Radha is interviewed by Sarvaan: how it all started with her teaching Tantra
I met Krishna Radha in Thailand last winter when I was cooking for her Tantra workshop. During the week I witnessed her group transform from closed off and rigid individuals to a bunch of loving, laughing, dancing and celebratory people. It made me very curious about her and her work.
Recently I was fortunate enough to interview her for Osho News and here is how it went:
Who were your biggest influences on your spiritual path?
I guess the Beatles (smiles). When they went to Maharishi and started talking about meditation it stirred up a curiosity because I had no idea what it was. But of course the main one was Osho. I was lucky enough to meet Osho really early. I met him when I was 19 and more than an influence, it was a full on infection!
So what drew you to Osho instead of Maharishi or one of the other masters?
Well, I was a girl with a lot of questions during the sexual revolution. I was very confused between the truth I felt in my being and the upbringing of my family, society and religion. I was going to Catholic school and there were clergy in my big family so you can imagine the environment I was in.
At that age, like many girls I was very curious about sexual energy. I couldn’t understand why something so nice and juicy was so condemned. I just didn’t get it. So during my travels, I ended up in a small center in Germany where I met some sannyasins. It was there that I found a magazine where Osho was talking about Tantra. It was the first time I read something that had to do with spirituality and sacred sex and it was like boom! Yes!
It made me curious, but also a little scared. Nine months later, in December of 1974, I went to Pune and met Osho. Meeting Osho was… well there was no other place to be.
Did Osho give you any particular tasks or guidance that helped you on your path?
Well the tasks of letting go of the ego was the everyday task but he offered it with different challenges and a lot of humor. I would go to him and be desperate, looking for some deep and serious problem to talk about, but he always had an attitude of teasing me and easing me out of my suffering. That was very important for me, that there was always this sense of fun on the path as well. One day he would tell me to go with my energy and follow my feelings and the next say that I needed to be more disciplined or I have to be celibate, you know all kinds of things like this. So much change and the ego does not like that!
Celibate? How long did you have to endure that?
He didn’t actually give me a time. I had this Indian boyfriend who was practicing yoga, and one day he comes to me with a shaved head and told me he decided to be celibate. I wondered, how do you have a boyfriend that you do not make love to? So I went to see Osho and asked him, “Should I change boyfriends? What am I supposed to do now?” He said, “You have tasted the relaxation of sex now taste the power of celibacy.” And I said you mean celibate with him? Osho said yes, with him.
So I ended up being one year celibate with him. It was an amazing experience because at that time we were doing many meditations already with Osho and practicing more together during our free time. Sometimes we would practice weeks of being in silence and so much energy was building up. It was actually the first time that I had contact with my own energy, sexual and spiritual.
That is when I had a taste of the orgasm with the whole. Osho often spoke of these orgasmic experiences which had nothing to do with the sex act. He said when you are enlightened you are orgasmic all the time, your breath is orgasmic, you just look at the tree and it’s orgasmic.
When was that moment when you decided you wanted to be a Tantra teacher?
About a year after Osho left the body I decided to do the Mystic Rose (a meditative therapy). At the end of the third week, I experienced a very profound and deep silence and it was then that I realized I had received so much and I felt like it was my time to share. I really didn’t know how I was going to do it because at that time I was still a baker and I was not really doing anything in the therapy world.
Going back to my experience as an energy medium with Osho, I remembered that no matter what ecstatic experience I was in, I was also in a very open sexual space. I was receiving him with the higher chakras, but my lower chakras were definitely sparked by these transmissions.
So I felt like what people needed was first to open at this level in order for energy to flow freely. Only then can ecstatic states happen to a seeker. Yet, I still had no idea how I was going to do this.
A friend invited me to offer a meditation weekend, before I entered the group room I stood in front of a bookshelf full of Osho’s books and I decided to pick one without looking, just like a tarot card and the book I chose was “Tantra The Supreme Understanding,” my favorite discourse series. That was when I knew Tantra was what I wanted to share with the world.
Tell me about TantraLife.
Mostly people believe that Tantra is limited to learning better sex.
I called my work TantraLife as I want to bring together the aspects of ordinary daily life, spirituality and sexual energy. The name TantraLife implies that it isn’t something that needs to stay in the bedroom but it has to do with energy transformation which is the core and the support of your creativity and all of changes in life.
What is the goal of TantraLife?
To have no goals (smile) and giving support to the direction of people’s awakening in terms of their own life energy. In my experience I find that most of the time this happens during the training, there is a definite awakening in the people. Maybe for some it’s a very ordinary change of direction, an end of a relationship or a change in life, but there is always an opening and a relaxation in trusting life.
What is your process like? What can people who come to your workshops expect?
Maybe it’s better if they do not expect anything! (laughter)
The work is very simple and focused on the intuitive side of the brain, taking the attention away from the rational part and creating a balance. It is sometimes a bit difficult because we are so used to rationalizing anything and when we find ourselves confronting our own pool of emotions and we are stirred up in our sexual energy and given freedom to follow it we sometimes don’t know what to do with it and we get scared.
Sexual energy is at the core of our center, so the work we do brings you back to you. I use a lot of Osho meditations, some that I created, as well as a lot of movements, dance, awareness exercises, different things.
Many people who are considering a Tantra workshop for the first time experience fear. What would you say to someone who is on the fence?
There is nothing more natural than your sexual energy. If you are at all interested in being yourself, then this would be the best shortcut I know. Once you become more clearly aware of your sexual energy and your issues around it, you are already getting rid of a lot of masks.
This is the fear – I don’t know who I am or who I am going to be? Maybe you have been behaving in a certain way for many years and to imagine being somebody completely different and being courageous enough to be so, it’s scary.
But the moment when you are ready to gamble, not in a kamikaze way, but in a way of saying, “I really want to be me, just me without any special things around it” – then I think this will be the right work for you. TantraLife training is focused in this direction.
What do you feel about the state of Tantra today?
What I see is a lot of distortion of this ancient discipline and a lot of misunderstanding and I feel this misunderstanding is expanding more and more. On one side I see the damage, but on the other I see that Tantra is becoming available to everyone. Osho once said that the time for Tantra has come, Tantra is for all and I agree with him.
Why are people attracted to you?
I have no idea (laughter). I always see this as one of the inheritances from Osho.
I don’t do anything special, I just am, but I think the flavor of Osho is definitely in the work and my almost 40 years of meditation as background creates a magical state in the group room which neither me nor the participants can rationally explain, but something does happen and it’s usually very deep.
What about your own relationships? Does being a Tantra instructor make it easier or more difficult?
Very difficult! (laughing) It’s not easy because there are a lot of ideas about what a Tantra teacher or a Tantra woman is. Maybe she’s a fantastic lover, maybe she’s psychic, maybe this maybe that. It puts a lot of stress on men who are already stressed out about their roles, generaly speaking.
There is a displacement of roles, so women have become much more powerful, stronger and assertive. So to have a woman that is representing the power freedom and not knowing what it is, this Tantra thing, I think it puts men in a difficult situation.
It was one of my sufferings, finding myself in situations where I was not being seen for who I am. Just a woman, sometimes needy and sometimes generous, sometimes big, other times small and yet a spiritual seeker.
Can you describe Tantra in a nutshell for me?
Two becomes one. Which is all to do with dualism, basically the whole focus of Tantra, to come into our wholeness. Stop being divided. Two into one means to realize that your sex and your heart are one and understanding this will make you whole.
If you had to choose only one word for Tantra what would it be?
Text by Sarvaan