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.
Who are Aghoris?
Most of us have heard of Aghoris and the common knowledge that is prevailing is that they are tantric practitioners who perform very strange rituals that shock the normal people who are horrified when they hear some of the tantric practices that involve corpses, dead bodies, feces, burial grounds, sexual intercourse with dead bodies and cannibalism.
However, since they deal with spirits and indulge in some grisly acts, they are also highly feared while they also arouse deep curiosity in common people with varying reactions from all the people who learn of these practices.
The routines are religious in nature but the rituals are far from normal religious practices; they are a bit on the unbelievable side due to the mystique surrounding them.
In short, the Aghori sadhus are associated with weird grisly and even disgusting rituals that may involve decayed fecal matter, indulging in the sex act with decayed and burnt corpses, cannibalizing the corpses even when they are half burnt, having sexual intercourse with the dead bodies, rituals involving skulls, spirits and corpses.
These followers of Bhairava another manifestation of Lord Shiva are dressed in black while they are themselves dark-skinned and sport long black hair.
The main feature of these Aghoris is that they are almost always under the influence of drugs or hard liquor. Their eyes seem to be stable and at peace with the world.
There are various stories about their habitats. The general concept is that they avoid human habitations and stay is secluded, hidden places away from the prying eyes of the curious human beings. They dwell near cremation grounds or the jungle areas where they conduct their weird rituals far from human presence.
That is why they chose to stay in the frosty wilderness of the Himalayas concealing themselves in caves or other hidden enclaves.
They were also residing the tiger-infested jungles of West Bengal as also in the hot deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The basic idea is to avoid human company while they meditate and go into trances in their religious pursuits.
Aghoris worship Bhairava another form of Shiva or Mahakala or the female version Shakti or Mahakali, the destroyer, or its female manifestation who is the goddess of death, Shakti or Kali.
While the Hindu philosophy considers each deity as a manifestation of another and the effort is to worship all forms of the gods and goddesses thus satisfying all deities.
But, the religious demands of both Lord Shiva and the goddess Kali are not just ordinary ones; their requirements are specific and unchangeable. Here the role of the aghories is vital since they are the only ones who are willing to go out of the way of comforts and undergo the hardships that will please Kali and Lord Shiva (manifested as Bhairav)
The Divine Satisfaction
According to the Aghor philosophy, the ferocious goddess Kali is so intense and demanding that ordinary gifts will not appease her. She can only be appeased by the offerings of Meat, blood, sex and alcohol.
These things are normally not available to most of the other sadhus who are vegetarian and teetotalers.
The Aghori ideology sees everything as one and in this quest to perceive the oneness of even banned items like feces, or human flesh or liquids which they consume to appease their deities.
In their oneness theory they feel that they cannot discriminate against waste matter too.
Sex Rituals to Appease Deities
The fiery Goddess Kali is not an easy deity to please; according to Aghoris, the most difficult practices have to be performed so that the great Goddess can be satisfied.
Some consume gore and feces, some get their apertures sexually exploited by dried fecal tools, while most of them have to find a corpse and copulate with it. They are thus looking for show their oneness with vilest acts and the use of the filthiest things since their only aim is to remain lost in the lord overlooking all these dirty distractions without getting the sense of revulsion that may break their focus.
The Sex Act
Sexual intercourse has a very prominent place in the Aghoris’ way of life but they are quite secretive and conducted amid much fanfare and the beating of drums and chantings of some powerful mantras; and, all these acts are performed amid the presence of the dead and their spirits.
During sex, the females are penetrated with the genitals of the males and also with penis-like appendages made of dried up feces.
The belief is that smearing the ashes of the dead and copulating in the midst of the dead provides awesome supernatural powers to the practitioners of the sex act.
The rules of copulation during these rituals quite strict and unrelenting and require that:
- The women taking part in this ritual should be menstruating since blood and sex satisfy the Goddess,
- The woman in question should be penetrated for almost an hour,
- She should be a willing partner in this grisly sex act without any negative feelings, the men cannot ejaculate till the ritual and its mantras are over,
- The participants in this sex act should be in a state of trance.
Supernatural powers are received after the satisfaction of the goddess and the lord whom the participants are impersonating.
Other Principles of the Aghori sect
- Aghoris do not fear the dead,
- They do not harbor grudges or hate,
- To become confirmed Aghoris, they should possess a kapal or skull purified by mantras which is their identification,
- They are then allowed to eat corpses,
- They do not kill for eating flesh,
- Marijuana is a regular habit,
- They practice tantric rituals and prepare strange medications.
Thus, it can be seen that even though we may not agree or understand the basics of this secluded, reclusive sect of sadhus, just knowing about their practices can lead to some understanding of these people and their faith.
Venus is devoted to the positive task of merging and uniting different forces, feelings and entities to ensure the completeness of things to create harmony and restore stability. It is Venus that causes the creation of love for others and for the beautiful feelings and things, cooperation, relating to others.
Since Venus denotes love and affection it symbolizes all the qualities that are connected to these emotions and reactions in a native:
- Personal magnetism,
- Love and romance,
- Beauty and sex,
- Dance and other forms of recreations,
- Wealth and knowledge,
- Social urges,
- Artistic acumen,
- High moral values,
- Sensuality and lust,
- Bonding energy,
- Love for money,
- Merger of hearts and souls
However, in the physical body, Venus rules:
- The Urinary Tract,
- The Kidneys,
- The venous system and the blood,
- The Larynx,
- The throat, and
- The general physical appeal and sexual magnetism.
As for physically observing Venus, It is not very difficult to find and recognize the morning star in the early morning sky towards the North.
While it displays his visions of the woman, he seeks or generally his better half or his sexual playmate and rules the cherished values and enjoyment that he derives from sexual union, it is Venus that enriches life and makes it worth living.
The two zodiac signs that Venus governs are Libra and Taurus; it remains exalted in Pisces while it is seen to remain debilitated in Virgo.
Professions ruled by Venus
Venus being a planet of abundance, the occupations and professions covered by it are indeed immensely varied and attractive; they include the following:
- Literature, Music, Theatre, Cinema, poetry
- Film industry, Sex industry,
- Photography, paintings and other creative pursuits,
- Readymade garments,
- Textile industry,
- Food, Hotels and Restaurants,
- Travel Industry, Tourism,
- Beauty Parlors, Cosmetics industry, costumes, and
- Jewelry industry.
Venus is the unique planet that is retrograde for the least time among all the planets in the Solar System; it goes retrograde once every nineteen months for a period of six weeks at a time; thus, it is retrograde for only about 7% of the time.
But, it’s retro gradation is that much more significant; its retrograde state can be observed from the native’s chart when its and minutes have an Rx sign just inside the degrees in a native’s astrological chart.
When thus affected, the native shave to explore and utilize their relationships and assess the values that they can derive; in effect, they have to plan the advantages that each relationship can provide to them over the course of time. This may have some adverse reactions from the spouse or your sexual partner but patience is strongly advised.
Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus; in Libra, Venus lends harmony, stability and they joy of love since it is cultured and aesthetic there while the other, more practical and down to earth face of Venus can be seen in Taurus.
In Taurus, it brings us face to face with all the materialistic, sensual and earthy values that we possess; it also apprises us of the values that possess and attract through ownership according to our free will.
Through this principle, since we are drawing and accumulating to ourselves, the retrograde position of Venus leads us to experience hardships in finances as also in love.
It is therefore not rare to learn the essential meaning of sharing and giving in this period.
In terms of body parts ruled, Venus is the ruler of the following:
- Semen and sexual organs,
- Urinary tract,
- Venous system,
- Chemistry of physical attraction,
Own signs (Rashi) are Libra and Taurus
Own day is Friday.
Direction is South East (Agney).
Orbiting time for each Zodiac sign is 28 days.
Orbiting time for complete Zodiac is 11 months.
Special Features Fashionable, Sexual pleasure.
Color is White.
Friendly Planets Rahu, Saturn, Mercury.
Enemy Planets are Moon and Sun.
Neutral Planet is Jupiter and Mars.
Exalted in Pisces.
Debilitated in Virgo.
Favorable Metals is Silver.
Precious Stone is Diamond.
If well placed it gives wealth and prosperity, Beauty.
If adversely place it gives a perverted nature, aloof, lazy disposition.
Body parts ruled Throat, Urinary tract, Semen, sexual organs.
Diseases given by Venus Impotency, Frigidity and Genital problems.
It gains its prominence and status from it being the largest of all the planets in the Solar System; this is also borne by its astrological significance. Jupiter symbolizes an expansive tendency in both the spiritual and physical aspects:
- Mind and wisdom: It expands the knowledge of the native to high levels of the philosophy and super conscious realms and also Vedic astrology,
- Physical horizons: The expansion in this case is achieved through gaining weight or having a large build and through undertaking long journeys and gaining knowledge.
Jupiter in astrology
Due to its optimistic and generous disposition, it has been equated to a Santa Claus of the Cosmos but when it is in the hard aspects it can easily make you:
- Exhibitionist or a showoff,
- Boastful and conceited.
Hard aspects The hard aspects of Jupiter can be related to:
- The Sun,
- The Moon,
When in the hard aspects Jupiter creates:
Resolution of the hard aspect results in the release and availability of beneficial energies of these planets.
Jupiter is a highly favorable planet that actually represents:
- Wealth and
- Higher spiritual knowledge.
It is also the true guru, the guide and promoter, the resourceful conman or the marketing whiz or the gambler or hustler too and this quality bestows on the native with idealism, wisdom, understanding and aspirations of truth.
Its symbol is quite representative being composed of the crescent of personality that is uplifted or elevated by the cross of matter; it denotes categorically, the native’s rise beyond earthly considerations through his enlightened grasp of things.
Saturn is these experiences and tests, and the channel of acquiring the vital wisdom; therefore, their two symbols are reverse of each other and Saturn is the conductor of the tests.
In the physical body, Jupiter rules:
- The Pituitary glands, and
- The large intestine.
If the position of Jupiter is analyzed as per each house, it will easily lead to understanding as to how your ethical thoughts and social activities are shaped. Your social values and principles are given shape by your religious, social and ethical training.
A retrograde Jupiter in a person’s chart makes him:
- A pessimist,
- A depressed person,
- Lethargic and lazy, and
- In a perpetual state of exhaustion.
The ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter has both a lower and a higher version of manifestation; that is why, the Sagittarians, who are having the half-man and half-beast mentality always have internal strife as to which version will assert itself.
When Jupiter is in a favorable place, he has the benefic power to reduce the derogatory effects of the planets that are malefic.
In the astrological chart of a woman, the Jupiter serves as a Karak of the husband and, when positioned favorably, it provides the joys of a happily married life providing a blissful union and relationship. When the placement of Jupiter is not favorable, it makes the woman obstinate and uncooperative creating arguments and quarrels while maintaining a continuous state of discord in the marital life.
If placed in the 12th house of a native, Jupiter provides moksha or salvation after his death.
If Jupiter happens to be well placed:
- As per the signs I.e. Pisces, Sagittarius or Cancer,
- As also in Libra, Aquarius or Scorpio,
- Or, in houses fourth, tenth, twelfth, ninth, eight, first, second or third.
Or, if it is well-aspected, it can indicate a deeper understanding, general good fortune, abundance and educations through travel.
If Jupiter is poorly positioned or if it is afflicted, it may give you the following traits:
- Avarice and greed,
- Wasteful habits,
- Indiscriminate Sensuality,
- Dilettante or,
- A wanderer.
This is the reason for the struggle within since Jupiter riles Sagittarius emphasizing all it positives, it is also a co-ruler with Neptune of Pisces and, in Cancer, it is exalted; this is where its principle of mothering or nurturing is developed.
Own sign (Rashi) are Pisces and Sagittarius.
Own day is Thursday
Direction is North-East (Ishana).
Orbiting time for each Zodiac sign is thirteen months.
Orbiting time for complete Zodiac is twelve years.
Special Features Knowledge.
Color is Yellow.
Friendly Planets are Mars, Moon and Sun.
Enemy Planets are Venus and Mercury.
Neutral Planet are Rahu and Saturn.
Exalted in Cancer.
Debilitated in Capricorn
Favorable Metals is Gold.
Precious Stone is Yellow Sapphire.
If well placed it gives Prosperity, Son, Wisdom, and Education.
If adversely place it gives arrogance.
Representation Elderly and Teachers (Gurus).
Body parts ruled Large Intestines, Liver.
Diseases given by Jupiter Ear problems, Cough, Inflammation, jaundice.
The planets that we have seen till now are actual physical entities that have an effect on the human lives according to the placement of those planets in their astrological charts. But, there are two entities that are not physical planets; rather, they are in the form of shadowy planets or nodes and are known to exert vital influences on the lives of the natives.
Rahu is known to be a dirty planet causing unforeseen delays and hurdles and prompting the native to be lazy and living in filth.
He takes about 18 months to transit each sign of the zodiac.
These two nodes do not have any size or shape like other planets but the impact that it has on the lives of human beings can be very great.
The story behind Rahu, Ketu and the eclipses.
It is said that there was an episode called Amrit manthan which included churning the sea to derive nectar which was required by both the Gods and the Demons so that they may become immortal. But the intentions of both the armies were dishonest and they wanted to dupe the other army to pool in their manpower but drink the nectar themselves to achieve immortality.
When the nectar obtained from the churning of the sea was being consumed by the gods, a demon who was quite powerful sat between the Son and the Moon in disguise as a god but they recognized him and revealed him to Lord Vishnu; Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra and severed his body near the throat.
But, by then the Demon had consumed enough nectar to become immortal; the portion of the head was called Rahu and the hind portion was called Ketu.
Astronomically, the point where the Moon and the Sun intersect in the North is called Rahu or the North Node while the point in the south is called Ketu or the South Node.
It is belived that this enmity has continued over the ages and whenever they are near, the Sun and the Moon are swallowed by their enemies, Rahu and Ketu causing Solar and Lunar eclipses.
The node called Rahu does not have any zodiac sign assigned to it and is known in Hindu mythology to represent the head of the dragon; in effect, this planet is known to govern the following traits in a native:
- Ego, anger and moods,
- Lust and sex,
- Black magic and other negative habits,
The derogatory effects seen due to the unfavorable placement of Rahu in your astrological chart may have the following significant effects:
- Brutal and violent nature,
- Darkness, gambling, and
- Concealed money.
There is also a daily period of time called Rahukaal which Indian astrology consider as totally inauspicious for initiating any new event or activity since Rahu is supposed to be malefic during this period every day.
The science of astrology in India calculates this rahukaal (or, period of Rahu) for each place according to the time of Sunrise and Sunset. The calculation is quite simple if you know the exact timing of these two events.
You first need to divide this daylight time into eight segments and one of these eight segments will be designated as Rahukaal as per your location on that day. So, on different days, Rahukaal will fall at different parts of the day; this time is particularly inauspicious hence these periods are picked up and avoided for new ventures etc.
The internet has various sites that will calculate the period of Rahukaal within seconds. It is also referred to as Raahuykaalam, Vishaghati or Yamagandakaalam and is daily different according to the difference in planetary configurations.
The first good thing that a favorably placed Rahu provides a native is a long journey
Vedic astrology depicts Rahu as a dragon that rides a chariot driven by eight black horses; while he does not own any zodiac sign, he can still become the lord of any house; he bears enmity with Cancer and Leo.
Rahu represents the paternal grandfather or other very old persons.
A malefic Rahu makes people:
- Evil thoughts,
- Travels in mountains and forests,
- Get imprisoned, or
- Enjoy the assets of others like official car or rented home.
Western astrologers also consider rahu as a benefic planet.
Own sign (Rashi) is Scorpio and Aries.
Direction is North Lunar node.
Orbiting time for each Zodiac sign is 18 months.
Orbiting time for complete Zodiac is 18 years.
Nature is hostile, furious and dirty.
Color is grey, black.
Friendly Planets are Saturn, Venus and Saturn.
Enemy Planets are Sun, Mars and Moon.
Neutral Planet is Jupiter.
Exalted in Taurus.
Debiliteted in Sagittarius.
Favorable Metals are Graphite and Lead.
Precious Stone is Hassonite.
If well placed it gives status, wealth and prosperity.
If adversely place it gives jealousy and arrogance.
Representation is for very old people.
Diseases given by Rahu are
- Paranormal activity,
- Snake bites, and