Treasures: Do The 112 Techniques Lead To Zen?

Did Buddha use the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra?

Paul Reps in the foreword to his book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, writes, "... that the one hundred and twelve techniques of Vigyan Bhairava Tantra may well be the roots of Zen."
Do you agree with Paul Reps?

“There is a possibility. The one hundred and twelve techniques of Vigyan Bhairava Tantra are basically one technique in different combinations.

That one technique is witnessing.

In different situations use witnessing, and you have created a new technique. In all those one hundred and twelve techniques, that simple witnessing is used.
And there is a possibility that it may not be joined directly with Shiva′s book. Vigyan Bhairava Tantra is five thousand years old, and Gautam Buddha is only twenty-five centuries old. The gap between Shiva and Buddha is long - twenty-five centuries - and there seems to be no connecting link.

So it may not be that he has directly taken the technique of witnessing from Vigyan Bhairava Tantra. But whether he has taken it directly or not, there is a possibility that somehow, from somebody, he may have heard. He had moved with many masters before he became a buddha. Before he himself found the technique of witnessing, he had moved with many masters. Somewhere he may have heard mention of Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, but it does not seem to have a very direct connection, because he was still searching. In fact, it was not witnessing that he was practicing when he became a buddha.

The situation is just the reverse: he became a buddha first. Then he found, "My God! It is witnessing that has made me a buddha."

It was not that he was practicing witnessing, he had dropped everything. Tired of all kinds of yogas and mantras and tantras, one evening he simply dropped... He had renounced the kingdom, he had renounced everything. For six years he had been torturing himself with all kinds of methods.
That evening, he dropped all those methods, and under a tree which became known by his name, the bodhi tree, he slept silently.

And in the morning when he opened his eyes, the last star was disappearing. And as the star disappeared - a sudden silence all around, and he became a witness. He was not doing anything special, he was just lying down underneath the tree, resting, watching the disappearing star. And as the star disappeared there was nothing to watch - only watching remained. Suddenly he found, "Whoever I have been seeking, I am it."

So it was Buddha himself who discovered that witnessing had been his path without his awareness.
But since Buddha, witnessing, or the method of sakshin, became a specific method of Zen. 
Paul Reps′ guess has a possibility, but it cannot be proved historically. And according to me, Buddha was not practicing witnessing. He found witnessing after he found that he was a buddha. So certainly it has nothing to do with Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, but the method is the same.

Because the method is the same, in the mind of Paul Reps, a scholarly mind, the idea may have arisen easily that Buddha′s method, the Zen method, is connected with Vigyan Bhairava Tantra. But this connection seems to be only his guesswork. It has a possibility, but no validity.“ - Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh