In an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail, Graham said that she got into Tantra when she was filming The Guru in 2002.
“What most people know about Tantric sex is that Sting does it and it lasts eight hours. But he is not having sex continually. You can take a bath, massage your partner, listen to music. The idea is that you let the whole thing build very slowly until finally you merge with your partner. It works for me,” she said.
Hindus are angry because Graham declined to mention the very core value of Tantric sex—the fact that it is a spiritual process for partners to use in attaining inner peace, self-awareness and divine communion.
While the sexual healing is an important part of the practice, it is does not even begin to cover all of the aspects of Tantra—such as the three unique states of spiritual endeavor, or sadhana, which include purification, illumination and unification.
In short, Graham kept her description that touched upon the unification sexy, but left out the larger, spiritual part. (You know, the important one.) This has left the Hindu community in an uproar, and representatives of the faith claim that Graham’s comments reduce the practice to “just sex.”
Rajan Zed, an Indian-American Hindu priest in Nevada and president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said, “Hindus welcomed Hollywood bigwigs to immerse in Hinduism, but taking it seriously and not just flirting with its terminology and concepts and using it as a fashion statement.”
Zed went on to explain that celebrities need to go beyond the superficial aspects of what they believe Tantra is, and its concepts, which have evolved over thousands of years, require in-depth, serious study.
In fact, Tantra does date back to 4th century India, and has been an influence in Hinduism as well as Buddhism and Jainism. And as Hinduism is considered one of the oldest religions in the world—and the third largest—with over a billion practitioners who don’t take their rituals as lightly as Hollywood starlet might, a little study should probably be required.
I’m sure Graham means well, but I do wonder how much she has studied Tantra to proclaim that “it works” for her—and indeed, just how does it work for her, beyond an orgasm and post-coital ice cream eating?