Updated: March 8, 2024

Vigyan Bhairava Tantra Today's verse, let the breath settle in stillness after exhalation and your true nature appears, rest in stillness after exhalation and your true nature appears. OK. So one of the practices that, that I have used is prolonging the exhalation and then resting before the next inhalation. So you could count inhale to the count of four, exhale to the count of six, then rest in stillness after the exhalation, which means hold your breath to the count of six again and then inhale 4. 4-6-6. So four inhalation, six exhalation and then hold or rest for six. And then you can gradually increase it. For example, I have a practice of where I basically breathe to the count of six, exhale to the count of 12, hold to the count of 12 and then inhale again to the count of six. And immediately after six, exhale 12, hold 12, inhale six. This actually results in two breaths a minute which results in brain wave frequency of less than four, sometimes even two hrtz.

And that is the brain wave frequency of deep sleep. So this is a way of being fully awake and also having the restful awareness with alertness, which we identify with cosmic consciousness or deep sleep. So this is a very beautiful sutra verse from Vigyan Bhairava Tantra Now, as we look at tantra, in detail, it's associated with rituals, with practices, with magic, with miracles, with transformation. And the word tantra simply means instrument or ritual to channel energy, information and experience. So in this little resting after the exhalation, you are in what might be called pure awareness. Fundamental existence is just that pure awareness and existence go together, pure existence.

You can say existence before it differentiates into all modes of knowing in every species and in humans, not only as a species experience, but also as a culture experience. However, the awareness is the common ground of all existence. So awareness is the common ground of all existence. Existence is called “sat” awareness is called “chit” and “Ananda” is the joy or the bliss of knowingness, which is spontaneous, spontaneous knowing it's called “gyan shakti.” But in that spontaneous knowing is also bliss, called “ananda shakti”. is also action without karma called “kriya shakti”. So gyan shakti, kriya shakti, ananda shakti and most importantly, iccha shakti, the spontaneous fulfillment of desire is also the “iccha” means desire. So in between every fluctuation of consciousness, in this case, the fluctuation is breath, but remember, breath is a sensation that is entangled with all other sensations. So those are the sensations of color and form and sound and taste.

And smell and touch and you know, even imagination and thoughts and feelings and emotions, they're all minor and major fluctuations and they're all entangled. So being entangled the ground of all these fluctuations, the common ground for all species. And in our case, all cultures is still awareness. ‘Sat’ is existence, awareness, one common ground for all experiences, species and culture specific. And Ananda is the joy that allows you to recognize that you have access to infinite possibilities of knowing and experience in this little resting of of breath in awareness.

So today, I'd like to riff off this and just use the experience of vision and color because it is vision and color that actually gives us the experience that we interpret as the physical world. Of course, along with other modalities of experience, including sounds and tastes and textures and smells. But it just the visual experience that gives us the experience that we interpret as the physical world, the theater of space time and causality, the visual experience. So let's examine that visual experience. Is it common to all species? And the answer is not, secondly, is color an attribute of the physical world? It is not therefore, form is not an attribute of the physical world.

Nor is phenomena an attribute of the physical world. So just let's try to understand vision and color for today. Did you know for example that rabbits and parrots and chameleons has 360 vision? In fact, in rabbits and, and parrots, the eyes are located on the side. So just with a little bit of movement without turning backwards, they can see what's happening. 360 degrees chameleons are even more interesting because their eyeballs can swivel on two different axis and they can they can actually see different things through different eyeballs being the instruments.

So if different animals perceive colors differently, and I'll share with you how that happens, then color form and perception of what we call objects, which are basically colors and forms and shapes has to be different in different species. Implying, once again, the point I'm trying to make is that there is no physical world that that physical world is a useful symbolic model for modes of experience, modes of knowing and different animals perceive colors differently depending on the types and number of photoreceptors they have in their eyes. Photoreceptors are cells that detect light and send signals to the brain. How those signals become the experience of color is the hard problem of consciousness based on the wrong ontology matter as the ontological primitive of the universe.

In any case, photoreceptors are cells that are said to detect light and send signals to the brain. And there are two main types of photoreceptors in our eyes. Rods and cones, rods are sensitive to dim light but not to colors and cones are sensitive to colors but not to dim light. The number and distribution of cones vary among animals affecting their color vision and therefore their experience of what you and I would call the physical world. Humans have three types of cones that can detect red, green and blue light. This makes us what is referred to as trichromats. Trichromats, meaning we can see about one million colors. Amazing, isn't it? One million colors? Some animals such as dogs, cats and rabbits have only two types of cones that can detect only blue and green light.

This makes them dichromats, meaning that they can see about 10,000 colors as opposed to us. One million. They also see colors more weakly, these animals, than we do. But then there are some animals such as bees, birds and some fish, they are four or more types of cones that can detect ultraviolet in addition to red, green and blue light. This makes them tetrachromats or pentachromats, meaning they can see about 100 million colors or more so much more experience of what you and I would call the physical world.

They can also see colors that are invisible to humans. So some animals such as snakes have special organs that can detect infrared, which is also invisible to humans. This allows them to sense the heat of their prey or predators or give them what you might call night vision. And then there are spiders and octopuses have eyes that can move independently with each of each other. This allows them to see different colors in different directions at the same time. So you can see there's a lot of diversity in how animals and different species perceive colors. But what I've said is true of every other sensation, taste, smell, hardness, softness, et cetera. But colorvison is an adaptation that allows every species to have a different experience of the what we call the physical world, which is an interpretation. So now go back to our sutra. The sutra is very interesting. It says in that resting of the breath in stillness and awareness which can be cultivated through pranayama, And we’ll explore many other practices.

You enter the common ground of all experience, and then when you do Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, which is Patanjalis process and you introduce intention in this field of all possibilities. Then you enter the realm of nonlocal potential abilities, including what are called the siddhis and the vrittis. Siddhis are supernormal powers that we have the capacity of such as extrasensory perception but releases also control of the elements and forces of the universe. Remember the elements and forces of the universe are symbolic representations of modes of knowing and experience. So even what we call rods, cones, neural networks, genes, epigenetic expression, perception. All these are actually symbolic representation of the infinite variety of modes of experience. That actually can lead to the experience, almost not almost literally infinite universes in consciousness, motes of dust dancing in a beam of light.

As yoga Vasishta says, infinite universes come and go in the vast expanse of consciousness, like motes of dust, dancing in a beam of light. And they all exist in sat, existence, chit, awareness and Ananda, the joy, the ecstatic liveliness of creativity. So we will continue to explore, you know, we are exploring the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra and I'm actually going to the right sequence starting with the breath. But we'll go into every mode of experience slowly. There are about not about, there are 112 verses in the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra. Each of these offers a little insight into a deeper reality, which is our true self, infinite possibilities, infinite universes, infinite modes of knowing and experience infinite correlation, infinite entanglement, infinite evolution, infinite self regulation, and therefore a never-ending horizon of growth, insight experience and knowing. I hope you're enjoying this because the reason I share this with you is that when I read a sutra I have a little insight and then I riff based on the entangled insights I get from that one sutra. And I enjoy sharing it with you because the ability to share it with you.

And if you kind of comprehend it, then that actually finesses my ability to explain some of these concepts. Because ultimately, they come from a deep experience of reality. Ok. So more to come..

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