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The Means of achieving spiritual experience - Shaivism – 01 Sexual techniques – ‘Nyasa’, the rite of touching



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Alain Danielou – Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The traditions of Shiva and Dionysus

The nyasa rite consists in caressing and worshipping all the parts of the human body, since the whole [person] is considered the manifestation of the god in his various aspects, and is thus his image. Nyasa stems from a verb which means "to put, to place". It consists in a process of awakening and summoning the divine energies which are present at certain points and in certain precise organs of the body.

To worship the body is to worship the god whose image it is. We worship the god by worshipping his work, even though we are not conscious of its divine aspect. Love of beauty is, in fact, love of God, Nonnos, in his Dionysia (canto IIl,274), can easily speak of "ritual touching transformed into a loving caress'. 

J. Evola - Le Yoga tantrique

"Through nyasa, various deities, or shaktis, in different parts of the body and particularly in the 'visual points', are placed, aroused, or awakened. . . If the hand is made alive by a shakti, the part touched becomes alive, divine life flows in it, and, in the material organ, the organ made of vajra (the thunder-bolt) or sattva guna (the ascending tendency) begins to awaken, . . The hand is passed over the whole body so as to 'coat' its surface with 'divine fluid'………

The body is in no way considered an enemy. . . The characteristic of the Tantric schools is to give the body itself a hyperphysical dimension, thus establishing an alogico-magical relationships between macrocosm and microcosm . . . The body is therefore not despised; its secrets and the powers it contains are assumed and explored.

The Kularnava Tantra

The body is the temple of god. The living being is the image of Sadashiva, Shiva in his aspect of being. The adept pronounces the identification formula. 'l am he”.

The Linga Purana (1, chap.85)

The nyasa rite leads to all kinds of realization (siddhi ). It is practised in three ways which may be compared with the growth, duration and decline of the world and of living beings. The apprentice practises the rite in the form likened to growth (utpatti), the mature man in the aspect of duration (sthiti), and the ascetic in the aspect of decline (samhriti).

Touching (nyasa) may be of three kinds: touching of the limbs (anganyasa); of the hands (karanyasa); or of the body (dehanyasa).  The nyasa of the hand should first be performed, then that of the body, and lastly that of the limbs. Contact should begin with the head and end with the feet when practising the nyasa of growth. In the nyasa of decline, it begins with the feet and finishes with the head. The nyasa of the heart, face and neck, is that of duration.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Making love
Sex magick
Sexual stimulation