This is from the version Paul Reps did with Lakshman Joo in 1957:
In the introduction, Paul Reps wrote:
Zen is nothing new, neither is it anything old. Long before Buddha was born
the search was on in India, as the present work shows.
Long after man has forgotten such words as Zen and Buddha, satori and
koan, China and Japan and America - still the search will go on, still Zen
will be seen even in flower, and grass-blade, before the sun.
The following is adapted from the preface to the first version in English of
this ancient work.
Wandering in the ineffable beauty of Kashmir, above Srinagar I come upon
the hermitage of Lakshmanjoo.
It overlooks green rice fields, the garden, of Shalimar and Nishat Bagh, lakes
fringed with lotus. Water streams down from a mountaintop.
Here Lakshmanjoo - tall, full bodied, shining - welcomes me. He shares with
me this ancient teaching from the Vigyan Bhairava and Sochanda Tantra,
both written about four thousand years ago, and from Malini Vijaya Tantra,
probably another thousand years older yet. It is an ancient teaching, copied
and recopied countless times, and from it Lakshmanjoo has made the
beginning of an English version. I transcribe it eleven more times to get it
into the form given here.
Shiva first chanted it to his consort Devi in a language of love we have yet to
learn. It is about the Immanent experience. It presents 112 ways to open the
invisible door of consciousness. I see Lakshmanjoo gives his life to its
Some of the ways may appear redundant, yet each differs from any other.
Some may seem simple, yet any one requires constant dedication even to test
Machines, ledgers, dancers, athletes balance. Just as centering or balance
augments various skills, so it may awareness. As an experiment, try standing
equally on both feet; then imagine you are shifting your balance slightly
from foot to foot: just as balance centers, do you.
The translation reads in this way:
O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is tbis life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and
time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
[Devi, though already enlightened, has asked the foregoing questions so
others through the universe might receive Shiva’s instructions. Now follow
Shiva’s reply, giving the 112 ways.]
1. Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath
comes in (down) and just before turning up (out) — the beneficence.
2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to
down—through both these turns, realize.
3. Or, whenever inbreath and outbreath fuse, at this instant touch the
energyless energy-filled center.
4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and
stopped—in such universal pause, one's small self vanishes. This is difficult
only for the impure.
5. Consider your essence as light rays rising from center to center up the
vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you.
6. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.
7. Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness,
first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then,
leaving them aside, be free.
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