Vijnana Bhairav Tantra PART 19: VERSES 77 – 80

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra VERSE 77: SKILL 54

At the time perceiving the universe through yogic practice, five mudras discussed below are disclosed and as a result of which, Bhairva is revealed.

The five mudras are karaṅkiṇī, krodhanā, bhairavī, lelihānā and khecarī. Mudra means joyous and mudrā refers to the various finger and body gestures. Certain postures of the body or finger gestures cause peace and happiness in the mind. They accelerate the pace of reaching the state of Bliss.

Karaṅkiṇī is the mudra related to the highest knowledge. The yogī looks at everything as skeleton. Gross bodies are built on skeletons. Karaṅk means skeleton. When flesh and blood are destroyed, what remains is the skeleton. Practicing this mudra causes detachment form the objects. Detachment is not a simple process, as the mind looks for something repeatedly that it has enjoyed for a long time. This is known as addiction. Perceiving the world as skeleton leads to detachment from addictive objects as one realizes that finally only the ugly looking skeletal body remains. This mudra is possible only through perception and hence, is associated with knowledge. Anything that works on the mind is knowledge.

The second mudra is known as krodhanā mudra. Karaṅk means anger. When one is in the state of anger, his entire body system gets tensed, breathing becomes shallow and as a result of which, his mind loses its saneness. The result is emotional outbursts, where one is prevented from using his sane mind. From this one can understand that mudra simply does not mean body or finger gestures, but also a lot to do with one’s mind. When an aspirant perceives the material world without passion and anger, he understands the true reality of the material world, which is nothing but Bhairava, as the universe is pervaded by His Consciousness.

The third mudra is bhairavī mudra, where one looks outwardly with his biological eyes without blinking and his consciousness is turned inwardly towards his mind. In spite of his looks at the objects, his inner mind is not associated with the act of looking through biological eyes. The term biological eye is used because there is a subtle eye known as third eye or inner eye at ājñācakra. During this mudra, though biological eyes are active, the impressions received through the sensory organ viz. biological eyes are not passed on to the mind, as the mind is actively associated with the inner eye. Those who have perfectly learnt this mudra attains supernatural powers. This mudra is useful to withdraw the external world or the material world into the inner Self. This bhairavī mudra is not the one that is mentioned in Hatha Yoga.

The fourth one is lelihānā mudra and is associated with taste. Lelihāna means movement of the tongue hurriedly. For example, while tasting a sweet, one opens his mouth and begins to taste the first piece of the sweet and at that time his entire awareness is fixed on the taste with the aid of active tongue. Sometimes, some sort of subtle vibrations also happen during this first taste. When an aspirant perceives this moment as the nature of Supreme Consciousness, he enters the state of Bliss, as what he perceives is Bhairava, the Supreme Consciousness.

The fifth and the last one is khecarī mudra. The one that is described here is fixing consciousness in the open space known as ākāśa. Generally this is practiced as explained in Hatha Yoga. One has to lift the tip of his tongue and roll it back so that it can touch the upper palate.  During this practice, consciousness should be placed in ājñācakra. During this state, one generates high amount positive energy which can be used to heal others. But, the khecarī mudra described here is not the one discussed in Hatha Yoga. In this verse, khecarī mudra refers to the fixation of one’s consciousness on ākāśa to become one with the Supreme Consciousness.  During this state, the Yogī’s consciousness is not different from Śiva Consciousness or Universal Consciousness.

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra VERSE 78: SKILL 55

Sit on a soft cushion with one buttock and keep hands and legs in a relaxed state. During this practice, the mind becomes calm. Rajasic and tamsic qualities of the mind are annihilated and  sāttvika quality alone prevails in the mind during this posture. Keeping hands and legs in relaxed state means folding them in interlocking position, but with ease.  However, the choice of keeping the arms and legs is left to the comfort level of the practitioner. The only precondition is that there should be no tension or stiffness in arms and legs and one should sit with one buttock on a cushion. While sitting in this posture, one’s individual consciousness merges into Supreme Consciousness.

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra VERSE 79: SKILL 56

By sitting comfortably, raise both the arms and lock the two palms on top of the head fixing consciousness in the armpits. During this state, the mind becomes calm. This posture is often seen in temples. In temples, one could fix his consciousness on the consecrated idol. At home, one has to fix his consciousness in the armpits. During kuṇḍalinī meditation, if kuṇḍalinī is not properly ascended, it leads to energy congestion in armpits, leading to shoulder problems. Armpits have vacuum within.

Vijnana Bhairav Tantra VERSE 80: SKILL 57

Fix awareness on an external object without blinking (like bhairavī mudra explained above) the eyes, the mind is fixed on that object and during this state, he enters the state of Śiva. This is based on the fact that when the mind is fully pervaded only by that object, rest of the thoughts are annihilated and the mind becomes calm and composed. The object on which on fixes his gaze should not be far away from him and should be three dimensional; for example, a flower or an idol and not a picture.

Further Readings:

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra- Part 18

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra- Part 20

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 21