The First Yogi Part 3 - Conclusion
The previous blog explained how Parvati, wishing to illuminate the universe, asked her husband Shiva to explain to her how man could end his suffering. Shiva in response manifested the existence of the tantras by explaining to her 112 different yoga techniques. By mastery of just one of these techniques, one can reach a state of Bhairava. Shiva finishes by pointing out to Parvati that the ultimate truth (a state of supreme bliss/ultimate freedom/Bhairava) is beyond intellect and must be experienced to be known and understood.
After listening intensely to all 112 techniques, Parvati said;
"O great god, I am fully satisfied. Today, I have understood with certainty the quintessence of the Tantra and all the heart of Shakti"
Having said the above, Parvati was steeped in delight as all her doubts were resolved, but she wanted to experience Bhairava for herself. Parvati wished to breach the boundaries of existence and go beyond the physical creation. She wanted to experience the reality that Shiva himself was constantly immersed in. So she asked Shiva if she too could realise this higher dimension of life. Shiva smiled in response and reminded her that she is Adi Shakti the great goddess, all she needs to do to experience Bhairava, was to sit on his lap. Parvati then embraced Shiva "limb-to-limb". Both their physical bodies merged. Shiva accommodated his beloved in his own body and what was experienced was a perpetual state of ecstasy. It is believed culturally that the moment Parvati embraced Shiva, she became one with him. Just as there is no difference between fire and its power of burning, there was no difference now between Shiva and his spiritual energy Parvati.
There is another mythology that explains the union of Shiva and Parvati as one entity. Another woman, Ganga, chose to worship Shiva and no other. Once she decided to visit the abode of Shiva and offer her 'lord' her prayers and wishes. All the while Parvati was sat on Shiva's lap. The affection from Ganga made Parvati jealous and angry so she tried to free herself from Shiva's embrace. To pacify Parvati and to prove his eternal love for the glorious Parvati, Shiva didn't let her go and instead united with her becoming one being (Ardhanarishvara). Their souls became one and their bodies slowly disappeared.
So after delivering the knowledge of the tantras and once Parvati was satisfied with their content, Parvati asked that this information be passed all around the world. She longed for man to be free from endless suffering and idol worship. The knowledge of the tantras would then be passed to the holy men of that time who travelled the world sharing this tantric technology with whomever wanted to learn. But after many years of mis-use and ignorance, these masters and holy men hid themselves away in order to avoid all people during what they referred to as an age of ignorance.
Shiva however also wished to enlighten the world, so he once again shared his knowledge. Seeing as Shiva himself was too wild to be a scholar, he decided to teach the theory of the Vijnanbhairava Tantra to sage Durvasa. It is said through legend that once Shiva taught the tantras to Durvasa, "he disappeared into the ether". Shiva was never to be seen again.
The sage Durvasa made it his life's work to share the techniques of the Vijnanbhairava Tantras. He passed this knowledge on to his children, who passed it on to their children.
The tradition of Tantra still exists today. What has survived is a profound, short work considered one of the greatest jewels of the Śhaiva tradition.
The sage Durvasa
Related: The Sāmkhya Philosophy