Prelude to tantric poems, 2014

Reported without comment

14 January, 2014, Tuesday, after lunch we went to see Suramishra.

Nice drive through rural areas with lovely avenues of trees. He was glad to see me. I asked about how to visualise or imagine Kālī and me in union. Then I asked about what is meant by vīra then how to make the transition between vīra and divya. Saumya recorded his answers – which were read from the piece of copper – on his mobile phone and told me the following day.

Then after a shower and meditation and more sleep Śunyānanda initiated me as Bhairava. I went to his room, paid reverence to Agni, the candle burning there. Then I sat in front of him. He gave me the mantra written on a piece of paper. OM HRAUM BHAIRAV CHANDEŚWARĀYA NAMAḤ. Then he asked me to clench my fists, not too tightly and fold my arms and take nine deep breaths while looking into his eyes. His eyes occasionally went right up so I could see the whites, then he looked fixedly at me. After the nine breaths and more, he got me to stand and look at the candle flame as he touched me, first on the shoulders then on the crown of the head, then on the various chakras, going downwards: neck, heart, maṇipūra, svādisthāna and then touched me on the buttocks in lieu of mūlādhāra. This a couple of times, or more. Then I burnt the piece of paper on which the mantra was written. Then he told me to recite this mantra 27 times at the beginning of my meditation period, with arms folded as above, and to do it with the outward breath. Then to do the Kālī mantra then the Camuṇḍā mantra as usual. I was glad about all this. I want to be identified with Bhairava as consort of Kālī. Then I retired for the night.

This was in important step: it fitted in with Vilasnāth whom I had visited a few days before near Mumbai, and with śāktābhiṣkadīkṣā. So I have the various items in place. I feel the need to revise all of this in terms of Christianity, which is a task ahead of me.

How will I communicate all this? Śunyānanda has taken the vow of vanaprasthā which means he will communicate his teaching to disciples. Many of them come all the time. A busy place now, a bit off-putting. He has been very successful.

I have felt all along this would be my last visit to India or at least to Uttara. My visits to Dhauli and Puri and Hirapur and tomorrow to Liṅgarāja were a sort of good-bye.

About interfaithashram

Rev. Dr. John Dupuche is a Roman Catholic Priest, a senior lecturer at MCD University of Divinity, and Honorary Fellow at Australian Catholic University. His doctorate is in Sanskrit in the field of Kashmir Shaivism. He is chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and has established a pastoral relationship with the parishes of Lilydale and Healesville. He is the author of 'Abhinavagupta: the Kula Ritual as elaborated in chapter 29 of the Tantraloka', 2003; 'Jesus, the Mantra of God', 2005; 'Vers un tantra chrétien' in 2009; translated as 'Towards a Christian Tantra' in 2009. He has written many articles. He travels to India each year. He lives in an interfaith ashram.
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