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  • Writer's pictureChaitanya Prabhu

Vigyana Bhairava Tantra: Recording Consciousness

Updated: Mar 29

Ancient texts are a record of human consciousness. They have detailed representations of humankind’s intellectual and emotional faculties. Whether good or evil, they showcase what we are capable of. Many Psychology scholars have studied these writings and reinterpreted them in modern terms so that genuine seekers may benefit from this insight of immense value.

woman becoming aware of her body while exercising

These texts are coded and brief, comprehendible only by the observant and wise men. Because of their difficulty, very few texts exist today that elucidate these classical spiritual traditions.

It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

That is why Vijnana Bhairava Tantra speaks about dharana, or concentration, in the most relevant way. All spiritual seekers worldwide who have maintained personal disciplines to increase awareness need this information.

Therefore, it is time to introduce an ancient tantric dharana system. Indeed, those who practice meditation know what techniques dharana relates with; whether materialists or spiritualists, we must understand that progress in any aspect of life depends on dharana.

Materialists themselves bow down before energy because they accept that everything around us has come into being through this energy alone. The physical processes used by materialists in splitting atoms enabled them to harness great power from it for humanity’s good. Similarly, just like atomic fission splits matter into energy during nuclear physics experiments, during Dharana’s practice, an atom of energy within the human mind breaks up, thereby intensifying the individual consciousness evolution process fast.

It should be noted that dharana is equally essential as other sciences and, therefore, needs to be recognized at all levels possible since only a few translations or commentaries are available for Vigyana Bhairava Tantra now.

Hence, its publication was significant as it sheds light on how Dharan can be practiced since peripheral explanations were only available until now. Moreover, it assures the reader that even an amateur can do this quickly. Nevertheless, the book offers a gradual way for those with a wavering mind to experience one-pointedness, although Dharana is meant for people with stable minds.

When the mind is uncontrolled and dissipated, all wealth and assets become useless; therefore, a man’s most expensive possession is his mind on the right path. Our minds are not our masters but servants to our ideas, which keep appearing and disappearing from our thoughts.

We conduct ourselves throughout the day according to the mind’s direction. When it worries, our hearts beat faster. When it feels happy, we smile. If it gets envious, then jealousy occurs in us, too. We get into extreme anger when we are in a rage. But can we escape somewhere without experiencing feelings such as happiness, fury, or desire for revenge?

The only way to control the wandering tendencies of the mind is through the practice of dharana, which involves consciousness.

There is no other method to mitigate the restless nature of this powerful substance called the mind. As a practice, Dharana creates momentum out of scattered distractions so that they transform into awareness.

Hence, we are glad to put up this work, which comes from an extensive exploration of dharana around the tannic view of meditation substantiated by the author’s own experiences. Wise men from Upanishadic and Vedic traditions taught “I am that” as their highest teaching. They searched inwardly within themselves, traversing the vast dimensions of inner life.

Their subtle essence was discovered via mental analysis of the body. The corridors and avenues were found in meditation on the senses through which the mind gets through itself [missing sentence].

Meditating on the dormant potential energy within helped them discover it lay unawakened, enabling them to awaken consciousness and thus become aware of their cosmic consciousness connectedness.

Tantric philosophy predates the Vedas.

The Vedic and tantric philosophies are based on understanding human beings as a substance worth exploring. It may be Shaivism, Vaishnavism, or Shaktism, but it still concentrates on what makes human beings.

This dynamic idea makes every human being important universally and beyond imagination and expectation much more than one would ever think about life competing with man for meaning and status. Throughout history, whenever ordinary people have attempted to explore aspects of life beyond what can be sensed with their physical senses, they have always come face-to-face with limitations.

Human perception is restricted within these physical boundaries alone. Even if people could accumulate significant wealth, comfort, or luxury and gain great power against imaginary or natural enemies, they would remain vulnerable and defenseless. Life is short-lived, so when it’s time to bid farewell, they cannot go with the armor and shield that has supported them; they ought to go empty-handed.

Even though individuals strive to accumulate riches, authority, and prestige, these aspirations can only provide a restricted sense of gratification. The pleasure derived from material acquisitions lacks permanence. Everlasting bliss is achieved when a man knows himself.

One must think about it to understand what discovering oneself means. I could identify as male or female by gender, nationality, religion, wealth, looks, intellect, race, education, morality, and beliefs.

However, according to those who practice tantric tradition and follow Vedic scriptures, these attributes do not matter when pursuing self-realization. In this quest for self-discovery, one’s sex, country of origin, class position, sect preference, or creed are immaterial. The seers focused on what is essentially human rather than socially acquired.

They realized that due to three qualities or gunas comprising our being, the range of human awareness could be from demonic to human to divine. These three gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sattva represents divinity; tamas represents the inclination towards satanic inclinations, while Rajas depicts human striving. The Three Gunas influence our thinking faculty as they direct us in everything we do, including feeling and living life. They construct our attitude in life as well as our tastes.

All our choices stem from this definition; therefore, it is essential that whatever decision we make during our stay on earth should be remembered as to why we have come here for a purpose. We aim to learn about ourselves and discover who we are. Human birth is very precious because only humans know their true nature.

Humans know they exist because the seed of “I-ness” has been planted inside them, unlike other creatures who do not even know their existence, such as plants or non-human animals.

Thus, man has special knowledge about his existence, whereas animal beings do not think so. However, plants and minerals also belong to other sentient forms of life that also experience time, space, and objects.

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