Going on a journey into the Monier-Williams dictionary*, the entry for yatra yatra reads: “in or to
which place, where, wherein, wherever, whither,
anywhere…whatever.” Yatra yatra is the primordial “Whatever…wherever, dude.” This sutra was
apparently composed by an enlightened hipster.
A verse of this type is just 32 syllables, so the composers like to pack as much meaning as possible into
each syllable. They were huge punsters, delighting in
the play of sounds, exploiting multiple meanings of
words, and using similar-sounding words. For example, if we lengthen the a’s in yatra we get yātrā,
“going, setting off, journey, march, expedition, going on a pilgrimage.” If we accept this paronomasia
of yatra (wherever) and yātrā (expedition), we get
something like “Whatever expedition, whatever pilgrimage,” which works in the sense of the verse here.
But whatever; it works either way.
Manas means mind, intellect, intelligence, understanding, perception, sense, conscience, will, the internal organ of perception and cognition, the instrument
through which thoughts enter or by which objects of
sense affect the soul, sometimes joined with hrdaya,
heart, the spirit or spiritual principle;
Yati - moves; Bahye or bahya - being outside (a
door, house), situated without, outer, exterior; Va
- or; Abhyanta - interior, being inside of, included
in, inner part, inside, “on intimate terms,” a lover;
Api - also, even, sometimes used as an expletive;
Tatra tatra - in that place, here and there, everywhere, “on that continually;” Shiva - “The One in
whom all things exist,” auspicious, gracious, kind,
benevolent, “The Auspicious One”; Avastha - to go
down to, reach down to, to take one’s stand, remain
standing, to stay, abide, to abide in a state or condition, to enter, be absorbed in; Vyapaka - permeates,
spreading; Kva - where; Yasyati - will go.
Get down, reach down, into your deepest being.
Take a stand in the benevolent infinity that is always spreading and permeating everywhere. Know
that wherever the heart goes, wherever attention
goes, you are touching a particle of the eternal expansion of creation.
The practice here is “Set your mind free.” Do not
exercise any control, stay loose. Perceive every situation as a little hologram of the divine play. Let
attention travel wherever it will in the universe,
and know: Where can I go that is not in the all-pervading One?
There are as many ways of practicing this as there
are people on Earth. You can take this stance toward every mood, sensation, and mental image
arising in meditation. Are you feeling pleasure?
Are you feeling pain, sorrow, delusion, dejection,
or sexual joy? Consider these all to be aspects of
the mystery. Wherever your mind moves, outer or
inner, you are dancing with the One Infinite Life.
Find your way of looking at that hot babe in Yoga
pants, bird flying overhead, or highway patrol officer, and abiding in the knowledge, “That being is
part of eternity, just as I am.”
The journey always begins here – whether you are
daydreaming of American Idol or a Hindu idol.
The movement of attention is the movement of
love. Whatever your awareness is touching is part
of the divinity of creation. Just as you are.
The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra describes 112 Yogas
of wonder and delight for touching the divine in
the midst of daily life. Dr. Roche does one-to-one
coaching with individuals wishing to evolve their
daily meditation practice and trains Yoga teachers
in how to teach meditation.
For further information call (310) 570-2803.
Dr. Lorin Roche, has been practicing and teaching from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra since 1968. He has a PhD from the University of California at
Irvine, where his research focused on the language meditators generate
to describe their inner experiences. The Radiance Sutras, a new version of
the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, is available from Lorin’s website:
Lorinroche.com or email questions/comments to Lorin@lorinroche.com
*To see the full definitions of every word in the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, visit lorinroche.com and look in the Sanskrit section, where each word of the text
is linked to the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary online. This text is from the oral tradition, so the meaning of the words is just the beginning –
the wordplay continues with the sounds, rhythms, and puns.