Substitutes for Pancatattva

Owing, however, to abuses, particularly as regards the tattva of madya and maithuna, this Tantra, according to the current version, prescribes in certain cases, limitations as regards their use. It prescribes (1) that when the Kaliyuga is in full strength, and in the case of householders (grhastha) whose minds are engrossed with worldly affairs, the “three sweets” (madhuratraya) are to be substituted for wine. Those who are of virtuous temperament, and whose minds are turned towards the Brahman, are permitted to take five cups of wine.

So also as regards maithuna, this Tantra states (2) that men in this Kali age are by their nature weak and disturbed by lust, and by reason of this do not recognize women (sakti) to be the image of the Deity. It accordingly (3) ordains that when the Kaliyuga is in full sway, the fifth tattva shall only be accomplished with sviyasakti, or the worshipper’s own wife, and that union with a woman who is not married to the sadhaka in either Brahma or Saiva forms is forbidden.

In the case of other sakti (parakiya and sadharani) it prescribes, (4) in lieu of maithuna, meditation by the worshipper upon the lotus feet of the Devi, together with japa of his ista-mantra. This rule, however, the Commentator says, is not of universal application. S’iva has, in this Tantra, prohibited sadhana with the last tattva, with parakiya, and sadharani sakti (4) in the case of men of ordinary weak intellect ruled by lust; but for those who have by sadhana conquered their passions and attained the state or a true vira, or siddha, there is no prohibition as to the mode of latasadhana. (5) This Tantra appears to be, (6) in fact, a protest against the misuse of the tattva, which had followed upon a relaxation of the original rules and conditions governing them.

Without the pancatattva in one form or another, the saktipuja cannot be performed. The Mother of the Universe must be worshipped with these elements. By their use the universe (jagatbrahmanda) itself is used as the article of worship. “Wine signifies the power (sakti) which produces all fiery elements; meat and fish all terrestrial and aquatic animals; mudra all vegetable life; and maithuna the will (iccha), action (kriya) and knowledge (jnana) sakti of the Supreme Prakrti productive of that great pleasure (7) which accompanies the process of creation.(8) To the Mother is thus offered the restless life of Her universe.

1. Chapter VIII, verse 171.
2. Chapter VII I, verse 173.
3. Chapter VI, verse 14.
4. Chapter VIII, verse 174.
5. See Uttara, Guptasadhana, Nigamakalpadruma, and other Tantras and Tantrasara, (P. 698 et, seq.)
6. See Mahanirvana-Tantra, Bhakta edition, p. 3.J.5.
7. For I have not yet had the opportunity of comparing the current Bengali with the Nepalese text.
8. S’iva in the Matrkabheda-Tantra (chap. ii) says : (Yadrupam paramanandam tannasti bhuvanatraye).