How ‘breathing’ as technique is helpful in realisation of Self.
In Vghan Bhairav Tantra , which is a dialouge between the Adi-Yogi Shiva and his consort Parvati, the Devi asks questions to Shiva as : What is your reality? What is this wonder-filled universe? And so many questions. Let my doubts be cleared! Devi asks questions which appear to be philosophical, but Shiva is not going to answer them that way. Shiva proposes one hundred and twelve methods. In the energy system of this body, we recognise 114 points where energies meet and redistributes themselves, a junction point. Out of 114 points two are outside physical systm. But these one hundred and twelve methods are for the whole humanity – for all the ages that have passed and for all the ages that have yet to come. The frst method is given as under:
Shiv replies: as , which is known As the first technique.
Rediant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in ( down) and just before turning up (out)-the beneficence.
Breathing is the nearest thing to you, and the nearer a thing is, the more difficult it is to perceive it. The nearer it is, the more difficult; the more obvious it is, the more difficult. It is so near to you that again there is no space between you and your breathing. Or, there is such a small space that you will need a very minute observation, only then will you become aware of certain points. These points are the basis of these techniques.
After breath comes in – that is, down – and just before turning out – that is, going up -The Beneficence. Be aware between these two points, and the happening. When your breath comes in, observe. For a single moment, or a thousandth part of a moment, there is no breathing – before it turns up, before it turns outward. One breath comes in; then there is a certain point and breathing stops. Then the breathing goes out. When the breath goes out, then again for a single moment, or a part of a moment, breathing stops. Then breathing comes in.
Before the breath is turning in or turning out, there is a moment when you are not breathing. In that moment the happening is possible, because when you are not breathing you are not in the world. Understand this: when you are not breathing you are dead; you are still, but dead. But the moment is of such a short duration that you never observe it. Each outgoing breath is a death and each new breath is a rebirth. Breath coming in is rebirth; breath going out is death. The outgoing breath is synonymous with death; the incoming breath is synonymous with life. So with each breath we are dying and being reborn. The gap between the two is of a very short duration, but keen, sincere observation and attention will make you feel the gap. If you can feel the gap, Shiva says, The Beneficence. Then nothing else is needed. You are blessed, you have known; the thing has happened.
You are not to train the breath. Leave it just as it is. Why such a simple technique? It looks so simple. Such a simple technique to know the truth? To know the truth means to know that which is neither born nor dies, to know that eternal element which is always. You can know the breath going out, you can know the breath coming in, but you never know the gap between the two. Try it. Suddenly you will get the point – and you can get it; it is already there. Nothing is to be added to you or to your structure, it is already there. Everything is already there except a certain awareness. So how to do this? First, become aware of the breath coming in. Watch it. Forget everything, just watch breath coming in – the very passage.
When the breath touches your nostrils, feel it there. Then let the breath move in. Move with the breath fully consciously. When you are going down, down, down with the breath, do not miss the breath. Do not go ahead and do not follow behind, just go with it. Remember this: do not go ahead, do not follow it like a shadow; be simultaneous with it. Breath and consciousness should become one. Only then will it be possible to get the point which is between two breaths. It will not be easy. Move in with the breath, then move out with the breath: in-out, in-out.
Buddha tried particularly this method, so this method has become a Buddhist method. Buddha’s enlightenment was based on this technique. – only this. All the religions of the world, all the seers of the world, have reached through some technique or other, and all those techniques will be in these one hundred and twelve techniques. This first one is a Buddhist technique. It has become known in the world as a Buddhist technique because Buddha attained his enlightenment through this technique.
(The writer is a social activist)