PART 17: VERSES 66 - 68

Verse 66: Skill 43

When one fixes his concentration on any event that is happening before him, his mind becomes free of all other thoughts. For example, if one witnesses a sporting event fixing his complete attention on either of the teams, his mind does not think about anything else, except the event happening before him and the team concerned. During this state, his mind becomes devoid of all other thought processes and in this state, Bhairava is realized. When a person is able to fix his consciousness on any event or any scene before him, because of the high level of concentration, he enters into the state of Supreme Bliss.

Generally, this can be experienced if one visits places of worship. When one fixes his concentration on the idol of the deity, for some time, his mind is disconnected from the external world. His mind is freed of all other thoughts and his entire concentration is only on the idol. As a result of this high level of concentration, he becomes one with that form of the idol or he becomes That. In this state, all dualities are dissolved and there remains only the idol. The subject and object become one; perceiver and the perceived become one. As a result, he enters into a thoughtless state of trance or nirvikalpa samādhi, which could last only for a few seconds. During this state, his kuṇḍalinī ascends automatically to ājñā or sahasrāra. At the time of exiting from this state, tears will roll down his eyes and he will have bouts of goose bumps. Goose bumps generally bring down the kuṇḍalinī, which is a natural process. During this trance, he realizes Bhairava. There is also another interpretation which says that if one’s armpit is tickled by somebody, in that laughter Bhariava is realized. This is based on the usage of word kuhana in the verse.

As has already been discussed, it is the quality of the meditation that matters and not the duration of the meditation. For a high quality meditation, ten minutes duration is more than sufficient. Any thought process is associated only with the material world. When the mind becomes devoid of thought process, there prevails Bhairava, as He is omnipresent. Black board is an ideal example. When the letters written on the black board are erased, there remains only the black board. When the letters are present on the black board, at that time, apart from the black board, letters are also present. In other words, black board is always present, but only the letters change. Letters are the thought processes and the black board is Bhairava.

VERSE 67: SKILL 44

{Additional information: Vijñānabhairava reveals the various methods of dhāraṇā to realize Bhairava, that is Śiva. There are 112 methods of dhāraṇā revealed by Vijñānabhairava. Dhāraṇā not only means concentration, but also includes breath movement. Unless concentration and breath movement work in tandem, purpose of meditation will never be achieved. As a result of attaining perfection attained in dhāraṇā, pratyāhāra happens on its own. Steady and slow movement of breath indicates the calmness of the mind. If the mind is turbulent, one can bring the mind under control by resorting to slow and deep breathing through both the nostrils. Wherever concentration is mentioned, it means that one should either hold his breath at that point or visualize breathing (both inhalation and exhalation) on that point.}

By closing the sensory organs, prāṇa begins to ascend through the central canal of the spinal cord and this can be realized through tingling sensations at different chakras in the spinal cord. At the time of feeling the tingling sensation, one can realize Bhairava.

Prāṇa is used for all actions of the body. For example, for seeing, hearing, walking, etc prāṇa is required. If the organs of perceptions are closed, there is no work for prāṇa. Prāṇa cannot remain idly. Since there is no work for prāṇa, it begins to ascend through suṣumna (spinal cord) from mūlādhāra to brahmarandhra at sahasrāra. Brahmarandhra is an orifice at the top of the head in sahasrāra through which gross body draws prāṇa from the cosmos. For Yogis, the soul escapes through this orifice at the time of death. Out of body experience is realized only if one’s consciousness goes past this orifice, only to come back again. If the consciousness does not comeback, it means death.

Idle prāṇa awakens the kuṇḍalinī from the perineum and makes her to ascend through the spinal cord. When the kuṇḍalinī ascends, generally it ascends in stages crossing every chakra and piercing all the three granthi-s, known as knots. This natural movement of kuṇḍalinī is known as crawling. The sudden movement of kuṇḍalinī to the top of the head is known as blasting of kuṇḍalinī. Blast happens in rare cases and is highly dangerous. Mostly this happens during accidental falls. The right way to meditate on kuṇḍalinī is to gradually make her ascend through various chakras. When kuṇḍalinī ascends through various chakras, one can feel her movement through the spine, as if an ant is crawling in the spine. If one’s attention is fixed on this sensation, during that time, Bhairava can be realized. During this process, dhāraṇā and pratyāhāra happen one after another, leading to trance. Pratyāhāra is the withdrawal of senses resulting in dissolution of the material world. During this trance, Bhairava is realized.

From this verse, one can understand that the quality of meditation is more important than the duration of the meditation. For attaining perfection in meditation, one has to first focus the mind on any one object and over a period of time, the mind gets trained to focus. As long as any thought prevails in the mind, perfection in meditation can never be achieved. This can be achieved only through practice. One should also remember that before realizing the Self, Bliss is a natural prelude.

VERSE 68: SKILL 45

This verse is interpreted in two different ways.

During the state of blissfulness, if one fixes his concentration on the navel chakra, which is also known as maṇipūraka chakra and the heart chakra also known as anāhata chakra, he enters the state of blissfulness. The first two chakras are ignored here and the verse subtly talks about the two higher chakras mentioned here. The effect of kuṇḍalinī will be felt only if she enters maṇipūraka and goes beyond it. The lower two chakras, mūlādhāra and svādhiṣṭhāna are associated only with the normal states of consciousness, whereas, the higher chakras from maṇipūraka are associated with higher states of consciousness. Further, even without practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation, kuṇḍalinī will hover around these two lower chakras if one is religiously inclined. Religious practices are generally associated with these two lower chakras.

Maṇipūraka chakra is associated with fire element and anāhata chakra is associated with the element air. These two chakras are derived from the usage of words vahni and vāyu pūrṇaṁ in this verse. Vahni means fire and vāyu pūrṇaṁ means full of air. Therefore, it is construed that these two words mean these two chakras subtly. If one is able to fix his consciousness on the suṣumna connecting these two chakras, one will be able to move away from the mundane level of consciousness to the higher level of consciousness. During this time, one enters into the state of bliss. This practice is in continuation of the previous verse.

But, there is another interpretation, which is more logical than the previous one. This interpretation is based on the usage of words vahni and viṣa. Vahni is taken to mean the power of will or iccāśakti and viṣa is taken to mean the power of knowledge or jñānaśakti. This verse says that one should fix his consciousness on the point of meeting of these two śakti-s. That is, when one travels on the line of iccāśakti he will reach the end point of iccāśakti. At the end of iccāśakti, jñānaśakti begins. The point of concentration should be on the point where iccāśakti ends and jñānaśakti begins. This is the point where all the actions end and the divine or higher knowledge begins to dawn. Since the cessation of the entire actions take place at this point, concentrating on this point leads to bliss and ultimate realization. The state of bliss experienced here is compared to the bliss arising out of the union of Śiva and Śakti. Their union takes place at sahasrāra, as a result of which ambrosia is secreted and drips down to the throat.