Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 78

Seated in a relaxed posture
Mridvasane Sphijaikena Hasta Padau Nirashrayam|
Nidhaya Tatprasangena Para Poorna Matir Bhaveth||

Seated on a soft textured mat on one buttock, raising the other, relaxing the hands and legs, if one places the body in this manner at that moment, the intellect becomes united with the Supreme completeness. Here a specific asana or posture is mentioned where you sit with the right leg folded and the left leg placed on the ground, over and away from the right thigh. There are many such yogic postures when practiced in a state of relaxation for long periods of time, can take the being into deeper awareness and experience the complete supreme essence. - (In Pic. baby Anushka takes her big toe to the mouth. Relaxation comes naturally to babies and hence hatha yoga postures too! - Text and Pic. Swahilya Shambhavi.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 77

Realisation through Mudras

Karankinya Krodhanaya Bhairavya Lelihanaya|
Kecharya Drishtikalecha Paraavaptih Prakashate||
Five Mudras of the Tantric practice are mentioned here. Mudras are postures of the body and mind. They are to be practised only under the guidance of a Guru. Seated in a mudra and focussing one's attention on it, the Supreme truth is revealed. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vigjana Bhairava Tantra - 76

Focus on the space around light
Tejasa Surya Deepaade Aakashe Shabalee Krite|
Drishtirniveshya Tatraiva Swatmarupam Prakashate||
The rays of te sun distributes many patterns in the empty space of the sky. By gazing at that empty space, or the space within the rays of a lamp that lightens up a dark room, you begin to realise the presence of your self - the Awareness within. - Swahilya Shambhavi (Pic. Swasham, Sunrise at the Marina Beach.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 75

Just before you sleep

Anaagatayam Nidrayam Pranashte Bahya Gochare|
Savastha Manasa Gamya Para Devi Prakashate||
Just at the moment when you are slipping into sleep and your mind is shutting off its association with the external sense objects just as the eyes close, and it is yet to fully fall asleep, take your attention to the awareness that is present in the intervening period of transition. The Supreme Goddess shines there. (Pix. and text: Swahilya Shambhavi. Pix. A dusk-time view of a minaret in the distance on a Chennai evening.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 74

Where the mind is content there lies supreme bliss

Yatra Yatra Manastushtihi Manastathraiva Dharayeth|
Tatra Tatra Paranandas Swaroopam Sampravartate||

Nothing is spared in the Tantra as a means to meditatye on the divine experience. Here in this verse, it is contemplation on the happy moments that you have experienced in the past. When you sit down for meditation, bring your awareness to the happy incident. At the source of this experience lies the supreme joy that makes its presence felt. It also goes without saying that a mind that is content at all times, revels in this blissful state forever. (Pix: The O' Brothers - Ojasvin and Omjasvin in a show of joy and contentment.) - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 73

Sensual pleasures

Geetadi Vishayaswada Samasoukhyaikatathmanaha|
Yoginasthanmayasthwena Manoroodhesthadathmatha||

Listening to music and other sensual pleasures, the mind attains a sort of equanimity. The mind of the yogi attains the state of self by riding the crest of the sensual wave. - (Swahilya Shambhavi)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 72

Food and Drink

Jagdhipanakritollasa Rasanandavijhrimbhanaath|
Bhavayeth Bharithavasthaam Mahanandasthatha Bhaveth||

Here we go! We all love food. We love the taste of sweets and savouries, coffee, tea, ice cream, pizzas, burgers - just about anything. Next time, around you, put something that you like (or don't!) into your mouth, here's the meditation for you - when you are happy with tasting something solid or liquid contemplate on the blissful feeling feeling that arises. In that state of fullness, you experience the maha ananda. (Pic and text: Swahilya Shambhavi. Tasting a juicy apple at the heights of Deoria Tal in Rudra Prayag District, Uttarakhand, Himalayas.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 71

When you meet with friends

Aanande Mahati Prapte Drishteva Bandhavechirath|
Aanandamudgatam Dhyathva Tallayanthanmana Bhaveth||

When we meet our dearest friends or someone beloved to us, there is a great joy in that meeting. When you meditate upon this joy that springs within, when you remember the incident in complete detail, you experience the mind merging with consciousness. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (New found young friends at a Samskrita Prashikshana Shibiram in Hosur recently organised by Samskrita Bharati.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 70

Remembering the embrace

Lehana Manthana Kotaihi Stree Sukhasya Bharathsmrite|
Shaktyabhavepi Deveshi Bhavedananda Samplavaha||

If Shiva were to be conducting a modern-day meditation workshop, then this verse would feature under the category of "Strictly for couples alone!" There is a direct allusion to sex and a glimps of ananda. When the man remembers totally the kissing, hugging and pressing embrace of a woman and the joy that arises out of sexual union, oh queen among gods, (Parvati), even at the time when the women is absent, the bliss that is present ever swells from within.
Being aware of this bliss totally you become aware of the witness who is watching the event of bliss arising out of the sexual experience.
Tantra shows the day-to-day path to meditation. And this is one way which makes use of the explosive energies involved in the sexual act to turn the mind inwards toward the awareness. (A pathway of the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple where the divine Meenakshi married Lord Shiva in the form of Sundareshwarar. Pic. Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 69

When Shiva and Shakti unite.....

Shakti Sanga Samkshubdha - Shakthyaveshavasanikam| Yatsukham Brahmatathwasya Tatsukham Swakyam Uchyate||
In all of the Vignana Bhairava Tantra, it is this verse and the next that refer to the topic that Tantra is famously misunderstood and misquoted for. Shiva tells his wife Parvathy, yet another way of experiencing the truth.
At the time of union with shakti (woman) in a physical communion, there is an experience of excitement at the time of getting absorbed in the experience. That experience of pleasure when witnessed totally, you discover the Brahma Tatwa. Watching that experience dispassionately gives you a glimpse of the one who watches - the Brahman.
Tantra is unique in the sense that it does not deny any aspect of life by calling it bad or taboo. It includes every aspect of daily life, including sex and showing the means of realisation through all that we do. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (Tiruvannamalai hills from my view atop a building's terrace.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 67

Into the heart

Vahanervishasya Madhyetu Chittma Sukhamayam Kshipeth|
Kevalam Vayupoornam Va Smaranandena Yujyate||

In the seat of the heart where all the nerves end in a plexus or a bundle there is a thin stream of energy like a lotus stalk. Focussing on this point where the breath reaches the lungs, as if touching an empty space and returning one gets united to the bliss within that is remembered. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 67

When an ant crawls upward!

Sarvasroto nibandhana Pranashaktyordhwaya Shanaihi| Pipeela Sparshavelayam Prathathe Paramam Sukham||

When all the five organs of perception - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin and organs of action - the hands, feet, speech, organs of reproduction and excretion - are stilled and refrained from expression, the energy of the mind is diverted and focussed within. It rises within and fills the being. In that heightened state of awareness, the supreme joy that exists is revealed just at the time when a sensation like an ant crawling upward is experienced. The verse gives an idea of the minute and particle-level experience of awareness spoken about. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (Pic. Floating a lamp into the Ganga during arati at the Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh, on the eve of the Shahi Snan at Kumbh Mela in April 2010 - Pic. Swaha)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 66

The way of austerity

Kuhanena Prayogena Sadya Eva Mrigekshane|
Samudeti Mahanando Yena Tathwam Prakashate||

"By forcing the reluctant body, mind and intellect into wilfully doing things, speaking and thinking things that are divine, the application of austerity or tapas sharpens the instruments of action," oh gazelle-eyed Parvathi, says Shiva. By practice of many austerities, a supreme Ananda arises and the truth also shines, he says. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 65

Ever happy within

Sarva Jagat Swadeham Va Swananda Bharitam Smareth| Yugapan Swamritenaiva Paranandamayo Bhaveth||

If you can't make it, fake it. And indeed in this regard, there is no need to fake it but just focus on the truth that exists as it is. This verse tells us to think of the reality that this whole world is our body and filled with supreme joy. At the same time, the nectar of immortality that is within us all the time makes us become the form of supreme bliss of existence. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 64

The together space

Vaayudwayasya Samghattath Antarva Bahiranthathaha| Yogi Samathwa Vignyaana Samudgamana Bhajanam||

The breath that sustains us is like the rope on the pulley that draws water from the well. But in the case of the breath, the air is outside and inside. This method of concentration tells us to focus on the union point of the breath within and without.
When the breath goes in during inhalation, it comes in contact with an empty space as if close to the heart in the lungs. This is the meeting point of the prana with the apana vayu or air. Prana gives life. Apana is present where there is no life too. Same way, when the exhalation happens, the outgoing breath enters to about the same length of space outside the body, beneath the nostrils. Focussing on these two points where the breath touches in and reaches out, brings the mind to a state of stillness. What observes that stillness and movement of the breath is the true self. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (Pic. Tamraparani beneath the setting sun.. Pic. Swa Sham)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 63

Focus on consciousness

Sarvam Deham Chinmayam Hi Jagad Va Pari Bhavayeth|
Yugapat Nirvikalpena Manasa Paramodayaha||

While seeing this world or while thinking about it, focus on the truth that this whole body and this world are the form of pure consciousness sans waves of imagination. In this state, the supreme truth begins to rise and shine. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 62

Awareness blooms like a flower

Bhaave Tyakte Niruddha Chin Naiva Bhavantharam Vrajeth|
Tada Tan Madhya Bhavena Vikasatyati Bhavana||

Take an uplifting object for contemplation. It can be an Om, a deity or the form of the Guru. Leaving aside all other thoughts, focus on the object of concentration above. At the end of the thought too, no other thought fills its place. In between that single-pointed thought, in the empty spaces, awareness blooms like a flower.
- Swahilya Shambhavi.
(Pic: Floral blooms in Kalishila, Himalayas, among the thick foliage. Pic. Swahilya Shambhavi.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 61

Light between two objects

Ubhayor Bhavayor Gnane Dhyathwa Madhyam Samashrayeth|
Yugapaccha Dwayam Vyaktwa Madhye Tatwam Prakashate||

This dharana or concentration on the empty space in between two objects is one of the techniques that leads to the essence of consciousness that dwells within.
Take any two objects of your contemplation. It can be two flower vases or pen stands. You can even spread out the fingers of your hand and take just two fingers - the thumb and the index finger. Go on focusing on the empty space between the fingers.
Besides physically looking through the space, bring your mind too, to the empty space. The essence which is a part of you, me and the whole universe will shine through the space, revealing its presence to you.
Even while watching a film, especially if it happens to be a boring one, you can spend your time constructively to meditate on this Sutra. Keep your focus on the screen of the film between all the characters, sceneries and objects in the film. This screen is unchanging, like awareness as the events of life, good and bad, begin to unfold. - Swahilya Shambhavi. (Pic: The rock seen from the roof of the Sikha Nathaswamy Temple, Kudumiyan Malai in Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu, has a panel of carvings of the 63 Nayanmars. - Swahilya Shambhavi.)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 60

Gaze at an empty mountain

Nirvriksha Giribhithyadi Deshe Drishtim Vinikshipeth|
Vileene Manase Bhave Vrittiksheenah Prajayate||

Cast your eyes in a place where there are mountains or huge rocks, sans trees. As the mind gets dissolved, the different waves of thought or the chitta vrittis get denuded. What the mind sees, that it becomes. Concentration on a barren rock makes the mind similarly singularly focussed. - Swahilya Shambhavi.
(The barren mountains with just a streak of a river flowing between the rocks is situated on the path of the Kailash Parikrama in Tibet. Pic. Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 59

Empty space in and out
Ghatadi Bhajane Drishtim Bhittees Tyaktwa Vinikshipeth|
Tallayam Tatkshanad Gathwa Tallayath Thanmayo Bhaveth||
In this technique of Tantra, Shiva teaches on meditating upon the empty space within the pot. Space is the first creation of the mind and from space the other four elements emerge. Taking a deep look at the space inside the pot, the mind forgets for a moment the presence of the walls of the pot. By focussing on the space, the realisation that everything is just the same space happens. In that moment of merging with empty space, the mind also becomes that oneness which is its essential self. - Swahilya Shambhavi.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vignana Bhairava Tantra - 58

Focus on the void in the centre

Vishwametan Mahadevi Shunyabhootham Vichintayeth| Tathraiva cha Mano leenam tatahstallayabhajanam||

Oh great Goddess, when you focus your mind's attention in the big void that this universe is, at that moment, the mind dissolves in that emptiness and experiences the state of dissolving union with consciousness. Today nuclear physics is explaining to us the truth that the whole universe is not what we see, but a void. Take an object for instance. It is packed with atoms and molecules with protons, electrons and neutrons in the sub-atomic particles and quarks forming a minuscule portion orbiting in empty space. Surprisingly though we feel the presence of matter where there is only empty space.
When the mind constantly meditates on space, it has the capacity to take the form of what it always thinks about and becomes that emptiness which is in the core. - Swahilya Shambhavi.