This book offers 112 dharanas -- 112 meditations or techniques -- for experiencing the extraordinary and paradoxical reality of unbounded consciousness called Bhairava. In her initial question to Bhairava, the Goddess asks him to reveal his own essential nature to her. Bhairava praises her question as pertaining to the very essence of the Tantra, and he praises the transcendent aspect of the Supreme. The Goddess then beseeches Bhairava to teach her the method by which she may gain an understanding of this blissful, nondual reality. The methods offered here hint at a profound secret: only a subtle shift of attention is required in order to bring this astonishing reality into view. The shift will open a chink in the apparently impregnable smoothness of the ordinary world. Here are 112 secret gestures of attention that will reveal infinity.
True to its tantric provenance, the Vijnana-bhairava discovers Supreme Reality in unexpected and bizarre places. As one scans the great variety of methods it offers, one is struck by the contrast in tone between this text and the classical expositions of Yoga. While equally serious, the Vijnana-bhairava has a playful approach anchored in the confidence that one can really never stray from the reality of Shiva. Because it is grounded in the tantric realization, the text has a freedom to explore meditational domains puritanically disdained by classical Yoga. All things, all experiences, all moments are bathed in the unassailable purity of the absolute consciousness. Only a shift of attention, a subtle refocusing, is required for that extraordinary reality to come into view
The Vijnana-bhairava contains no sustained philosophical position. Rather, it is an instructional guide that continuously invites the practitioner to look more deeply and more subtly at her own experience. The blissful and shattering realizations that she will undergo as a result of its method serves as the only form of proof or justification. This is an initiatory manual that instructs in the intricacies of the advanced sport of Shiva.