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An element of some forms of Tantric ritual (e.g. in the Kaula tradition), involving the consumption of the fluids produced in ritual intercourse. It is one of the ‘five Ms’ (pañca-makāra) of Śākta Tantrism. In the plural (maithunas, also mithunas), it refers to the iconographic depiction of couples in sexual union on the exterior of medieval temples, such as those at Khajurāho.

Subjects: Religion.

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