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Books > Tantra > Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent
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Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent
Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent
Description

From the Jacket :

The theme of Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is dharana, or concentration, a subject most relevant today. This new translation and commentary of a classical tantric text sheds much light on the practice of dharana, which until now has been revealed only by pheripheral explanations. The text comprises 112 different dharanas, or techniques of concentration, which can easily be incorporated into one's daily life. Although dharana is a practice intended for an adept, whose mind is steady and controlled, the techniques contained within this book provide a way even for the aspirant with a distracted mind to gradually develop concentration and meditation.

This work is the result of an in-depth study of dharana in relation to the tantric view of meditation, substantiated by the personal experience of the author. Included is a detailed introduction followed by the original Sanskrit slokas, with transliteration, translation and extensive commentary.

Preface

The knowledge of history, geography, astrology, astronomy, languages and other subjects that we study is recorded in their respective texts. Similarly, the knowledge of the mind and consciousness is recorded in the texts of the Tantras, Vedas and Puranas. These texts were written in Sanskrit, which was the language of their time, but this factor now limits the access to information contained within them to a very small minority who know that language. However, there are students of the science of the mind who have studied these texts and explained them in modern languages so that sincere seekers can avail themselves of this valuable information. This is not an easy task as these texts are written in a coded and abbreviated way, which only the discerning and enlightened can shed light on. On account of this limitation very few texts are available today that elucidate these ancient forms of spiritual knowledge.

It is often said that when the student is ready the teacher appears, and also when the time is right conditions conducive to spiritual dissemination arise. In that sense the subject of dharana, or concentration, which is the theme of Vijmnana Bhairava Tantra (VBT), is most relevant today. Spiritual seekers the world over, who have maintained personal disciplines for the evolution of consciousness, are now in need of this knowledge. For this reason the time is now ripe to introduce the tantric system of dharana as it was practiced by the ancients. Of course, the techniques of dharna are not new to practitioners of meditation, yet very few are aware of the full scope of the tantric system and its application.

Whether one is a materialist or a spiritualist, it is important to realize that the practice of dharana is most vital for progress in all spheres of life. Even the materialists pay homage to energy, because they realize that this whole world is nothing but a play of energy. The materialists exploded the atom through a physical process in order to harness its immense energy for the benefit of mankind. In the same way, the practice of dharana explodes the atom of energy within the mind through a spiritual process, so that it can be harnessed to accelerate the evolution of individual consciousness. For this reason dharana is as valuable as the nuclear sciences and should, therefore, receive the same recognition and status.

Very few translations and commentaries of VBT are currently available. Therefore, the publication of this work is very significant as it will shed a great deal of light on the practice of dharana, which until now has been revealed only by peripheral explanations. The main aim of this text is to convey the relevance of dharana and the means or techniques to incorporate it into one's life. It also reassures that this can be done quite easily, even if one does not have any expertise in this field. Although dharana is a practice intended for a practitioner whose mind is steady and controlled, this book provides a way even for those of unsteady mind to gradually develop one-pointedness.

All the wealth, assets, luxuries and comforts that one can have in this world are of no use if the mind is uncontrolled and dissipated. In this sense a mind that travels on the desired path is the most valuable asset that a man can possess. If one has such a mind, nothing more is needed.

The great poet-saint Kabir Das has rightly said, "Mein to unsantan Ka dass jinhone man maar liya": I bow only before that saint who has conquered his mind. Although we may not realize it, we are all slaves to our minds. Throughout the day we do whatever the mind directs us to do. If the mind is worried, we feel anxious; if it is happy, we are pleased if it is envious, we are ridden with jealousy; if it is furious, we become violently angry. Is there ever a moment in our life when we put our foot down and say, "No, I will not be angry, or happy, or vengeful?"

We simply cannot put an end to this process without knowing the practice of dharana. There is no other way to gather the vagrant tendencies of this powerful substance known as mind, except by the practice of dharana, the path of concentration. Dharana is a practice with generates the momentum to override the dissipated energies of the mind and convert them into a stream of awareness. Therefore, we are very happy to present this work, which is the result of an in-depth study of dharana in relation to the tantric view of meditation, substantiated by the personal experience of the author.

About the Author :

Swami Satyasangananda (Satsangi) was born on 24th March 1953, in Chandorenagore, West Bengal. From the age of 22 she experienced a series of inner awakenings, which led her to her guru, Swami Satyananda. From 1981 she traveled ceaselessly with her guru in India and overseas and developed into a scholar with deep insight into the yogic and tantric traditions as well as modern sciences and philosophies. She is an efficient channel for the transmission of her guru's teachings. The establishment of Sivananda Math in Rikhia is her creation and mission, and she guides all its activities there, working tirelessly to uplift the weaker and underprivileged areas. She embodies compassion with clear reason and is the foundation of her guru's vision.

Introduction

The loftiest dictum pronounced by the sages and seers of the upanishadic and vedic era was Aham Brahmasmi, "I am That." Their search was within; they explored the vast dimensions that constitute the inner life. Mentally they dissected the body and discovered its subtle essence to be the senses. Through meditation on the senses they discovered the corridors and avenues of the mind. By reflecting on the mind they realized the potential energy that was dormant within. By awakening that energy they discovered consciousness, and by uniting the inherent energy with the individual consciousness they realized that they were indeed intimately connected to and a part of the cosmic consciousness. This was realized by the tantrics a long time ago, even before the vedic era. The entire spectrum of vedic and tantric philosophy is based on this realization; whether Shaivism, Vaishnavism or Shaktism, the subject is exploring the substance that man is composed of.

Several hundred thousand years later, the unified field theory which physicists talk about uncannily points in the same direction. According to this theory, the entire creation is one composite whole and all of life, whether animate or inanimate, manifest or unmanifest, is intimately connected. In other words, whatever you think, feel, say or do spreads like ripples into unending space, mixing, merging and colliding with ripples from other sources. This is a very dynamic idea, which lends universality to each and every human being and gives life an importance and status that goes far beyond one's imagination and expectation. Through the dark ages of history, the average man has found himself severely limited whenever he has tried to delve into areas of life that extend beyond what the senses can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. The range of human perception is limited to this dimension.

Although man has amassed enormous wealth, luxuries and comforts, and has fortified himself with immense power to protect himself from enemies, imaginary or real, he still finds himself unprotected and vulnerable. He knows that the span of life is short. When he has to bid farewell, he cannot take the armour which has protected him throughout life; he has to go empty-handed. So this proclamation of Aham Brahmasmi gives man hope and sustenance. Not only that, the vedic and tantric sages have generously shared their meditative experiences with mankind, revealing vital clues about the real purpose of human life. Although man lives to amass wealth, power and status, these goals give only limited satisfaction. There is no permanence in the joy derived from material gains. The real joy and everlasting bliss can be had only when man realizes himself.

Realize the self

What does it mean to realize the self? I know that I am male or female, Indian or American, Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Jew, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, intelligent or dull, black or white, educated or illiterate, saint or sinner, atheist or believer, compassionate or cruel, generous or mean. However, the tantric and vedic sages say that all of these criteria are irrelevant, immaterial and unimportant as far as the quest for the self is concerned. In this quest one's sex, nationality, class, creed, social status, dogma and religious beliefs hold no sway. The self relates to a different dimension altogether. Exploring the self, they say, is not a social, cultural or religious affair.

The emphasis of the sages was on the innate qualities of man, not (he acquired ones. They realized that the spectrum of human awareness ranges from demonic to human to divine, on account of the interplay of the three qualities, or gunas, which constitute his being. These three qualities are known as sattwa, rajas and tamas. Sattwa denotes divinity, lamas the demonic quality, and rajas the human endeavour. Of course, this is a very broad classification, but it is true that all of these traits are a part and parcel of our nature. The three gunas are present in each one of us and continually direct our thoughts, actions, feelings and, in fact, the totality of our lives. They determine the temperament of each one of us as well as our inclinations in life. We make all of our choices on the basis of these gunas.

However, no matter what choices we make in life, we should not forget the purpose for which we have come into this world. That purpose is to realize the self. Human birth has been given great importance, because it is only as a human being that we can know our true essence. It is the seed of individuality that has been sown in human beings which gives us knowledge of our existence. Other forms of creation live without any knowledge of their existence. It is man alone who has knowledge of each and every act that he performs and thereby of his existence.

Man is aware of time, space and object. Although animals, plants and minerals are sentient beings, they do not have this awareness. A dog barks, but he does not know that he is barking. A tree bears fruit, but it does not have the knowledge that it does so. Many forms of life have feelings, likes and dislikes, acute responses and memory as well, yet they do not know of their existence in time and space nor do they have any knowledge of the objects around them. Man is exceptional because he can have knowledge of his existence within time and space and beyond time and space as well. He can voluntarily transcend the objective self and travel into the realm of timelessness to experience the unified awareness of which he is an integral part and from which he has evolved into the gross body and mind that he is. (VBT sl. 97)

Evolutes of consciousness

Ironically, that same tattwa or principle which gives man the knowledge of individuality and differentiation is responsible for the experience of unified awareness, or knowledge of unity with the rest of creation. That principle is known as ego or ahamkara. The word aham means 'I am'. Other forms of life, both inferior and superior, do not have ahamkara. In the lower forms of life thi principle is latent, and in the higher forms it has been transcended. Therefore, in the vedic and tantric traditions human life is much sought after, even by those who have attained divinity, becau e only man can know the creator. In that sense the human birth is considered to be most valuable.

According to tantra, the universal consciousness de- scends towards manifestation as individual consciousness, assuming four states, known as buddhi, chitta, ahamkara and manas. Buddhi represents the higher intellect with its activity of viveka, or discrimination, and sadvichara, or right thinking. Manas is the lower mind with its characteristic activity of sankalpa and vikalpa, or thought and counter- thought. Chitta, or memory, is the storehouse of past actions in the form of samskaras, or archetypes. Ahamkara, or ego, is the notion of self-existence, conditioned by the above three. This is the arc of avaroha, or the descent of the dynamic universal consciousness into human life. It is only at the human stage of evolution that unmesha or aroha, the a cent towards higher life, is possible. Inner realization dawns when manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara are dissolved into universal consciousness through the medium of shakti, or energy. This is the highest yajna, or sacrifice, man can offer. (VBT sI. 138) Other forms of life do not have this privilege because they do not have these four aspects, which are collectively known as antahkarana, or the inner instrument.

The ascent of consciousness from its association with gross matter and base emotions to the effulgence of spirit is the focal point of tantric and vedic thought. Other philosophies speak of the descent of universal consciousness, whereas tantric and vedic thought upholds that ascent from matter to spirit is the inherent design which prakriti or nature has woven into all creation. Tantra says that the descent of universal consciousness in its pure form is a possibility which occurs very rarely. This descent of universal consciousness into matter while retaining its pure form is known as avatar. The avatar represents universal conscious- ness on earth and, therefore, the laws of nature are well within his control. Sri Krishna was such an avatar and so was Sri Rama. However, very few such persons have descended to earth. So, it is the ascent and not the descent of consciousness that we have to understand in relation to our meditative practices and spiritual evolution.

The supra-mental state which Sri Aurobindo, the twentieth century yogi, often referred to also points in this direction. At present, man is functioning with a mere fraction of the potential power of the brain. It is only the tip of the iceberg. The higher faculties of the brain, which are latent, have to be illumined and awakened through two important practices of tantra, known as dharana and dhyana. These two practices strengthen the electro-magnetic circuits of the brain so that it becomes accustomed to handling the high voltage energy that is a consequence of inner illumination. These practices form channels and pathways for the energy to be transmitted to all points of the brain, leading to total illumination. If illumination occurs before these preparations are complete, short circuits may occur and fuses may blow, as the 'wiring' of the brain cannot withstand the influx of powerful currents generated by total illumination of the dark recesses.

Different vedic and tantric traditions offer lucid and incisive dialogues and debates on this very subject. Their enquiries were both subjective and objective, leaving no stone unturned. They dissected thoughts, ideas and experiences, analyzed feelings and emotions, and subjected themselves to intense and rigorous scrutiny in search of the real and the permanent. In the science of alchemy a substance is rarefied until it becomes pure and refined. Similarly, through the alchemical process of meditation the mysterious ocean of thoughts, desires and passions surging within is churned by the practice of dharana. In this way, the yogis uncovered layer after layer of mind stuff and with each uncovering they discovered more and more refined substances. Each degree of refinement brought greater illumination and the discovery of a new set of attributes. Technically, these attributes are classified a siddhis, or perfections. Sage Patanjali, who gave us the invaluable aphorisms, or sutras, on yoga, calls them vibhootis, or accomplishments of yoga. These special attributes are the hidden potential within man that makes him more and more perfect.

By this inner process, the yogis discovered that the source from which the gross body has evolved is pure consciousness, reverberating with energy. This consciousness is cosmic in nature and has no limitations. It is neither bound by time nor confined to any particular space. It pervades each and every form of life and is present in each and every being. The yogic alchemists were also curious to know which part of the body this consciousness inhabits, so they searched further and found that it is the indweller of all hearts. As jivatman, or individual consciousness, it rests in the heart cavity, or anahata chakra.

The form of individual consciousness is three-dimensional, luminous, laser-like light, which oversees everything and awaits the moment when it can reunite with shakti or energy from whom it has separated for the purpose of creation. At the transcendental level it exists as bindu, the primal point, and nada, the primal sound, which reverberates through the stratosphere as cosmic vibration and within us as anahad nada, the unstruck sound. (VBT s1. 38) The yogis experienced this nada in many forms, such as the melodious notes of the flute (VBT s1. 41), the call of the peacock, the roaring of thunder and also in the various mantras. There are countless descriptions of their experiences in the tantric texts from which it is clear that the consciousness has many degrees of manifestation, whereby it can be experienced as sound, light, form and idea.

When a substance refines itself by separating from or uniting with another substance, either inherent or apart from itself, this is known as alchemy. The tantric seers were the most proficient alchemists of all time. They refined highly subtle forms of matter, such as the human mind, intellect, ego and individual consciousness. The product that emerged from such internal refinement was an experience. This form of experience was so subtle that the human mind could not comprehend it until the attention was turned completely away from matter and focused on spirit. This experience superseded all the varying stages of realization that the ascending shakti had passed through before reuniting with consciousness.

Principle of reunification

This reunification led to the realization of oneness of jivatma with paramatma, the cosmic consciousness or highest spirit, which inhabits the cranium at a psychic centre known as sahasrara chakra. When the jivatma, or individual conscious- ness residing in the heart cavity, unites with mahashakti, the highest energy, which inhabits the cavity at the base of the spine known as mooladhara chakra, it sets the ground or foundation for this reunification. It is mahashakti who sets the wheel of creation into motion at the behest of consciousness. Her physical form is that of a coiled serpent, thus she is known as kundalini. When she unites with the individual consciousness in the region of anahata chakra, the resulting explosion completely overrides the electro- magnetic circuits of the brain and total illumination occurs in sahasrara chakra, the abode of Shiva, which has been described as a thousand-petalled lotus. (VBT sl. 28) When the matter that constitutes man explodes, an enormous inner detonation occurs and immense heat is generated. This inner fire purifies the physical matter t? such a degree that it liberates the inherent energy or shakti, which in turn frees the consciousness from it clutches. The equation is thus matter into energy into consciousness, and vice-versa. The resulting experience of this energy conversion was so subtle that the yogis were speechless and had no words to convey it. When asked to describe their experience, all they could say was, "Neti, neti": not this, not this. The highest spiritual state cannot be described, explained or understood; it can only be experienced. Whatever one may say about that experience, the words fall short. Something remains unsaid, because there are no words in our vocabulary to describe that spiritual reality.

The yogis called it light and they were not wrong, but it was more than that. They also called it sat-chit-ananda or satyam-shivam-sundaram, which mean truth, consciousness and bliss. However, these remain just words until we transform ourselves and attain that experience. Therefore, the aim of human life is not mere intellectual understanding of these sublime truths, but to expand the frontiers of the mind and liberate the energy in order to have the experience of that supreme consciousness. The source from which all matter has evolved is consciousness. The body is gross matter, the mind is subtle matter and each vibrates with energy. However, on account of their mundane state, the potential to experience that pure consciousness from which they have evolved is lost.

Expansion and liberation

In order to achieve this experience, the science of tantra postulates two theories: expansion and liberation. By boiling water, the particles of hydrogen and oxygen are expanded and liberated from the gross form of water and become subtle vapour. In the same way, by expanding the awareness tantra liberates the energy that is locked up in the body and mind. Energy is the link between matter and consciousness. Once it is released from the clutches of matter, it unites with consciousness and a resulting awakening occurs.

In physics the same principle is applied to explode the atom bomb. Through the process of fission or fusion the energy is released from matter and united with its opposite polarity to create this explosion. When the scientist and philosopher, Oppenheimer, watched this event for the first time, he was moved to tears and spontaneously recited aloud a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, in which Sanjaya describes this same cosmic experience to the blind monarch, Dhritarashtra.

Were a thousand suns to light up the sky,
still they could not match the light of absolute consciousness. (11:12)

Although these two types of explosions are remarkably similar, the difference between them is vast. One takes place externally and the other internally. One destroys, the other creates. One is a part of nature's plan for the destiny of mankind, the other is man's plan for the destiny of mankind. But one thing is clear: the process of alchemy that the tantric and vedic seers employed for this experience was taken from the laws of nature, which are perfectly scientific and apply to all levels of creation. Matter is continually breaking up and transforming into different forms and substances. For example, over a period of time coal changes into diamond and fossils into petroleum and gas. The practices of tantra have been derived through strict observance of these natural processes and their application to man, who is also a product of nature.

Man is destined to awaken this experience at some point of evolution, even if no conscious effort is made to liberate the energy and expand the awareness. This is the natural heritage and birthright of every human being, but without applying a specific procedure it will take a long, long time. The practices of tantra hasten the natural process of evolution and allow that experience to unfold in this life itself, here and now, at this very moment. This experience bestows ananda and jnana, bliss and knowledge, which man seeks through external objects, but never finds. On account of this, human life is full of misery, frustration and depression. The experience that arises through expansion of consci0.us- ne ss and liberation of energy is the only permanent solutlOn to human suffering.

Sadhana, the means to realize oneself

In order to liberate the mind from the clutches of matter and turn towards the effulgence of spirit, tantra lays great emphasis on sadhana, or practice. Sadhana is a process of internal refinement, which allows man to move towards perfection. What exactly does sadhana refine? Does this process refine just the body or does it extend beyond the body as well? What is the level of perfection that can be attained through sadhana? What is the level of perception of a person who attains that perfection? These are some of the questions that VBT answers. But these answers are not explained; they are provided through a set of practices which leads you to the answer. Each of these practices is complete in itself. One practice does not necessarily lead to another. Each is independent and, at times, even completely different to the preceding or following practice. Often they complement each other, but never do they contradict one another.

It has been the experience of all who have practised sadhana in its pure form that this refinement takes place on several levels. Even on the physical level there are many degrees of refinement. What can be said of the mental and supra-mental levels of perfection? The sadhanas prescribed by tantra are said to bestow the three qualities of omnipotence, the power to do all, omnipresence, the power to be everywhere, and omniscience, the power to know all. These are the qualities of that highest reality. Tantra says that these qualities are attained only when the inner awareness is streamlined and refined. Every form of life is continuously refining itself and moving towards perfection. Sadhana is a way of hastening this process and ensuring that it takes place in a controlled manner.

The basis of sadhana is abhyasa, which means regular and uninterrupted practice. If sadhana is interrupted for any reason, it has to be commenced right from the beginning, and not where you left off. This is because the area that you are trying to reach through sadhana is beyond your control. It does not listen to your mind or intellect. How are you going to interact with that which is beyond you? This interaction is only possible through abhyasa. Remember the saying, "Practice makes perfect." Just as you master material knowledge, or apara vidya, through constant practice, in the same way, para vidya, or transcendental knowledge, is mastered through constant, unbroken practice. The principle is the same, although the subjects differ.

CONTENTS

 

Preface xv
Introduction 1
Commentary 93
Inquiry into the nature of reality  
Sloka  
1. Rudrayamala and Trika 95
2. Reality of Bhairava 99
3. How the Bhairava reality is perceived 101
4. By what experience this reality is known 104
5. Transcendent or immanent 107
6. Indivisible and indefinable 109
7. Essence of tantra 110
8. Forms of Bhairava 111
9. Sakara aspect of Bhairava 116
10. Purpose of sakara meditation 119
11. What Bhairava is not 121
12. Essence of Bhairava 123
13. What has been told about Bhairava 125
14. Immeasurable and without attribute 127
15. Atman of Bhairava 129
16. Nature of highest reality 132
17. Bhairava is known by Paradevi 134
18. Dharma and the possessor of dharma 136
19. Dualism is a preliminary step 138
20. Shakti is the face of Shiva 140
21. Shiva is revealed by Shakti 142
22. Bhairava state of consciousness 144
23. Means to achieve Bhairava consciousness 146
24. Dharana on the two generation points 148
25. Kumbhaka dharana 157
26. Perfection of Kumbhaka 160
27. Kumbhaka leads to inner peace 163
28. Kundalini Jagran dharana 165
29. Piercing of the chakras 167
30. Kundalini becomes shiva 169
31. Mind transcends thought 172
32. Shoonya panchaka dharana 175
33. Mindful awareness 178
34. Dharana on the crown of the head 180
35. Sushumna dharana 182
36. Shanmukhi mudra 184
37. Dissolution in the cave of the heart 186
38. Dharana on shabdhabrahman 188
39. Pranava dharana 190
40. Dharana on Aum matras 193
41. Nada dharana 195
42. Bija mantra dharana 197
43. Dharana on the directions 199
44. Sushumna and daharakasha dharana 201
45. Sushumna, daharakasha and hridayakasaha dharana 203
46. Antarakasha dharana 205
47. Antarakasha dharana (cont.) 207
48. Antarakasha dharana (cont.) 208
49. Dharana on the mantra in the heart space 209
50. Dharana on dwadashanta 210
51. Result of dharana on dwadashanta 212
52. Dharana on Kaalagni 214
53. Result of dharana on Kaalagni 216
54. Tattwa dharana 218
55. Dharana on the indriyas or senses 220
56. Dharana on universal dissolution 222
57. Shiva tattwa dharana 224
58. Vishwa shoonya dharana 226
59. Dharana on an empty pot 228
60. Dharana on a deserted place 230
61. Dharana on the space in between two objects 232
62. Dharana on one object 234
63. Dharana on all existence as consciousness 236
64. Dharana on the fusion of vayus 238
65. Dharana on ananda 240
66. Dharana on austerity 242
67. Dharana on the ascent of pranashakti 245
68. Dharana on manipura and anahata 247
69. Dharana on union with shakti 249
70. Dharana on sexual bliss in the absence of shakti 251
71. Dharana on joy 254
72. Dharana on enjoyment of food and drink 256
73. Dharana on sensual pleasures 258
74. Dharana on satisfaction of mind 260
75. Dharana on the threshold before sleep 262
76. Dharana on the luminous space 264
77. Dharana on the tantric mudras 266
78. Dharana in relaxed asana 271
79. Dharana on shoonya yantra 274
80. Dharana on an object 276
81. Dharana on 'Ha' 278
82. Dharana on suspension of the body 280
83. Dharana on swinging the body 282
84. Dharana on the sky 284
85. Dharana on reality 285
86. Dharana on reality 287
87. Dharana on the darkness of night 289
88. Dharana on the dark form of bhairava 292
89. Dharana on restraint of the senses 294
90. Dharana on akaara 296
91. Dharana on visarga 299
92. Dharana on oneself in the form of space 301
93. Dharana on piercing of the skin 303
94. Dharana on one-mind 305
95. Dharana on the nature of the elements 308
96. Dharana on ending desires 310
97. Dharana on 'Who am I'? 312
98. Dharana on desire 314
99. Dharana on knowledge 316
100. Dharana on undifferentiated consciousness 318
101. Dharana on the negative qualities 320
102. Dharana on the illusive nature of life 323
103. Dharana on the middle path 325
104. Dharana on 'I am everywhere' 327
105. Dharana on higher knowledge 329
106. Dharana on the subject-object relationship 331
107. Dharana on consciousness 333
108. Dharana on the unsupported mind 335
109. Dharana on identification with Shiva 337
110. Dharana on identification with the source 339
111. Dharana on whirling around 341
112. Dharana on erroneous perception 343
113. Dharana of steady gazing 346
114. Dharana on anahad nada 349
115. Dharana on a deep well 351
116. Dharana on the omnipresent reality 353
117. Dharana on poornatva 355
118. Dharana on the state of Brahma 357
119. Dharana on memories 359
120. Dharana on unmani 361
121. Dharana on intuition 363
122. Dharana on a particular object 366
123. Dharana on purity 367
124. Dharana on the non-dual reality 369
125. Dharana on equality 371
126. Dharana in between two opposites 373
127. Dharana on bhairava as the unknowable void 375
128. Dharana on outer space 377
129. Dharana on thoughtlessness 378
130. Dharana on the word bhairava 380
131. Dharana on Tat (that highest reality) 383
132. Dharana on divine attributes 385
133. Dharana on the illusory nature of the world 386
134. Dharana on the changeless atman  388
135. Neither bondage nor liberation 390
136. Withdrawal of the senses 392
137. Dharana on knowledge and knower 394
138. Dissolution of the set of four 396
Conclusion  
139. Means of cessation 398
140. Perfection of one dharana 400
141.. Master of yogis and siddhas 401
142. Liberated while living 402
143. Who is the worshipper and who is worshipped? 403
144. Gross forms of worship 405
145. Japa dharana on the supreme consciousness 407
146. Verification of meditation 409
147. True worship 410
148. Complete fulfilment or satisfaction 411
149. Real oblation 412
150. Saviour of all 413
151. Highest contemplation 414
152. Real purification 416
153. What is worship? 417
154. Supreme place of pilgrimage 418
155a. Blissful sacrifice 420
155b. Hamsa dharana 422
156. Continuous japa of the breath 424
157. Need for secrecy 425
158. Qualification for tantric practice 427
159 & 160 Tantric Initiation 429
161. Never give up this knowledge 431
162. Devi's understanding 432
163. Union of Shiva and Shakti 433
Appendices  
A: Sanskrit Text 437
B: Translation 452
Glossary 473
Index 494

Sample Pages





















Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent

Item Code:
IDE974
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2008
ISBN:
9788186336328
Language:
English
Size:
8.5" X 5.5"
Pages:
527
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Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent

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The theme of Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is dharana, or concentration, a subject most relevant today. This new translation and commentary of a classical tantric text sheds much light on the practice of dharana, which until now has been revealed only by pheripheral explanations. The text comprises 112 different dharanas, or techniques of concentration, which can easily be incorporated into one's daily life. Although dharana is a practice intended for an adept, whose mind is steady and controlled, the techniques contained within this book provide a way even for the aspirant with a distracted mind to gradually develop concentration and meditation.

This work is the result of an in-depth study of dharana in relation to the tantric view of meditation, substantiated by the personal experience of the author. Included is a detailed introduction followed by the original Sanskrit slokas, with transliteration, translation and extensive commentary.

Preface

The knowledge of history, geography, astrology, astronomy, languages and other subjects that we study is recorded in their respective texts. Similarly, the knowledge of the mind and consciousness is recorded in the texts of the Tantras, Vedas and Puranas. These texts were written in Sanskrit, which was the language of their time, but this factor now limits the access to information contained within them to a very small minority who know that language. However, there are students of the science of the mind who have studied these texts and explained them in modern languages so that sincere seekers can avail themselves of this valuable information. This is not an easy task as these texts are written in a coded and abbreviated way, which only the discerning and enlightened can shed light on. On account of this limitation very few texts are available today that elucidate these ancient forms of spiritual knowledge.

It is often said that when the student is ready the teacher appears, and also when the time is right conditions conducive to spiritual dissemination arise. In that sense the subject of dharana, or concentration, which is the theme of Vijmnana Bhairava Tantra (VBT), is most relevant today. Spiritual seekers the world over, who have maintained personal disciplines for the evolution of consciousness, are now in need of this knowledge. For this reason the time is now ripe to introduce the tantric system of dharana as it was practiced by the ancients. Of course, the techniques of dharna are not new to practitioners of meditation, yet very few are aware of the full scope of the tantric system and its application.

Whether one is a materialist or a spiritualist, it is important to realize that the practice of dharana is most vital for progress in all spheres of life. Even the materialists pay homage to energy, because they realize that this whole world is nothing but a play of energy. The materialists exploded the atom through a physical process in order to harness its immense energy for the benefit of mankind. In the same way, the practice of dharana explodes the atom of energy within the mind through a spiritual process, so that it can be harnessed to accelerate the evolution of individual consciousness. For this reason dharana is as valuable as the nuclear sciences and should, therefore, receive the same recognition and status.

Very few translations and commentaries of VBT are currently available. Therefore, the publication of this work is very significant as it will shed a great deal of light on the practice of dharana, which until now has been revealed only by peripheral explanations. The main aim of this text is to convey the relevance of dharana and the means or techniques to incorporate it into one's life. It also reassures that this can be done quite easily, even if one does not have any expertise in this field. Although dharana is a practice intended for a practitioner whose mind is steady and controlled, this book provides a way even for those of unsteady mind to gradually develop one-pointedness.

All the wealth, assets, luxuries and comforts that one can have in this world are of no use if the mind is uncontrolled and dissipated. In this sense a mind that travels on the desired path is the most valuable asset that a man can possess. If one has such a mind, nothing more is needed.

The great poet-saint Kabir Das has rightly said, "Mein to unsantan Ka dass jinhone man maar liya": I bow only before that saint who has conquered his mind. Although we may not realize it, we are all slaves to our minds. Throughout the day we do whatever the mind directs us to do. If the mind is worried, we feel anxious; if it is happy, we are pleased if it is envious, we are ridden with jealousy; if it is furious, we become violently angry. Is there ever a moment in our life when we put our foot down and say, "No, I will not be angry, or happy, or vengeful?"

We simply cannot put an end to this process without knowing the practice of dharana. There is no other way to gather the vagrant tendencies of this powerful substance known as mind, except by the practice of dharana, the path of concentration. Dharana is a practice with generates the momentum to override the dissipated energies of the mind and convert them into a stream of awareness. Therefore, we are very happy to present this work, which is the result of an in-depth study of dharana in relation to the tantric view of meditation, substantiated by the personal experience of the author.

About the Author :

Swami Satyasangananda (Satsangi) was born on 24th March 1953, in Chandorenagore, West Bengal. From the age of 22 she experienced a series of inner awakenings, which led her to her guru, Swami Satyananda. From 1981 she traveled ceaselessly with her guru in India and overseas and developed into a scholar with deep insight into the yogic and tantric traditions as well as modern sciences and philosophies. She is an efficient channel for the transmission of her guru's teachings. The establishment of Sivananda Math in Rikhia is her creation and mission, and she guides all its activities there, working tirelessly to uplift the weaker and underprivileged areas. She embodies compassion with clear reason and is the foundation of her guru's vision.

Introduction

The loftiest dictum pronounced by the sages and seers of the upanishadic and vedic era was Aham Brahmasmi, "I am That." Their search was within; they explored the vast dimensions that constitute the inner life. Mentally they dissected the body and discovered its subtle essence to be the senses. Through meditation on the senses they discovered the corridors and avenues of the mind. By reflecting on the mind they realized the potential energy that was dormant within. By awakening that energy they discovered consciousness, and by uniting the inherent energy with the individual consciousness they realized that they were indeed intimately connected to and a part of the cosmic consciousness. This was realized by the tantrics a long time ago, even before the vedic era. The entire spectrum of vedic and tantric philosophy is based on this realization; whether Shaivism, Vaishnavism or Shaktism, the subject is exploring the substance that man is composed of.

Several hundred thousand years later, the unified field theory which physicists talk about uncannily points in the same direction. According to this theory, the entire creation is one composite whole and all of life, whether animate or inanimate, manifest or unmanifest, is intimately connected. In other words, whatever you think, feel, say or do spreads like ripples into unending space, mixing, merging and colliding with ripples from other sources. This is a very dynamic idea, which lends universality to each and every human being and gives life an importance and status that goes far beyond one's imagination and expectation. Through the dark ages of history, the average man has found himself severely limited whenever he has tried to delve into areas of life that extend beyond what the senses can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. The range of human perception is limited to this dimension.

Although man has amassed enormous wealth, luxuries and comforts, and has fortified himself with immense power to protect himself from enemies, imaginary or real, he still finds himself unprotected and vulnerable. He knows that the span of life is short. When he has to bid farewell, he cannot take the armour which has protected him throughout life; he has to go empty-handed. So this proclamation of Aham Brahmasmi gives man hope and sustenance. Not only that, the vedic and tantric sages have generously shared their meditative experiences with mankind, revealing vital clues about the real purpose of human life. Although man lives to amass wealth, power and status, these goals give only limited satisfaction. There is no permanence in the joy derived from material gains. The real joy and everlasting bliss can be had only when man realizes himself.

Realize the self

What does it mean to realize the self? I know that I am male or female, Indian or American, Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Jew, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, intelligent or dull, black or white, educated or illiterate, saint or sinner, atheist or believer, compassionate or cruel, generous or mean. However, the tantric and vedic sages say that all of these criteria are irrelevant, immaterial and unimportant as far as the quest for the self is concerned. In this quest one's sex, nationality, class, creed, social status, dogma and religious beliefs hold no sway. The self relates to a different dimension altogether. Exploring the self, they say, is not a social, cultural or religious affair.

The emphasis of the sages was on the innate qualities of man, not (he acquired ones. They realized that the spectrum of human awareness ranges from demonic to human to divine, on account of the interplay of the three qualities, or gunas, which constitute his being. These three qualities are known as sattwa, rajas and tamas. Sattwa denotes divinity, lamas the demonic quality, and rajas the human endeavour. Of course, this is a very broad classification, but it is true that all of these traits are a part and parcel of our nature. The three gunas are present in each one of us and continually direct our thoughts, actions, feelings and, in fact, the totality of our lives. They determine the temperament of each one of us as well as our inclinations in life. We make all of our choices on the basis of these gunas.

However, no matter what choices we make in life, we should not forget the purpose for which we have come into this world. That purpose is to realize the self. Human birth has been given great importance, because it is only as a human being that we can know our true essence. It is the seed of individuality that has been sown in human beings which gives us knowledge of our existence. Other forms of creation live without any knowledge of their existence. It is man alone who has knowledge of each and every act that he performs and thereby of his existence.

Man is aware of time, space and object. Although animals, plants and minerals are sentient beings, they do not have this awareness. A dog barks, but he does not know that he is barking. A tree bears fruit, but it does not have the knowledge that it does so. Many forms of life have feelings, likes and dislikes, acute responses and memory as well, yet they do not know of their existence in time and space nor do they have any knowledge of the objects around them. Man is exceptional because he can have knowledge of his existence within time and space and beyond time and space as well. He can voluntarily transcend the objective self and travel into the realm of timelessness to experience the unified awareness of which he is an integral part and from which he has evolved into the gross body and mind that he is. (VBT sl. 97)

Evolutes of consciousness

Ironically, that same tattwa or principle which gives man the knowledge of individuality and differentiation is responsible for the experience of unified awareness, or knowledge of unity with the rest of creation. That principle is known as ego or ahamkara. The word aham means 'I am'. Other forms of life, both inferior and superior, do not have ahamkara. In the lower forms of life thi principle is latent, and in the higher forms it has been transcended. Therefore, in the vedic and tantric traditions human life is much sought after, even by those who have attained divinity, becau e only man can know the creator. In that sense the human birth is considered to be most valuable.

According to tantra, the universal consciousness de- scends towards manifestation as individual consciousness, assuming four states, known as buddhi, chitta, ahamkara and manas. Buddhi represents the higher intellect with its activity of viveka, or discrimination, and sadvichara, or right thinking. Manas is the lower mind with its characteristic activity of sankalpa and vikalpa, or thought and counter- thought. Chitta, or memory, is the storehouse of past actions in the form of samskaras, or archetypes. Ahamkara, or ego, is the notion of self-existence, conditioned by the above three. This is the arc of avaroha, or the descent of the dynamic universal consciousness into human life. It is only at the human stage of evolution that unmesha or aroha, the a cent towards higher life, is possible. Inner realization dawns when manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara are dissolved into universal consciousness through the medium of shakti, or energy. This is the highest yajna, or sacrifice, man can offer. (VBT sI. 138) Other forms of life do not have this privilege because they do not have these four aspects, which are collectively known as antahkarana, or the inner instrument.

The ascent of consciousness from its association with gross matter and base emotions to the effulgence of spirit is the focal point of tantric and vedic thought. Other philosophies speak of the descent of universal consciousness, whereas tantric and vedic thought upholds that ascent from matter to spirit is the inherent design which prakriti or nature has woven into all creation. Tantra says that the descent of universal consciousness in its pure form is a possibility which occurs very rarely. This descent of universal consciousness into matter while retaining its pure form is known as avatar. The avatar represents universal conscious- ness on earth and, therefore, the laws of nature are well within his control. Sri Krishna was such an avatar and so was Sri Rama. However, very few such persons have descended to earth. So, it is the ascent and not the descent of consciousness that we have to understand in relation to our meditative practices and spiritual evolution.

The supra-mental state which Sri Aurobindo, the twentieth century yogi, often referred to also points in this direction. At present, man is functioning with a mere fraction of the potential power of the brain. It is only the tip of the iceberg. The higher faculties of the brain, which are latent, have to be illumined and awakened through two important practices of tantra, known as dharana and dhyana. These two practices strengthen the electro-magnetic circuits of the brain so that it becomes accustomed to handling the high voltage energy that is a consequence of inner illumination. These practices form channels and pathways for the energy to be transmitted to all points of the brain, leading to total illumination. If illumination occurs before these preparations are complete, short circuits may occur and fuses may blow, as the 'wiring' of the brain cannot withstand the influx of powerful currents generated by total illumination of the dark recesses.

Different vedic and tantric traditions offer lucid and incisive dialogues and debates on this very subject. Their enquiries were both subjective and objective, leaving no stone unturned. They dissected thoughts, ideas and experiences, analyzed feelings and emotions, and subjected themselves to intense and rigorous scrutiny in search of the real and the permanent. In the science of alchemy a substance is rarefied until it becomes pure and refined. Similarly, through the alchemical process of meditation the mysterious ocean of thoughts, desires and passions surging within is churned by the practice of dharana. In this way, the yogis uncovered layer after layer of mind stuff and with each uncovering they discovered more and more refined substances. Each degree of refinement brought greater illumination and the discovery of a new set of attributes. Technically, these attributes are classified a siddhis, or perfections. Sage Patanjali, who gave us the invaluable aphorisms, or sutras, on yoga, calls them vibhootis, or accomplishments of yoga. These special attributes are the hidden potential within man that makes him more and more perfect.

By this inner process, the yogis discovered that the source from which the gross body has evolved is pure consciousness, reverberating with energy. This consciousness is cosmic in nature and has no limitations. It is neither bound by time nor confined to any particular space. It pervades each and every form of life and is present in each and every being. The yogic alchemists were also curious to know which part of the body this consciousness inhabits, so they searched further and found that it is the indweller of all hearts. As jivatman, or individual consciousness, it rests in the heart cavity, or anahata chakra.

The form of individual consciousness is three-dimensional, luminous, laser-like light, which oversees everything and awaits the moment when it can reunite with shakti or energy from whom it has separated for the purpose of creation. At the transcendental level it exists as bindu, the primal point, and nada, the primal sound, which reverberates through the stratosphere as cosmic vibration and within us as anahad nada, the unstruck sound. (VBT s1. 38) The yogis experienced this nada in many forms, such as the melodious notes of the flute (VBT s1. 41), the call of the peacock, the roaring of thunder and also in the various mantras. There are countless descriptions of their experiences in the tantric texts from which it is clear that the consciousness has many degrees of manifestation, whereby it can be experienced as sound, light, form and idea.

When a substance refines itself by separating from or uniting with another substance, either inherent or apart from itself, this is known as alchemy. The tantric seers were the most proficient alchemists of all time. They refined highly subtle forms of matter, such as the human mind, intellect, ego and individual consciousness. The product that emerged from such internal refinement was an experience. This form of experience was so subtle that the human mind could not comprehend it until the attention was turned completely away from matter and focused on spirit. This experience superseded all the varying stages of realization that the ascending shakti had passed through before reuniting with consciousness.

Principle of reunification

This reunification led to the realization of oneness of jivatma with paramatma, the cosmic consciousness or highest spirit, which inhabits the cranium at a psychic centre known as sahasrara chakra. When the jivatma, or individual conscious- ness residing in the heart cavity, unites with mahashakti, the highest energy, which inhabits the cavity at the base of the spine known as mooladhara chakra, it sets the ground or foundation for this reunification. It is mahashakti who sets the wheel of creation into motion at the behest of consciousness. Her physical form is that of a coiled serpent, thus she is known as kundalini. When she unites with the individual consciousness in the region of anahata chakra, the resulting explosion completely overrides the electro- magnetic circuits of the brain and total illumination occurs in sahasrara chakra, the abode of Shiva, which has been described as a thousand-petalled lotus. (VBT sl. 28) When the matter that constitutes man explodes, an enormous inner detonation occurs and immense heat is generated. This inner fire purifies the physical matter t? such a degree that it liberates the inherent energy or shakti, which in turn frees the consciousness from it clutches. The equation is thus matter into energy into consciousness, and vice-versa. The resulting experience of this energy conversion was so subtle that the yogis were speechless and had no words to convey it. When asked to describe their experience, all they could say was, "Neti, neti": not this, not this. The highest spiritual state cannot be described, explained or understood; it can only be experienced. Whatever one may say about that experience, the words fall short. Something remains unsaid, because there are no words in our vocabulary to describe that spiritual reality.

The yogis called it light and they were not wrong, but it was more than that. They also called it sat-chit-ananda or satyam-shivam-sundaram, which mean truth, consciousness and bliss. However, these remain just words until we transform ourselves and attain that experience. Therefore, the aim of human life is not mere intellectual understanding of these sublime truths, but to expand the frontiers of the mind and liberate the energy in order to have the experience of that supreme consciousness. The source from which all matter has evolved is consciousness. The body is gross matter, the mind is subtle matter and each vibrates with energy. However, on account of their mundane state, the potential to experience that pure consciousness from which they have evolved is lost.

Expansion and liberation

In order to achieve this experience, the science of tantra postulates two theories: expansion and liberation. By boiling water, the particles of hydrogen and oxygen are expanded and liberated from the gross form of water and become subtle vapour. In the same way, by expanding the awareness tantra liberates the energy that is locked up in the body and mind. Energy is the link between matter and consciousness. Once it is released from the clutches of matter, it unites with consciousness and a resulting awakening occurs.

In physics the same principle is applied to explode the atom bomb. Through the process of fission or fusion the energy is released from matter and united with its opposite polarity to create this explosion. When the scientist and philosopher, Oppenheimer, watched this event for the first time, he was moved to tears and spontaneously recited aloud a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, in which Sanjaya describes this same cosmic experience to the blind monarch, Dhritarashtra.

Were a thousand suns to light up the sky,
still they could not match the light of absolute consciousness. (11:12)

Although these two types of explosions are remarkably similar, the difference between them is vast. One takes place externally and the other internally. One destroys, the other creates. One is a part of nature's plan for the destiny of mankind, the other is man's plan for the destiny of mankind. But one thing is clear: the process of alchemy that the tantric and vedic seers employed for this experience was taken from the laws of nature, which are perfectly scientific and apply to all levels of creation. Matter is continually breaking up and transforming into different forms and substances. For example, over a period of time coal changes into diamond and fossils into petroleum and gas. The practices of tantra have been derived through strict observance of these natural processes and their application to man, who is also a product of nature.

Man is destined to awaken this experience at some point of evolution, even if no conscious effort is made to liberate the energy and expand the awareness. This is the natural heritage and birthright of every human being, but without applying a specific procedure it will take a long, long time. The practices of tantra hasten the natural process of evolution and allow that experience to unfold in this life itself, here and now, at this very moment. This experience bestows ananda and jnana, bliss and knowledge, which man seeks through external objects, but never finds. On account of this, human life is full of misery, frustration and depression. The experience that arises through expansion of consci0.us- ne ss and liberation of energy is the only permanent solutlOn to human suffering.

Sadhana, the means to realize oneself

In order to liberate the mind from the clutches of matter and turn towards the effulgence of spirit, tantra lays great emphasis on sadhana, or practice. Sadhana is a process of internal refinement, which allows man to move towards perfection. What exactly does sadhana refine? Does this process refine just the body or does it extend beyond the body as well? What is the level of perfection that can be attained through sadhana? What is the level of perception of a person who attains that perfection? These are some of the questions that VBT answers. But these answers are not explained; they are provided through a set of practices which leads you to the answer. Each of these practices is complete in itself. One practice does not necessarily lead to another. Each is independent and, at times, even completely different to the preceding or following practice. Often they complement each other, but never do they contradict one another.

It has been the experience of all who have practised sadhana in its pure form that this refinement takes place on several levels. Even on the physical level there are many degrees of refinement. What can be said of the mental and supra-mental levels of perfection? The sadhanas prescribed by tantra are said to bestow the three qualities of omnipotence, the power to do all, omnipresence, the power to be everywhere, and omniscience, the power to know all. These are the qualities of that highest reality. Tantra says that these qualities are attained only when the inner awareness is streamlined and refined. Every form of life is continuously refining itself and moving towards perfection. Sadhana is a way of hastening this process and ensuring that it takes place in a controlled manner.

The basis of sadhana is abhyasa, which means regular and uninterrupted practice. If sadhana is interrupted for any reason, it has to be commenced right from the beginning, and not where you left off. This is because the area that you are trying to reach through sadhana is beyond your control. It does not listen to your mind or intellect. How are you going to interact with that which is beyond you? This interaction is only possible through abhyasa. Remember the saying, "Practice makes perfect." Just as you master material knowledge, or apara vidya, through constant practice, in the same way, para vidya, or transcendental knowledge, is mastered through constant, unbroken practice. The principle is the same, although the subjects differ.

CONTENTS

 

Preface xv
Introduction 1
Commentary 93
Inquiry into the nature of reality  
Sloka  
1. Rudrayamala and Trika 95
2. Reality of Bhairava 99
3. How the Bhairava reality is perceived 101
4. By what experience this reality is known 104
5. Transcendent or immanent 107
6. Indivisible and indefinable 109
7. Essence of tantra 110
8. Forms of Bhairava 111
9. Sakara aspect of Bhairava 116
10. Purpose of sakara meditation 119
11. What Bhairava is not 121
12. Essence of Bhairava 123
13. What has been told about Bhairava 125
14. Immeasurable and without attribute 127
15. Atman of Bhairava 129
16. Nature of highest reality 132
17. Bhairava is known by Paradevi 134
18. Dharma and the possessor of dharma 136
19. Dualism is a preliminary step 138
20. Shakti is the face of Shiva 140
21. Shiva is revealed by Shakti 142
22. Bhairava state of consciousness 144
23. Means to achieve Bhairava consciousness 146
24. Dharana on the two generation points 148
25. Kumbhaka dharana 157
26. Perfection of Kumbhaka 160
27. Kumbhaka leads to inner peace 163
28. Kundalini Jagran dharana 165
29. Piercing of the chakras 167
30. Kundalini becomes shiva 169
31. Mind transcends thought 172
32. Shoonya panchaka dharana 175
33. Mindful awareness 178
34. Dharana on the crown of the head 180
35. Sushumna dharana 182
36. Shanmukhi mudra 184
37. Dissolution in the cave of the heart 186
38. Dharana on shabdhabrahman 188
39. Pranava dharana 190
40. Dharana on Aum matras 193
41. Nada dharana 195
42. Bija mantra dharana 197
43. Dharana on the directions 199
44. Sushumna and daharakasha dharana 201
45. Sushumna, daharakasha and hridayakasaha dharana 203
46. Antarakasha dharana 205
47. Antarakasha dharana (cont.) 207
48. Antarakasha dharana (cont.) 208
49. Dharana on the mantra in the heart space 209
50. Dharana on dwadashanta 210
51. Result of dharana on dwadashanta 212
52. Dharana on Kaalagni 214
53. Result of dharana on Kaalagni 216
54. Tattwa dharana 218
55. Dharana on the indriyas or senses 220
56. Dharana on universal dissolution 222
57. Shiva tattwa dharana 224
58. Vishwa shoonya dharana 226
59. Dharana on an empty pot 228
60. Dharana on a deserted place 230
61. Dharana on the space in between two objects 232
62. Dharana on one object 234
63. Dharana on all existence as consciousness 236
64. Dharana on the fusion of vayus 238
65. Dharana on ananda 240
66. Dharana on austerity 242
67. Dharana on the ascent of pranashakti 245
68. Dharana on manipura and anahata 247
69. Dharana on union with shakti 249
70. Dharana on sexual bliss in the absence of shakti 251
71. Dharana on joy 254
72. Dharana on enjoyment of food and drink 256
73. Dharana on sensual pleasures 258
74. Dharana on satisfaction of mind 260
75. Dharana on the threshold before sleep 262
76. Dharana on the luminous space 264
77. Dharana on the tantric mudras 266
78. Dharana in relaxed asana 271
79. Dharana on shoonya yantra 274
80. Dharana on an object 276
81. Dharana on 'Ha' 278
82. Dharana on suspension of the body 280
83. Dharana on swinging the body 282
84. Dharana on the sky 284
85. Dharana on reality 285
86. Dharana on reality 287
87. Dharana on the darkness of night 289
88. Dharana on the dark form of bhairava 292
89. Dharana on restraint of the senses 294
90. Dharana on akaara 296
91. Dharana on visarga 299
92. Dharana on oneself in the form of space 301
93. Dharana on piercing of the skin 303
94. Dharana on one-mind 305
95. Dharana on the nature of the elements 308
96. Dharana on ending desires 310
97. Dharana on 'Who am I'? 312
98. Dharana on desire 314
99. Dharana on knowledge 316
100. Dharana on undifferentiated consciousness 318
101. Dharana on the negative qualities 320
102. Dharana on the illusive nature of life 323
103. Dharana on the middle path 325
104. Dharana on 'I am everywhere' 327
105. Dharana on higher knowledge 329
106. Dharana on the subject-object relationship 331
107. Dharana on consciousness 333
108. Dharana on the unsupported mind 335
109. Dharana on identification with Shiva 337
110. Dharana on identification with the source 339
111. Dharana on whirling around 341
112. Dharana on erroneous perception 343
113. Dharana of steady gazing 346
114. Dharana on anahad nada 349
115. Dharana on a deep well 351
116. Dharana on the omnipresent reality 353
117. Dharana on poornatva 355
118. Dharana on the state of Brahma 357
119. Dharana on memories 359
120. Dharana on unmani 361
121. Dharana on intuition 363
122. Dharana on a particular object 366
123. Dharana on purity 367
124. Dharana on the non-dual reality 369
125. Dharana on equality 371
126. Dharana in between two opposites 373
127. Dharana on bhairava as the unknowable void 375
128. Dharana on outer space 377
129. Dharana on thoughtlessness 378
130. Dharana on the word bhairava 380
131. Dharana on Tat (that highest reality) 383
132. Dharana on divine attributes 385
133. Dharana on the illusory nature of the world 386
134. Dharana on the changeless atman  388
135. Neither bondage nor liberation 390
136. Withdrawal of the senses 392
137. Dharana on knowledge and knower 394
138. Dissolution of the set of four 396
Conclusion  
139. Means of cessation 398
140. Perfection of one dharana 400
141.. Master of yogis and siddhas 401
142. Liberated while living 402
143. Who is the worshipper and who is worshipped? 403
144. Gross forms of worship 405
145. Japa dharana on the supreme consciousness 407
146. Verification of meditation 409
147. True worship 410
148. Complete fulfilment or satisfaction 411
149. Real oblation 412
150. Saviour of all 413
151. Highest contemplation 414
152. Real purification 416
153. What is worship? 417
154. Supreme place of pilgrimage 418
155a. Blissful sacrifice 420
155b. Hamsa dharana 422
156. Continuous japa of the breath 424
157. Need for secrecy 425
158. Qualification for tantric practice 427
159 & 160 Tantric Initiation 429
161. Never give up this knowledge 431
162. Devi's understanding 432
163. Union of Shiva and Shakti 433
Appendices  
A: Sanskrit Text 437
B: Translation 452
Glossary 473
Index 494

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by Anamika Roy
Hardcover (Edition: 2015)
Primus Book
Item Code: NAL538
$55.00
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Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism: The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshman Joo
by John Hughes
Hardcover (Edition: 1997)
Sri Satguru Publications
Item Code: IHL238
$25.00
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