The Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom: A Penis Over Every Doorway. ~ Simon Hollington

Via elephant journal
on Mar 14, 2012
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Sex is yoga, yoga is sex.

Photo credit: Bhutan National Tourism

So you think these modern yoga dudes are philanders, let me tell you about Drukpa Kunley, the greatest of Bhutanese Buddhist masters, whose sexual exploits inspired a whole nation to put an erect penis over every doorway, jutting out from under the eaves like some sort of phallic welcome mat.

Although he was Tibetan, in Bhutan, Kunley (1455-1570) is regarded by Bhutanese as the greatest of all Buddhist lineage masters. His means of teaching was sexual intercourse, drunken irreverence and ribald poetry.

How about this for a poetic song: “It would seem from your legs and muscular thighs that your pelvic thrust is particularly efficient, let’s see how you perform?” Drupka Kunley sang this to a woman in the high mountains. His motives – if you can call them that – were liberation from the ego through the thunderbolt of wisdom. Perhaps best not to try that one on your girlfriend until you’ve evolved a bit more.

When Drukpa Kunley turned up in town he would stand in the village square and say something along like this:

I have come without prejudice to help you, where can I find the best booze and most beautiful women.

Which would lead to a lot of muttering among the locals, along the lines, is he is man of God or a mad man?  Kunley was like Monet, who said in an angry repost to a journalist: “I paint with my prick.”

Crazy wisdom adepts are phenomena in the Himalayan regions.

They are duty bound to upset the establishment, with their prescribed rights and wrongs, sleeping at odd hours, partying, pulling apart established routines, dressing up, walking around nude perhaps-all of this is designed to bust the bubble of carefully constructed institutionalized behaviour and thought, projecting us out of ego-strapped self-limitation.

From the unwitting student’s view point it is both frightening and liberating, because once you let go of all preconceptions, you wonder what it was you were holding on to, letting go is a free-falling experience with without end: tantalizingly some call this surrender-bliss.

In the tradition of Divine Madman, Kunley was part of a tantric lineage established by the master Tilopa, in the 9th century. At odds with logic, morality, and order, and particular the hierarchical organised religions, which predominated, Kunley was a master of Mahamudra and Dzoken, a Buddhist lineage which in the end he transcended to reach a universal understanding.

These enlightened men and women lived and live in the eye of the hurricane, the spontaneous vortex where no filters of any kind exist. There is method in this madness: “Outwardly,” Kunley said, “I live for my pleasure and inwardly I do everything in the right moment. Outwardly I am a ragged beggar and inwardly a blissful Buddha.”

Photo credit: The Divine Madman

The crazy adepts or Divine Madman are still to be found in the foothills of the Himalayas, and elsewhere, there mission is to bring realisation to those who ask to enlightenment in this life time – and that requires a radical and technical biological approach.

Kunley used sex as a catalyst for change, for union, for self discovery, for hormonal enlivenment, creating the biological journey to ultimate connection. Sex and yoga are inseparable because it is the art of sex that raises consciousness and creates union.

What is lost to us in modern yoga is the whole practise and with that comes the sensuality of sex as opposed to the neediness, or obsessive behaviour we see in western society, whereby the fixation is on the physical practise to the point of narcissism, leading to behaviour patterns that are vulnerable.

We have forgotten that sex is the unifying principle of ying and yang in the quest for wholeness. This is strange because sex is everywhere – in the movies, in advertising, yes, and in modern yoga practise, you name it–and yet we do not understand or know how to actually enter this kingdom of heaven to find the loving completion of wholeness.  We still feel guilty and confused about sex and pursue it in tactical military manner, performing the act in a mechanistic way. Men, it seems, need only to finish–but withhold to allow women to relax only for them to release and collapse in heap for a while until the urgency of arises again. It seems more like a serious business born of engineering than spontaneous joy.

And yet it is an art and a self discipline (yoga) that can be acquired over time, with the right instruction–until the urgency metamorphoses.

Yoga should remove the western guilt, the male dominance, the giggling secretiveness, through a deepening biochemical understanding and the ability to retain your orgasm. Of course many eastern teachers have fallen-fowl of the western titillation–and that is always going to be the case, to judge this as bad or good is just a judgement. Women also seek the power of transmutation, consciously or subconsciously, just as much as those who are filled with the lust of giving.

There is nothing wrong with lust, it has its place–but at least give yourself the knowledge of the potential instead of the unconscious search, which you can see reflected on the faces of the poor humping chumps on line–it’s like they are in pain, looking for something they know they cannot hope to find. Let’s understand the full story of yoga, surely it is time to mature our understanding of the whole human system, physically, emotionally, biochemically, that is the science of yoga in its ancient pre-religious form.

Kunley’s lovers often became Dakinis: a term much misunderstood by neo-tantric westerners. These were women who trained themselves and equally men in the practises required to retain orgasm to heal and evolve through sexual hormones taken from the man and woman, once the penis has learnt to inhale. This is a process that sounds fantastic to our ears but is still practised today by those who have discovered the great secrets of semen/smegma exchange and the full potential of the limitless human body, learning to swap bodies in yabyum, the man becoming the woman, in fact, the true union of yoga.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Our reduced view of sex is filtered through two thousand years of religious suppression. The  religious elite wanted us to feel guilty about sex because they knew that it had the powerful potential (kundalini – growth hormone) of all for humans – to be healthy and free, with the ideal of eternal bliss in unity with the earth. Can you imagine such a notion in organised religion? God no.

The potential is there to evolve through the generations, or by inverting your orgasm to evolve in this life. Who in their right mind would agree to allow us peasants to experience that!  The odd thing is, the Christian priesthood lost the art themselves – hence the sexual confusion we see today among the clergy: you end up only with the notion of celibacy wrapped in morality, where else can the retained power go except to distortion.

Kunley is venerated throughout the Himalayers for his poetry which so encapsulates his earthy wisdom, and is the subject of a marvellous book, The Divine Madman by Keith Dowman and Sonam Paljor, translated from the Tibetan texts, and accepted by scholars as an accurate report of Kunley’s adventures.

When Drukpa Kunley was asked to make a gold offering for a particularly important Lama he took out his testicles and offered them instead. On another occasion instead of venerating an important Stupa, he turned to worship a beautiful girl standing watching saying, “she has the nature of mother wisdom.”  Another time he tied a sacred thread around his penis, and urinated on an ancient scroll. So forget your preconceived ideas of what a teacher should or shouldn’t be and salute those comedians who come along with their shocking diatribes and scoffing humour for they are the brave ones. All great teachers, it seems to me, are comedians and iconoclausts who shock us into realisation of our imprisonment.

Kunley never tires of girls,
Monks never tire of wealth,
Girls never tire of sex: That is the teaching on the Three Indefatigable

Read more from Simon:

The Pineal Gland: Pinnacle of Yoga.

When Yoga Becomes Yoga.

The Missing Link between the Physical and Spiritual: How the British Colonialist Deliberately Sabotaged Yoga. 

Simon Hollington is an eternal student of the tantric alchemical yogic tradition, as taught by John Burke, in the Australian bush. Thisyear, 2012, following a powerful meditation experience, Simon felt prompted to write about this subject. “Yoga in the ‘west’ needs to take the next step in the evolution of the practise,” Simon who for many was a free-lance journalist contributing to The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Sydney Morning Herald, comments, “What I have found is that most yoga magazines are in denial of the real aspects of yoga, and hide in the continuing highly detailed physical minutiae as opposed to broadening the experience of consciousness. Most systems of development on offer are incomplete to say the least.” Simon can be found on face-book where he writes a regular diary entitled Diary of a Mad Yogi.


Editor: Tanya L. Markul

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22 Responses to “The Flaming Thunderbolt of Wisdom: A Penis Over Every Doorway. ~ Simon Hollington”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posted to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. Padma Kadag says:

    Your words about Drukpa Kunley are appreciated. This notion among westerners regarding "Crazy Wisdom Adepts" is misguided though. Any artist who paints Impressionism or is a "Cubist", or paints like Jackson Pollack were trained very precisely and accomplished detailed drawing in anatomy and so on. Before they were able to paint as they saw fit they had to do "the work"…they had to accomplish basic drawing skills. Today's "Yogis" who point to the "Crazy Adepts" and pretend to be as such have not done what is necessary to attain that level of realization. They have not learned to even do the "basic drawing". Yet they aspire to be "Crazy" or splash a canvas with paint with no foundation. You cannot make yourself "CRazy" because Drukpa Kunley did what he did and you find that interesting. Once again this is another article on Buddhism with no mention of Bodhicitta. Drukpa Kunley was the form of Bodhicitta…the heart of all Buddhist teaching. Yet once agin there is no mention of Bodhicitta.

  3. ValCarruthers says:

    Great article, Simon. I laughed a lot, too. One of the reasons that Drukpa Kunley was such a mindblowing teacher is that he challenged the spiritual status quo at every turn. All that could ever be expected with him was the unexpected. His way of teaching through being comes down to us today via performance art, poets like William Burroughs and Allan Ginsburg, and social comics like Lenny Bruce. He continuously threw down the gauntlet to live and practice as he did, with complete inner freedom, no matter how shocking his actions. Where the situation has veered off course in Yoga or spiritual communities is that it's become a case of "do as I say, not as I do."

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  4. […] nerve clusters which are amenable to conscious input. They are measurable electronically and have a direct connection to the function of the organs, the biochemistry and the innate emotional/psychological aspects of the plexus which can be […]

  5. JoeC2K says:

    Simon, through my readings and experimentation, I thought it was retaining the ejaculate and not necessarily the orgasm (the two being distinct). Would you please elaborate?

    Also, I thought that your abrupt conclusion to your discussion above about Bodhicitta is odd. I don't see a problem, let alone "clearly" see a problem in his or her comments. If you wouldn't mind also elaborating on this, what problem are you referring to?


  6. simon says:

    You make a good point, I think eventually the distinction can be made and the orgasm can take place while retaining the semen, at first it all seem improbable but with practise and time and guidance as well as taking the next step in the vajolli practise, however the nature of the sensation is liable to be different – extended and whole body and perhap[s self orientated. Drukpa Kunley holds a special place in my heart – I am suspicious of discussions that focus on religious points and then continue to go round and round in circles, Buddhism seems to – in many quarters – have become self conscious and intellectual, this is not what Kunley was about. True – it is a given that he has achieved the highest levels through dilligence, and was capable of bringing the heart of Buddhism to people via Bodhicitta, but the sickness is the endless discussion of these points rather than taking action – Kunley was a master and man of action – no discursiveness, it needs to be cut short otherwise one gets sucked into this game – feel it through the body that is the tantricas way – the body is key, not the intellect which has come to so dominate our world.
    I regret it if I was in any way rude, however – I think if you read the article you will find the details of his lineage are there, and within that it is obvious that Bodhicitta must be in his heart to the pont where like Picasso he can abandon the rules of the game. I don't like rules much myself.

  7. simon says:

    there is an explanation in the Book Divine Madman, and unfortunately to expand on it in an article, well there is just isn't room. I was trying to show that sexuality has alternatives and can evelate spirituality or literally the spirit – because of the moral hangs ups of modern western yoga practise and the distortions therein, one can only show the way. Celebration of sex and why not – sex is a wonderful expression of our humanity – I thing you have applied your own projections here a little.Tantra is about everything including sex – I agree about Osho and the fact that he had not done the journey. I hope that those who read and who suffer with the confusion of neotrantra will be prepared to look further and I refer you to my four other articles which cover many other aspects – I have a weak spot for Kunley, as do the Bhutanese people, who understand his motives were not sexual, but nevertheless enjoy rebelious inconclausts.

  8. simon says:

    I would dispute that Tantra came from India. Kunley is nothing but iconoclastic, but look I think I'll leave it there, and you can explore the book Divine Madman for yourself. It is interesting I have written four articles for Elephant on tanrtra and yet when one writes in a ligher vein about sex, everyone gets in twizzle – reflecting perhaps their own projection, including myself.

  9. simon says:

    In the tradition of Divine Madman, Kunley was part of a tantric lineage established by the master Tilopa, in the 9th century. At odds with logic, morality, and order, and particular the hierarchical organised religions, which predominated, Kunley was a master of Mahamudra and Dzoken, a Buddhist lineage which in the end he transcended to reach a universal understanding.

    this is a direct quote from the article – which inherantly accepts the Boddicitta as part of Tilopa's teachings which were iconocluastic by there very nature. I wonder if people have actually read the full article, or is this skipping type reading what face book has turned us into ….

  10. pancho says:


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