The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra (VBT) first appeared around the 9th Century- 850 CE and is one of the main source texts from the Trika lineage of the classical Tantrik traditions. The author of the text is unknown, but modern day Sanskrit scholars say that it may have been written by a woman!
Vijnana means consciousness or insight and Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva or consciousness that is present in all times and places. Rajanaka Ksemaraja, a very well known Tantrik master in his time wrote a commentary of the VBT and stated that Shiva is referred to as Bhairava because he makes us cry out in fear of remaining in the dream state after having an initial spiritual awakening. Due to this cry of longing to know your true nature, Shiva/Bhairava manifests in the radiant domain of our heart.
The VBT is played out as a dialogue between Bhairava/Shiva & Bhairavi/Shakti. Verses 1-23 contain the dialogue between Bhairava and Bhairavi. Verses 24-135 are practices and Verses 136 are insight verses.
Bhairavi is the feminine form and she is the state of complete fullness and intensification of being in presence. When consciousness has an intense immediacy, that’s Shakti! Shiva is pure open, spacious, free, empty, grounded consciousness. It pervades everything and this no-thingness is the ground of being.
The texts states that some people can enter the state of Shiva through Shakti, and teaches that by going into the intensity of an experience, you can enter pure presence and openness. The Vijnana Bhairava contains accessible practices that focus on both awareness cultivation and energy body work.
There are awareness cultivation techniques which are designed to alter the quality of your daily life so that you experience more centredness. When you abide in that centre you feel a still point and you feel more into the flow of life, then you start to act and speak from that centred scared space and not act and speak from the wounded ego, psychological mind.
The aim of the text is to lead us to a direct experience of our own Divine consciousness.
Our expanded awareness, where all labels, psychological understandings of ourselves and division melt away.
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