Vijnanabhairava Tantra by Mike Magee

Mike Magee did a translation of the Vijnanabhairava Tantra and posted it on his delightful website,

The tantra is for all men, of whatver caste, and for all women - Gautamiyatantra, quoted by Avalon

Mike writes, “ This very brief tantra, ascribed like many another to the Rudrayamala, is a practical work of yoga full of different methods of realising oneness with Shiva/Shakti. It exists, with Sanskrit text and an English translation, by Jaideva Singh, and is published by Motilal Banarsidas. It prescribes over 100 dharanas, or things to meditate on, which can bring a person to realise that she or he is one with Shiva and Shakti. Referring to the Shiva Sutras, on this site, will help in an understanding of this material.

Some years ago I wrote this summary of Vijnanabhairava which may be of some interest to people. It looks at the different verses of the tantra and outlines the yoga techniques within.

1. Fix the mind at the centre of the body (prana) and at the dvadashanta (apana = about nine inches outside the body)

The human body breathes 21,600 times during 24 hours, according to the tantras. The outward breath extends to around nine inches outside the body. This is a meditation on the cycle of this breath. Breath is one with time and therefore the Kalachakra or wheel of time. This is expanded in the Tantrarajatantra, which shows the essential unity of breath, time, the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and the planets.

2. Fix the mind at the moment of pause at the heart and at the dvadashanta.

3. Prana and Apana enter the Sushumna or central nadi.

The in-breath and the out-breath both have their seat in the Sushumna, which is the central axis of the human body, according to the tantriks.

4. Retention of Prana Shakti at the heart and at the dvadashanta.

The breath, as Shakti, is one with the supreme Shakti. It moves throughout the body through the different nadis or conduits of bioenergy but can be concentrated at different points by meditation.

5. Meditate on Shakti rising from Muladhara and getting subtler and subtler up to Brahmarandhra.

This and the next few verses relate to the so-called Kundalini experience. In the Shri Vidya tradition, you can meditate upon the different mandalas of the Shri Yantra relating to these centres and being identical with the 15-lettered mantra, piercing through the three knots (granthis) and becoming more and more void. See Varivararahasya.

6. Successive Kundalini rising through the Shaktis.

7. Meditation of the 12 stages - Janmagra, Mula, Kanda, navel, heart, throat, root of palate, centre of eye brows, forehead, Brahmarandhra, Shakti, Vyapini: these are the first 12 vowels in the Sanskrit alphabet.

8. After filling the Brahmarandhra with Prana, free the mind of all thought constructs.

9. Meditate in the heart on the five voids of the five senses.

10. Meditate successively on things outside the body.

11. Fix attention on the inside of the skull. Close eyes.

12. Meditate on the inner emptiness of central nadi.

13. Block the openings of the senses.

14. Meditate either in the heart or in the Brahmarandhra on the bindu.

15. Listen to the Anahata sound.

Link to Mike’s
Shivashakti site.