In the ancient text on meditation called the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Parvati asks her spouse Shiva, the eternal meditator, to teach her techniques to meditate. She tells him that she knows of energy, of Chakras, of Naadis and the intricate subtleties of the univers. She admits to Shiva that she still feels incomplete. Shive then assumes the role of the teacher and Parvati that of the student. Shiva teaches her 112 techniques which are related to Bhairava consciousness. These are all unique meditation techniques.

There is a strange tradition in the Shiva temple in Thiruvanaikal in South India. The wedding ceremony which is customay in other Shiva temples between Shiva and Parvati is absent from the list of rituals in this temple. The priest who worships at the altar of Parvati instead dons the Saree wrapped around the Murty of Devi and offers worship at the altar of Shiva. This act signifies Parvati taking on the role of the Shishya, the student, to offer worship to Shiva, her Guru. In this temple Parvati stays as the student instead of the spouse of Shiva.

It is amazing how the founders of ancient temples kept higher knowledge alive in the form of rituals. Those who know about the existence of the Vigyan Bhairav text immediately recognize the significance behind the strange customs at the Thiruvanaikal temple. Those who understand what happens to the mind during meditation can similarly know the story of the conversation between Shiva and Parvati in the text Vigyan Bhairav to be parody. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar decodes the symbolisms in the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra texts in his sessions on “Unveiling Infinity“.

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