is a matter of taste and personal preference. There is a lot of gushing in the magical community about the ‘dangers’ of performing sexual magic with someone who is unaware of the magical dimension of the act. I can only say to this that I’ve been ‘used’ in this way by both male and female partners without being aware that they were using me to power or receive a sex-magical intention and it’s not a matter that worries me.
Salutation to Ganesha
A salutation to Ganesha, whom Shiva decreed should be worshipped prior to the beginning of any auspicious act, is made. This is also appropriate as Ganesha is the guardian or doorkeeper of the Muladhara Chakra. The penis, (particularly if flaccid), may be adored as Ganesha’s trunk.
- Om, I salute the Lord of the Twisted Trunk
- Om Ganapati Namah
Bathing the Phallus
Bathing the phallus is a ritual act of purification, preparing it to become the vehicle of the indwelling deity. This may be done as a ritual oblation or by tongue-bathing.
Nyasa (placing) is the ritual act of identifying the body (or part, in this case) with the indwelling deity. Again this may be done ritually, or silently, through massage and stroking.
- Om, I salute Shiva in the balls
- Na, I salute Shiva in the root
- Ma, I salute Shiva in the shaft
- Shi, I salute Shiva in the crown
- Va, I salute Shiva in the tip
- Ya, I salute Shiva in the eye
Invoking the Deity
Invoking the chosen deity (i.e. Shiva) into the vessel is traditionally performed by the practitioner identifying with the deity through internal meditation and then externalising the indwelling deity into the vessel via the breath. Here, it may be appropriate to identify oneself with Agni (see above) before simultaneously breathing onto and stroking the penis so that it becomes a vessel for divinity.
Adoring the Lingam
Having installed the deity into the penis, it may now be adored. One may choose to use the delightful prose of the tantras or something more contemporary, depending on circumstances. Some partners might be somewhat alarmed to hear their cock described as "shining with the light of ten thousand suns."
The Kama Sutra describes the ‘eight ways’ of performing fellatio:
Clasping the penis with one hand, bringing the lips close, rounding them over the mast, whilst pressing, releasing and shaking.
Nibbling the sides
Covering the end of the penis with one hand, pressing the lips to the sides and nibbling slightly at the same time.
Bringing his lips close to the penis, he presses the mast and kisses it whilst sucking. When the sex has been stimulated by being nibbled along the sides, he himself, excited at the first contact with his lips, lets the end of the penis penetrate into his mouth, pressing it and sucking and, having bared it, he releases it.
On request, he then lets the penis penetrate further, and, pressing it between his lips, causes an ejaculation.
Encircling the penis with his hand instead of his lips, he kisses it. Let the tip of the tongue wander and titillate the meatus opening, cleaning it carefully. This is called polishing.
Having done this, with the tip of the tongue, licking the mast all over and titillating the opening, is known as browsing.
Sucking the Mango
Having bared the mast, pressing the organ hard, passionately, whilst half inside, and sucking whilst pressing, is known as sucking the mango.
Having understood the man’s desire and in order to satisfy his wish to come, he makes him ejaculate by the pressure of his tongue until the sperm gushes out.
Consuming the Soma
Assuming one wishes to do this, the divine essence may be held in the mouth whilst one meditates on the force of Shiva, before being swallowed or shared. Alternatively, a spunk-filled condom can be retained for later burial or use in anointing. Also, as Katon Shual has pointed out, dried semen can be burnt, and the ashes imbided safely.
The physical act may be accompanied by appropriate visualisation for example, if one is taking on the role of Agni, then the heat of one’s desire may be visualised and felt as burning away the ‘impurities’ of the body or the ‘kleshas’ (knots) which prevent spontaneity.
The puja may be closed ritually, or simply with a ‘hmmm’ (Aum) of satisfaction.
The duration of this puja is dependent on time and circumstances. In it’s external form, it could be quite a lengthy exercise. The practised adept however, may perform the internal rite quickly, using whatever opportunities are presented to him.
- Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit, Conner, Sparks & Sparks, Cassell, 1997
- The Complete Kama Sutra, Alain Daniélou, Park Street Press, 1994
- The Myths and Gods of India, Alain Daniélou, Inner Traditions, 1991
- The Phallus: Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power, Alain Daniélou, Inner traditions, 1995
- Rebels & Devils: The Psychology of Liberation, Christopher S. Hyatt (ed), New Falcon Publications, 1996
- Kali’s Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna, Jeffrey J. Kripal, University of Chicago Press, 1995
- Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts, Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, University of Chicago Press, 1980