Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Part 4. Verses 18-23
Bhairava continues by saying that there is ‘no difference between Shakthi and Shiva’. Shakthi is nothing but the possessor of Shiva’s energy. Feminine gender is Shakthi and masculine gender is Shiva. This is the only difference between the two. Bhairava transcends everything by remaining supremely eminent. He has the intent to surpass anything but abides in unperceivable superiority of Shakthi. Therefore, Shakthi or Bhairavi is nothing but the divine energy of Shiva. It is now apparent that without Shiva, Shakthi cannot exist. Instead of acting directly, Shiva has channelized his divine energy to Shakthi. That is why She is known as ‘para’ (the supreme Shiva) Shakthi (Parashakthi). The original verse uses the word ‘a-bedha’ which means no difference. Therefore, Shakthi is totally owned by Shiva endowed with all His energies. Bhairava says that energy of fire is not different from the fire itself. Fire produces different energies such as heat, light, etc. But they are not considered as different from the burning fire. The one who identifies himself with Shakthi automatically becomes Shiva. This non-distinguishable state is reached because the practitioner has identified himself with Shakthi and there is nothing else he needs to do to attain Shiva, as attaining Shiva is not something different from attaining Shakthi. Bhairava addresses Bhairavi as “Shiva priye” (one who loves Shiva) and says that the rays of the sun are not different from the sun itself or the light of the lamp is not different from the lamp itself. Sun is known only through its rays and lamp is known only through its light. Light is synonymous with sun and lamp. When light is there, it is called day and when light is not there it is called as night. When light prevails, it implies that sun is the cause for the light. The source of the light is known only through the light itself. In the same way Shiva is known only through Shakthi. The source of energy (Shiva) is known only through the energy (Shakthi) itself. The objects are realised through light, the source of which is the sun. Without light, objects cannot be realized. In the same way the universe is realised through Shakthi, the source of which is Shiva. Had Shiva told Shakthi the following, this explanation could have been avoided. ‘You are not different from me. You and I are the same. You are my energy. I have transferred all my energies to you. Even after transferring all my energies to you, I remain the Supreme. I cannot be transcended at all. People can know me only through you. They cannot perceive me separately. Though you are inseparable from me, you can never become me. You are part of me and I am not part of you.’
Now Bhairavi needs following clarifications. 1. Whose emblem is the trident? Trident is held by Shiva with three prongs. These prongs mean the three exclusive acts of divine, iccha (volition), jnana (wisdom) and kriya (actions) 2. Who wears the garland of skulls? Of course it is Bhairava. Skulls signify the supreme consciousness. 3. How that para state can be realized that is devoid of time and space and is beyond explanation? Here She wants to know the true identity of the Absolute. She wants this to be explained in a manner that is understandable to ordinary men. 4. How Bhairavi becomes the mouth of Bhairava? Shiva can be attained only through Para-Shakthi. How Bhairavi can nurture any doubts that need clarification? Is She not part of Shiva? Yes, She is Shiva Himself. But then, why Bhairavi is questioning Shiva? She is not too concerned about Her questions, as She knows the answers. But being the universal mother, She is concerned about humanity. She wants the universe to learn these techniques. She knows that Shiva will not give direct replies to these questions. She also knows that Shiva is going to expound 112 types of dharanas. Dharana is part of meditation where mind is fixed. Siddhis are attained only if dharana or concentration, meditation and Samadhi happen in unison. Shiva is going to answer only through techniques of dharana. Patanjali calls these three as ‘antharangam’ which means internal. The transition from external to internal begins with dharana. The transition to spirituality happens here. Shiva does not answer the questions of Bhairavi. Instead He unfolds the 112 techniques of concentration to the universe. The teaching happens at the practical level.