utthitena svakam puram
pluṣṭam vicintayed ante
śāntābhāsas tadā bhavet
Constructing an extremely simplified glossary*:
kalagni - the flame of time
kalapada - the movement of time
pada - a step, pace, stride, to set foot in or on, to enter
utthitena - rising, arising
svakam - your own
puram - city, fortress, divine body
plustam - to burn, to share, to annoint
vicintayed - perceive, discern, consider, imagine
ante - end
shantabhasas - tranquility
tada - then
bhavet - becomes
Imagine that the Flame of Divine Awareness, God’s
Holy Fire, has consumed your form, and you are
standing free in your true nature, which is utter peace.
Perceive that every atom of your being, every cell, is
already anointed with the divine flame of life, and you
are serene and free.
If this were Mythbusters, I would say, “Don't try this
at home.” But the reality is, we are already aflame. Biological life – you know, your body – is a type of fire.
Think about it: day and night, your body is burning
at almost 100 degrees (98.6 is almost 100, don’t you
think?). When you breathe, you are fanning the fire.
When you eat, you stoke the fire. When you do any
exercise that makes you breathe a bit more, you are
burning extra calories. One of the main things bodies
do is burn fuel to generate heat and energy, and distribute it. We are always warming our hands at the inner
fire, and this yoga invites us in to merge with the sacred
fire. “Come on in. You are already here. You may as
well make yourself at home.”
With any element - fire, water, space, air, earth - we
begin by realizing we are already made out of these
elements. There is the story of two young fish that are
swimming along, and they come across an older fish
who says, “Hi, how’s the water?” The two fish swim
on for awhile, and one says to the other, “What the
heck is water?”
We begin by considering that we are already immersed
in an element, and life is so beautifully constructed that
we don’t notice it. If we are going to notice, if we are
going to start paying attention, then we may as well
build our practice out of what we love, for that is the
best and most reliable guide to an evolutionary relationship with fire or any element.
What is it you love about the element of fire? To get
into this practice, explore in a safe way what you love
about flame - candles, fireplaces, car engines, electric
lights, the warmth of human bodies, the way that certain breaths light your fire. Cherish this inner fire for a
few minutes a day and see if it brightens up your mood
a bit during these short days of Winter.
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 more info 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
*Sources: the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, online courtesy of The Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne University. Vijnana Bhairava: The Manual for Self-Realization,
revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, edited by John Hughes, Universal Shaiva Fellowship. Vijnanabhairava or Divine Consciousness by Jaideva Singh, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India, 1979. And Sri
Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent, by Swami Satyasangananga Saraswati. Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar, India, 2003.)