Chakrasamvara (Wheel of Becoming) in Yab-Yum union with his consort Vajravārāhī. Sketched from life with the new Lamy Vista fountain pen filled with Diamine irongall ink and the Jinhao 159 with Diamine Oxblood ink.
Vajrayana rituals also include sexual yoga, union with a physical consort as part of advanced practices. Some tantras go further, the Hevajra Tantra states ‘You should kill living beings, speak lying words, take what is not given, consort with the women of others’. While some of these statements were taken literally as part of ritual practice, others such as killing was interpreted in a metaphorical sense.
Alex Wayman points out that the symbolic meaning of tantric sexuality is ultimately rooted in bodhicitta and the bodhisattva's quest for enlightenment is likened to a lover seeking union with the mind of the Buddha. Judith Simmer-Brown notes the importance of the psycho-physical experiences arising in sexual yoga, termed "great bliss" (Mahasukha): "Bliss melts the conceptual mind, heightens sensory awareness, and opens the practitioner to the naked experience of the nature of mind." This tantric experience is not the same as ordinary self gratifying sexual passion since it relies on tantric meditative methods using the subtle body and visualizations as well as the motivation for enlightenment. As the Hevajra tantra says:
"This practice [of sexual union with a consort] is not taught for the sake of enjoyment, but for the examination of one's own thought, whether the mind is steady or waving."
Saṃvara and Vajravārāhī are not to be thought of as two different entities, as an ordinary husband and wife are two different people; in reality, their divine embrace is a metaphor for the union of great bliss and emptiness, which are one and the same essence.