And the Karaoke version:
sarvam deha-gatam dravyam viyat-vi-aaptam
vi-bhaavayet tatas tasya bhaavanaa saa sthiraa bhavet
Sarva - whole, entire, in all parts, everywhere. Deha - the
body, shape, (as of a cloud), individual. Appearance. Gata
- gone away, disappeared. Having walked a path. Diffusion, celebration. Dravya - substance, object, ingredients
or materials of anything. Medicinal substance or drug.
Elementary substance. Spirituous liquor, gold. A wager.
Viyat - dissolved, vanishing, sky, heaven, air, atmosphere.
The element Ether. In music, a kind of meter. Vyapta - spread
through, pervaded, filled with, penetrated by, as the universe
by spirit. Wealthy. Celebrated, famous. Mrgi - female deer
or antelope. Name of the mythical progenitress of antelopes.
A type of woman, kind of meter, style of dance. Akshan -
the eye. An organ of sense. Vibhaava - any condition which
excites a state of mind or body, any cause of emotion; (
vib-hava with a short a is "powerful, omnipresence, majesty.)"
Tatas - thereupon. Tasya - his. Bhavana - promoting
anyone’s welfare. Imagining. Forming in the mind. Meditation. Feeling of devotion, faith in. Saturating any powder
with fluid, steeping, infusion. Sa - that. Sthira - motionless,
calm, steady. Bhavet - becomes; (Bhava - becoming, existing. Transition into. Reality. Love, affection, attachment.
Heart, soul, mind. Wanton sport, dalliance. The universe.
An organ of sense. The Supreme Being. Meditation.)
Many of these words have no English equivalent, and are
not directly translatable. If we savor this glossary, we see a
wealth of imagery, ranging from the sensual to the spiritual. These definitions look like poems or the lyrics to a song:
dravya refers to the ingredients of anything, and also medicine, liquor, gold, and a stake in gambling — this sounds a
bit like a Country Western song, but you could also hear it
as Rock 'n Roll, Rap, or New Orleans Blues.
In Sanskrit poetics, there is the concept of yuktarupaka,
“appropriate metaphor.” Each word of Sanskrit may be
defined with two, three, or a dozen different metaphors or
figures of speech. In a practice text such as the Bhairava
Tantra, the metaphors are intended to convey additional
meaning about how to do the techniques and hint at the
experiences that will arise as you engage with them. Like a
song, the Sanskrit always conveys more information than
can ever be expressed in plain English. Each word can be
whispered like a mantra, and as you feel the vibrations of
the Sanskrit in your body while contemplating the lyrical
imagery, layers upon layers of meaning will unfold. New
meaning arises every day.
Playing with the imagery in this verse, we can hear more:
“Beloved, this whole universe is vyapta—always permeated everywhere by the rich and celebrated infinite spirit.
Meditate on the dravya— the elementary substances, the
ingredients of your body, the magical medicinal drugs the
body itself creates and uses to heal and uplift itself —the
clay and gold — as always pervaded by the essence of sky.
What seems so solid—the matter you are made of—is already viyat, dissolved, into the sky, heaven, atmosphere,
the element of space; you are a kind of music playing in
infinite space. Indeed, you are music the universe is playing. This is reality. Your body is an organ of sense. You can
sense all this directly and delight in the knowing, as you
would in a sport, or flirting with your lover. Meditating in
this way, a wonderful sense of spacious stability arises.”
This tantra presents over a hundred different meditation
techniques. One of the hints in this verse is that when you
engage with any meditation, practice in a way that is natural to your body. We each are composed of a different mix
of elements, a somewhat unique prakriti or constitution.
So always ask yourself, "Is this for me? Does this suit my
nature?" Meditation is infinitely customizable, so always
feel free to modify the standard techniques to suit your
personality, your moods, and the rhythm of your daily life.
Deep meditation is powerful on a physical level, and invites the body into a healing restfulness. Rejuvenating and
elevating hormones are released into the blood. Continue
to fine-tune your meditation practice so that it works for
you, to help you function better, love wholeheartedly, play
with delight, and sleep well at the end of the day.
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 and is the author of
The Radiance Sutras, a new version of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra.
Dr. Roche coaches individuals wishing to evolve their meditation practice and trains
yoga teachers in how to teach meditation. Lorin and his Dakini wife Camille Maurine
are teaching a five-day immersion in the Radiance Sutras at Esalen December 8-13.
EMAIL: LORIN@LORINROCHE.COM / WEB: LORINROCHE.COM