In January 2004, after the shocking email which told me that my summer program for Germany had been cancelled, I immediately tried to reach the woman who had been arranging my programs to understand this better.
She repeated what she had explained in the email, that the owner of the yoga organization with which the programs were planned thought I smoked drugs and I did red ‘Tantra’. At this point I asked her ‘What exactly does he mean with that, red Tantra?’ and she seemed unbelieving that I had never heard of this before.
I heard an explanation that I got to hear many times more in the following years: there are supposed to be three kinds of Tantra, white, black and red Tantra.
White Tantra is, in short, the good kind of Tantra. It is peaceful and poojas and ceremonies would be a part of white Tantra.
Black Tantra is equal to black magic. It is every ritual that you do to harm someone, everything dark and obscure, evil and bad.
Red Tantra is what many people today associate with the word Tantra – it has to do with sex.
When I heard this explanation, I had to laugh despite my situation. Red, black and white Tantra? I told her that this was complete nonsense. Tantra has no colours. None of the Hindu scriptures in which the word Tantra is mentioned specifies anything about colours or these three categories. When Tantra was imported into the west, it got colour and much more sexy! It obviously seemed intelligent and wise for people to categorize Tantra and those colours fit very well. Later I realized that nearly everyone in the west who has heard about Tantra also believes in this colour theory and believes that this is what ancient scriptures say – just because someone started this theory which is not at all based on any scripture. In that time though, I just had to laugh.
My conversational partner did not find this as funny as I did though. She replied ‘I know that you don’t do red Tantra but it really exists. He is a very intelligent person and knows about these things’. Well, I don’t blame her, she really believed in this. She had obviously heard the founder of that yoga organization speak about this several times and as she had learned from him, too, she believed him. That did not change the fact however that it was nonsense.
I told her so but we did not argue about that further. My situation could not be changed by this discussion anyway. It did not matter whether there was something like red Tantra or not and it also did not matter that all those accusations were lies that had just been made on the grounds that another person was jealous. My programs with that yoga organization had been cancelled.
Although I was everything else but pleased about this, I decided to go to Germany anyway. The woman who had organized before and to whom I was talking could not do anything anymore – her contacts were only in that yoga organization. I told her that I had been to Germany before I had known her, too, and that I would go there now as well.
I had a few connections outside of the yoga organization whom I anyway wanted to visit and where I could do some work. I would just start again to connect to others, spontaneously and with free time on hand.