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Bindu: The Final Convergence Point of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Excerpted from the approximately 40-page article: Bindu: The Final Convergence Point of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra (Includes 6 Exercises and several graphics)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2005
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      Excerpted from the approximately 40-page article:
      Bindu: The Final Convergence Point
      of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra
      (Includes 6 Exercises and several graphics)
      http://www.swamij.com/bindu.htm

      UNDERSTANDING THE END OF THE JOURNEY: Bindu means Point or Dot, and
      is often related to the principle of a Seed. This is not just a
      poetic choice of words or philosophy. There literally is a stage of
      meditation in which all experiences collapse, so to speak, into a
      point from which all experiences arose in the first place. The Bindu
      is near the end of the subtlest aspect of mind itself, after which
      one travels beyond or transcends the mind and its contents. It is
      near the end of time, space, and causation, and is the doorway to the
      Absolute. To understand this principle is extremely useful, if not
      essential to Advanced meditation.

      CONVERGENCE OF PRACTICES: Awareness of the nature of Bindu helps
      tremendously in seeing how all of the various practices are
      complementary, not contradictory, with each, in its own way, leading
      in the direction of the Bindu. The Bindu is the convergence point of
      Meditation, Contemplation, Prayer, and Mantra, and is part of the
      mystical, esoteric aspect of many, if not most religions and
      meditative traditions. The experience of Bindu is an actual,
      internally experienced reality, which is the convergence point of the
      highest principles and practices of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra.
      Seeking to experience and then transcend the Bindu serves as an
      organizing principle and focal point for all of those spiritual or
      yogic practices that are intended to lead one to direct experience.

      OTHER PRACTICES ARE SUPPORT FOR THIS CONVERGENCE: By understanding
      the convergence point (Bindu) of these practices (Yoga, Vedanta,
      Tantra), all of the other practices of Yoga and Meditation (Karma,
      Hatha, Bhakti, Jnana, Kundalini, Laya and Kriya Yogas) can be done in
      the context of their being support structures or preparation for the
      higher practices, experiences, and revelations.

      THIS SIMPLIFIES THE OTHER ARTICLES ON SWAMIJ.COM: By keeping in mind
      this highest perspective on the Bindu (the convergence point), all of
      the other articles on SwamiJ.com (as well as many other writings) can
      be understood more clearly. Each of those articles, in its own way,
      points in the direction of the Bindu. Otherwise, it can seem rather
      confusing at times. By remembering the focal point of Bindu, it is
      easier to explore the depth of all of the practices, while not
      getting lost along the way.

      THE GURU OR TEACHER WITHIN: This point of convergence works in
      conjunction with Guru Chakra (Jnana Chakra), which is the center for
      the shakti diksha (initiation) that opens the conduit to the teacher
      or guru within. While this is a universal process, it is also the
      channel used for the direct, internal transmissions of wisdom and
      experience given by the tradition of the Himalayan masters. Guru
      Chakra is also explained further below in this article.

      READING THE LAST PAGE FIRST: These teachings and trainings on this
      highest perspective are for those people who insist on reading the
      last page of a book first. Such people are not satisfied with
      incomplete representations of Yoga and Meditation, such as those
      limited to physical fitness, stress management, or medical treatment.
      They want to see the big picture of Beginning, Intermediate, and
      Advanced meditation with a clear vision of the path and the means of
      attaining the final goal. While delving into explanations of the
      depth of Advanced Yoga Meditation, the focus of this article is on
      the very practical and down to earth.

      SYMBOLS OF THE BINDU: The point of divergence and convergence is
      called Bindu, which means Point or Dot, and is also related to a
      Seed. The Sanskrit root of Bindu is to break through or to burst
      through. The symbol has been used in a variety of ways, including the
      following:

      DOT AS A SYMBOL: The Point or Dot has been widely used as a symbol
      for the way in which the unity or unmanifest coexists at all times
      and places with gross, external, or manifest world.

      CROSS: The Point or Dot has also been used as a symbol of unity
      emerging through four lines to form the appearance of two lines
      crossing. The journey inward is merging back into the point.

      YIN-YANG: The Dot shows two fundamental forces of static and active,
      with the seed of one permeating the other, manifesting as the
      symbolic 10,000 things, while ever remaining one.

      DOT AND CRESCENT: The Point and the Crescent is an ancient symbol of
      the unmanifest point and the manifest reality, later seen as a five
      pointed star and crescent.

      LIGHT AND A TUNNEL: People having near-death experiences may report
      seeing light at the end of a Tunnel. The Tunnel is the subtle channel
      called Brahma Nadi and the light emerges from Bindu.

      HUB OF A WHEEL: The ever still Hub of the Wheel symbolizes the Self
      (Atman) and the spokes are the Four Functions of Mind (Manas, Chitta,
      Ahamkara, Buddhi) engaging the outer world.

      OM MANTRA: The dot at the top of the OM symbolizes Turiya, the
      Absolute Reality, or Pure Consciousness. OM is suggested in both the
      Yoga Sutras and Vedanta.

      SRI YANTRA: The highest, most advanced symbol of Tantra has a Dot or
      Bindu in the center, which also symbolizes this point of divergence
      and convergence.

      MUSTARD SEED: The mustard seed has been widely used as a symbol of
      the smallest point, out of which the largest emerges, and to which
      that largest returns.


      BINDU AND THE MUSTARD SEED: Here are a few interesting examples of
      the mustard seed being used as a symbol of seeking experience of the
      smallest point, out of which the largest emerges, and to which that
      largest returns:

      "Atman [Self], residing in the lotus of the heart--is smaller than a
      grain of paddy, than a barley corn, than a mustard seed, than a grain
      of millet or than the kernel of a grain of millet. This, my Atman
      residing in the lotus of the heart is greater than the earth, greater
      than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds.
      (Chandogya Upanishad)

      "The one I call holy does not cling to pleasures, like water on a
      lotus leaf or a mustard seed on the point of a needle. (Dhammapada)

      "Seek first the kingdom..." (Matthew) "The kingdom of heaven is like
      a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it
      is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the
      largest..." (Matthew)

      "The gate of liberation is narrow, less than one-tenth of a mustard
      seed. The mind has become as big as an elephant; how can it pass
      through this gate? If one meets such a True Guru, by His Pleasure, He
      shows His Mercy. Then, the gate of liberation becomes wide open, and
      the soul easily passes through." (Guru Granth Sahib)


      THREE STREAMS: YOGA, VEDANTA, TANTRA:

      BINDU IS THE CONVERGENCE: While the Bindu, Mustard Seed, Dot or Point
      are widely used symbols, the focus here is on the convergence of
      Bindu in the three streams of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra. In
      particular, it focuses on the convergence point of the highest
      principles and practices of Raja Yoga as codified in the Yoga Sutras,
      Advaita Vedanta as summarized in the Mandukya Upanishad, and the
      highest Tantra, which is Samaya (Internal) Tantra and Sri Vidya.
      These are briefly outlined below, and then further described in the
      remainder of the article:

      YOGA: Meditation on OM Mantra is recommended in the Yoga Sutras (1.23-
      1.29) as a direct means of removing the obstacles to Self-Realization
      and to that Realization itself. As noted above, the Bindu at the top
      of the OM symbolizes Turiya, the Absolute Reality, Purusha or Pure
      Consciousness that is to be realized.

      VEDANTA: Contemplation on the four levels symbolized by OM Mantra is
      at the very heart of Vedanta practice leading to Self-Realization,
      the pinnacle of which is outlined in the Mandukya Upanishad. Here
      again, the Bindu at the top of the OM symbolizes Turiya, the Absolute
      Reality, Purusha or Pure Consciousness that is to be realized.

      TANTRA: Meditation in Tantra is on the convergence of all energies,
      with the highest of those inner practices being in Samaya Tantra and
      Sri Vidya, which is represented by the Sri Yantra. The Bindu at the
      center of the Sri Yantra symbolizes the final union of Shiva and
      Shakti (the static and active), the Absolute Reality that is to be
      realized.

      EACH STREAM LEADS TO THE CONVERGENCE CALLED BINDU: Each of these
      three streams of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra leads to the convergence
      point called Bindu. To the sages of the Himalayan tradition, these
      three streams converge to form the most direct route back to the
      Reality from which all of the streams have first emerged.


      CONSCIOUSLY, INTENTIONALLY REMEMBER THE BINDU: One of the most
      beautiful aspects of this focus on Bindu is that all people can do
      this, whether or not you have absolutely or finally decided on your
      own conceptions of the nature of yourself, your Self, the universe,
      God, Absolute or Truth, etc. If you already have your own concepts,
      you can use your awareness of the existence of Bindu as a guiding
      light. Or, if not, you can focus on the practices and processes that
      are leading towards the Bindu, and then allow your own direct
      experience of whatever is discovered beyond the Bindu to speak for
      itself. Both ways work quite well when remembering that the practices
      along the way all converge on the point called Bindu, which leads to
      That beyond.

      http://www.swamij.com/bindu.htm
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