Chapter 3: Breath - A Bridge to the Universe
This one technique is enough for millions. The whole of Asia tried and lived with this technique for centuries. Tibet, China, Japan, Burma, Thailand, Ceylon - the whole of Asia except India has tried this technique. Only one technique and thousands and thousands have attained enlightenment through it. And this is only the first technique.
But unfortunately, because the technique became associated with Buddha’s name, Hindus have been trying to avoid it. Because it became more and more known as a Buddhist method, Hindus have completely forgotten it. And not only that, they have also tried to avoid it for another reason. Because this technique is the first technique mentioned by Shiva, many Buddhists have claimed that this book, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, is a Buddhist book, not a Hindu book.
It is neither Hindu nor Buddhist - a technique is just a technique. Buddha used it, but it was there already to be used. Buddha became a buddha, an enlightened one, because of the technique. The technique preceded Buddha; the technique was already there. Try it. It is one of the most simple techniques - simple compared to other techniques; I am not saying simple for you. Other techniques will be more difficult. That is why it is mentioned as the first technique.
The second technique - all these nine techniques are concerned with breath.
As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down - through both these turns, realize.
It is the same, but with a slight difference. The emphasis is now not on the gap, but on the turning. The outgoing and ingoing breath make a circle. Remember, these are not two parallel lines. We always think of them as two parallel lines - breath going in and breath going out. Do you think that these are two parallel lines? They are not. Breath going in is half the circle; breath going out is the other half of the circle.
So understand this: first, breathing in and out creates a circle. They are not parallel lines, because parallel lines never meet anywhere. Secondly, the breath coming in and the breath going out are not two breaths, they are one breath. The same breath which comes in, goes out, so it must have a turn inside. It must turn somewhere. There must be a point where the incoming breath becomes outgoing.
Why put such emphasis upon turning? Because, Shiva says,
As breath turns from down to up and again as breath curves from up to down, through both these turns, realize.
Very simple, but he says: realize the turns and you will realize the self.