The “superior and inferior” gates of the body have already been mentioned in the article “The Temple of the Body”.
Briefly, the superior gates are all the orifices placed in the area of the head: mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and opening on top of the head. The inferior gates are the anus and the genitals.
All these are ways through which the force of life is channelled either to come out or to get inside the body. From this point of view the superior gates are more efficient because they lead to high spiritual states.
Tantra says that the inferior gates lead the conscience to inferior forms of existence, even sub – human ones.
The force of life is divided into two main energetic fields: one ascendant, called prana and one descendent, called apana. Usually prana appears in the region of the heart and acts as an intelligent ‘string’ of energy, whose role is to maintain life.
Apana appears generally in the inferior region between the stomach and the anus. There are other three types of energy, which are placed in the area of the navel, neck and around the entire body; these types of energy are named samana, udana and vyana.
Thus, there are five energetic strings of energy:
Prana – ascendant motion, around the heart;
Apana – descendent motion, around the anus;
Samana – around the bellybutton;
Udana – around the neck;
Vyana – through the entire body;
Each of these five currents of energy has got a well-determined function in the body, having its role to the general state of health.
Goraksha Shatakam presents the following allegorical description of Jiva‘s motion through the body:
“Just like a ball, that comes back into the air when it’s smashed against the ground, jiva (the individual soul) does the same thing when led up and down by prana and apana.”
When you get the control over the motion of the individual soul (jiva) and can focus it on one single place, only then you will be able to conduct your life exactly the way you want to. Tantra says that a person can set his/her own destiny and not accept it as a fatality.
The Tantras (secret Tantric texts) say that these energetic strings, both ascendant and descendent, can be controlled and unified through different physical techniques or through the force of the mind, practicing certain Hatha Yoga positions, such as the reversed poses (standing on the head, for instance).
Gheranda Samhita presents a description of the way the reversed positions help controlling the flow of energy, in its different forms:
“Normally the Solar force resides at the level of the navel, while the lunar force resides at the top of the head. The Sun consumes the divine nectar springing from the moon, and this is the cause of death.
However, one may overcome death by practicing the following technique: place your head on the ground and support it with your hands; raise your legs in the air, and remain like this.
The flow of energy reverses, and thus you will be able to control the energies of life and to prevent premature aging and death.”
The contraction of the anal sphincters and the abdominal contractions help the transmutation of the descendent flow of energy. You can get the same result by focusing and visualizing the process of reorientation of the energy. When apana unites with prana the spirit centres on the heart.
During intercourse, the subtle energies vibrate strongly, they elevate and expand. In the moment of ejaculation, an electric charge, like a thrill or a vibration that almost stops you from breathing is perceived acutely.
The heart beats faster, the face blushes, energy flows in waves through the orifices of the body and the mystical moment, the one of “the spirits getting together”, is wasted.
The ecstatic, vibrating sentiment gets lost and the body becomes cold and empty. Thoughts start to pop up in the mind. A general contraction goes through the body, involuntarily.
“The apparent death” is one of the most frequent themes in both Eastern and Western erotic texts. Though this experience is very attractive because of the fact that it leads to forgiveness, yet Tantra shows us that the “apparent death” or “the small death” is a negative form of mysticism, connected to the losing of the communion with the universal source.
Traditional texts show us that before erotic experience ends the body’s orifices will block the energies between the two lovers, because the couple often wastes its own ecstatic potential energy due to the fact that the union of their consciences is too short in the case of intercourse without sexual continence.