Ancient book on meditation to start your path
No discussion on meditation is complete without mentioning the “Vigyan Bhairava Tantra”. This is 5000 years old ancient Indian book on meditation. Vigyan means science in Hindi. Bhairav is an ancient mythological God of Hindu Religion and Tantra is mystical spritual path.
The very words “Vigyan Bhairav Tantra” means the technique of going beyond consciousness. Vigyana means consciousness, Bhairava means the state which is beyond consciousness, and Tantra means the method: the method of going beyond consciousness. We are unconscious, so all the religious teachings are concerned with how to go beyond unconsciousness, how to be conscious. They are all concerned with how to create more consciousness, because we are unconscious. But tantra says that this is a duality – unconscious and conscious. If you move from unconsciousness to consciousness, you are moving from one duality to another. Move beyond both! Unless we move beyond both we can never reach the ultimate, so be neither the unconscious nor the conscious; just go beyond, just be. Be neither the conscious nor the unconscious – just be! In Vghan Bhairav Tantra, The Devi aks questions to Shiva as :Oh Shiva, What is your reality? What is this wonder-filled universe? What constitutes seed? Who centers the universal wheel? What is this life beyond from pervading forms? How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions? Let my doubts be cleared! Devi asks questions which appear to be philosophical, but Shiva is not going to answer them that way. Shiva is not going to answer a single question. All the questions that Devi is asking, Shiva is not going to answer at all. And still he answers! And really, only he has answered them and no one else – but on a different plane. Shiva proposes one hundred and twelve methods. In the energy system of this body, we recognise 114 points where energies meet and redistributes themselves, a junction point. Out of 114 points two are outside physical system. These are all the methods possible. If nothing clicks and nothing gives you the feeling that this is for you, then there is no method left for you. But these one hundred and twelve methods are for the whole humanity – for all the ages that have passed and for all the ages that have yet to come. The techniques are given in form of a dialogue between Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, who has been reffered in the process as Devi. This is Tantra’s proposition, that mind is nothing but subtle matter; it can be changed. And once you have a different mind you have a different world, because you look through the mind. The world you are seeing, you are seeing because of a particular mind. Change the mind, and when you look there is a different world. And if there is no mind, that is the ultimate for tantra, to bring about a state where there is no mind. Then look at the world without a mediator. When the mediator is not, you are encountering the real, because now no one is between you and the real. Then nothing can be distorted. Take one method and play with it for at least three days. If it gives you a certain feeling of affinity, if it gives you a certain feeling of well-being, if it gives you a certain feeling that this is for you, then be serious about it. Then forget the others, do not play with other methods. Stick to it – at least for three months. Miracles are possible. The only thing is that the technique must be for you. If the technique is not for you, then nothing happens. Then you may go on with it for lives together, but nothing will happen. If the method is for you then even three minutes are enough. So these one hundred and twelve methods can be a miraculous experience for you, or they may just be a listening – it depends on you. It has been found that while you are playing your mind is more open. While you are serious your mind is not so open; it is closed. So just play. Do not be too serious, just play. ‘Vigyana’ means consciousness, and ‘bhairava’ is a specific term, a tantra term for one who has gone beyond. That is why Shiva is known as Bhairava and Devi is known as Bhairavi – those who have gone beyond the dualities. The world of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is not intellectual, it is not philosophical. It is concerned with method, with technique – not with principles at all.Science is not concerned with “why”, science is concerned with “how”. That is the basic difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy asks, “Why this existence?” Science asks, “How this existence?” The moment you ask the question, how, method become important. Theories become meaningless; experience becomes the center. Tantra is science, tantra is not philosophy. To understand philosophy is easy because only your intellect is required. If you can understand language, if you can understand concept, you can understand philosophy. But you need not change; you require no transformation. But unless You are different tantra cannot be understood, because tantra is not an intellectual proposition, it is an experience. Unless you are receptive, ready, vulnerable to the experience, it is not going to come to you. Philosophy is concerned with the mind. One`s head is enough; totality is not required. Tantra needs you in your totality. It is a deeper challenge. You will have to be in it wholly. A different approach, a different attitude, a different mind to receive it is required. Because of this, Devi is asking apparently philosophical questions. For Tantra, doing is knowing, and there is no other knowing. Unless you do something, unless you change, unless you have a different perspective to look at, to look with, unless you move in an altogether different dimension than the intellect, there is no answer. Answers can be given – they are all lies. You ask a question and the philosophy gives you an answer. It satisfies you or doesn’t satisfy you. If it satisfies you, you become a convert to the philosophy, but you remain the same. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you go on searching for some other philosophy to be converted to. But you remain the same; you are not touched at all, you are not changed. You can call the techniques as latest because nothing can be added to them. They are complete-112 techniques. They have taken in all the possibilities, all the ways of cleaning the mind, transcending the mind. Not a single method could be added to Shiva’s one hundred and twelve methods. And this book, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, is five thousand years old. Nothing can be added; there is no possibility to add anything. It is exhaustive, complete. It is the most ancient and yet the latest, yet the newest.
by Ravinder Jalali For State Times