VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA:
The Encyclopedia of Meditation Techniques
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is considered as the most ancient yogic text on meditation techniques given by Adiyogi Shiva. This yogic text contains 112 meditation practices which is the outcome of answers to the various questions asked by the Hindu goddess Devi Parvati regarding the quest for the ultimate truth of life. It is one of the finest and highest knowledge available in this universe for the growth of human consciousness. The dialogue between Shiva and Devi starts with the questions asked by Devi as follows:
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
Shiva’s answers to Devi’s questions have manifested as meditation techniques instead of any direct descriptive answer to the questions. These meditation techniques are the oldest, the ancient-most techniques, but one can also call them the latest because nothing can be added to them. These one hundred and twelve meditation techniques are complete because there is no possibility to add a single new meditation technique to it or taking away a single method from it. It is exhaustive and complete. The techniques have taken in all the possibilities, all the ways of cleaning and transcending the mind. These one hundred and twelve methods of meditation constitute the whole science of transforming mind and achieving transcendental state of consciousness. The meditation practices and techniques that have been designed or developed later by other yogis and mystics are simply the variations, modifications or combinations of the techniques mentioned in Vigyan Bhairav Tantra.
Meaning and Importance of “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra”
The word “Vigyana” means ‘Consciousness’, “Bhairava” means ‘the state which is beyond consciousness’, and “Tantra” means ‘the method or technique’. Hence Vigyan Bhairav Tantra means the method or technique to experience transcendental state of consciousness. It is a comprehensive and practical guide to meditation. It is said that there is no meditation techniques which has not been covered in Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. These meditation techniques are for people of all age and all times. These meditation techniques were for those who had lived in the past, for those who are living in the present and for all those who will take birth in future. It is impossible for anybody not to find a technique (out of 112 techniques) suitable to his own level of spiritual development and inner temperament.
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is a “Science of Consciousness” not “Philosophy”
Essentially, the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is concerned with how the truth can be attained through the methods rather than through intellectual or philosophical problems or inquiries. It is not concerned with the “why” of things, it is only concerned with “how.” It does not attain the truth through analyzing, but rather by applying the methodology. In this way, this yogic treatise on meditation is a scientific one, as science does not concern itself with why or what is; science is more concerned with how. That is the basic difference between philosophy and science.
The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra includes wide varieties of meditation techniques such as Breath Meditations, Sound Meditations, Looking Meditations, Light Meditations, Darkness Meditations, Centering Meditations, Stop Meditations, Meditations on Imagination, Meditations on Emptiness, Meditations on Oneness with all, Rising in Love Meditation, Meditation for Women Only, etc.
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