Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is the most popular tantra in the public domain which has its root in “Kaula Siddha Dharma”. It is explicitly the most demanded and sought after Tantra because it has been publicized extensively in the public domain but the “Siddha Dharma” believes that the tantra is spread in the society without its proper knowledge, sources and authority.
Modern day “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” are mostly interpreted and written by people who have no affinity or any link to the “Shaiv Tradition”. They interpret everything written in Vigyana Bhairava Tantra through the lens of “Yoga” which is best described by the oxymoron ‘incorrectly correct’ because suffixed in its name therefore, the meditation techniques which are revealed by Bhairava is related to yoga but is tantric in nature.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Legend of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
- 3 Vigyana Bhairava Tantra and Rudrayamala Tantra
- 4 Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Tibet and its connection with Nepal
- 5 Interpretation of “Vigyana Bhairava”
- 6 Interpretation of names associated with Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.
- 7 Vigyanmaya Kosha and Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
- 8 Is Vigyana Bhairava Samayachara or Tantrachara or Mishrachara
- 9 The 112 dhyana techniques or 108 techniques.
- 10 Authentic lineage of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
- 11 Dhyanapati Thana, the divine symbolic deity.
- 12 Eligibility of sadhaka for practicing Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
- 13 Literature
The “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” is the amalgamation of three words, “Vigyana + Bhairava + Tantra). Vigyana means pragmatic result oriented action that leads to inner empirical experiences or in broad term, the metaphysical element inherent in us.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, “Bhairava” means lord Shiva himself. Bhairava are Shiva in themselves because they are endowed or they have the “Shiva Tatwa” (शिव तत्व) established inside them. Since, their consciousness is affixed in “Shiv Tatwa”, they are termed as Bhairava because Bhairava is the potential form of Shiva. Bhairava also implies beyond all dualities and it is the one supreme non dual entity.
The “Siddha Dharma” defines tantra as the research methodology through which the purpose of any research is reached through the help of deities. Tantra is a research technique and the whole research too.
Therefore, “Siddha Dharma” believes that “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” is the tantric text that outlays pragmatic experimental techniques or tantric techniques that helps a Bhairava to reach the state of non-dual “Shiva”. Therefore, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is the tantra of the Bhairavas. Only Bhairava/Bhairavis are eligible to practice the tantra as per “Siddha Dharma” because it is not yogic but tantric techniques which demands great level of accuracy and affinity.
Legend of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, once in Kailasha, the lord of all Bhairavas and Maha Bhairava, the Swachanda Bhairava or Swachanda Shiva and his Shakti and consort, Aghoreshwori Kurukulla were engrossed in a deep conversation of agama and nigama particularly the Rudrayama Tantra.
Aghoreshwori Kurukulla having listened to all the facets of Rudrayamala Tantra in detail then enquired to her lord, Swachanda Shiva about his original transcendental form and also the ultimate state of any “Siddha”. Her lord Swachhanda Bhairava Shiva explains to her that the ultimate state of any siddha is the “Siddhatwa”. Siddhatwa is the ultimate state of Bhairava.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Bhairava state is the ultimate state of tantra too. When she inquires with the lord about his Bhairava form, Swachanda Shiva reveals to her that the Bhairava form is a tantric form which is made in such a way to scare people away and also distract the people away from tantra so that only eligible people pursue tantra.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the outer and inner nature of Bhairava is compared to that of Dhatura or Datura plant, which from its outer appearance looks like a fruit with spikes in it which has the potential to prick and hurt people but inside the fruit lie the essence of the fruit, the seeds. Those seeds are soft but it has that psychedelic experience or effect which subdues all forms of aggression.
The Swachanda Bhairava then proceeds to explain the “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” which prescribes the pragmatic techniques which can be used by any tantra practitioner to reach the state of Bhairava.
Vigyana Bhairava Tantra and Rudrayamala Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” is the part of Rudrayamala Tantra. It is also the extension of Rudrayamala Tantra. Had Aghoreshwori Kurukulla after listening to Rudrayamala Tantra maintained silence, the tantra would not have been revealed. The whole credit for the revelation of “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” goes to Devi because it was through her insistence, the lord Swachanda revealed it to her and from her, it reached the society and in the public domain.
Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Tibet and its connection with Nepal
As per “Siddha Dharma”, His Holiness Mahasiddha Isha Nath and His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra, the wisdom of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra was given to Aghoreshwori Kurukulla by Swachhanda Bhairava in Mt. Kailash of Tibet. It is believed that there are all-together 21 Kailasha and the Mt. Kailasha is the main one. The other Kailasha lies in Himachal and Uttarakhanda state.
The whole Vigyana Bhairava Tantra was not revealed in Kailasha alone and in one sequence. Swachhanda Bhairava and Ma Aghoreshwori Kurukulla were travelling to various sadhana spots. The revelation started from Mt. Kailasha and ended in one of the mountains of Nepal. The name of the mountain of Nepal is traditional name and currently it is being researched as to what is the modern day name of the mountain.
Interpretation of “Vigyana Bhairava”
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the foremost interpretation of “Vigyana Bhairava” is that the Devi asks the lord Swachanda about the state of Bhairava in questions but lord Swachanda doesn’t answer her through philosophies but pragmatic experimental techniques. He directly reveals the techniques. He doesn’t want Devi to fall in the trap of words because that is what she has to transcend to reach the Bhairava state. Swachanda Bhairava reveals her the secrets of Vigyana Bhairava meticulously with extreme precision.
The interpretation of “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” should never be confused with purely yoga path because the tantra explicitly has the mention of the word “Bhairava” and not “Yoga” or “Yogi”. Therefore, the tantra has to be interpreted within the array of tantra and not yoga alone because Bhairava is not yogic word but tantric word.
Thirdly, “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” is not a philosophical text at all. The public domain consists of many books on Vigyana Bhairava Tantra where the author infuses philosophy to explain everything in details which is plain wrong and not within the spirit of “Bhairava Agama”. Lord Swachanda Shiva is direct in his approach as he doesn’t entangle his beloved Kurukulla in words but actions. Therefore, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is more of a applied research or applied technique rather than philosophical speculation because the techniques are result oriented.
In fact, tantra is always applied technique and research which breeds result and not speculations. It is action oriented rather than philosophical speculation.
Interpretation of names associated with Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.
The deities and names related to Vigyana Bhairava Tantra have to be interpreted in the right way to understand tantra. Following are the names.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Bhairava means the state free from the shackles of time and space, directions. Bhairava is beyond time, absence of any forms of discrimination of friends and foe, formless and that which cannot be known through matter. Bhairava is formless and cannot be described in words.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Bhairavi means the state of utmost bliss. The state is bliss personified that is beyond good and evil. The state is also the epitome of completeness and perfection, free from desire and non-desire state of mind.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Sakala Bhairava is the manifestation of lord Shiva in his human form, who is the master of all sixty four art forms. It is this form that the whole world worships as lord Shiva. There are all-together fifty four Sakala Bhairava.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Niskala Bhairava is another form of lord Shiva completely opposite to Sakala Bhairava. He is full of dispassion, he is portrayed in meditative state with eyes closed. He is portrayed in “drasta bhava” or in the witness state. He is beyond all passions. There are also all together 54 Niskala Bhairava.
Vigyanmaya Kosha and Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the journey of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra starts directly from “Vigyanamaya Kosha” rather than Annamaya Kosha or the physical body. The Vigyanamaya Kosha is directly related to buddhi, chitta, vichara because it implies the Bhairava has transcended the physical body (annamya kosha), the breath (pranamaya kosha), and the mind (manamaya kosha). It is directly related to mind and it also implies that the Bhairava has transcended the mana (मन).
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the domain of “Vigyanamaya Kosha” is pure research through action as well as contemplation. The contemplation is not based on reasons but on the effects of the techniques. Nowhere does Vigyana Bhairava Tantra imply pure reasoning and no actions. Tantra even in its highest state is all about actions and filled with realism. Idealism doesn’t have much scope on tantra unless if there is the use of dharana.
The “Siddha Dharma” also believes that Vigyanamaya Kosha is just below the Anandamaya Kosha. The Anandamaya Kosha is the highest state and it is the state of Bhairava or the Bhairava state. It is that domain where soul resides. Anandamaya Kosha is nothing but bliss. It is also the state of Shiva. It is that state where no duality exists. It is a pure non-dual state. The aim of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is the attainment of Anandamaya Kosha. All the techniques that have been explained is the medium of reaching the non-dual Bhairava state of Anandamaya Kosha.
Is Vigyana Bhairava Samayachara or Tantrachara or Mishrachara
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the “Vigyana Bhairava Tantra” is purely misrachara methodology. The Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is neither purely tantra nor purely yoga. It is the amalgamation of all the methodology. It is not purely tantra (Tantrachara) because the techniques that are prescribed are not rituals based but yoga based. It is not pure yoga (Samayachara) because the essence of the whole teaching has its root in tantra. Therefore, Vigyana Bhairava is Mishrachara (Samayachara + Tantrachara)
But Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is more tantra leaning because the meditation are explained through techniques. Practicing the technique will aid practitioner to reach samadhi easy compared to other paths.
The 112 dhyana techniques or 108 techniques.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra as per Mahasiddha Isha Nath who is one of the 38 Siddha gurus or Himalayan gurus of His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra, lord Shiva had only revealed 108 meditation techniques to Devi. But after many generation, the 108 techniques became 112 techniques. Therefore, four additional techniques were born out of the 108 techniques because many techniques are similar but have been differentiated.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, His Holiness Mahasiddha Isha Nath and His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra believes the original techniques to be 108 techniques in total.
Authentic lineage of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is the authentic tantra of “Shaiva and Shakta” tradition of tantra. It is purely based on the tantric lineage of the Kaulas and Siddhas. Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is not based on Vedanta or yogic lineage as the text in public domain mentions.
In fact many gurus of “Siddha Dharma” opine that the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is exclusively for Kapalikas. They believe that Vigyana Bhairava Tantra was revealed after the Rudrayamala Tantra which is the “Magnum Opus” for Kapalikas. Therefore the authentic lineage of “Siddha Dharma” believes that Kapalikas are foremost eligible to learn it in full depth because the aim of all Kapalika is to attain the state of “Bhairava”.
The Vigyana Bhairava Tantra though being based on Kapalika tantra, many great personalities have benefitted from the techniques. It is believed that Gautama Buddha perfected one of the techniques of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra to reach enlightenment.
It is believed that Mahasiddha Matsyendra Nath had revived the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra which is prevalent in the society. He and his disciple Mahasiddha Goraksh Nath worked extensively to revive it.
Mahasiddha Shanva Nath and Mahasiddha Isha Nath
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the original lineage of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra reached Kaulantak Peeth through Mahasiddha Shanva Nath tradtition. He is also considered to be one of the foremost guru of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra and from Mahasiddha Isha Nath, one of the Himalayan guru of His Holiness Mahasiddha Ishaputra, His Holiness received it.
Mahasiddha Ambhrisha Nath
Mahasiddha Ambrisha Nath was the former female Peethadhishwara of Kaulantak Peeth. In her tenure, the tantra spread like a wildfire because she made the tantra compulsory for all her Bhairava/Bhairavi in the territory of Kaulantak Peeth.
Dhyanapati Thana, the divine symbolic deity.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the authentic lineage of Mahasiddha Shanva Nath and Mahasiddha Isha Nath, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra should be performed in front of “Dhyanapati Thana”. Dhyanapati Thana is the local customary name of lord Shiva in the Himalaya, the lord of all dhyanas. Dhyanapati Thana is the master of all those revealed techniques. It was he who revealed the technique to Aghoreshwori Kurukulla. Dhyanapati Thana is the one of the customary name of Swachhanda Bhairava.
Dhyanapati Thana and the divine symbol and statue.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the statue of Dhyanapati Thana has to be made and kept in front of the practitioner while performing the dhyana techniques.
The statue of Dhyanapati Thana is a mountain shaped pyramid with a single open eye on it. It is colorful and red in color. The mountain shaped pyramid is circumambulated with divine threads.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the mountain shaped pyramid is the representation of Mt. Kailasha. The single eye represents the only witness i.e. lord Shiva. The mountain is red in color because it signifies goddess Kurukulla. The mountain also represents the empirical world while the single eye represents the metaphysical world.
The thread which circumambulate the mountain also represents shackles that entraps a jeeva to the sansara and Shiva to Shakti. It also means that jeeva is tied with shakti and shakti is tied to Shiva. It also means non-dual because on intrinsic connection of every existence in this world.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the symbol means that one should start from the physical world, transcend it and then reach the non-dual state where the jeeva becomes Shiva and becomes inner witness. The symbol signifies the highest state of Bhairava, i.e. non-dual witness.
Eligibility of sadhaka for practicing Vigyana Bhairava Tantra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the eligibility of sadhaka for practicing Vigyana Bhairava Tantra are as follows.
i) Knowledge of tantric karmakand or rituals.
ii) Deep knowledge of yoga and dharana.
iii) Knowledge of partial chikitsa, siddha methodology for medicines, Ayurveda etc.
iv) The shakti of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.
v) Yantra of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.
vi) Knowledge of Astika and Nastika philosophy.
The proper learning method of the Tantra.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra is a tantra based yogic sadhana method. Therefore, the proper learning method is to first perform the outer rituals or karmakand and then only going inside. It is exactly like moving from bhupura of the yantra to the bindu.
There are two books which is currently in the process of being written by Mahasiddha Ishaputra. They are
i) Rudrayamala Tantra
ii) Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.