Verse 109, Vijñānabhairava-tantra
Summary of discussion on Vijnana-bhairava-tantra made by Guru Yogi Matsyendranath and Rev. John Dupuche
“The Supreme Lord is all-knowing, all-doing, and all-doing, pervading. I am He indeed, the reality of Śiva. As a result of dwelling in this thought, one becomes Śiva.
सर्वज्ञः सर्वकर्ता च व्यापकः परमेश्वरः।
स एवाहं शैवधर्मा इति दार्ढ्याच् चिवो भवेत्॥ १०९॥
sarvajñaḥ sarvakartā ca vyāpakaḥ parameśvaraḥ |
sa evāhaṁ śaivadharmā iti dārḍhyāc civo bhavet|| 109 ||
At the first stage, a threefold description is given of the Supreme Lord (parameśvaraḥ), “all-knowing, all-doing, and all-doing, pervading”, which remins us of the three faculties, of knowledge, action and will, but not in their limited human sense but ‘all-knowing’ etc. These are concepts (vikalpa) and therefore are in one sense limited. These prepare for next stage which is to realize that “I am he”, (sa evaham) which is similar to the famous mantra so ’ham. This is reinforced by the next phrase “the reality of Śiva” (śaivadharmā). All that the Lord is, so am I. It is the moment of recognition and realization. It is a moment of grace, for the knowledge of the Lord ‘out there’ is only a step the prelude to the realisation of one’s inner being.
This reminds us of the famous saying of St Paul in Galatians, “I live or rather not I but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2:20). It is reflected again in th phrase: “you are the body of Christ” (I Cor12:27), or the image of the vine and the branches. The vine is all branches, one can only see separate branches but the reality is the vine. All together form a diversity and a unity. This teaching of identify is significant.
The practitioner reflects on this realization (dārḍhyāt). It is an act of focusing the attention (dhāraṇa). The practitioner reflects during the time of meditation but also at all times. and this is the level of grace, the more a person realizes this the more he can realize it at every tiena d bring it into every action so that it informs all this actions.
It is attaching suitable to this Kālī age, this age of darkness. In the Golden Age, it was easy to observe the dharma, but in this age of darkens, the greater power of śakti is need. Not very useful.
The question arose about the meaning of identity. The theme of divinization (theosis) is found in Christianity as when Athanasius famously says, “God became man so that man might become God”, or St Peter speaks of becoming “participants in the divine nature.” (2 Pt 1:4) or St John, “we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (1 Jn 3:2).
This question arises about devotion. When the Kari Krishna has devotion to Krishna, there is at first a separation, a devotion to someone ‘over there’, but as the devotion progresses, the man realizes that he is Krishna and the woman reliss he she is Radhā, and they join as Krishna and Radhā. The purpose of devotion is to become one, so that there is no ‘other’.
The issue of identify of nature and diversity of persons is at the heart of the Trinitarian concept, but this śloka is dealing with the identity of nature only. The purpose of the Christian faith and of tantra is to realize one’s true nature. I am not this limited indivial or rather, my inner essence is Śiva himself. “I am he indeed”. Therefore, one bemes all-knowing all-pervading, all-doing, separate from nothing, foreign to nothing.
Is such a consideration possible in Islam? In Sufi tradition, it is entirely possible, for in the act of adoration and intimacy there is identity of the worshiper with Allah, so that they are no longer divided but one, indeed, there is no sense even of ’one’, for that is a concept. There is the experience of complete union without ideation. The Qu’ran was given because people had come to darkness, and needed the light of the Qu’ran. It is in the deepest darkness that light appears in all its beauty and brilliance; it is when one is completely lost in the dark forest that the light of some welcoming house is most beautiful and comforting.
Just as in the moment of greatest darkness, when Jesus utters one great cry from the cross, it is his moment of greatest revelation, beyond words. In the moment of greatest darkness, the greatest revelation occurs. It is the moment when light and dark come together. So in the darkness of the Kalī age, the greats teaching is given, the ‘Fifth Veda’, which is the tantric system.
This is divine teaching, a though it is given in time by the cwriters of the t bht Bhairava tt, it is something that is true from all ages, eternally true and reveled in time. This is true also, I use teaching of the Koran which is uncreated and which has been expressed in material form in the Arabic words fo the hoy book. Just as Jesus, the word of god has existed rot he beginning uncreated, and is ade manifest me flesh and we call him Jesus. So the teaching of the tantra is eternal but made manifest here. So when the goddess hears it, she enters into the bliss that tis there In Christian teaching, this is u the revelation is gen but not necess not fully understood, and it is only it the spring teaching of the holy spirit that at least the fully mystery of Christi is revlead. Th spirit dos not add o what rjesus teaches but shows what is means, thus there is progress understanding to the releatinand in this snes a progressive revelation. So too in Islamite he Koran is given but it us be read and reflected upon and understood. Yeh process is not so clearly stated as due tot h hoy sprit. Both thr is the snes that the zoran cannot be taken as fully understood as do some funemalists and tremiss, tubt understood. And applied to life.