Ayurveda's approach to sexuality and sexual health. Maithun (sex) is considered one of the four basic needs of humans.
Sexual intercourse is not an action to be performed carelessly. Strict discipline is needed. It should be performed at the right time and for the right reasons.Although we tend to think of sex as being concerned with intercourse itself, this is only part of the complet concept.
The Politics of Aphrodisia
Ayurveda excels in its overall aphrodisiac model which is both enlightened and comprehensive in its scope. This is not because the sages were obsessed with sex, but rather because of the political and economic implications. A stable country meant a good king and an easy succession to his heir. As the king was the patron of the medical arts, he footed the bills for herbal research and growing medicines. If the king had no heir, the political and social disruptions caused problem for the whole country and cut short the monthly pay check. For these reasons doctors studied carefully how to increase the fertility of both king and queen.
The Ayurvedic usage of “aphrodisia” literally means the health of the sexual organs. It does not imply that one will get disproportionately excited by ingesting a special formula. What it does means is that daily ingestion of certain plants and foods increases the sexual fluids and thereby increases the vitality of those organs. Vitality means prana. The use of aphrodisiacs increases the likelihood of the conception of a healthy child and an increase in the enjoyment of the sexual act itself. Ayurveda states that the most effective aphrodisiac is an excited partner. Charaka writes that all individual things are beautiful, but that a woman is the sum total of all beautiful things in nature. De facto, women are considered to be the best aphrodisiacs.
Rejuvenation formulas are derived from two distinct branches of Ayuveda. Whilst rejuvenation is used to increase the longevity of the whole body and mind, aphrodisiacs are give to specifically rejuvenate the sexual organs and to provide for healthy children. Of the eight branches of Ayurveda, these two branches are of special interest because they do not exist in such a developed state in the allopathic system.
"The therapy which creates potentiality for the getting of offspring for the maintenance of the continuity of the lineage, which cause instantaneous sexual excitation, to a degree that one is capable of indulging in sexual acts with women uninterrupted like a strong horse, and is exceedingly loved by women, which nourishes the tissue element, by which even the signs of seminal debility do not appear in his body, which enable him to remain like a big tree having innumerable branches (family), and to earn respect from people by virtue of his having procreated several children, which is conducive to his enjoying happiness and eternity in this world and beyond (through his children), and which brings about longevity, beauty, strength and nourishment is know as aphrodisiac therapy." (from: Caraka Samhita VOL III). Charaka emphasises beauty and an aroused partner, not medicine. Although Ayurveda does have excellent formulas to combat impotence, debility, and infertility, the primary emphasis of ayurveda is on a mutually attractive sexual interest and beauty. It is worth noting that Ayurveda may seem one-sided to women, as there are no references on what is the best aphrodisiac for women.
Ayurveda clearly states that certain preparations are necessary before using aphrodisiac formulas. If a person take these aphrodisiac recipes in appropriate quantity and in proper time, when the channels of circulation of their body are clean, then they help in the promotion of virility, nourishment and strength. Therefore, depending on the strength of the person, elimination therapies should be administered to him, before he resorts to these aphrodisiac recipes. As a dirty cloth does not get properly colored (with die), similarly in an uncleaned effects.
When prana is stagnant or blocked, sexual function is impaired. A sedentary lifestyle does not aid the circulation of prana; it directly causes stagnation and blockage with time. Food is also responsible for the congestion or blockage of prana over a period of time. A heavy, rich diet will cause pranic congestion. Modern research has linked prostate cancer in men to overly rich diet. Food on its most subtle state results in ojas. Additionally, our intake of liquid is also important for sexual function, as it is the liquid consumed that becomes prana in its subtle state.
The final transformation of what we eat and drink results in the reproductive fluids. They are the most refined and potent physical element in the body. The combination of the male and female fluids results in life; there is enormous potential in these fluids. As food and drink are refined, they move through the tissues from the first to the seventh level. With each level the food is becoming close to ojas and the drink becoming closer to prana. The reproductive fluids are highly concentrated ojas and prana (tejas also). It is these principles in combination with the sperm, ovum, and the soul that create life.
As ojas relates to the essence of the kapha dosha, so prana relates to essence of the vata humor. Tejas is the essence of the pitta humor. Tejas in this context is the principle of transformation. The principle of cohesion, of stability, of protection all belong to ojas. Ojas is the basis of our immune response system. In a dangerous comparison of allopathic and ayurvedic views, we can see that depletion of the marrow, which produces the white blood cell that fight infection, can lower our immune response. Ayurveda asys that reproductive fluids are the outcome of the marrow, hence excessive loss of sexual fluids taxes the marrow and thus lowers the immune response and the strength of the body.
Too much fluid loss, for either men and women, also affects the prana. It is the lower prana, the Apnan Prana, the governs the exit of body wastes and sexual actions, including orgasm and ejaculation. If the apana is overexcited or overused, there will be an imbalance of the vata humor which it regulates. Vata lives in the colon as does the apana. From an ayurvedic point of view, too much sex will eventually cause vata-related diseases.. For that matter, habitual colonics or enemas will also disrupt the apana and thus vata. Care should be given to harmonize the pranas or humors after intense sexual activity.
Ayurveda states that sexual activity should be limited to the genitals. There are number of reasons for this that are not moralistic. Anal sex directly aggravates the apana and vata, even in moderate amounts. There are also hygienic problems associated with this type of interaction. The pranic balance of prana and apana is also disrupted. Prana is solar and apana is lunar; this yin-yang balance is disturbed by anal sex. However, there are thing that can balance this activity if done occasionally. Sesame oil encmas with anti-vata herbs after sex will help. Each application should be done after a cleaning enema of warm water. This will help to harmonize the apana. One should consult any Ayurvedic doctor for constitutional management, as this cause other subtle imbalance in the body if habitual. After a period of rest (thirty to sixty minute) mild exercise, such as walking, will help the body to harmonize the pranas. Anti-vata foods. Namely kapha foods, should be take. A calm environment promotes harmony in the five pranas and three humors. Anal sex is best avoided as it is difficult to balance in the long run.
Oral sex is far less disruptive to the pranas. The Apana Prana is not directly aggravated, and if orgasm is not the goal or the result, then the action is not disruptive to humors. The mental or emotional excitement developed can overstimulate the mind, causing ejaculation much sooner in a man. If this is not desirable, then short periods of play are preferred, as the imbalance the prana less. If a man and woman join together in oral sex simulataneously, a different polarity results.
Man is solar and woman is lunar. However, the genitals of the man are lunar (kapha-related semen) and the woman’s genitals are solar (pitta-relatd). This is why there is much an attraction to the opposite sex-like seeks ;like. The woman and the lunar woman seek to unite with the lunar genitals of the man. In oral sex a different kind of energetic polarity results due to the solar and lunar poles of the body. The man is solar orally as the women is genital and vice versa. The mental and emotional stimulation is of an opposite quality than through normal intercourse. Energetically speaking, is not harmonizing act, it is stimulating, which is why it is exciting foreplay. The nonharmonizing factor is one reason why Ayurveda says not to have oral sex, and hygiene is no doubt another.
Masturbation or Dangers of Self-Gratification
Self-gratification has a depleting effect on the body for four reasons. First is the actual loss of reproductive fluids; second, there is no opposite energy with which the pranas can balance, no polarity is created; third, there is no emotional exchange between partners that a harmonizing effect on the prana; lastly, in order to stimulate yourself, it is necessary to imagine a situation, person, or action. This act of imagination cause an imbalance between the prana that resides in the head the Apana Prana that controls the sexual arousal of the genitals.
Habitual self-gratification cause a lowering of overall pranic vitality and debilitates the kidneys with time. The kidneys play a vital role in the creation of reproductive fluids, and if the emotional balance of a partner is not there to harmonize the pranas, the apana associated with the kidneys is disrupted. Frustration related to sex, accompanied with habitual self-gratification, is very depleting on all the apana function and result in chronic vata imbalances.
Dangers of Fantasies
Perhaps the aspect to be the most alert about is the overstimulation of the imagination. When alone this is needed for gratification. However, when you are with your partner, imagination creates blocks to a fully harmonious experience. In normal copulation the mutual emotional love and mutual physical stimulation are function naturally, thus balance results. If one of the partners is not present, but fantasizing, then natural harmony is disrupted. Where the mind goes, the prana following. This is a fundamental law of the universe; it just work like that. If your thinking of the image that excites you in self-gratification while making love with your partner, harmony will not result. The experience will be less satisfying, even draining, because you were not present. Pranic harmony (which means ALL harmony) cannot present occur if your prana and mind are not present in the action of making love.
Sex & the Mind
The pranic relation to the mind explains why the sexual phenomenon is 95 percent mental. The Apana is the prana that controls the sexual function for both man and women. I that a direct relationship with the controlling prana of the brain . This controlling prana is seated in both the heart and the head. Together these two operate the mental and physical components that control the action of sexual arousal and intercourse. The very action of thinks is the movement of prana in consciousness. In fact, nothing take place that is not 95 percent mental, because that just the movement of prana and mind together. One factor that change this natural process is love, another is meditation. Thought either love or meditation the mental aspect of making love can be subdued or stopped naturally. This can rarely be cultivated, never the less it can naturally happen in a deeply loving exchange.
On the Use of Aphrodisiacs
Concerning sex, Ayurvedic counsels revolve mainly around the fertility of both partners and the child that results from the union, but some other point are also of interest to Westerners. It is said aphrodisiacs should be taken on a regular basis if one has sexual relations, and that they should especially be taken before and after copulation. This is just common sense. We must use the optimum methods known to replenish the reproductive fluids that are lost or exchanged in intercourse. In fact there is a tremendous exchange of prana in lovemaking. Ayurveda categorically states that abstaining from sex is not healthy for normal people.
If a person keep himself absolutely free from sexual intercourse, then this give rise to mental stress. (From Caraka Sahita Vol III).
Aphrodisiacs should be taken with milk or ghee, as these are considered to replenish reproductive fluids directly. Formulas should be taken in accordance with the digestive capabilities of the individual. Don't drink four quarts of milk to replenish fluids if you don’t have the ability to digest it. These substances should be taken warm (pitta) or hot (vata, kapha), and never cold. Honey and raw sugar work immediately to carry the formula to the tissues, and honey, itself, is a natural aphrodisiac.
Times & Seasons for Sexual Activity
Sex performed at night is the least disruptive to the pranas; in other words, you lose less prana to your partner in the night. The winter is also considered to be the best season for sex; summer is the worst. In the winter kapha is the highest in nature, and as kapha controls the fluids of the body, sexual activity has the least depleting effect at this time of year. The high external temperatures of summer overheat the body and cause increased pitta, which in turn results in a lowering of kapha, which controls the sexual fluids. When sex is done at “inappropriate” times, then aphrodisiac formulas are needed in higher doses.