Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Part 11: verses 42-44

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 42: skill 19

By uttering piṇḍa mantrās from their gross to subtle forms, vibration originates and in the process of vibration, Shiva is realized. Uttering here means from the gross level of the letters to subtle level of the letters. First piṇḍa mantrās are to be recited aloud and later on only mentally. This is known as the process of gross (aloud) to subtle (mental). Such mental recitation cause subtle vibrations, establishing s subtle link between mantras and the concerned deity whose mantra is recited causing centring or focussing of one’s consciousness on the devata. Recitation of mantras without establishing this link is of no use. Piṇḍa mantrās comprises of those letters that do not have vowels in the formation. For example bija ‘sauḥ’* is a piṇḍa mantrā. Though it has vowel ‘a’, it becomes silent while pronouncing. There are nine such letters and they are ‘h, s, r, kṣ, m, l, v, y, ṇuṃ’ known as navātmā. Generally mantras have two parts. The first letter forms the soul and the rest form the body.

OM though not a pinda mantra, is treated as a pinda mantra as it has both vowels (a,u) and consonants (m). Pinda mantras should not have any vowels. But Saiva philosophy approves pranava, the supreme mantra as pinda mantra. When OM is recited from its gross form to subtle form, it ends with ‘ṃ’. A begins from naval, U is added at the heart chakra and M is added at the mouth. Up to this, OM is gross. When OM traverses beyond this point, it loses it grossness and becomes subtle in nature. When it loses its gross form, OM gets transferred to subtle form and proceeds from bindu, ardhachandra, rodhini, nada, nadanta, shakthi, vyapini, samana and unmana. Unmana, the final point of subtle sound ends at sahasrara, where an active mind becomes passive. Beyond this point nothing exists (shunya or void) and in this void Shiva is realized.

*Formation of ‘sauḥ’ . It is the formation of third Brahma with the fourteenth vowel, next to lord of vowels. ‘Om tat sat’ consists of three symbolic Brahmas. Om is the first Brahma, ‘tat’ is the second Brahma and ‘sat’ is the third Brahma. Fourteenth vowel is ‘aḥ’ (also known as visarga). Lord of vowels is ‘aṃ’. ‘aḥ’ (the fourteenth vowel) is placed next to ‘aṃ’. Out of ‘sat’ ‘sa’ in combination with ‘aḥ’ forms ‘sauḥ’. (Parā-trīśikā-vivaraṇa – verses 9 and 10)

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 43: skill 20

If one contemplates ‘śūṇya’ in all directions of his body without any thoughts, he experiences everything as ‘śūṇya’. Two factors are to be taken into account simultaneously. First is the visualisation of void in all directions and second is to still the mind. When void is visualised in all directions, mind can be stilled without any efforts. When there is nothing around, mind also becomes still. First step is to feel the presence of the body and next step is to visualize ‘śūṇya’ from all sides. Finally, body also gets dissolved in emptiness that prevails all over. In that emptiness or śūṇya, Shiva is realized. Why Shiva is realized in śūṇya? Brahman is omnipresent and can only be realized. He cannot be seen as He is formless. When there is nothing else present, Shiva who is omnipresent is realized in the void. This process is called ‘śunyātiśunya’. It can be compared to ‘pūrnāthipūrnam’ (pūrnam means complete or total). Both refer to Brahman.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 44: skill 21

The void that was contemplated all around should now be contemplated above and below the body only. Now the body is placed between two voids. When we try to feel our body, it goes missing between two areas of void. This skill purely depends upon one’s ability to contemplate voidness above and below the body. This ability again depends upon one’s consciousness. The matter (body) gets dissolved in emptiness and there is emptiness all round. The energy of śūṇya from both sides leads to bodiless situation. The mass of the body dissolves into śūṇya. In that total voidness, Shiva is realized.

Further Readings:

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 10

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 12

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 13