Can any one explain what does "Vigyan Bhairava Tantra" mean? What does "Vigyan" i.e Science here refer to?

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    I have read this Text..Its an "Agama"..Bhairava(Shiva) answers the questions that are posed by Devi..The text doesn't use the word Vijnana even for once..and the text also doesn't explain why it is so called..But it gives several things/places to impose one's Dharana upon which leads to realization(oneness of Shiva Shakti)..
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 5:20
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    @Wit-Mahanirvana Tantra-The Tantra of great liberation..Yoni Tantra-The Tantra of the Yoni..Tantraraja Tantra-The king among all Tantras..Maheswara Tantra-The Tantra of Maheswara etc..Similarly for VBT it will be-The Tantra endowed with special knowledge of Bhairava..something like that may be..
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:23
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    VIjyana Bhairava is about meditation only It basically teaches Dhyana techniques.. So, how meditation is not a valid tag here? Ask them who have read it. Since u don't know anything about it it pls do not interfere. @Sinister
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 5:35
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    @RIckross Don't simply make silly comments. I know how to tag questions. I don't need to read scriptures to tag a question. I have privileges and know rules of taggging from help centre. "A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question." We should not tag based on the content of the text mentioned in the question. We should tag based on the content of the question. The tags you added makes the question already answered. The OP only asked about what is that text. He doesn't know about the content of the topic. So, we should let the questions remain like that. Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 5:57
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    You can tag u got privileges i know all that- but u can do it wrongly too, Because we are all are human..And In this case you did it wrongly and i corrected it. So what is wrong in it? Also if u have not read the Text how will u know what it teaches, what it is about? And in short its about Dhyana or meditation. So that's why that tag/ @Sinister
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 6:00

1 Answer 1


There have been, in India, two main ways of approach to Reality or the Essential Nature of Self,

  • Vivekaja mārga. (the path of distinction or discrimination). Systems following this mārga are patanjali yoga & Sankara Vedanta.

  • Yogaja mārga.(the path of union or integration). Saivāgama has adopted the Yogaja mārga in which the goal is not isolation of the Self from Prakrti or Màyà (in case of Sankara Vedanta) but the integration of the individual Self to the Universal Self or Bhairava and the realization of the universe as the expression of His Sakti or spiritual Energy. The ideal of Saivāgama is not the rejection of the universe but its assimilation to its Source. Vijnānabhairav is an excellent exposition of the yogaja mārga.

Literal meaning: Vijnānabhairav consists of two words, vijnāna and bhairava. We have first of all to understand the esoteric significance of Bhairava. Ksemarāja in his Udyota commentary gives a description of the esoteric meaning of Bhairava. The sum and substance of it is that Bhairava is an acrostic word consisting of the letters, bha, ra, and va; bha indicates bharaña or maintenance of the universe; ra indicates ravaña or withdrawal of the universe; va indicates vamana or projection i.e., manifestation of the universe. Thus Bhairava indicates all the three aspects of the Divine. From the mystic point of view Bhairava is the ultimately reality in which there is no distinction of Shiva & Shakti. The svarupa or essential nature of Bhairava is vijnāna or bodha or mahābodha, cit or caitanya the main characteristic of which is svatantrya or absolute freedom revealing itself in icchā, jnāna & kriyā. It is to this vijnānabhairav that the seeker of spiritual life has to be integrated.

The entire manifestation consisting of subject and object is a mere reflection in this vijnāna. Just as a city in a mirror appears as something different from the mirror, though it is nothing different from the mirror, even so the universe though appearing different from vijnāna is nothing different from it. In verses 2 to 6 of vijnānabhairav, the Devi mentions certain well known statements about Bhairava and wants to know His highest state or essential nature. Bhairava categorically rejects the various well known opinions about his highest state and pithily but with luminous clarity states in verses 14 and 15 what His essential nature consists in :

The highest state of Bhairava is free of all notions pertaining to direction, time, nor can that be particularized, by some definite space or designation. In verity that can neither be indicated nor described in words. One can be aware of that only when one is completely free of all thought-constructs. One can have an experience of that bliss in his own inmost Self (when one is completely rid of the ego, and is established in the plenitude of the divine I-consciousness).

That state of Bhairava which is full of the bliss of non-difference from the entire world is alone Bhairavi or Sakti of Bhairava. That state is vijnāna-a state of consciousness which is free of all thought-constructs. This vijnānabhairav is the goal of man.

Content of Vijnānabhairav Tantra- In short - Devi asks - " Who are you" Lord Shiva in reply end up replying the methods to know him. Methods which are 112 in number, all are sufficient to realize that Bhairava, becomes the content of Tantra/Āgama.

Ref- Vijnānabhairav Tantra by Jaidev Singh

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    That's quite in depth answer. On a side question did ravna contributed to tantra as well?
    – WitVault
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 14:06
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    Sorry, I don't know whether Ravana contributed to Tantra or not. But looking at his lifestyle he seems staunch Vedic. You can post another question for this. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 15:35
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    Yes for sure and thanks for the info. I will post another question after some research on that topic.
    – WitVault
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 15:54

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