Mystical traditions within Buddhism and Hinduism stressing the union of mind and body and the interaction of cosmic male and female forces. Tantric practice is based on ancient texts known as tantras, which detail spiritual practices and rituals, and depends on the guidance of a guru, or spiritual teacher. The Hindu tantras control Shakti, the active female energy in the universe (sometimes represented by Kali or another goddess), with the passive male quality embodied in the god Shiva, whose power depends on Shakti. The goal of tantrism is the union of these two forces, which is achieved through a variety of meditational, devotional, and Yogic exercises. Tantric Buddhism - also called Vajrayana, the Diamond Vehicle or Thunderbolt Vehicle - arose within bet. It deemphasizes the future goal of Nirvana in favor of attaining spiritual power and knowledge in the earthly present. Both the Hindu and Buddhist tantric traditions have "right-hand" and "left-hand" forms, the former adhering to orthodox religious practice, the letter incorporating unconventional, even taboo practices. Tantrik practices seek to release kundalini, the "serpent power," or subtle psychosexual energy, and connect it with all the body's energy points (chakras), achievement of which brings spiritual liberation.

The ten great cosmic powers, i.e. mahavidyas, are the powers and personalities of the Mother of the Universe.

  1. The might of Kali;
  2. the sound force of Tara;
  3. the beauty and bliss of Sundari;
  4. the vast vision of Bhuvaneshwari;
  5. the effulgent charm of Bhairavi;
  6. the striking force of Chinnamasta;
  7. the silent inertness of Dhumavati;
  8. the paralysing power of Bagalamukhi;
  9. the expressive play of Matangi and;
  10. the concord and harmony of Kamalatmika.

These various characteristics are the distinct manifestations of the Supreme Consciousness that has made this creation possible.

Vigyan Bhairav Tantra

Devi asks:
O Shiva, what is your reality ?
What is this wonder-filled universe ?
What constitutes seed ?
Who centers the universal wheel ?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms ?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions ?
Let my doubts be cleared !
Shiva replies
1 Radiant one, this experience may down between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out) - the beneficence.
2 As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down - through both these turns, realize.
3 Or, whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center.
4 Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped in such universal pause, one's small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure.
5 Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.
6 When in worldly activity, keep attention between two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.
7 With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this reaches heart at the moment of sleep, have direction over dreams and over death itself.
8 With utmost devotion, center on the two junctions of breath and know the knower.
9 Lie down as dead. Enraged in wrath, stay so. Or stare without moving an eyelesh. Or suck something and become the sucking.
10 While being caressed, Sweet Princess, enter the caress as everlasting life.
11 Stop the doors of the senses when feeling the creeping of an antd Then.
12 When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become weightless, beyond mind.
13 Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within.
Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.
14 Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. In such be transformed.
15 Closing the seven opening of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all inclusive.
16 Blessed one, as senses are absorbed in the heart, reach the center of the lotus.
17 Unminding mind, keep in the middle - until.
18 Look lovingly at some object. Do not go to another object. Here in the middle of the object - the blessing.
19 Without support for feet or hands, sit only on the buttocks. Suddenly, the centering.
20 In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying, experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing in slowing invisible circles.
21 Pierce some part of your nectar-filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing and attain to the inner purity.
22 Let attention be at a place where you are seeing some past happening, and even your form, having lost its present characteristics, is transformed.
23 Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all other objects but this one. Then, leaving aside the object-feeling and the absence-feeling, realize.
24 When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered.
25 Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.
26 When some desire comes, consider it. Then,suddenly, quit it.
27 Roam about until exhausted and then, dropping to the ground, in this dropping be whole.
28 Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength or of knowledge. At the instant of deprivation, transcend.
29 Devotion frees.
30 Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature.
31 Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the material. In a few moments become aware.
32 See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object.
33 Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond clouds, the serenity.
34 Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted. Eyes still, without blinking, at once become absolutely free.
35 As the edge of a deep well look steadily into its depths until-the wonderousness.
36 Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your sight from it, then slowly withdraw your throught from it. Then.
37 Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free.
38 Bathe in the center of sound, as in the continuous sound of a waterfall. Or, by putting the fingers in the ears, heart he sound of sounds.
39 Intone a sound, as AUM, slowly. As sound enters soundfulness, so do you.
40 In the beginning and gradual refinement of the sound of any letter, awake.
41 While listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound; thus omnipresence.
42 Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as feeling deepens into this silent harmony.
43 With mouth slightly open, keep mind in the middle of the tongue. Or, as breath comes silently in, feel the sound 'HH'.
44 Center on the sound 'AUM' without any 'A' or 'M'.
45 Silently intone a word ending in 'AH'. Then in the 'HH', effortlesly, the spontaneity.
46 Stopping ears by pressing and the rectum by contracting, enter the sound.
47 Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound, all sounds.
48 At the start of sexual union keep attentive on the fire in the beginning, and so continuing, avoid the embers in the end.
49 When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking.
50 Even remembering union, without the embrace, transformation.
51 On joyously seeing a long-absent friend, permeate this joy.
52 When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or drink, and be filled.
53 O lotus-eyed one, sweet of touch, when singing, seeing, tasting, be aware you are and discover the ever-living.
54 Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act, actualize this.
55 At the point of sleep, when the sleep has not yet come and the external wakefulness vanishes, at this point Being is revealed.
56 Illusions deceive, colors circumscribe, even divisibles are indivisible.
57 In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.
58 This so-called universe appears as a juggling, a picture show. To be happy, look upon it so.
59 O Beloved, put attention neither on pleasure nor on pain, but between these.
60 Objects and desires exist in me as in others. So accepting, let them be transformed.
61 As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the Universal waves with us.
62 Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.
63 When vividly aware through some particular sense, keep in the awareness.
64 At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.
65 The purity of other teachings is an impurity to us. In reality, know nothing as pure or impure.
66 Be the unsame same to friend as to stranger, in honor and dishonor.
67 Here is the sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change.
68 As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality.
69 Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.
70 Consider your essence as light rays from center to center up the vertebrae, and so rises "livingness" in you.
71 Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.
72 Feel the cosmos as a translucent ever-living presence.
73 In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, enter such clarity.
74 Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your own head in the brilliance.
75 Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.
76 In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.
77 When a moonless rainy night is not present, close eyes and find blackness before you. Opening eyes, see blackness. So faults disappear forever.
78 Wherever your attention alights, at this very point, experience.
79 Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.
80 Meditate on the make-believe world as burning to ashes, and become being above human.
81 As, subjectively, letters flow into words and words into sentences, and as, objectively, circles flow into worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these converging in our being.
82 Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs-me.
83 Before desire and before knowing, how can I say I am ? Consider, Dissolve in the beauty.
84 Toss attachment for body aside, realizing I am everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous.
85 Thinking no thing will limited-self unlimit.
86 Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being - you.
87 I am existing. This is mine. This is this. O beloved, even in such know illimitably.
88 Each thing is perceived through knowing. The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.
89 Beloved, at this moment let mind, knowing, breath, form, be included.
90 Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into heart and there permeates the cosmos.
91 Kind Devi, enter etheric presence pervading far above and below your form.
92 Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart.
93 Consider any area of your present form as limitlessly spacious.
94 Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated with the cosmic essence.
95 Feel the fine qualities of creativity permeating your breasts and assuming delicate configurations.
96 Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of trees, hills, habitations. These comes the end of mind pressures.
97 Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss.
98 In any easy position gradually pervade an area between the armpits into great peace.
99 Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far, near.
100 The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness: he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.
101 Believe omniscient, omnipotent, pervading.
102 Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you until the entire universe spiritualizes.
103 With your entire consciousness in the very start of desire, of knowing, know.
104 O Shakti, each particular perception is limited, disappearing in omnipotence.
105 In truth forms are inseparate. Inseparate are omnipresent being and your own form. Realize each as made of this consciousness.
106 Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
107 This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists.
108 This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each one. Be this one.
109 Suppose your passive form to be an empty room with walls of skin - empty.
110 Gracious one, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.
111 Sweet-hearted one, meditate on knowing and not-knowing, existing and not-existing. Then leave both aside that you may be.
112 Enter space, support-less, eternal, still.
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