Para Bhairava             परभैरव

Para Bhairava –   परभैरव, Supreme God Consciousness
Para means Supreme,  and Bhairava is the God Consciousness . He whose light of consciousness-joined with his ·power of activity (‘bhā’ + ai i.e. bhai) comprehends (ravayati) the entire universe is His Self”.

The word ‘Bhairava’ is composed of four letters- ‘bhā’ + ‘ai’ + ‘ra’ + ‘va’.  bhā’ + ‘ai’ by the rule of sandhi becomes bhai. This bhai together with ‘ra’, ‘va’ becomes bhairava. Each of these letters connotes certain important ideas. Bhā is a word by itself which means ‘light’ i.e. the light of consciousness in this context; ai according to Trika philosophy is symbolic of kriyāshakti (the power of activity); rava connotes ravayati which, in this context, means vimarshati i.e. comprehends. So according to this etymology Bhairava means “He whose light of consciousness-joined with his ·power of activity (‘bhā’ + ai i.e. bhai) comprehends (ravayati) the entire universe is His Self”.

In Parātrimshikā, Abhinavgupta gives another interpretation of Bhairava viz.,’  Bhairavo bharañātmakomahāmantraravātmakascha” (p.63).

i.e. ‘Bhairava is one who supports and protects the cosmos and (constantly) sounds the great mantra of ‘I’ (aham).  He offers intrepidity to those who are terrified by the cycle of trans migratory existence.

Each letter of Bhairava is symbolic of His three main activities; Bha is symbolic of bharaña or maintenance of the universe; ra is symbolic of ravaña or withdrawal of the universe; va is symbolic of vamana or projection of the universe.  The two adjectives of ‘Bhairava’ viz., sarvadah (bestower of all) and vyāpakah (all-pervasive) are also connected by implication with two letters of Bhairava, viz., ra and va; ra is symbolic of the root ra which means to give, to grant, to bestow. He is called sarvadah, because he bestows everything, ‘va’ is symbolic of va which means ‘to be diffused’ Bhairava is called vyāpakah because of the diffusion of His presence everywhere.

ॐ परभैरवाय नमः




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