Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Part 7. Verses 31 – 33

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 31: Skill 8

Having filled the whole body with pranic energy (the energy generated by prana or breath when it enters the body), it removes thoughts from the mind. Mind can be freed from thoughts for a moment or even longer when one’s concentration is fixed on ajna chakra or the third eye. But this is possible only if the breath is suspended during that moment. Suspending the breath does not mean holding the breath called kumbhaka. Suspension means sudden stoppage of the breath for a moment or more, irrespective of inhalation or exhalation happening. When concentration is fixed on the ajna chakra, exactly at the same time suspend the process of breathing, synchronising it with the process of concentration. During this synchronisation process, the pranic energy gets converted into the energy of consciousness, wherein Bhairava is realized. The converted energy of consciousness moves above the sahasrara to the fourth stage of consciousness known as ‘turiya’ stage. This means one’s consciousness moves out of the body as turiya is 12" above the top of the head. This is possible only when point of attention is fixed on ajna chakra accompanied with suspended breathing. Rest of the process happens automatically.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 32: Skill 9

One has to meditate on the five tanmatras as void. Tanmatras are sensory perceptions. The five tanmatras are sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. They are subtle in nature and are the products of sensory organs that originated from the five basic elements. For example, smell is realized through nose whose origin is element air. These tanmatras being subtle in nature cause deep influence on the mind. Subtle is always more powerful than gross. We are able to see the sun in its gross form. But we are not able to see its subtle form, its rays. Rays that are subtle in nature are more powerful than the sun itself, though the latter is only a product of the former. It is always better to think positively than dwelling on the negativities. Thoughts (subtle) are more powerful than actions (gross). Thinking bad of somebody causes more karmic affliction than physically hurting him. Subtle state of soul is more powerful than the gross form of the body. Without the influence of the sensory perceptions, the mind cannot function. Man cannot make a living without an active mind. Too much of sensory influence on the mind causes addiction. Bhairava says that one should fix his concentration on these tanmatras as void. In other words, the effect of the senses should be nullified by visualising that the effect of the senses such as sound, touch, etc (tanmatras) on the mind, is nothing. This is also known as shunya meditation where consciousness stands disconnected from tanmatras. In fact, Patanjali yoga sutra begins by referring to this verse by saying that controlling impulses lead to conquering of the mind. Bhairava is realized in this inviolable void. To put it in simple terms, ignore tanmatras and this do-not-care attitude makes your longing for Bhairava firmer.

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra Verse 33: Skill 10

Concentration is the focal point of entire Vjnana Bhairava. Patanjali calls this as dharana. If one fixes his awareness on anything, be it shunya (void), a wall or a worthy person, the energy that is generated from that level of consciousness (awareness) merges into Bhairava. This verse refers to three centres – void, wall and a worthy person. If we analyse these three, void is nothingness, no subject and no object; only nothingness or emptiness. The second one is wall, a lifeless object and the third one is a person in his gross form. Fixing consciousness on an object establishes a two way communication between the subject (the practitioner) and the object. When one fixes his awareness on an ignorant man, he also becomes ignorant. When one fixes his consciousness on the Brahman, he also becomes Brahman. These references mean nothingness, immovable and movable. There cannot be anything beyond these three. The object of concentration is not so important, as the quality of concentration. Only when the quality of the concentration is high, two way communication is established, otherwise it remains as one way only. This skill is categorised under ‘saktopaya’, where the mind is in the process of awakening.

Shiva Sutras mention about three stages of mind – anavopaya (rested mind), saktopaya (awakened mind) and sambhavopaya (dissolved mind). This will be further elucidated during our discussion on Shiva Sutras.

Further Readings:

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - Part 6

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra- Part 8

Vijnana Bhairava Tantra- Part 9