The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
Siva, 3000 B.C
No discussion on meditation is complete without mentioning the Vigyan
Bhairav Tantra This 5000 year old ancient Indian text on meditation is
considered by many as the last word on meditation.
Vigyan ~~ Science ( in Hindi )
Bhairav ~~ An ancient mythological God of Hindu religion.
Tantra ~~ ( A mystical spiritual path. Read more)
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is an ancient text on meditation. It contains
112 techniques of Meditation. Basically in the form of a dialogue between
lord Shiva and his wife Parvati (refer to as Devi in the book), this
books discusses 112 meditation techniques which can be used for realizing
our true self.
The book starts with a question from Devi regarding the nature of reality.
She asked Shiva about Universe, about fundamental nature of this world,
how one can go beyond space and time to understand this truth.
The remaining book is all about Shiva’s answers to Devi’s
He does not tell her what is.
He tells her a method…then another method.. then another …he
He tells her how.
He tells her how one can realize this reality…through 112 methods
of centering in the self.
This is the Paul Reps' version, first printed in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What consttutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully,
above space and time,
names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
Radiant One, this experience may dawn between two breaths.
After breath comes in (down)
and just before turning up (out) - the beneficence.
As breath turns from down to up,
and again as breath curves up to down -
through both these turns,
Or, whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse,
at this instant touch the energy-less,
Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself,
or all in (down) and stopped -
in such universal pause, one's small self vanishes.
This is difficult only for the impure.
Attention between Eyebrows,
let mind be before thought.
Let form fill with breath essence
to the top of the head
and there shower as light.
When in worldly activities, keep attention between two breaths,
and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.
With intangible breath in center of forehead,
as this reaches the heart at the moment of sleep,
have direction over dreams and over death itself.
With utmost devotion,
center on the two junctions of breath
and know the knower.
Lie down as dead.
Enraged in wrath, stay so.
Or stare without moving an eyelash.
Or suck something and become the sucking.
While being caressed, Sweet Princess,
enter the caress as everlassting life.
Stop the doors of the senses when feeling the creeping of an ant.
When on a bed or a seat,
let yourself become weightless,
Or, imagine the five coloured circles of the peacock tail
to be your five senses in illimitable space.
Now let their beauty melt within.
Similarly, at any point in space or on the wall -
untill the point dissolves.
Then your wish for another comes true.
Place your whole attention in the nerve,
delicate as the lotus thread,
in the center of your spinal column.
In such be tansformed.
Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands,
a space between your eyes becomes all-inclusive.
as senses are absorbed in the Heart,
reach the center of the lotus.
Unminding mind, keep in the middle - until.
Look lovingly at some object.
Do not go to another object.
Here in the middle of the object -
Without support for feet or hands,
sit only on the buttocks.
Suddenly the centering.
In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying,
Or in a still vehicle,
by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles.
Pierce some part of you nectar filled form
with a pin,
and gently enter the piercing
and attain to the inner purity.
Let attention be at a place
where you are seeing some past happening,
and even your form,
having lost its present characteristics,
Feel an object before you.
Feel the absence of all other objects but this one.
Then leaving aside the object-feeling
And the absence-feeling,
When a mood against someone or for someone arises,
Do not place it on the person in question,
But remain centered.
Just as you have the impulse
To do something,
When some desire comes, consider it.
Then, suddenly, quit it.
Roam about until exhausted and then,
dropping to the ground,
in this dropping be whole.
Suppose you are gradually being deprived
of strength or of knowledge.
At the instant of deprivation,
See your inner being in detail.
Thus see your true nature.
Look upon a bowl without seeing
The sides or the material.
In a few moments become aware.
See as if for the first time
A beauteous person
Or an ordinary object.
Simply by looking into the blue sky
Beyond the clouds,
Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted.
Eyes still, without blinking,
at once, become absolutely free.
At the edge of a deep well
look steadily into its depths until –
Look upon some object,
Then slowly withdraw your sight from it,
Then slowly withdraw your thought from it.
Imagine Sanskrit letters in these
Honey filled foci of awareness,
First as letters,
The more subtly as sounds,
Then as most subtle feeling.
Then, leaving them aside, be free.
Bathe in the center of sound,
As in the continuous sound of a waterfall.
Or, by putting the fingers in the ears,
Hear the sound of sounds.
Intone a sound,
As AUM ??
As sound enters soundfulness,
So do you.
In the beginning and
gradual refinement of the sound of any letter,
While listening to stringed instruments,
Hear their composite central sound;
Intone a sound audibly,
Then less and less audibly
As feeling deepens
Into this silent harmony.
With mouth slightly open,
Keep mind in the middle of the tongue.
Or, as breath comes silently in,
Feel the sound ‘HH’.
Center on the sound ‘AUM’
Without any ‘A’ or ‘M’.
Silently intone a word ending in ‘AH’.
Then in the ‘HH’,
Effortlessly, the spontaneity.
Stopping ears by pressing
And the rectum by contracting,
Enter the sound.
Enter the sound of your name
And, through this sound,
At the start of sexual union
Keep attentive on the fire in the beginning,
And so continuing,
Avoid the embers in the end.
When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves,
Enter this shaking.
Even remembering union,
Without the embrace,
On joyously seeing a long-absent friend,
Permeate this joy.
When eating or drinking,
Become the taste of food or drink,
And be filled.
O lotus eyed one,
Sweet of touch,
When singing, seeing, tasting,
Be aware you are and discover the
Wherever satisfaction is found,
In whatever act,
At the point of sleep,
When the sleep has not yet come
And the external wakefulness vanishes,
At this point Being is revealed.
Even divisibles are indivisible.
In moods of extreme desire
This so-called universe
Appears as a juggling,
A picture show.
To be happy, look upon it so.
Put attention neither on pleasure nor on pain,
But between these.
Objects and desires
Exist in me as in others.
Let them be transformed.
As waves come with water
And flames with fire,
So the Universal waves with us.
Wherever your mind is wandering,
Internally or externally,
At this very place, this.
When vividly aware
Through some particular sense,
Keep in the awareness.
At the start of sneezing, during fright,
In anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle,
In extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger,
At the end of hunger,
Be uninterruptedly aware.
The purity of other teachings
Is an impurity to us.
Know nothing as pure or impure.
Be the unsame same to friend
as to stranger,
in honor and dishonor.
Here is the sphere of change, change, change.
Through change consume change.
As a hen mothers her chicks,
mother particular knowings,
Since, in truth,
Bondage and freedom are relative,
These words are only for those
Terrified with the universe.
This universe is a reflection of minds.
As you see many suns in water from one sun,
So see bondage and liberation.
Consider your essence as light rays
From center to center up the vertebrae,
And so rises “livingness” in you.
Or in the spaces between,
Feel this as lightning.
Feel the cosmos as a translucent
In summer when you see the entire sky
Enter such clarity.
See all space as if already
Absorbed in your own head
In the brilliance.
Waking, sleeping, dreaming,
Know you as light.
In rain during a black night,
Enter that blackness
As the form of forms.
When a moonless rainy night
is not present,
close your eyes, see blackness.
So, faults disappear forever.
Whenever your attention alights,
At this very point,
Focus on fire rising through your form
From the toes up
Until the body burns to ashes
But not you.
On the make believe world
As burning to ashes,
And become being above human.
As, subjectively, letters flow into words
and words into sentences,
and as, objectively,
circles flow into worlds
and worlds into principles,
find at last these converging in our being.
Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs – me.
And before knowing,
How can I say I am?
Dissolve in the beauty.
Toss attachment for body aside,
Realizing I am everywhere.
One who is everywhere is joyous.
Thinking no thing
Will limited-self unlimit.
Suppose you contemplate
Something beyond perception,
Beyond not being – you.
I am existing.
This is mine.
This is this.
O, beloved, even in such know illimitably.
Each thing is perceived through knowing.
The self shines in space through knowing.
Perceive one being as knower and known.
At this moment,
Let mind, knowing, breath, form,
Touching eyeballs as a feather,
Lightness between them opens into the heart
And there permeates the cosmos.
Enter etheric presence
Pervading far above and below your form.
Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness
Above, below and in your heart.
Consider any area of your present form
As limitlessly spacious.
Feel your substance,
Bones, flesh, blood,
Saturated with cosmic essence.
Feel the fine qualities of creativity
Permeating your breasts
And assuming delicate configurations.
Abide in some place endlessly spacious,
Clear of trees, hills, habitations.
Thence comes the end of mind pressures.
Consider the plenum
To be your own body of bliss.
In any easy position
Gradually pervade an area between the armpits
Into great peace.
Feel yourself as pervading all directions,
The appreciation of objects and subjects
Is the same for an enlightened
As for an unenlightened person.
The former has one greatness:
He remains in the subjective mood,
Not lost in things.
Believe omniscient, omnipotent, pervading.
Imagine spirit simultaneously
Within and around you
Until the entire universe spiritualizes.
With your entire consciousness
In the very start of desire, of knowing, know.
Each particular perception is limited,
Disappearing in omnipotence.
In truth forms are inseparate.
Inseparate are omnipresent being
And your own form.
Realize each as made of this consciousness.
Feel the consciousness of each person
As your own consciousness.
So, leaving aside concern for your self,
Become each being.
This consciousness exists as each being,
And nothing else exists.
This consciousness is the spirit of guidance
Of each one.
Be this one.
Suppose your passive form to be an empty room
With walls of skin – empty.
Gracious One, play.
The universe is an empty shell
Wherein your mind frolics infinitely.
Sweet heartened One,
Meditate on knowing and not-knowing,
Existing and non-existing.
Then leave both aside that you may be.
Enter space, supportless, eternal, still.