What really is the difference between a Baul, a Tantrika, a Bhakta, and a Sufi? Do they all belong to the path of love? They seem to be intermingled. Please enlighten.
The boundaries are overlapping. They are all on the path of love, but still there are subtle distinctions. Even with overlapping boundaries they have something special: a Tantrika, a Baul, and a Bhakta. The Sufi is not different from a Bhakta. A Sufi is the Bhakta on the Mohammedan path; a Bhakta is the Sufi on the Hindu path. There is no difference between a Bhakta and a Sufi, so we will not discuss that. The difference is only of terminology. The Sufis use the Mohammedan terminology, the Bhakta uses the Hindu terminology. The difference is not of any importance; it is just language. But these three: a Baul, a Tantrika and a Bhakta have to be understood.
Love has three possibilities: sex, the lowest; love, higher than sex; and prayer, the highest.
The Tantrika remains sex oriented. The Tantrika in fact avoids love because love will become an entanglement. He remains a pure technician of sex. With the sex energy he works like a scientist: aloof, detached. He does not bring love into it. He transforms the energy. Love arises in him, prayer also, but those are consequences. They follow like shadows, but the orientation is sex energy. His whole work, his whole lab, is there at the sex center. He works there, unattached, aloof, almost indifferent to the person.
With whomever the Tantrika is making love, he remains completely aloof, far away. That is part of the Tantra methodology: that you should not be attached to the person. That’s why Tantrikas say: “Don’t do Tantra techniques with your wife or with your beloved. No, find somebody with whom you are not attached at all, so that you can become a pure technician.” It is scientific.
It is just like this: you may be a great surgeon and you may have done thousands of surgeries, but when it comes to operating on your own wife your hands will start trembling. If it comes to operating on your own child you will have to call another surgeon. He may be not so expert as you, but still you will have to call somebody else – because the surgeon needs to be completely aloof, not concerned. Only then can surgery be perfectly scientific.
The Tantrika is absolutely of the scientific attitude. He finds a woman or a man with whom he is not attached at all. And before he even moves into a Tantric relationship with somebody, months are needed to prepare. And the whole preparation is: how to avoid love, how not to fall into deep contact with the other person. Otherwise, the whole method will not be of any use.