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The Radiance Sutras

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  45 reviews
At once a beautiful love song and an encyclopedia of yogic techniques, the cherished text known as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra shimmers with new effulgence in Lorin Roche's The Radiance Sutras. Lorin brings us his unique perspective on each of 112 Sanskrit teachings, along with his one-of-a-kind guidance in how to meditate with, embody, and practice them—what he describes ...more
386 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Sounds True Inc (first published 2008)
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Tesa Silvestre
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This luminous book is one of my most treasured possessions. It's much more than a book. It's a collection of 112 rare and precious gems. Each sutra is a portal into presence, an invitation to experience all aspects of life more fully by connecting with your life force with all your senses. In Lorin Roche's words, the book is about "full body spirituality, being at home in the universe, and techniques for accepting every breath, sensual experience, and emotion as a doorway into deep and intimate ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While reading this book, I created the list "Books to Live in Your Bones" just so I could add it. There are passages throughout this book that brought me instantly and directly to the same state of mind that I had previously experienced after meditating in silence for days, or at rare moments that will stand out as labels for a particular state of consciousness to me for the rest of my life. I read this book aloud to myself to encounter what is being said when I hear myself saying it, for the fi ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit, love, favorites, tantra
I don’t know if I will ever be finished reading this book. Honestly. I could read just sutra 98 every day for the rest of my life.

I first heard the Vijnana Bhairava tantra read aloud by a woman I adore very much, a holder of the Kashmiri Shaivism lineage and it came alive for me in that very moment. I felt the words in my bones, in my blood, in my breath, these words are alive, they hold universes.

This translation is radiant indeed, luminous, effulgent, overflowing with light and the energy of
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am so excited to have found this book. It is not a book you read and put away. It is so profoundly powerful that opening one page, reading one sutra and meditating on it for minutes, days, hours.....years could be an entire practice. It is simply awe-inspiring. I am using it in my practice, and in my teaching everyday. I imagine the words will only become more and more poignant as they seep ever more deeply into my being.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reads beautifully like Rumi or Hafiz, with lots of great explanations and methods of practice in the last half. Will be looking to add this to my permanent library.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that I am going to return to again and again. If you are into any kind of meditation, this book has tons of exercises to play with and deepen your practice. It was a pure joy to read this book.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
closest thing to a bible I own
Kenneth Hughes
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Here comes my average joe viewpoint:
The Sutras have been life inspiring and changing for many people for one zillion years. And as all great historical feats there are many views of what they are or are not. I was not around the unknown 1000's of years ago when they presumably were created BUT I read this book and feel myself thinking I hear outrageous murmurings somewhere inside myself to dance, make profound love or just be a bit more where I am, because it's smarter or more important or beaut
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hard to say I am really "finished" reading this book as it's one I know I will pick back up again and again, as the translation is so magical, each sutra written in a way that lends itself to being spoken and heard.
Nicole Taylor
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When you bring these meditations into your life, you experience that there is no such thing as mundane. Every moment is imbued with spirit.
I absolutely love this text. The version I am currently reviewing is no longer in print. It'll be interesting to read the version my partner bought me for Christmas as a comparison- it's much newer and includes practices that follow the sutras. As a poet, this is the kind of text I feel I can bring into yoga classes once I begin teaching because it's a type of poetry that is accessible to everyone. I love Lorin's translation process and how he works with one word for MONTHS, writes 20-50 English ...more
I must admit that I had expected a bit more from the commentary, but, well, I had just read 3 different versions of the vijnana bhairava tantra, so maybe I was a bit desensitized. And I realized more and more that I am SO at the beginning of this path. The sutras themselves were absolutely magical. But I was looking for a very practical version (as I'm currently desparately looking for practicality in my life), so yes, I was biased, the translation wasn't practical. But that's not on the author, ...more
Ashley Sherburne
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stirring and gorgeous collection of yuktis that leave me feeling energized and at peace every time I open it up and read even one page. This book has had a profound impact on how I experience the world, and Roche interpreted and translated the Sutras exquisitely. It is obvious the time, energy, and personal experience he has had with each and every one. This book is a treasure and an absolute necessity for anyone on the non-dualistic tantric path, or any yogi who wants to dive deeper into the ...more
Shiva Somadev
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some people of course, will prefer the original translations of "Vijnana Bhairava" Tantra of the Trika school of Pratyabijna/ Kashmir Shaivism tradition - the teaching of 112 meditation techniques leading to highest states of consciousness given from Shiva to His inquiring consort Parvati (Shakti). However this new modern take on "Vijnana Bhairava" Tantra is simply sublime.

Lorin Roche created higly poetical version of a very important ancient text. I give this beautiful book five stars. Highly r
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book spoke to me on a deep deep level. If anyone knows anything about psychology/psychoanalysis, they know that words matter. Not only is the beginning a dialogue, which is essential for self development, but also the second half of the book is all words and their meanings. I could not put the book down, and cherish it very much. It will stay close to me at all times. Lorin Roche did an amazing job!
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary. This book is already worn out and I've only been reading it for about six months. It has a kind of magical quality to it and I swear new sutras show up all the time. Despite having read this book more than once I find new thoughts and lessons and magic on almost every page. Highly recommended!
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a book that I’ll never really be done reading...a sutra or two a night will probably be my pattern from here on out.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderful aide in meditation.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga, poetry
An adventure in consciousness. Perfect for anyone interested in meditation, yoga or bliss. I will be reading it over and over for years to come.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
Have read a few times, but set a random read date.
Nancy McQueen
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful lyrical poetry. Checked it out from the library, but hopefully soon, it will grace my bookshelves.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely magical
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The most incredible text to sit with one passage at a time and come back to again and again
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you love Rumi and love playing with Sanskrit you will love this book. Only read the English in class, but for sure will be adding the Sanskrit after more practice.
Claire Pickin
Beautiful interpretation of spiritual texts from the Tantric tradition. Very different from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Very poetic - wonderful to quote or for yoga teachers to read to a yoga class!
Niki Walters
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am obsessed with this book and I will be reading it again and again forever. It's real and hilarious and sensual. It's human and divine.
Heidi Mair
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and inspiring. I was lucky enough to attend Lorin's reading at East West Bookstore at the same time I was reading a sutra each day.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book, definitely one to treturn to over and over.
Todd Settimo
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is rare that I recommend a book so highly.

Many reviews of this book will tell you that this is not the original Vijnanabhairava. While this is true enough, it's not like the author is hiding anything from you. It's clearly stated up front when you read the introduction. I think of this volume as a companion to the original as translated by Jaideva Singh. When I compare the original sutra's translation against its counterpart in The Radiance Sutras I find them to be in complete harmony and, o
Christopher DeGraffenreid
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever wanted a book of inspiration for meditation practice, I cannot recommend the book, "The Radiance Sutras" by Lorin Roche more highly. This is not a book of meditation techniques, of which many quality books already exist, but instead a book of perspectives, in the form of poetic inspirations based upon the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra.

Like myself, you may not be a yogi, but instead someone who meditates within another tradition or no tradition at all, and in this case you won't, as I di
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“Be conscious of this unconscious prayer (of your breath), For She is the most holy place of pilgrimage. She wishes for you to enter this temple, Where each breath is adoration Of the infinite for the incarnate form.” 4 likes
“Let your attention glide           Through the centers of awareness along the spine                With adoring intent.           There is a song to each area of the body.           Resonating in sweet vortices,           Long rhythmic vowels and hums,           Ah . . . and . . . eee . . . ommmm . . . hummmm . . .           Resounding on and on.           Find the harmonies           Emanating from the circulation of life energies.           Listen to these as sounds,           Then more subtly, as an underlying hum.           Eventually as most subtle feeling.           Then diving more deeply,           Dissolve into freedom.” 1 likes
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