Hollywood actress Heather Graham's repeated comments on "tantric sex" has offended a section of Hindus in the US who say she has misinterpreted the Hindu ritual of tantra "as just sex"."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," Rajan Zed, an Indian American Hindu priest in Nevada, said in a statement.
He said tantra was a conscious approach to self-discovery.
"Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought. It should not be taken lightly," he said.
In an interview to The Mail, Graham revealed her love and appreciation of tantric sex saying it is not a continuous act and one can indulge in several activities such as bathing and listening to music during the act.
"What most people know about tantric sex is that (singer) 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 in the interview.
Reacting to this, Zed said Graham and other Hollywood celebrities were misinterpreting the meaning of tantric sex.
"Tantrism was a major channel in Indian religious traditions and, besides Hinduism, it also exerted considerable influence on Buddhism and Jainism," said Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.
Zed said tantra was a conscious approach to self-discovery which directed the seeker to prepare the mind and body to a level where it could withstand any turbulence - inner as well as outer.
"Tantras noted three unique states of sadhana (spiritual endeavour) - purification, illumination and unification," he said.