A Masterpiece of 112 techniques of meditation.
The veneration of Lord Shiva is called Shaivism; Shiva means auspicious, gracious, kind and friendly, more generally, the auspicious one. He is worshipped across Hinduism that originated in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Shaivism, like all other traditions has different schools of thought that have their own interpretations, explanations, theories and Philosophies; they also have very large volumes of texts emanating from all the schools and their traditional perspectives.
The prominent source of recognition of a follower of Shaivism is the sacred Ash or Vibhooti that is smeared on their forehead.
Among these multiple schools of Shaivism, is a most renowned school called Trika that falls under the general nomenclature of Kashmir Shaivism; the most remarkable and potent text of this school is the “Vigyan Bhairav Tantra” also called the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra.
Vigyaan Bhairava tantra
Whenever meditation is the subject, it is taken for granted that the Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra will find a prominent mention; this is because the sages believed that the text which is more than 5000 years old is the final word on meditation techniques and practices.
It is in the form of an interaction between lord Shiva and Parvati who is called Devi or Shakti and encompasses the presentation of 112 Dharanas which are a potent set of centering techniques or strategies of meditation.
The 112 techniques were in the form of a series of replies that Shiva provides to Devi (or Parvati) when she queried him on the way to realize the true essence of the ultimate reality.
The answers that Shiva provided to her are 112 ways to achieve transcendental state of consciousness. All the important texts of Kashmir Shaivism are replete with multiple references to the Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra indicating its significance in shaping their philosophy.
These powerful techniques come in several forms and variations in awareness of breathing, chanting and non-dual awareness which are actually techniques to imagine, visualize and contemplate through each of senses.
It seems that there is no meditation technique that is not included in this amazing text that first made its appearance through the Kashmir Series of Text and Studies (KSTS) in 1918. It consisted of two volumes of commentaries, one by Kshemaraja and Shivopadhyay while the other is by Ananda Bhatta.
But, it grabbed worldwide attention when the book Zen flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps carried an English translation; in the Indian perspective, Osho has come up with a voluminous set of commentaries.
Since times immemorial humans have strived to achieve both the knowledge and the means to appease the gods, the angels and the other higher forces that would aid them in achieving the desired powers and gifts, whether in kind or otherwise.
This general analogy may not really be sufficient to adequately cover the true impact of the various practices and travails that are instrumental in appeasing the powers that be and those that are imagined. Meditation has been acknowledged as the means to opening the most difficult doors that would help you attain peaks of spiritual excellence that you seek; one name that is the ultimate in the field is Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra.
In fact, the whole subject has developed to a deep, powerful, and potent science that is too vast for most of us to comprehend. But, there are many ways and means as taught by the sages and saints through the history of mankind; they comprise of Yantras, Tantras, Sadhanas, Yogic kriyas, Tapasya ( including meditation), penances and many more.
A person goes to great lengths to achieve his desires and goals and meditation is one of the most effective and time-tested methods that has withstood the various tests of time across the millennia in the practices of saints, sages, tantrics and occult practitioners.
The importance of a Guru
What you need to know first is that you cannot transgress the forces of nature.The techniques enunciated in the Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra should never be practiced without having access to, and being under the authoritative guidance of, a master; otherwise, it is possible that you may make some mistake in the techniques that may harm you either physically, mentally or both the ways; some of these may even result in irreparable damage.
Since the successful practice of these techniques is rather difficult, it entails that before going in for taking up these techniques, there should be a complete understanding about which of these techniques are the most apt for that practitioner; here comes the role the Guru.
If you are interested to learn about such practices, the phenomena and the science behind it that will result in your achieving what you seek. However, the knowledge of the various processes and results varies from guru to guru; each according to his own area of expertise and practice.
There is no doubt that the Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra is a text that empowers you to meditate and gain the various anchors and processes involved in meditation, the answer would be the book that is unbeatable in the insights that it provides into the anchors.
It is like an encyclopedia of meditative practices all of which vary in depth ranging from simple methods to some amazingly tricky ones that require a person to possess a very high level of expertise to even attempt to perform them. As a matter of fact, Vigyaan Bhairava Tantra contains some advanced techniques that are simply out of the realm of techniques that can be practiced by the modern persons.
Experts opine that such tough techniques might remain unconquerable for centuries to come; such is the requirement for a human being to be able to perform them.