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Thread: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

  1. #21
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hari O
    ~~~~~


    Quote Originally Posted by Srikantha View Post
    For me personally Vigyana Bhairava was very difficult to grasp, it was only with the aid of the Malinivijayaottara that I began to understand some elements of its teachings. Somadeva's partial translation of the Malinivijayottara is a must in its study.

    For those interested:

    Somadeva Vasudeva. 2004. The Yoga of the Malinivijayottaratantra.institut Francais de Pondicherry [Collection Indologie -97]. Pondicherry.
    Namaste Srikantha
    I will take a look ... I have been looking for a author on Malinivijayottara and will pursue your recommendation.

    Just a note - for me Vijāna Bhairava has been quite comfortble to read and practice. Perhaps svāmī Lakmanjoo's offer may be of help?


    pranams
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #22
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Jaya Ho Yajvan!

    There are two Malinivijaottaras out there, the Hindi [Paramhansa Mishra] is published by Sampurnanda University and the English is as mentioned before. The Sanskrit variety is easily accessible online [muktabodha database].

    Maybe we should discuss this more candidly after you partake of the teachings of Maliniviyaottara. I have not yet studied Lakshmana Joo's works, I will do so as soon as I finish my study of Svacchanda Tantra.

    I think my biggest difficutly comes from the lack of familiarity with Hindi and Sanskrit. I've taught myself basic Hindi but I think that is not enough to read a work like Vigyana Bhairava. Often, the English equivalents are either too fanciful and therefore out of context or do not seem to be a good rendition of Sanskrit [based on the little I know]

    For instance I would see shasana as lesson but is sometimes translated as introduction. Some of the Hindi translations are quite good, that is, if they arent censored. I hope to make the effort soon and start engaging also in the study of Sanskrit Grammar but that would be a different topic.

    Getting back to the point, I would also express another view as to why I find Vigyana Bhairava somewhat difficult. I cannot let go of the philosophy of speech, as it is quite important to this school. Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari. As you read a word, you utter it in your mind [Vaikhari equivalent of a word being spoken out or being heard] then as you proceed to "garland" those words you start formulating the most primitive framework of the idea. But then, what is that idea in its totality within the Para context?

    I would assume that to understand Vigyana Bhairava (in the Para context) is to understand some of the more difficult topics we encounter in life [I assume Vigyana Bhairava is a valid scripture, it is my opinion that is a paragon of Shruti (no pun intended )]. I think the Para becomes evident once elements of the Vigyana Bhairava are recognized outside of of the text, in its topical environment. Some realizations are made clear after the study of Malinivijaottara was my implication here.

    I hope the above ramblings are of some use.

  3. #23
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by Srikantha View Post
    I would assume that to understand Vigyana Bhairava (in the Para context) is to understand some of the more difficult topics we encounter in life [I assume Vigyana Bhairava is a valid scripture, it is my opinion that is a paragon of Shruti (no pun intended )]. I think the Para becomes evident once elements of the Vigyana Bhairava are recognized outside of of the text, in its topical environment. Some realizations are made clear after the study of Malinivijaottara was my implication here.

    I hope the above ramblings are of some use.
    Namaste Srikantha
    thank you for your post. IMHO the part of understanding Vijñāna Bhairava is yes, by reading, but more importantly by practice. This I find (the most) rewarding.

    Regarding reading... I am a novice at best with sanskrit. I am teaching myself as I go. My 'practice' comes with my posts, study, etc. taking apart words, knowing thier roots; again even calling myself a noivce is 5 steps above my abilities, yet I continue to move forward.

    Hense good translations are my best friends. I end up buying several books on the same subject matter to view the translations, approach and insights from the authors to augment my study.

    I find it least enjoyable to read the academic renditions of some of the great works. The most enjoyable come from the muni's with direct experience of the Supreme. This is clearly called out in the Upanishads - learning and listening from the Brahmavit is much more preferred (Kathopanishad I.8)

    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 August 2008 at 12:41 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Jaya Ho Yajvan,

    I dont think there is anything substantial worth adding in replying to this post of yours, as there are generally very little differences in our views.

    I am unsure about your notion of reading, a variety of different translations of the same work. I mean in theory that may make sense, but it can often lead to the converse effect; where the individual is even more confused than he ought to be.

    There are many ways I can discuss this, but most of them take a fairly personal route and I am sure that would be an unnecessary addition to this dialogue [very difficult to argue against; since one's personal experiences is just that, their own.]

    I am glad that you appreciated Swami Lakshmana's work, it has inspired me to put some of his works on my "to read list". I guess I am a little dismayed by translations looking at how a simple phrase such as:

    athayoganushAsanaM [Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.1]

    has been translated, giving so much variety from one text to another. Thus my hessitation for emulating that route.

  5. #25
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hari O
    ~~~~~~


    Quote Originally Posted by Srikantha View Post
    .

    I am unsure about your notion of reading, a variety of different translations of the same work. I mean in theory that may make sense, but it can often lead to the converse effect; where the individual is even more confused than he ought to be.
    Namaste Srikantha,

    I see your point on confusion that may enter the picture. Yet for me and my experience the new perspectives are very valuable.
    I think of the Bhavagad gita and on how many views I have read. It suggests the clarity of the author, their honed intellect and their tradition. It also suggests in some cases just a different POV. In other words I like the notion of holding opposite views in my mind to apprecaite the differences; yet like all of us we can then choose from the knowledge that resinates as most insightful, yet it does not negate the other POV's.

    If one compares Abhinavagupta's work Gītārtha-Saṁgraha to say Jñānadeva's (some call Jñāneśvarī) view in his Bhāvārtha Dipikā they are different in approach. Yet compared to Śrīla Prabhupāda, the views (and word definitions) differ substantially.

    One translation I use regularly is Mahṛṣi Mahesh Yogi's book, yet he chose to keep the translation to the first 6 kanda-s. Mahṛṣi views Arjuna as confounded in the beginning dialog with Kṛṣṇa. Yet as the conversation continues Arjuna's clarity improves, based upon the profound questions he asks Kṛṣṇa. Other authors e.g. S.Radakrishan sees Arjuna's confusion as systemic. Like that these differences gives one a different perspective. Yet I see your point - if one is struggling with the concept of "why is this conversation taking place on a battlefield and , hey is it really a battle field ? and, wait a minute I am not certain of how this discussion fits inside of this great work , the Mahabharata" ' - yes I see a whole bucket of confusion ready to boil over.

    I think the difference for me is one of reading a book and one of studying it. My orientation has been that of study. When I do run into confusion, I put the book down and try to figure the issue out. If it does not come I leave it alone for a while. Over time the issue or confusion resolves itself by popping up in a different work or reading.

    An example that occured this week. There was a Upaniṣad passage that was quoted by several authors ( months ago) yet they never gave the exact name of the Upaniṣad or its śloka location. I took to find it, but was not successful. This week the śloka appeared in my studies. It came at the right time and within the right conditions. This was after a very long time of waiting and be attentive to this inquiry. Would I have preferred the answer came months ago ? Sure. Yet I find this happening quite regularly in my studies.

    Thank you again for your post and look forward to more of your writings.

    pranams
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #26
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hari O
    ~~~~~

    Namaste ,


    I thought I would share this one śloka with you. As I see it , it refers to keeping one's mental health.

    In the Vijñāna Bhairava, kārikā 125, offers a view on how one can keep a balanced mind in this world. It says,
    samaḥ śatrau mitre ca samo mānāvamānayoḥ |
    brahmanaḥ pari-purṇbatvād iti jñātvā sukhī bhavet ||
    That is,
    have the same (samaḥ) feelings towards foes or friends ( śatrau and mitre) in honor and dis-honor (mānāvamānayoḥ).
    (Why so?) because you are always full (brahmanaḥ pari-purṇbatvād) you are this fullness (pūrṅa) of brahman.
    Thus (iti) if you understand this (jñātvā) you then will gain entry to that blissful/happy/prosperous (sukhī) state of being (bhavet).
    Now what sate of being is being referenced? That of Bhairava.

    It says recognize you are this fullness, of what then does it matter whether you are with friend or foe, or in honor or dis-honor?
    This fullness (bhuma) is not dependent upon these conditions.

    Kṛṣṇa tells us similar wisdom in Chapter 5 verse 20 of the Bhāgavad gītā; Yet the focus of Chapter 2 discusses the person of balanced intellect and this samness in pleasure or pain.

    So for one following Hari or Hara , this wisdom is applicable and most practical. Both Hari and Hara are rooted in हृ hṛ - to take away, carry off. And what are thay taking away? One's sorrows and igorance.
    hari oहरिॐ hara oहरॐ

    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 August 2016 at 08:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #27
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hari Oṁ
    ~~~~~


    Namaste,

    I have been studying the Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s for some time. Yet I always wondered, why did Bhairava (Śiva) choose 112 kārikā-s ( or sūtra-s) to offer his clear (śuddha) approach of the upāya-s¹ ?
    What one needs to be aware of is that no number is given without meaning. Why did Śiva not offer 100 kārikā-s, or 108, or for that matter 115? What is the significance of 112?

    From A Jyotish view

    I can appreciate the sum of 1+1+2 = 4. Four is the first house of mokśa from a Jyotish point of view. And if we take a trika (3) view of this, the trine (or 120º) to the 4th house is the 8th, another mokśa house, and the next trine is the 12th house, another mokśa house; albeit it is 3 (trine) X 4 (house) = 12 , and the 12th is mokśa house. So from a Jyotish orientation I was comfortable.


    Yet the 112 still did not make sense to me; So began my search to find the answer. This came by Abhinavagupta in his work Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, explaining the 9th śloka.

    He does not address Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s directly yet provides the meaningful gloss to explain the significance of 112. The 112 is the full breath of ones being; our existence on this good earth and in the universe. It is considered a span of 112 marma¹. Now this word marma is used as a joint, and in the context of the sloka of Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, it is considered a finger, or a dimension.

    So this 112 marma is 112 fingers. This 112 is explained as 80 + 15 + 11 + 6 =112, yet you will see in a moment how this is slightly adjusted. Without taking apart each number, let me just supply an overview of what the 112 finger dimensions encapsulate; that of our various śarīra¹ (bodies) stretching-up to the dimension of 112 fingers:
    • spanda śarīra this is the subtlest , the spanda or that vibration or throb found in the unmanifest. Pure sattā ( Pure Being). When anuttara is oriented to external expansion, this throb, spanda is its nature.
    • sākta śarīra - is energy (śākti) body
    • sūkṣma (also called puryaṣtaka) śarīra - this is the subtle body; I am not in favor of using this world subtle as it is 'squishy' by definition; let me explain the best I can. This , as I see it, is pur+yaṣṭa+ka - with whom (ka) + the body ( pur) + that is entrusted (yaṣta ); it is this intelligence that carries the jiva from one birth to another. To go deeper ( and I will avoid that) Abhinavagupta suggests this puryaṣtaka śarīra is made up of the tanmatra-s i.e. sound, form, smell, etc.
    • para śarīra - causal body
    • sthūla śarīra - we know this as the 'gross' body - our physical frame , a heap (of mass).

    This 112 starts from the toe to the top of the head which we know as the body sthūla śarīra then adds in the additional fingers stopping at each station i.e. sūkṣma śarīra + para śarīra + sākta śarīra and finally arriving at spanda śarīra , giving 112 stations.

    It is increasingly interesting to me that the sequence of 112 offered in this approach i.e. sthūla śarīra + sūkṣma śarīra + para śarīra + sākta śarīra and finally arriving at spanda śarīra is the following:
    • sthūla śarīra = 84 fingers
    • sūkṣma śarīra the 84 motioned + 12 more for 96
    • para śarīra - the 96 mentioned + 12 more = 108
    • sākta śarīra the 108 mentioned + 2 more = 110
    • spanda śarīra the 110 mentioned + 2 more = 112 , the final destination of paramātman.

    Abhinavagupta addresses these 5, as the 5 folds of the body from the external, to the internal, to the Supreme, anuttara.

    Hence Bhairiava's approach in the Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s is to offer the path one can take to the final destination of the Supreme, anuttara. Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s allows one to start wherever he/she is on the path, and progress to the 112th marma.

    महेश्वरायनमः
    oṁ maheśvarāya nama

    pranams
    words and references
    • śuddha शुद्ध - clean, clear , pure, pure spirit, free from error , faultless , blameless , right , correct , accurate
    • upāya-s उपायthat by which one reaches one's aim , a means or expedient
    • dhāraṇā धारणा- undistracted instruction; collection or concentration of the mind (joined with the retention of breath); the act of holding , bearing , wearing , supporting , maintaining ;firmness , steadfastness , righteousness
    • marman मर्मन्- a vital spot; the joint of a limb , any joint or articulation ; mortal spot , vulnerable point , any open or exposed or weak or sensitive part of the body.
    • śarīra शरीर - body, or frame; support; also " that which is easily destroyed or dissolved " which is another name for our physcal body. ( the garment a woman wears to cover her śarīra is considered a śari ).
    • sthūla स्थूल - large , thick , stout , massive , bulky ; the gross body
    • The approach of the Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s - Śaivī mukhaṃ Ihocyate - Śhakti ( Śrī Devī) is the entrance door (mukhaṃ or mouth, opening ) to Śiva. This is said in Vijñāna Bhairava , the 20th and 21st kārikā, Śiva is known through Śakti
    • Additional views of the 5 śarīra at this HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=24347&postcount=9
    • hari oṁ हरिॐ
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 August 2016 at 08:44 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #28
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    The 20th kārikā suggests the following: śaivīmukham ihocyate. That is śaivī+mukham and ihocyate is ucyate¹ or uc + yate.
    Śaivī is śakti or Śrī Devī + mukham¹ is mukha - mouth, opening or aperature. And ucyate is moving, connected or joined.

    So this is saying, Śakti is the entrance, the suitable way to join with Śiva. Or another way of viewing it is Śrī Devī (śakti) is the delightful (uc) entrance (mukha) to Śiva. At that moment the bhāvanā of the sādhaka becomes one with Śiva or as it says in the śloka, tadāsau Śivarūpī syāt.
    Namaste

    The above kārikā is very insightful. The 20th śloka is complimented by the 21st. Bhairava again reiterates Śiva is known by Śakti. It seems simple enough but when one ponders it, it still may be elusive. It is my opinion Bhairava is saying the following.
    Śiva is perfect consciousness, pure consciousness, perfect being (sattā). To know Me (Śiva suggests) to know this perfection, it must be accomplished through bhairavī.

    Hence what is bhairavī? We know bhairavī is śakti, Śiva's energy. But still when it comes to our use, what is it? It is Awareness. Awareness is the active (śakti) part of Śiva as Pure Consciousness. It is awareness that can be directed, utilized. But how?
    • That is the notion of dhāraṇa-s that have been discussed thought this post. I have called them dhāraṇa-s , but Bhairava calls them nistaraṅga upadeśa¹ or undistracted instructions. It is applying this awareness , this active consciousness (śakti) as a technique, a upāya. This active awareness is then applied and aimed at goal - to experience Śiva perfect consciousness, pure consciousness, pure awareness.
    • Hence this is the notion of the Vijñāna Bhairava kārikā-s, to offer 112 different ways to apply śakti, via a dhāraṇa ( method or meditation) that results in experiencing one's own SELF, sattā, Being, Bhuma (fullness), the state of Bhairava.
    • That is why Śiva says in śloka 20 and 21, perhaps in code, that Śiva is known by Śakti i.e. śaivīmukham ihocyate.

      pranams

      words used
    • ucyate = yat यत् to seek to join one's self with going , moving, connected with + uc उच् to be suitable, suit, fit; to take pleasure in, delight in, be fond of.
    • mukha मुख- opening aperture , entrance into or egress out of ; the mouth , face.
    • bhāvanā भावना- reflection, contemplation; finding by combination or composition; saturating any powder with fluid , steeping , infusion
    • sādhaka साधक- effective , efficient , productive of, accomplishing , fulfilling , completing , perfecting , finishing i.e.
      the person practicing sādhana leading straight to a goal , guiding well , establishing Reality; worship, adoration
    • nistaraṅga upadeśa - called out in the 139th kārikā of the Vijñāna Bhairava
    • upāya उपाय - a strategy, way, means, approach, method; that by which one meets their aim.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #29
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    Hello everyone,
    I've been enjoying your discussion here on the
    Vijnanabhairavatantra

    I have a small but significant question
    which someone might be able
    to answer.

    The text mentions in several places
    that if one is to dive deeply into at least one of the
    methods, -
    he will become a "perfect gnostic person"
    and achieve spiritual bliss and Union with the Divine.

    ~ My problem is of the starting point ~

    Should I pick one technique and focus
    only on that, forgetting all others until
    definitive "results" are experienced?

    Or should I pick a handful and practice
    them at different times in the day
    in order to raise the intensity of it
    and draw closer to the Self
    through constant effort?

    Since finding the text, I have been very devoted
    to understanding it, and the techniques given,
    and have already played around with many.

    So, is it better to pick one technique
    and focus on it alone -
    or is it better to practice a handful
    at different times?


    Much thanks to anyone reading
    or responding.
    Namaste.



  10. #30
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    Re: Practical Wisdom of Vijnana Bhairava

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by sunyatisunya View Post

    The text mentions in several places
    that if one is to dive deeply into at least one of the
    methods, -
    he will become a "perfect gnostic person"
    and achieve spiritual bliss and Union with the Divine.

    ~ My problem is of the starting point ~

    Should I pick one technique and focus
    only on that, forgetting all others until
    definitive "results" are experienced?

    Namaste sunyatisunya

    Before answering I'd like to ask a few questions if I may... this will help I think with the starting point.

    Today do you practice a technique ? Do you meditate ? Do you do japa or ajapā. What are your experiences? Do you have a teacher or instructor?

    I ask this to see how your practice is going. Are you transcending? Have you experienced this? I mention this because it is not only choosing which kārikā to begin with i.e. which
    upāya¹ or dhāraṇā¹ to consider, but also the things that accompany one's practice e.g. when to practice and where.

    Pending your experience there are 3 entry points:

    • śāmbhavopāya
    • śāktopāya
    • āṇavopāya

    Previous posts¹ within this subject of Vijñāna Bhairava outline these three approaches.

    Hence knowing a little more will help. But that said, If you are new to this approach and wish to start, I would recommend the 24th
    kārikā. It is one of my favorites. It's simple, effective and it is the first one that Śrī Bhairava mentions to Śrī Devī.
    This would be considered
    an āṇavopāya approach. It is so simple , that it is elegant. I think this 24th kārikā is reviewed in the prior posts. I will look and check. If not called out I will post it.

    pranams

    words & references

    • upāya-s उपाय that by which one reaches one's aim , a means or expedient


    • dhāraṇā धारणा - undistracted instruction; collection or concentration of the mind (joined with the retention of breath); the act of holding , bearing , wearing , supporting , maintaining ;firmness , steadfastness , righteousness

    The following words below can be reviewed at these HDF posts:
    1. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...39&postcount=4
    2. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...99&postcount=2
    • śāmbhavopāya
    • śāktopāya
    • āṇavopāya






    Last edited by yajvan; 19 July 2016 at 11:39 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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