Zero Principle





Laya is what Science may call the Zero-point or
line, the realm of absolute negativeness, or the one real
absolute Force, the NOUMENON of the Seventh State of that
which we ignorantly call and recognize as ‘Force’; or again
the Noumenon of Undifferentiated Cosmic Substance which is
itself an unreachable and unknowable object to finite
perception; the root and basis of all states of objectivity
and subjectivity too; the neutral axis, not one of the many
aspects, but its centre.
The Secret Doctrine, i 148

The arcane conception of laya and the modern notion of
a neutral axis are applications of what might be called the
zero principle. According to the Stanzas of Dzyan, the
formation of a cosmos proceeds through a primordial set of
seven laya centres, noumenal points in metaphysical space
that mediate between the unmanifest and the manifest. From
an ‘objective’ standpoint, a laya centre is a point of
rarefied matter wherein all differentiation has ceased.
Given the cosmogonic distinction between undifferentiated
matter and differentiated matter, theoretically there must
be a point at which differentiation commences and also a
point at which differentiation ceases. This is sometimes
called the zero point. Zero as a general concept originated
among the Hindus and was transmitted through the Arabs into
Europe in the fourth century. It is a natural accompaniment
of the decimal system, also an invention of Hindu thinkers,
since the one and the zero are metaphysical correlates of
each other.

Zero Principle

Bhairav Tantra

The meditations and practices of Tantra were born, legend
has it, out of a conversation between two lovers, Shiva and
his consort, Devi, some 5,000 years ago. Shiva and Devi,
entwined in a lover’s embrace, were discussing the mysteries
of the universe. Shiva, inspired by his lover’s intense
desire to know the meaning of existence, composed 112 sutras
that were designed to give her the direct experience of how
the universe came into being . . . a direct experience in
her body.

Devi Asks:

O Shiva, what is your reality?

What is this wonder-filled universe?

What constitutes seed?

Who centers the universal wheel?

What is this life beyond form pervading forms?

How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names
and descriptions?

Let my doubts be cleared!?

Shiva replies:

1. Radiant One, this experience may dawn between two
breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before
turning up (out) – the beneficence.

2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath
curves up to down – through both these turns, realize.

3. Or, whenever in-breath and out-breath fuse, at this
instant touch the energy-less, energy-filled center.

4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself,
or all in (down) and stopped – in such universal pause,
one’s small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the

5. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before
thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the
head and there shower as light.

6. When in worldly activities, keep attention between two
breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.

7. With intangible breath in center of forehead, as this
reaches the heart at the moment of sleep, have direction
over dreams and over death itself.

8. With utmost devotion, center on the two junctions of
breath and know the knower.

9. Lie down as dead. Enraged in wrath, stay so. Or stare
without moving an eyelash. Or suck something and become the

10. While being caressed, Sweet Princess, enter the
caress as everlasting life.

11. Stop the doors of the senses when feeling the
creeping of an ant. Then.

12. When on a bed or a seat, let yourself become
weightless, beyond mind.

13. Or, imagine the five coloured circles of the peacock
tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let
their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space
or on the wall – until the point dissolves. Then your wish
for another comes true.

14. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as
the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. In
such be transformed.

15. Closing the seven openings of the head with your
hands, a space between your eyes becomes all-inclusive.

16. Blessed One, as senses are absorbed in the heart,
reach the center of the lotus.

17. Unminding mind, keep in the middle – until.

18. Look lovingly at some object. Do not go to another
object. Here in the middle of the object – the blessing.

19. Without support for feet or hands, sit only on the
buttocks. Suddenly the centering.

20. In a moving vehicle, by rhythmically swaying,
experience. Or in a still vehicle, by letting yourself swing
in slowing invisible circles.

21. Pierce some part of you nectar filled form with a
pin, and gently enter the piercing and attain to the inner

22. Let attention be at a place where you are seeing some
past happening, and even your form, having lost its present
characteristics, is transformed.

23. Feel an object before you. Feel the absence of all
other objects but this one. Then leaving aside the
object-feeling And the absence-feeling, Realize

24. When a mood against someone or for someone arises, Do
not place it on the person in question, but remain

25. Just as you have the impulse to do something,

26. When some desire comes, consider it. Then, suddenly,
quit it.

27. Roam about until exhausted and then, dropping to the
ground, in this dropping be whole.

28. Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength
or of knowledge. At the instant of deprivation,

29. Devotion frees.

30. Eyes closed, See your inner being in detail. Thus see
your true nature.

31. Look upon a bowl without seeing the sides or the
material. In a few moments become aware.

32. See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an
ordinary object.

33. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond the
clouds, The serenity.

34. Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is
imparted. Eyes still, without blinking, at once, become
absolutely free.

35. At the edge of a deep well look steadily into its
depths until – the wondrousness.

36. Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your
sight from it, then slowly withdraw your thought from it.

37. Devi, imagine Sanskrit letters in these honey filled
foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as
sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them
aside, be free.

38. Bathe in the center of sound, as in the continuous
sound of a waterfall. Or, by putting the fingers in the
ears, Hear the sound of sounds.

39. Intone a sound, as AUM Slowly, As sound enters
soundfulness, So do you.

40. In the beginning and gradual refinement of the sound
of any letter, Awake.

41. While listening to stringed instruments, hear their
composite central sound; thus omnipresence.

42. Intone a sound audibly, then less and less audibly as
feeling deepens into this silent harmony.

43. With mouth slightly open, keep mind in the middle of
the tongue. Or, as breath comes silently in, feel the sound

44. Center on the sound ‘AUM’ Without any ‘A’ or ‘M’.

45. Silently intone a word ending in ‘AH’. Then in the
‘HH’, effortlessly, the spontaneity.

46. Stopping ears by pressing and the rectum by
contracting, Enter the sound.

47. Enter the sound of your name and, through this sound,
All sounds.

48. At the start of sexual union keep attentive on the
fire in the beginning, And so continuing, avoid the embers
in the end.

49. When in such embrace your senses are shaken as
leaves, enter this shaking.

50. Even remembering union, Without the embrace,

51. On joyously seeing a long-absent friend, permeate
this joy.

52. When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or
drink, and be filled.

53. O lotus eyed one, sweet of touch, when singing,
seeing, tasting, be aware you are and discover the

54. Wherever satisfaction is found, in whatever act,
Actualize this.

55. At the point of sleep, when the sleep has not yet
come and the external wakefulness vanishes, at this point
Being is revealed.

56. Illusions deceive, colors circumscribe, even
divisibles are indivisible.

57. In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.

58. This so-called universe appears as a juggling, A
picture show. To be happy, look upon it so.

59. O Beloved, put attention neither on pleasure nor on
pain, but between these.

60. Objects and desires exist in me as in others. So
accepting, let them be transformed.

61. As waves come with water and flames with fire, so the
Universal waves with us.

62. Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or
externally, at this very place, this.

63. When vividly aware through some particular sense,
keep in the awareness.

64. At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety,
above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at
the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be
uninterruptedly aware.

65. The purity of other teachings is an impurity to us.
In reality, know nothing as pure or impure.

66. Be the unsame same to friend as to stranger, in honor
and dishonor.

67. Here is the sphere of change, change, change. Through
change consume change.

68. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular
knowings, particular doings, in reality.

69. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative,
these words are only for those terrified with the universe.
This universe is a reflection of minds. As you see many suns
in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.

70. Consider your essence as light rays from center to
center up the vertebrae, and so rises “livingness” in

71. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.

72. Feel the cosmos as a translucent ever-living

73. In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly
clear, Enter such clarity.

74. Shakti, see all space as if already absorbed in your
own head in the brilliance.

75. Waking, sleeping, dreaming, know you as light.

76. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as
the form of forms.

77. When a moonless rainy night is not present, close
your eyes, see blackness. So, faults disappear forever.

78. Whenever your attention alights, at this very point,

79. Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes
up until the body burns to ashes but not you.

80. Meditate on the make believe world as burning to
ashes, and become being above human.

81. As, subjectively, letters flow into words and words
into sentences, and as, objectively, circles flow into
worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these
converging in our being.

82. Feel: my thought, I-ness, internal organs – me.

83. Before desire and before knowing, how can I say I am
Consider. Dissolve in the beauty.

84. Toss attachment for body aside, realizing I am
everywhere. One who is everywhere is joyous.

85. Thinking no thing will limited-self unlimit.

86. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception,
beyond grasping, beyond not being – you.

87. I am existing. This is mine. This is this. O,
beloved, even in such know illimitably.

88. Each thing is perceived through knowing. The self
shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as
knower and known.

89. Beloved, At this moment, let mind, knowing, breath,
form, be included.

90. Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between
them opens into the heart and there permeates the

91. Kind Devi, enter etheric presence pervading far above
and below your form.

92. Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above,
below and in your heart.

93. Consider any area of your present form as limitlessly

94. Feel your substance, bones, flesh, blood, saturated
with cosmic essence.

95. Feel the fine qualities of creativity permeating your
breasts and assuming delicate configurations.

96. Abide in some place endlessly spacious, clear of
trees, hills, habitations. Thence comes the end of mind

97. Consider the plenum to be your own body of bliss.

98. In any easy position, gradually pervade an area
between the armpits into great peace.

99. Feel yourself as pervading all directions, far,

100. The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same
for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The
former has one greatness: He remains in the subjective mood,
not lost in things.

101. Believe omniscient, omnipotent, pervading.

102. Imagine spirit simultaneously within and around you
until the entire universe spiritualizes.

103. With your entire consciousness in the very start of
desire, of knowing, know.

104. O Shakti, Each particular perception is limited,
disappearing in omnipotence.

105. In truth forms are inseparate. Inseparate are
omnipresent being and your own form. Realize each as made of
this consciousness.

106. Feel the consciousness of each person as your own
consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for your self,
become each being.

107. This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing
else exists.

108. This consciousness is the spirit of guidance of each
one. Be this one.

109. Suppose your passive form to be an empty room with
walls of skin – empty.

110. Gracious One, play. The universe is an empty shell
wherein your mind frolics infinitely.

111. Sweet heartened One, meditate on knowing and
not-knowing, existing and non-existing.

Then leave both aside that you may be.

112. Enter space, supportless, eternal, still.