Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Part 15: Verses 57 – 62

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 57: Skill 34

If one meditates on the path leading to the Reality that prevails though out the universe, at the end of the path, one gets spiritual awakening. The verse uses the word ‘śaivaṃ’. śaivaṃ does not merely mean the followers of Shiva. Saivam is the outcome of Saiva agamas. Agama means a traditional doctrine or precept, collection of such doctrines, sacred work, or anything handed down and fixed by tradition. Though agamas do not differ largely from the Vedas, they are however sprinkled with tantric treatises as well. There are three types of agamas; Shiva agama, Vaishnava (Vishnu) agama and Shakta (Shakthi) agama. Agamas elaborately discuss on final liberation and hence can be compared with Upanishads. There are opinions that agamas counter the teaching of Upanishads. Shiva agama teaches the methods of worshiping Shiva. Shiva agamas do not segregate Shakthi as a different entity. For example Shiva and Shakthi are referred as prakasha and vimarsha forms, the one without the other become ineffectual*.

Shiva is omnipresent. Based on the discussion (*) above, Shiva alone cannot prevail as He becomes ineffectual without Shakthi. Shiva has not much of work. All the time He stands as a witness. The prakasha form of Shiva along with the vimarsha form of Shakthi (please use the search engine at the top of this site to know more on this) are to be contemplated. The awakening happens only at the end of the spiritual path. Spiritual path proceeds from gross to subtle. Spiritual path means one’s ability to refine and purify his consciousness. Realisation happens only in the purest form of consciousness. Reality is a process where gross gets dissolved into subtle. When gross material world is dissolved in the subtle forms of prakasha and vimarsha, spiritual awakening happens. When this happens, for him everything is Shiva and Shiva alone. He does not see anyone other than Shiva in him and other living beings.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 58: Skill 35

The ultimate stage for a soul is its absorption into Shiva. This absorption also called liberation or salvation is for the soul and nothing to do with body. Soul takes different forms from its origin to its obliteration. Here, the absorption has to happen through one’s mind. Mind is the unique feature of human beings and liberation of the soul can happen only during human birth.

To attain salvation, one has to meditate that universe is void. When he meditates on the void, his mind also becomes void. When the mind becomes void, it merges into the Supreme void. His pure consciousness gets ready to merge with Shiva consciousness.

The mind can be made as void only if it becomes devoid of thoughts pertaining to past, present and future. In other words the mind has to be trained to transcend time.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 59: Skill 36

This verse gives additional inputs to practice the previous skill. Take any vessel. Within the walls of the vessel, void prevails (the element of akash or ether). He sees nothing inside the vessel though in reality, air exists inside the vessel (element of ether or akash). Concentrate on the interior of the vessel, where no gross object prevails. Eyes are to be kept open so that concentration is fixed on the empty space inside the vessel.

{Concentration can be fixed by keeping the eyes either open or closed. Concentration means single pointed focus of the mind. In the initial stages, dharana will be more effective when the eyes are kept open as the eyes can be trained to focus on a point. Focusing is the most important factor is realisation.}

When concentration is fixed in the inner void of the vessel, his individual consciousness will be absorbed into the universal consciousness that prevails inside the vessel. Even when the eyes are kept open, eyes do not see anything. I am a man (individual consciousness) now becomes I am the Brahman (universal consciousness).

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 60: Skill 37

Go to a place where there are no trees, no mountains, no housing units, nothing at all. He will see only a vast stretch of land. He will not see any objects. He has nothing to see. He has no option except to look into the vast stretch of shunya or void.

Though there is no major difference between the previous verse and this verse, except the size of the vastness. Now the mind is trained to concentrate on the expanded vastness. A vessel has restricted voidness as opposed to the expanded voidness referred here. In both the cases, the experience of absorption will be the same. When the mind is trained to focus on void, the mind loses its power of cerebration. Thought construct arises only if choices are made available to the mind. A choice less mind becomes thoughtless. In the thoughtless stage of the mind, Bhairava is realised.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 61: Skill 38

In this verse, choice is made available to the mind. He has to take two objects and concentrate at a point between the two objects. After sometime, the objects will vanish into the focal point. Immediately after this dissolution, the two objects will be visible again. He has to go through the process again wherein the objects dissolve into the focal point. When the concentration becomes intense, he will observe that his breathing has considerably slowed down. Breathing becomes erratic and faster only if the mind is engaged with thoughts.

{Making the mind thoughtless is a very important step in meditation. There is no point in looking into the past, as the past is gone. There is no use of looking into the future, as none can foresee the future. If one is able to live in the present moment, mind can be easily controlled. The controlled mind can be realised by noticing the breathing. Further information on this is available in the series “Understanding Meditation”.}

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 62: Skill 39

There are two objects in his front. He has to concentrate on one object. When he continuously fixes his consciousness on this object, he becomes one with the object after some time. The objective consciousness merges with in his subjective consciousness and forms the universal consciousness. Though the second object is present he has not yet moved his concentration to the second object. In the gap between the formation of universal consciousness and shifting of his concentration on the second object, Shiva is realised. These types of concentration make him to merge his individual consciousness with universal consciousness, which is also known as cosmos.

The previous verse said that he should not concentrate on either of the objects. This verse says that he should concentrate on one of the objects and becomes one with it before shifting his concentration on the other. This verse lays emphasis on the gap between the realisation of universal consciousness while concentrating on the first object and the beginning of the individual concentration on the second object. When he merges with universal consciousness while concentrating on the first object, he realises the bliss. He realises all pervading Shiva and he knows that he is not different from Shiva. He realises that his pure consciousness manifests as Shiva.

Abhinava Gupta says in his famous ‘Tantraloka’ (I.83) “It is said that the atman, full of Shivamrta (ambrosia of Shiva) is called bliss.”

Further Readings:

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra - Part 14

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra - Part 16

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 17