Vigyan Bhairav Tantra - Meditation
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.
Osho - Words are sounds. Thoughts are words in sequence, in
logical sequence, in a particular pattern. Sound is basic. With sound
words are created, and then with words thoughts are created, and then
with thoughts religion and philosophy, everything. Deep down is the
This technique uses a reverse process. Shiva says:-
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.
We live in philosophy. One is a Hindu, one is a Mohammedan, one is a
Christian, or something else. We live in philosophies, systems of
thought, and they have become so important that we can die for them. Man
can die for words, for mere words. Someone calls his conception of the
absolute a lie, or someone calls Ram or someone calls Christ or
something else a lie -- then man can fight, for a mere word he can kill
the other. The word has become so important. This is nonsense, but this
is history and this is how we are still behaving.
A single word can create such a disturbance in you that you are ready to
kill or to die for it. We live in philosophies, systems of thought. What
are philosophies? Thoughts arranged logically, systematically, in a
pattern. And what are thoughts? Words arranged in a system,
meaningfully. And what are words? Sounds, upon which it is agreed that
they mean either this or that. So sounds are basic; they are the basic
structure of the mind. Philosophies are the peak, but the bricks by
which the whole structure is raised are sounds.
What is wrong? A sound is just a sound, and the meaning is given by us,
agreed upon by us; otherwise it has no meaning. The meaning is invested
by us, projected by us; otherwise "Ram" is just a sound -- it is
meaningless. We give it a meaning, and then we create a system of
thought around it. Then this word becomes very significant, then we make
a philosophy around it. Then you can do something, anything, for it. You
can die or you can live for it. If someone insults this sound "Ram," you
can become infuriated. And what is this? Just an agreement, a legal
agreement that "This word means this." No word means anything in itself,
it is simply a sound.
This sutra says to go in the reverse order -- go backwards. Come to the
sounds, then, more basic than sounds, a feeling is somewhere hidden.
This has to be understood. Man uses words. Words mean sounds with
meanings that are agreed upon. But animals, birds use sounds without any
linguistic meaning. They do not have any language, but they use sounds
with feeling. A bird is singing: it has a "feeling" meaning in it, it is
indicating something. It may be a call for the partner, for the beloved,
or it may be a call for the mother, or the child may be feeling hungry
and just showing his distress. It is indicating a feeling.
Above sounds there are words, thoughts, philosophies; below sounds are
feelings. And unless you can get below feelings, you cannot get below
mind. The whole world is filled with sounds, only the human world is
filled with words. And even a child who cannot use language uses sounds.
Really, the whole language developed because of particular sounds that
every child is using all over the world.
For example, in any language the word `mother' is somehow related with
`ma'. It may be `mater', it may be `Mutter', it may be `mata', it may be
`ma', -- anything -- but somewhere it is related with the sound "ma" in
all the languages, more or less. The child can utter "ma" most easily.
The first sound which the child can utter is "ma." Then the whole
structure is based on this "ma." A child utters "ma" because it is the
first sound which is easy for the child to utter. This is the case
anywhere, in any part of the world, in any time. Just because of the
structure of the throat and the body, "ma" is the easiest sound to
And the mother is the nearest and the first person who is meaningful. So
the first sound becomes associated with the first person who is
meaningful, and from this mother, mater, mata, ma, all the other words
are derived. But when the child for the first time utters "ma," he has
no linguistic meaning for it, but a feeling is there. And because of
that feeling the word becomes associated with the mother. That feeling
is more basic than the sound.
So this sutra says first to imagine the Sanskrit letters. Any language
will do. Because Shiva was talking to Parvati, that is why he said
Sanskrit. You can use English or Latin or Arabic, any language will do.
Sanskrit has no significance except in that Shiva was talking to Parvati
in Sanskrit. It is not that Sanskrit is something superior to any other
language, any language will do. First feel inside, in your
consciousness, THE HONEY-FILLED FOCI OF AWARENESS filled with letters:
A, B, C, D... any letters of any language. This can be done, and it is a
very beautiful exercise. If you want to do it, close your eyes and just
see your consciousness inside being filled with words.
Think of consciousness as a blackboard, then: A, B, C... Visualize all
the words, all the letters. Visualize these first as letters. "A": look
at it as "A" as you write it. Write it with consciousness and look at
it. Then by and by, forget the letter "A" and just remember the sound of
"A" -- just the sound. Start with visualization -- because eyes are
predominant for us. Ears are not so predominant. We are eye-oriented,
eye-centered. Again, the reason is the same. Because eyes help us to
survive more than anything else, our consciousness is ninety percent in
the eyes. Conceive of yourself without eyes, and your whole life goes
dead -- then a very minor part remains.
So first visualize. Use your eyes inwards and see the letters. Letters
are more related to ears than eyes because they are sounds, but for us,
because we are reading, reading, reading, they have become associated
with eyes. Basically, they are associated with ears -- they are sounds.
Start with the eyes, then forget the eyes by and by. Then move away from
the eyes to the ears. First imagine them as letters, then see them, hear
them MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELINGS. And this is a
very beautiful exercise.
When you say "A", what is the feeling? You may not have been aware of
it. What is the feeling inside you? Whenever you use any sound, what
type of feeling comes into existence? We are so feeling-less that we
have simply forgotten. When you see a sound, what happens inside? You go
on using it and the sound is even forgotten. You go on seeing it. If I
say "A", you will see it first. In your mind, "A" will become visible;
you will visualize it. When I say "A", do not visualize it. Just hear
the sound "A", and then go and find out what happens in your feeling
center. Does nothing happen?
Shiva says, move from letters to sounds, uncover sounds through the
letters. Uncover sounds, and then, through the sounds also, uncover
feelings. Be aware of how you feel. They say that man has now become
very insensitive; he is the most insensitive animal on earth.
I was reading about one poet, a German poet, and he relates one incident
of his childhood. His father was a lover of horses, so he had many
horses at the house, a big stable, but he would not allow this child to
go to the stable. He was afraid, as the child was very small. But when
the father was not there the child would sometimes steal into the stable
where he had a friend -- a horse. Whenever the child would go in, the
horse would make some sounds.
And the poet has written, "Then I also started making sounds with the
horse, because there was no possibility of language. Then, in
communication with that horse, for the first time I became aware of
sounds -- their beauty, their feeling."
You cannot be aware with a man because he is dead. A horse is more
alive, and he has no language. He has pure sound. He is filled with his
heart, not with his mind. So that poet remembers, "For the first time, I
became aware of the beauty of sounds and their meaning. This was not the
meaning of words and thoughts, but a meaning filled with feeling." If
someone else was there, the horse would not make those sounds, so the
child could understand that the horse meant, "Do not come in. Someone is
here and your father will be angry."
When there was no one, the horse would make the sounds meaning, "Come
in. There is no one." So the poet remembers that "It was a conspiracy,
and he helped me very much, that horse helped me very much. And when I
would go and love that horse, he would move his head in a particular way
when he liked it. When he did not like it, he would not move his head in
that way. When he liked it, then it was a certain thing, he would
express it. When he was not in the mood, then he would not move in a
And this poet says, "This continued for years. I would go and love that
horse, and that love was so deep, I never felt any affinity with anyone
else so deeply. Then one day when I was stroking his neck and he was
moving and enjoying it ecstatically, suddenly for the first time I
became aware of my hand, that I was stroking, and the horse stopped. Now
he would not move his neck." And that poet says, "Then for years I tried
and tried, but there was no response, the horse would not reply. Only
later on did I become aware that because I became aware of my hand and
myself, the ego came in and the communication broke. I couldn't
recapture again that communication with the horse."
What happened? That was a feeling communication. The moment ego comes,
words come, language comes, thought comes, then the layer is changed
completely. Now you are above sounds; then you were below sounds. Those
sounds are feelings, and the horse could understand feelings. Now he
couldn't understand, so the communication broke. The poet tried and
tried -- but no effort is successful because even your effort is the
effort of your ego.
He tried to forget his hand, but he couldn't forget. How can you forget?
It is impossible. And the more you try to forget it, the more you
remember. So you cannot forget anything with effort. Effort will simply
emphasize the memory more. The poet says, "I became fixed with my hand;
I couldn't move that horse. I would go up to my hand, and then there was
no movement. The energy would not move into that horse and he became
aware of this."
How did the horse become aware? If I suddenly start speaking some other
language, then the communication is broken, then you will not be able to
understand me. And if this language were not known to you, you would
suddenly stop because now the language is unknown to you. Thus, the
Every child lives with feeling. First come sounds, then those sounds are
filled with feeling. Then come words, then thoughts, then systems,
religions, philosophies. Then one goes farther and farther away from the
center of feeling.
This sutra says, come back, come down -- down to the state of feeling.
Feeling is not your mind: that is why you are afraid of feeling. You are
not afraid of reasoning. You are always afraid of feeling because
feeling can lead you into chaos. You will not be able to control. With
reason, the control is with you; with the head, you are the head. Below
the head you lose the head, you cannot control, you cannot manipulate.
Feelings are just below the mind -- a link between you and the mind.
Then Shiva says, THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE. Then leave the
feelings. And remember, only when you come to the deepest layer of
feelings can you leave them. You cannot leave them just now. You are not
at the deepest layer of feelings, so how can you leave them? First you
have to leave philosophies -- Hinduism, Christianity, Mohammedanism --
then you have to leave thoughts, then you have to leave words, then you
have to leave letters, then you have to leave sounds, then you have to
leave feelings -- because you can leave only that which is there. You
can leave that step upon which you are standing; you cannot leave a step
upon which you are not standing.
You are standing at the step of philosophy, the farthest away one. That
is why I insist so much that unless you leave religion you cannot be
This sutra, this technique, can be done very easily. The problem is not
with feelings, the problem is with words. You can leave a feeling, just
as you can undress -- as you can get out of your clothes. You can throw
off your clothes; you can leave feelings simply in that way. But right
now you cannot do it, and if you try to do it, it will be impossible. So
go step by step.
Imagine letters -- A, B, C, D -- then change your emphasis from the
written letter to the heart sound. You are moving deep, the surface is
left behind. You are sinking deep -- then feel what feeling comes
through a particular sound.
Because of such techniques, India could discover many things. It could
discover which sounds are related to particular feelings. Because of
that science, the MANTRA was developed. A particular sound is related to
a particular feeling, and it is never otherwise. So if you create that
sound within you, that feeling will be created. You can use any sound,
and then the related feeling will be created around you. That sound
creates the space to be filled by a particular feeling.
So do not use just any mantra, that is not good; it may be dangerous for
you. Unless you know, or unless a person who gives you the mantra knows,
what particular sound creates what particular feeling, and whether that
feeling is needed by you or not, do not use any mantra. There are
mantras which are known as death mantras. If you repeat them, you will
die within a particular time. Within a particular period you will die,
because they create in you a longing for death.
Freud says that man has two basic instincts: libido -- eros -- the will
to live, the will to be, the will to continue, the will to exist. And
thanatos -- the will to die. There are particular sounds which, if you
repeat them, the will to die will come to you. Then you would like just
to drop into death. There are sounds which give you eros -- which give
you more libido, which give you more lust to live, to be. If you create
those sounds within you, that particular feeling will overwhelm you.
There are sounds which give you a feeling of peace and silence, there
are sounds which create anger. So do not use any sound, any mantra,
unless it is given to you by a master who knows what is going to happen
When you come down from sounds, you will be aware. Each sound has its
counterpart in feeling. Each sound has a corresponding feeling that goes
with it, just hidden behind it. Then move to the feeling; forget the
sound and move to the feeling. It is difficult to explain, but you can
do it. And there were techniques for this. Particularly in Zen, there
were techniques. A particular mantra would be given to a seeker. If he
was doing it rightly inside, the master could know from the face. The
master could know from the face whether he was doing it rightly or not
because a particular feeling would come. If the sound is created, then
the feeling is bound to come, and it will be on the face. You cannot
deceive a master. He knows by your face what is happening inside.
Dozo was a great master, but he himself was very much disturbed, when he
was a disciple, about how his master came to know what he was
experiencing. And the Zen master moved with his staff and he would hit
you immediately. If something goes wrong with your sound inside, he will
hit you immediately. So Dozo asked, "But how do you know? And you hit me
exactly in the right moment. How do you know?"
The face expresses the feeling, not the sound. The sound cannot be
expressed by the face, but the face is bound to express the feeling. And
the deeper you move, the more your face becomes flexible to express,
more liquid. It immediately shows what is happening inside. This face
which you have right now will drop because this is a mask -- this is not
a face. When you move in, masks fall down because they are not needed.
Masks are needed for others.
Because of this, the old masters insisted on moving away from the world.
This was so that you could move away from the mask easily; otherwise
others will be there, and because of them you have to carry masks. You
do not love your wife or your husband, but you have to carry a mask -- a
loving face, a false loving face. The moment you enter the house, you
arrange the face: you come in and you start laughing. This is not your
Zen masters insisted that first one should attain the original face,
because with the original face everything becomes easy. Then the master
can simply know what is happening. So enlightenment was never reported.
If some seeker attained enlightenment, he was not to report to the
master that he had attained because the master would simply know. He
would tell the disciple. No disciple was allowed to tell the master, "I
have attained." There was no need. The face will show, the eyes will
show, the very movement, the walking, will show. Whatsoever he does,
every gesture will show that he has attained.
When you move from sounds to feelings, you move into a very, very
ecstatic world, an existential world. You move away from the mind.
Feelings are existential; that is what the word means -- you feel them.
You cannot see them, you cannot hear them, you simply feel them. When
you come to this point, you can take the jump. This is the last step.
Now you are standing near an abyss; you can jump.
And if you jump from the feelings, you jump into yourself. That abyss is
you -- not as your mind, but as your being; not as the accumulated past,
but as the present, here and now.
You move from the mind to the being, and the bridge, the link, is the
feelings. But to come to the feelings you will have to leave many things
-- words, sounds, the whole deception of the mind. THEN, LEAVING THEM
ASIDE, BE FREE.
You ARE free. This saying, BE FREE, doesn't mean that you have to do
something to be free. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE means you are
free! Being is freedom; mind is bondage. That is why it is said that
mind is the SANSAR, the world.
Do not leave the world... you cannot leave it. If the mind is there, you
will create another world; the seed is there. You can move to a
mountain, to a retreat, but you will move with the mind; you cannot
leave it here. The world moves with you, you will create another world.
Even in your retreat you will start creating it again, because the seed
is there. You will create relationships again. It may be with the trees,
it may be with birds, but you will create relationships again, you will
create expectations again, and you will go on spreading the net because
the seed is there. You will again be in a world.
Mind is the world, and you cannot leave mind anywhere. You can leave it
only if you move within. So the only Himalaya is this; no other Himalaya
will do. If you move within from words to feelings, and from feelings to
being, you are moving away from the world. And once you know this inner
abyss of being, then you can be anywhere, even in hell. Then it makes no
difference. It makes no difference then! If you are without mind, hell
cannot enter you, and with mind ONLY hell enters. The mind is the door
LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE.
But do not try directly with feelings, you will not succeed. Try first
with words. But with words also you will not succeed if you do not leave
philosophies, if you do not leave thoughts. Words are just units -- and
if you give significance to words you cannot leave them.
Know well that language is a human creation. It is utilitarian,
necessary, and the meanings we have given to sounds are our own
creation. If you can understand this well, then you can move easily. If
someone is saying something against the Koran, or against the Vedas, how
do you feel? Can you laugh about it or does something clench within you?
Can you laugh about it? Someone is insulting the Gita or someone is
saying some derogatory thing against Krishna or Ram or Christ -- can you
laugh? Can you see through the words, that these are mere words? No, you
will be hurt. Then it is difficult to lose words.
See that words are just words -- noises with agreed-upon meanings and
nothing else. Be convinced of it. And it is so! First become detached
from words. If there is detachment from words, then you can understand
that these are just noises.
It is just like in the military where they use numbers. One soldier is
number 101: he can become identified with `101'. And if someone says
something derogatory against the number 101, he will feel insulted, he
will start fighting. And `101' is just a number, but he has become
identified with it. Your name is just a number, just an index number.
Things will be difficult otherwise, so we have labelled you. That is
just a label; any other label can do the same work. But it is not just a
label for you, it has gone deep; your name has become the center of your
So they say, the so-called wise ones, they say, "Live for your name. See
that your name remains pure. Respectability of your name must be there,
and even if you die your name will live." It was never there, it is just
a code number. You will die and the name will live... When you yourself
cannot live, how is the label going to live?
Look at words -- at their futility, their meaninglessness, and do not
become attached to any word. Only then can you do this technique.