I acknowledge this picture from the Net representing a Black Hole.

In this 16 dharana of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva says to Devi,

Repeating the pranava focused

Experiencing the void 

In that void Shakti 

In this dharana, as he did in the earlier dharana, and will in the next few, Shiva focuses on AUM, the pranava mantra. Here, i m deliberately using the word AUM, instead of the OM i used in the earlier post.  In the earlier post, the focus was on the anahata as a whole, the unstruck sound.  OM arises from that anahata meditation. 

In this dharana, it is about the pranava mantra. The pranava mantra is pronounced in Sanskrit as AUM. Sanskrit is a phonetic language. Each word, each part of the word, has a unique and specific sound. A mantra must be pronounced perfectly. Only then it has its effect. OM is not the correct pronunciation of the pranava mantra. AUM is, with four matras, which we shall see later.

The authority on the pranava mantra, the sound of creation, is the Mandukya Upanishad. You need not go anywhere else or to any one else. Just read the many excellent commentaries on the 12 verses in this Upanishad. You will know all that there is to know about AUM.

The Mandukya Upanishad explores through the pranava mantra AUM, the four stats of human consciousness. We shall explore that deeper later. It also explores other metaphors for this sound that may help in creative meditation.

First and most important, learn to pronounce AUM correctly. Listen to tapes of teachers like Swami Shivananda or Satyananda, who have spent years in researching this sound. If you follow the sounds of quacks, you will be modeling a duck, not Shiva!

Shiva is not talking about the sound in this dharana. He is talking about the silence beyond the sound, the sunya, the nothingness. When you stop intoning the mantra, in any of the three modes of aloud, whisper and mental, you reach the Fourth State of transcendence, that is beyond the mind body, pure energy. This is the state of Shakti.

No one can explain this to you. You have to experience it. People who equate this to no thought state do not know what they are talking about. If they had no thoughts of this nothingness, how can they then talk about having been in that state? You experience it and it stays with you. You experience it as an observer, like a child watching in amazement as the nothingness envelopes you. It is neither pain nor pleasure. It just IS.

Merely listening to a beautifully rendered pranava mantra can take you into his state. More of that later.

For now practise the pranava mantra, which Krishna says is He. Of all the mantras, he says, i am the pranava! The AUM is the parabrahman.

To me the AUM, goes beyond the mantra. It leads to me Yoga Nidra, about which too we shall talk later. For now focus on intoning AUM and going beyond AUM.

If by the next post, you haven’t gone beyond AUM , you will learn how!