This little book is the Bhairava Tantra, one of the early teachings on yoga and meditation. The name, loosely translated, means “The terror and joy of realizing oneness with the Soul.” I say it is little because it is only about three thousand words in the original Sanskrit, perhaps forty minutes of chanting. It is astonishing that in so few words it describes the essence of many of the world’s meditation techniques. I call it The Radiance Sutras because it is so luminous.
A tantra is not poetry, although it may sound that way in the original and in translation. A tantra is a manual of practices. This one is a book of meditation instructions, set as a conversation between lovers. The focus is on full body spirituality, being at home in the universe, and how to accept every breath, sensual experience, and emotion as a doorway into deep and intimate contact with the energies of life.
The text feels as though it was composed by a couple, a man and a woman who sang the verses to each other as they co-composed. They lived this teaching. The techniques that are described here occurred to them naturally, as an evolution of the questions they were asking of life, and their explorations of the body of love. As was the convention of the time, they frame the conversation as the Goddess and the God in them speaking. The conversation is about how to enter into the vibrant essence of the world with the dual balance of passion and detachment.
A translation of this tantra came into my hands about forty years ago, and I have worked with the methods every day since then. It has been a love affair, and I am blessed. One day I started to write a fresh version and it evolved into this book.