"I offer my salutations to Shiva, the auspicious one who is the Source of All and the form of my own self, who constantly performs the five great cosmic functions of manifesting, maintaining, dissolving, concealing and revealing through his active grace, whose nature is a mass of consciousness and bliss, who is the highest knowledge and the highest state."
Journey to the heart of Tantric Meditation practice. Our guide is the revered manual of self-realization called the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra "The Mystical Wisdom of the Ultimate Reality."
Open the gateways to wonder and delight, to ecstasy and fright. Live in embodied bliss. Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is a conversation between the Goddess who is the creative power of the universe and the god who is the consciousness that permeates everywhere. They call each other Devi and Bhairava, or Shakti and Shiva. As lovers and inseparable partners, one of their favorite places of dwelling is the human heart, in Holy Love.
The Vijñāna-bhairava-tantra (VBT) is one of the early teachings on yoga and meditation. The name, loosely translated, means “the terror and joy of realizing oneness with the Soul.”
It is only about three thousand words in the original Sanskrit, or 40 minutes of chanting. It is astonishing that in so few words it describes the essence of many of the world’s meditation techniques. Also referred to as "The Radiance Sutras" because it is so luminous.
The Vijñāna-bhairava-tantra (VBT)is a Shaiva Tantra, of the Kaula Trika tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. A tantra is not poetry, although it may sound that way in the original and in translation. A tantra is a manual of practices. This one is a book of yoga meditation instructions, set as a conversation between lovers, framed as a discourse between Bhairava (the "tremendous one", or "the terrifying", the fierce manifestation of Shiva representing Supreme Reality, synonymous with Para Brahman) and the goddess Bhairavi or Devi("Bhairava's consort", -also a name for a Kundalini Yogini adept, whie also associated with Parvati), in 163 Sanskrit anuṣṭubh stanzas (a quatrain of four lines). It briefly presents around 112 Tantric meditation methods (yuktis) or centering techniques (dhāraṇās) in very compressed form.
The focus is on full-body spirituality and accepting every breath, sensual experience and emotion as a doorway into deep and intimate contact with the energies of life.
The text feels as though it was composed by a couple, a man and a woman who sang the verses to each other as they co-composed. They lived this teaching. The techniques that are described here occurred to them naturally, as an evolution of the questions they were asking of life, and their explorations of the body of love.
As was the convention of the time, they frame the conversation as the Goddess and the God in them speaking. Their inquiry is about how to enter into the vibrant essence of the world with the dual balance of passion and detachment.
These practices are supposed to lead to the recognition of the true nature of Reality, the "tremendous" or "awesome" consciousness (i.e. vijñāna-bhairava). These include several variants of breath awareness, concentration on various centers in the body, non-dual awareness, Mantra Practice, visualizations and contemplations which make use of the senses.
We invite you to dive into the deep seas of the Infinite Divine and learn to access your own luminous consciousness, your inner portals to bliss. The being who is the teacher of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is Shiva. Everything in this manual is based on a profound recognition that is at the heart of Tantric Philosophy, that once you train your consciousness to expand through the practices, it will naturally recognize itself as one with the Ultimate, the Absolute, Bhairava, Shiva.
Recommended books: Sri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, The Ascent by Satyasangananda Saraswati and The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche (inspired by VBT).
We also highly recommend Sally Kempton's audible, Doorways to the Infinite and Christopher Hareesh Wallace's course on the VBT as excellent sources.