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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 | Posted by admin


AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MANTRA
SASTRA
D.K. SATSANGI

Mantra Sastra is one of the


Departments of Occult Science It has for its
objects all kinds ()I Siddhis or acquirements of
powers for securing the object aimed at by
means of securing the gods presiding them by
repeating such Mantras as are intendent for the
purpose with Me necessary ceremonies
attending thereto. The whole of lour Vedas
consist of nothing but Mantras, and as they
proceed from the Pranava (The word Aum), the
Pranava, consequently is the Adi or Mula
Mantra or the Mantra of all Mantras, and it is
acceptable to both the followers of Nigamas (the
Vedas) and Agamas (the Tantras) For this
reason no Mantra can become effective or
powerful without uttering the Pranava in the
Commencement of it.

For the acquirement of the successful study and


practice of this Sastra, the purity of body,
speech, and mind is the first condition attending
it; otherwise, they would lead to Black magic
and to its disastrous results: that is to utter
destruction of the soul or the higher Manas.
Strong will power and undaunted courage are
also the condition required for this purpose.

Though the Mantra and Yoga Sastra belong to


the Occult Science, yet the difference between
them is very great. The former is an objective
science and the latter is a subjective one. The
Mantra Sastra develops the powers by appealing
to the external objects, such as gods and
goddesses (the forces in nature), while the
Yogin develops them by self-culture or by
unifying or identifying himself with the
manifested universe as part and parcel of the
Isvara or the Creator. The Yogin by the virtue of

his.
The whole of four Vedas consist of nothing
but Mantras, and as they proceed from the
Pranava (The word Aum), the Pranava,
consequently is the Adi or Mule Mantra or
the Mantra of all Mantras; and it is
acceptable to both the followers of Nigamas
(the Vedas) and Agamas (the Tantras).
Culture, gets all the powers of the Siddhis
without effort while the Mantrika has to evoke
them by the Mantras and the ceremonies
attending them. It is impossible for a single
individual to master the information treated of
in 37,00,000 verses containing the original
writings on mantras and occultism, known as
the Agamas, besides several other works now
supposed to have been lost, for occultism is
treated in these writings in all.
SCRIPTURE, MANTRA AND SANSKRIT
Tito great scriptures of the world, particularly
the Sanskrit Vedas, are written iii languages that
have a strong connection between sound and

sense. In fact, the more we take language back


in time, the more it moves towards mantra,
ocripture, or the Word of God as the possible
origin, or at least prime inspiration behind
human speech. This reflects the ancient Hindu
or Vedic view iii which human language was
first envisioned by the seers in meditation from
their union with the cosmic sound and Divine
Mind. If we examine the beauty and subtlety of
language, it is easier to speak of the
development of human civilization as a
progressive fall, not as a positive development.
Mantra is a more developed usage of language
than poetry, where sounds take on and direct
spiritual energies, and the word becomes a
channel for the powers of consciousness. The
Sanskrit language, which is a language of
mantra, is hosed upon the right relationship
between sound and sense. The entire language is
poetic and spiritual in nature. It does not have to
be artificially worked on in become so. As such,
Sanskrit can provide a foundation for
reintegrating sound and sense and re-

establishing a spiritual language, a language of


truth consciousness in the world. Sanskrit best
preserves the ancient spiritual language (hat is
intimated in the unity of all ancient languages.
its phases, and a theoretical knowledge of them
presupposes a great deal of practical knowledge
in one of them at least.
The importance of sound has been most
excellently sung by a poet of the Rigveda,
hoary with antiquity and wisdom, when he said:
This literally means: All yaks are of four kinds:
so the Brahmanas learned in the Vedas (know),
three of which are latent, and the last is spoken.
This statement gave rise to the fourfold
classification explaining them to mean the Para,
Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari forms of
Vak.
Patanjali as a writer on grammar the grammar
of factitious speech. By saying factitious
speech he means the Vaikhari Vak, for we
believe that the other three forms of Vak form
the subject of occult sciences.

The Hindus believe in nine grammars: and they


leaving off the ninth grammar speak of the
hidden forms of speech. The first eight speak of
the three latent Vaks or forms of speech alluded
to above.
The laws which govern ordinary speech also
govern mantras, the latter being only speech
arranged according to certain modulations of
sound. Such being the case we shall now
enquire into the signification of word mantra.
Mantra has been derived from the root man to
think: and it has among several other ways, also
been explained to be so called on account of its
protecting the Upasaka, from all sorts of dangers
and difficulties. The word is also cognate with
Mamma meaning to think, and
The Mantra Sastra develops the powers by
appealing to the lit external objects, such as
gods and goddesses
(the forces in nature), while the Yogin*
develops them by self-culture or by unifying
or identifying himself with the

manifested universe as part and parcel of


the lsvara or the Creator.

described as one of the paths leading to


Brahman. Mantras are of the Vaikhari vak and
correspond to the Sthula plane of matter.
The origin of mantras and devatas is this.
Brahman which is known in the Mantrasastras
as Bindu, possesses a fora called Bija, but
known in the Vedantic writings as Sakti oi
Prakrati. Their united action is nada, of
Sabdabrahman or the Logos.
THE YOGA OF SOUND
One of the traditional paths of Yoga is
concerned with language, mantra, and the right
use of sound. It is, in fact, perhaps the oldest
and most central of the ogic paths as embodied
in the most ancient texts such as the Vedas,
which are priinarily mantric in nature. Perhaps
the most significant form of it in classical India

was called Shabda Brahma Mantra Yoga, the


mantra Yoga of the Divine Word, whose main
proponent was the great medieval Hindu writer,
Bliartrihari. This path began with the learning of
Sanskrit, including the writing of poetry, and
moved into the use of mantra and meditation. Its
basic proposition is that if we cannot integrate
our language we cannot integrate our thoughts.
It sees that the key to integrating the mind is
through integrating sound and sense in the
cosmic language of unity, where each thing
becomes a for the whole. However, almost all
paths of Yoga use mantra to some extent.
Mantra is linked with Nada or the sound current,
which is emphasized in Hindu classical music,
as well as meditation on the Divine Light, Jyoti.
Mantra is used to guide the breath, and is used
as an aid to Pranayama or breath-control.
Mantra itself is the main tool for clearing the
mind, as with chanting or the mental repetition
of mantras. As such, mantra is a very useful
psychological tool that has even been used to
treat mental disorders in Ayurvedic and Tibetan

medicine. Mantra appears in the Yoga of


devotion (Bhakti Yoga) as the name of the form
or aspect of the Divine that is worshiped (like
Rama, Krishna, and Shiva etc.) Mantra appears
in the Yoga of knowledge (Jnana Yoga) as
words of wisdom like OM, the manifest
Brahman, which leads us to the transcendent
or silence, the supreme Brahman. Little
difference of opinion among this class of
occultists as to the nature of the sounds by the
Mantras. One class thinks them to be
manifestations of the logos; others again
consider them as the manifestations of the Sakti,
and say that Sabdabrahman is the consciousness
in all things. This consciousness resides in man
in the Kundalini Nadi and is said to be the origin
of all the letters of the Alphabet.We have now
three kinds of creations. From Bindu we have in
order, Sadasiva Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma,
which are either so many different Logos or
different aspects of one and the same principle.
The other creation is from Sakti. Its first
manifestation is Mahat, which is either Sattvika,

Rajasa or Tamasa. These give rise to the three


kinds of Ahamkara. On the plane of AhamIcara
we have the ten deities known as Diks or
directions, Vayu, Asvins, the Fire, the Sun,
Pracets, Indra,Upendra, Mitra and the ten senses
and the Tanmatras. From the last we have the
five elements known to Indian philosophy. Each
one of them is thus symbolised. Prathvi, Ap
(Lotus flower), Tejas. All the letters of Sanskrit
Alphabet belonging to these tattvas follow the
symbol used for the particular class to which
they belong and these symbol the practice of the
Mantras.
The laws which govern ordinary speech also
govern mantras, the latter being only speech
arranged according to certain modulations of
sound.
From these elements the physical body of man
takes its origin, and in it the Kundalini force is
located. The three nadis known as Ida, pingala
and Susumna extend from the nose to a little
above the anus. It is described as coiled like a
serpent, and when awakened by the power of

Yoga, it becomes straightened, and shuts up the


passages to the three nadis mentioned above.
According to Indian writers, Sabda takes its
origin in the Kundalini, and it is the sound
which takes its rise from Kundalini that passes
the three stages Para, Pasyanti and Madhyama,
and at last comes out as the one which we all
hear and speak comprising the fifty letters of the
Sanskrit.

THE ENERGETICS OF SOUND


The sound of words affects us independently of
their meaning. Hence a true or spiritual
language must keep the sound and meaning of
words in harmony to maintain the right
vibration in the mind. This is the basis of
mantra.
The effect of a word or statement may vary by
its sound quality, even though the meaning may

be the same. The English word peace and the


Sanskrit word shanti have the same meaning.
But if we repeat them, we find that shanti has a
more peaceful effect upon the mind. The sh
sound is peaceful, quieting and balancing. The
word peace, however, has a harsher p
sound. Its connotation is more like someone
asking for peace when being attacked, whereas
shanti vibrates with the essence and enduring
quality of tranquility. Sound thus creates
meaning, and the energy of sound underlies our
language, either supporting its conventional
meanings or detracting from them. If the sound
does not support the meaning of a word, our
mind becomes confused and our perception
becomes dulled, just as when an object is
presented in a package which is not appropriate
to it. Alphabet. It has been briefly said that the
world of Sabda takes its origin from sounds. In
other words, it means that a name or sound
expressed to denote a particular object is
identified with the object itself. This idea will
no doubt appear very curious to those of us who

have been used to the modern way of thinking,


but is pre- eminently an Indian idea. This last
_statement has been explained by Kayyata to
mean that. It is generally said that the Kundalini
has fifty letters. This means a great many things.
It has been explained in the Mantrasastra that all
the fifty letters take their rise in their para form
of course, from the Kundalini, and that the force
latent in it becomes manifested in the forms of
sounds which to the ancient Indian grammarians
comprise the fifty letters of the Sanskrit
Alphabet. When first any attempt is made to
utter any sound, the sound of Pranava or Om is
heard in the heart. It is in fact the very first
sound that one is said to hear when he attempts
to speak out any word: and in the case of any
single sound (Ekaksara) as for instance, the very
first sound you would make, or one hears,
before you pronounce the letter or sound, is the
Pranava: and you hear this sound so long as one
has life or Prana. Of course, we cannot
ordinarily hear the sound of Pranava unless we
are trained in Yoga. Proceeding from this

analogy, they inferred, or knew that this sound


can be heard everywhere for, as I said before,
any sound that is intended to be produced is
always preceded by the sound of Pranava. We
thus see the reasons why the ancients said that
Pranava was the first of all sounds, and
therefore, of all mantras; how it was held to be
universal, and how on the physical plain it came
to mean prana.
We thus see the reasons why the ancients said
that Pranava was the first of all sounds, and
therefore, of all mantras; how it was held to
be universal, and how on the physical Plane it
came to mean prana.

We thus see the reasons why the ancients said


that Pranava was the first of all sounds, and We
thus see the reasons why the ancients said that
Pranava was the first of all sounds, and
therefore, of all mantras, how 11 was held to be
universal, and how on the physical plane it came

to mean prana. Therefore, of all mantras; how it


was held to be universal, and how on the
physical plane it came to mean prana. It also
means Brahman, being co-existent with it in
being universal and being -thus the first of all
sounds every sounds or mantra was considered
its manifestation. We shall now proceed to
consider the origin of mantras. I have already
said that sound comes from the Kundalini
through the Nadis, and the mouth. Those Nadis
are hollow and terminate a little below the
navel, and through them the ten kinds of air
known as Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana,
Samana, Krkara, Devadatta, dhanamjaya, Naga
and Kurma, take their rise.
OM
The mantra OM can be defined in various
ways- whole philosophical books have been
written about it- but it can also be used without
knowing its meaning. The sound conveys and
connotes these meanings to the subconscious
mind and gradually makes us aware of them.

Chant OM for several minutes, with attention


and sensitivity, and observe its effect. It will be
cleaning, opening, and calming, and will direct
the mind towards meditation, whether one is
promoting these thoughts or not. Chant OM
Shane for a period of time, and then chant
Peace Amen for a similar period. Though the
defined meanings of these phrases are similar,
you will see that OM Shanti has a more
spiritualizing effect. It brings more peace and
makes us feel more balanced. This is simply
owing to the more harmonious connection of
sound and sense in the words. Of course, if we
are attached to the outer forms of words- for
example, if we are a fundamentalist Christianwe may not be able to benefit from the
vibrations of OM Shanti because will colour it
with our opinions rather than perceive its
objective energetic quality:. The sound proceeds
from Kundalini to one of the nadis, (he
particular nadi being determined by the letter
intended to be produced. Thus letters presided
over respectively by the Moon, the Sun and

Agni; in other words there exists an intimate,


and to us inexplicable, relation between these
deities, and the nadis, the former influencing the
latter It is on this account that the sounds
coming from Ida are known in Sanskrit
grammar a Saumaya (literally related to Moon)
and those from Susumna as Usman meaning hot
or fiery. The saumays are also so called, because
they do not require much effort in pronouncing
them as they pass straight through the Ida nadi.
The letters Ka to Ma have sprung up from them.
Thus, letters Ka to Ma are called Pranins (lifeprinciple). They are symbols of the twenty-five
tattvas, the last letter Ma symbolising the
twenty-fifth principle the Jivatman, or
Paramatman according to view we take The
third series extending from Ya to Ksa, and
corning through the Susumna are called
Vyapakas, from their being extended, or
composed of the other two very important part
in the composition of mantras, for their insertion
is entirely dependent on the result we may wish
to obtain. To summarise then, the sound in its

passage from the Kundalini to the end of the


nadis is the stage of para: that of its passage
through the nadis is its pasyanti stage: from the
end of the nadis to the throat it is in its
madhyama stage, while that which passes from
the throat to the mouth is its vaikhari stage. The
sounds or letters on the physical plane are
divided into those of Prithvi, Ap, Tejas, Vayu
and Akasa.
Thus:
Vayu : ka, kha, ga, gha, na, a, a, r, ha, sa, ya.
Agni : ca, cha, ja, jha, na, I, I, ri, ksa, ra.

Prithvi ta, the, da, dha, na, u, u, 1, sa, va, la. Ap :


ta, tha, da, dha, na, e,An identity (tadatmya)
exists between a word and the object it signifies.
The Kundalini has fifty letters. This means a
great many things. AEI ai, li, sa. Akasa : pa,
pha, ba, bha, ma, o, au, am, ah. Mantras being a
combination of sound to suit a purpose, they

may be either or one syllable or a thousand


syllables. The latter being its maximum limit,
mantras of one, two and three syllables are,
strictly speaking, arrangement of sound
scientifically blended together to produce a
result, and are consequently very potent: these
and the four syllabled mantras do not generally
admit of any analysis whatever, as in the case of
those of five syllables and more, for the reason
that they are generally composed of the least
number of Bijas, and have no room for the
insertion of the name of the devata as in the case
of the many-worded ones: and the only way we
can.
IMENNI THE EFFECT OF MANTRA
If we repeat a mantra, or do various forms of
chanting, a more refined vibration develops and
becomes the background pattern of the mind. If
we continually return our attention to a mantra
each time our mind falls into a state of

distraction or confusion, we will gradually gain


control over our subconscious thought patterns.
Through mantra we have a tool for redirecting
the energy of the mind inward. From this it is
easier to access silence or clarity. Mantra can
even help us break up deep-seated mental and
emotional patterns and conditioning, as from
childhood, or various traumas we may have had
in life. This is because it takes the energy of
sound that is at the root of the mind and uses it
to create a harmonious vibration through which
negative thoughts and feelings, which have an
inharmonious vibration, come to be dissolved.
The spiritual life usually has two stages: 1) To
develop sattva or purity of mind, and 2) To still
the mind, which is also to go beyond it.
Geneally, we cannot do the second if we have
not done the first. Many problems in spiritual
practices, like Kundalini or meditational
disorders, arise from trying to do the second
step when the first has not been completed (or
perhaps not even been attempted). For the direct
perception of truth the mind must be still: for

this mantra. particularly if wrongly used, can


become an impediment, and can be inferior to
thinness types of meditation (like Self-inquiry).
However, if we are not able to still the mind
directly- which is very difficult to do and even
more difficult to sustain- we can still benefit
from using a mantra. Mantra is like the mother
who delivers us over the thought-free meditation
(which is the father) when we are ready. To go
beyond thought, the best way is to first
concentrate on one thought to the exclusion of
all others. For this, mantra is perhaps the most
practical tool. In this regard mantra works on
the level of Pratyahara, or withdrawal of the
mind from distraction, and aids in the
development of true attention, Dharana. so that
meditation, or Dhyana, can proceed without
obstruction, find out the devata is by a careful
examination of the Bijas employed. Those of
five syllables or more, are divisible into (1) the
Pranava, (2) the Bija showing the object of the
mantra, and (3) the name of the deity. Not all
the mantras begin with Pranava, but those that

begin with it are considered more sacred to a


deity than those which do not begin with it. The
reason is plain enough, being that the mere
presence of Pranava, which mother accelerate
mantra. Mantra and the Chakras The subtle
body, wherein the various chakras are placed, is
itself composed of sound. To each of the
chakras corresponds a particular seed-syllable or
bija-mantra. In addition, to each petal of the
chakras corresponds one of the letters of the
Sanskrit alphabet. Chakra Mantra Element
Sense Motor Organ Organ Root LAM Earth
Nose Repro-Center ductive Sex VAM Water
Tongue Eli mi Center nation Naval RAM Fire
Eyes Feet Center Heart YAM Air Skin Hand
Center Throat HAM Ether Ears Vocal Center
Organ It is on this account that the sounds
coming from Ida are known in Sanskrit
grammar a Saumaya (literally related to Moon)
and those from 1Susumna asiUsman meaning
hot or fiery. (Note in these mantras the a-vowel
is pronounced closed as the vowel sound in the
English word the) The seed-syllables for the

chakras have many practical usages. Generally


speaking, they serve to stimulate their respective
chakra and increase the element with which it
corresponds. For example, if we have a low fire
energy- which physically manifests as low
appetite, poor digestion, and weak circulation,
and psychologically appears as lack of will,
poor perception-chanting the mantra RAM will
help counter these problems, particularly if we
focus its energy in the navel chakra. On the
other hand, if the root a chakra is weak and we
are ungrounded- with low vitality, depression,
and weak or vulnerable sexual energy-repeating
the mantra LAM will help counter this
condition. Again, this usage of mantra is mantra
HAM and note that the throat chakra, the lungs
and the capacity for speaking will increase.
Chant the mantra KSHAM and see for yourself
that it calms the mind. The petals of the chakras
correspond to the letters of the Sanskrit
alphabet, which themselves are bija-mantras,
starting with the throat chakra and going
through the alphabet in its traditional order

through the chakras down to the base of the


spine. By repeating the Sanskrit alphabet
through these petals the energy of speech is
brought down from the throat to the base of the
spine.

The Four Levels of Speech To understand this


chakra system and the nature of speech in
general, we must understand the different levels
of speech. Speech has four levels, which are the
four different states of the Goddess or Divine
Word, which has a feminine nature according to
the yogic tradition. Vaikhari Audible Speech
Madhya= Thought Pashyanti Illumined Speech
Throat Waking State Dream Deep Sleep
I-Ieart Naval
Para Transcendent Root Samadhi Centre
Vaikhari refers to the coarse or literal level of
speech. It is the word as spoken with the vocal
organs of the physical body. Most of the time

our minds stay on this level of audible speech


and the conventional meanings of words. This is
the level -of speech as related to sensation,
where we hear only that which relates to
physical reality.
We only enter into Madhyarna, which literally
means the middle level of speech, when we
think deeply about something, when we ponder
or wonder about things. Most artistic thinking
comes from this level, which reveals the pure
forms of things, and thus has a creative force.
Here the astral form of speech comes forth as in
poetry, art, or vivid dreams. Pashyanti is the
illumined Word which occurs when we perceive
the underlying cosmic truth or archetype behind
things. Its nature is light or revelation as it
shows the seed forces at work in the universe.
This is the casual level of speech, where the
thought forms of the cosmic mind underlying
creation are revealed. To reach this level only
occurs through deep meditation or as an act of
grace. This is the realm of the logos or the Word

through which the universe comes into being.


Para is the level of pure silence wherein
meaning is so full and complete that it cannot be
broken down into words. This is the level of
pure consciousness, the Divine Word of silence,
of I am all. This is the realm of the absolute.
For spiritual realization to occur, the power of
speec must be first brought down to the base of
the spine, or root chakra, to allow the energy of
consciousness to ascent upward in the form of
Kundalini, which itself is the. liberated soun
current. Before we can ascend, we must first
descend. To bring the power of speech in and
down is the work of the Yoga of sound, whether
as music, nada(vibration), or mantra. To bring
speech downward in the body, the breath must
also be brought down. In Vaikhari we breathe
through the throat, in Madhyama, through the
heart or chest, in Pashyanti, through the navel.
In Para the breath merges into the Sushumna, or
base of the spine. Similarly, to bring speech
downward in the body, our consciousness must
turn inward. It must be withdrawn from the

sensory centers in the head and allowed to sink


deep within our being until it reaches the root of
our being at the base of the spine. Chanting the
letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, starting with the
throat chakra and going down to the base of the
spine petal by petal chakra by chakra, is one
way to do this. Then using the bija-mantras for
the chakras the energy can be brought up the
spine. Or mantras like OM or SOHAM, which
relate to the true Self, can be used for this
purpose. Hence we see that mantra is part of an
entire science of consciousness. It is not a form
of mystification or self-hypnosis, but a practical
tool for redirecting our mental energy toward a
higher awareness. For the development of a
higher intelligence in humanity, the restoration
and clear explanation of this mantric science is
essential. The objects of the Mantras are various
(1) Subjection (vasya), (2) attraction (akarsana),
(3) fascination (rnohana), (4) deadening the
faculties (stambhana), (5) creating enmity
(vidvesana), (6) death (marana), (7) ruining
(uccatana), (8) soothing (apyayana); and the

Bijaic terminations show the object of Mantras.


In case of Vasya, uccatana and akarsana, the
termination hum should be used; phat for
marana; namah for stambhana, vidvesana and
mohana; vausat for apyayana.
This rule should be observed by a beginner, but
when once he masters a mantra, this act being
known as Mantra-siddhi, he masters willpower also, and can then use any termination for
fulfilling any object. But immediate results will
follow if he also pays attention to the above
rule. This leads us to think that on the efficacy
the will power is necessary, but there is a sort of
efficacy in the sounds themselves uttered during
the repetition of a mantra. Mantras are either
masculine, femminine, or neuter according to
the nature of the devata addressed to, and of
actions. Those addressed to a female deity are
also called vidyas. The eight purposes above
mentioned may be thus classified according to
the nature of the devata addressed. Those that
terminate with the endings hum and phat are

male mantras; but there is a class of Indian


occultists who consider every mantra as
masculine. Those ending with svaha and vausat
are femminine mantras again are included all
such mantras of one syllable, but consisting of
more than one letter as kma, khma, kra, etc. One
of the advantages of this classification is that
these mantras may be best practised by persons
enjoying different periods of life; for it is laid
down almost as a rule that the feminine mantras
should be practised before 16 years of age and
the rest above that age.
The excellence of the Sanskrit Alphabet will be
apparent when we consider that one had all the
occult laws above hinted at, can be observed
only in connection with it, and none else; and
also that the knowledge of occult dynamics
which the ancients possessed, enabled Sanskrit,
meaning well, done or well-arranged; in short
a perfect Alphabet. The number of mantras
existing in the Sanskrit language is generally
stated in occult writings as seven crores. This

gives us only a rough idea, but the exact number


is 67,108,863. Every mantra of any number of
syllables must fall under one of the 26 kinds of
Chandas.These denote the 26 ways in which
different sounds can be arranged, taken one at a
time, two at a time, and so on, the total number
of ways in which they can be so arranged being,
as we know from algebra, 226 -1 or 67,108,863
mantras are also divided into those of Agni and
Soma and is called a Saumya mantra; and so on.
The Usage of Mantra Mantras are ot two basic
types. First are extended mantras which consist
of various words or phrases like OM Shanti,
Shanti, Shanti, or OM Peace Peace Peace.
Second are seed-syllables or bija-mantras which
usually consist of only one syllable, like OM or
HUM, that has no specific meaning as a word.
Of the two, bija-mantras are considered to be
more-powerful as they have a more
concentrated energy. They are also simpler to
learn. The easiest way to practice mantra is to
use a bija-mantra. Some of these, like OM, are

universal and can be done by anyone at any


time. Others require special initiations. To
practice these bija-mantras, first we should
repeat the sound of the mantra audibly for a few
minutes, drawing out the sound and directing it
inward and downward to the base of the spine.
Then we should mutter the sound softly,
_directing it into the mind, while increasing the
rate of repitition. Finally we should repeat the
mantra in the mind alone, letting it become
integrated with our thought process. Once the
vibration of the mantra has entered into the
mind it will continue to develop of its own
accord. We should then try to listen to the
mantra and perceive its action as its energy
works within us. In this regard, the repetition of
the mantra is not done by personal effort, but by
connecting with the energy (shakti) of the
mantra and letting it do the work by the
momentum of its flow. Once we connect with
the power of the mantra, then the vibration of
our own mind becomes linked with that of the

cosmic mind, which itself has a mantric nature.


Through the power of our own consciousness.
Then the mantra will gradually dissolve as our
minds become dissolved in the oneness.
However, for mantras to be really effective they
must be repeated thousands of times. Their
magic is not in merely saying them once but in
the consistency with which they are done. To
begin to experience the effects of a mantra we
should repeat it at least half an hour a day for a
month, preferably as preliminary to a meditation
practice. Mantras are like rain drops. While they
can soak the ground (in this case our minds), it
takes more than a few drops to do so. A good
rule is that if we dont do mantra and meditation
at least as much as we watch television we are
unlikely to experience their main benefits Below
is an examination of the most important bijamantras, of which there are many in the Sanskrit
language.
OM

Most mantras begin and end with OM, which is


the most general and significant of all mantras.
OM is the sound of the Divine, the infinite and
the eternal, the voice of the cosmic guru, and the
natural vibration of consciousness itself, the
inner Self or Atman. The letter A is pronounced
in the back of the throat, U with the lips, and M
by closing the mouth and drawing the vowel
sound into the nasal region. Hence in OM we
pronounce all sounds. OM is the sound of ascent
and has an upward movement, uplifting the
mind. It is also the sound of assent. It affirms
everything and allows us to be in peace and
harmony with what is. OM clears and
energizes the mind for any mantra which
follows it. In itself it creates space, light, and
clarity, and eliminates all conditioned patterns
and limited aims from the mind. OM is all
vowels and all colors, though primarily white.
AIM
AIM (pronounced aym) is the mantra of
Sarasvati, the Goddess of wisdom. It is

the mantra of the guru or spiritual teacher, and


serves to connect us with divine sources of
guidance. It directs the being of the infinite (the
letter A) along the lines of the aim of the mind
(the letter I). AIM is the mantra of intelligence
that promotes concentration, study, thinking,
and learning. It is cooling, calming, and
collecting in its effect on the mind. While the
mantra OM is better to repeat for silencing the
mind, AIM is better to use when mental activity
is required. The combination of these mantras,
OM AIM, first clears the mind with OM and
then focuses it with AIM. This is a good basis
for using other mantras.

HUM
Hurn (pronounced like whom) is a fire (Agni)
mantra Through it the inner flame of our
awareness and aspiration is enkindled. HUM is
a mantra of Shiva, the destructive aspect of the
divine trinity. It is mantra of divine wrath,

purification, and transformation. Hence HUM


.can be used for warding off negative psychic
influences, including disturbed thoughts and
emotions. HUM frees us from external attempts
to manipulate us and can be used to clear the
psychic environment around us. It is. heating in
nature and dark blue in color, the color of the
hottest part of the flame. In the Sufi tradition the
sound HU is the prime mantra, having a place
like OM in the Hindu tradition. In Tibetan
Buddhism HUM is also important as the mantra
of the heart and enlightened mind.

RAM
RAM (pronounced with the a-vowel long as in
father) is the mantra of the avatar RAMA, the
divine warrior and hero, the great incarnation of
Vishnu who destroys the demons (forces of
ignorance) and liberates our soul (symbolized
by his wife Sit a) imprisoned under the negative
influence of the external world. The mantra

RAM gives strength, refuge, and peace. It is


used to give protection in situations of difficulty
and to help the weak, the young, the frightened,
or the unfortunate. It is very good for countering
mental and nervous system disorders and for
strengthening the heart. It delivers us into the
divine light. Hence like OM it is said to be the
savior or deliverer. It has a golden color and a
warm but gentle energy.

MA
MA is the first natural utterance of children. It is
the sound of the mother and hence used for the
worship of the Divine Mother or Goddess
(Devi). The mantra MA gives love, care,
receptivity, and understanding. It is cooling,
soothing, and softening. It melts the ego into the
heart.
SHRIM

SHRIM (pronounced Shreem) consists of the


syllable Sha(Shanti or Peace) and Ri(light and
order). It gives beauty, luminosity, fertility, joy,
and creativity. Hence it is the mantra of
Lakshmi, the goddess of love, who gives us all
the good things of life. SPRIM is the mantra of
the Divine Mother as the ruler of the universe. It
has a lunar character, a white colour. It gives
light but does not overheat us. SHRIM can be
used for increasing spiritual or material
abundance and prosperity in life. It is a mantra
which grants the fulfilment of all the true desires
of the heart.

HRIM
HRIM (pronounced Hreem) is the main mantra
of the Goddess and is very important in the
Tantric worship of Her. More specifically it
relates to Shivas consort, Parvati or Uma,
particularly in her form as the goddess of beauty
and bliss, Tripurasundari. The mantra HRIM

gives joy, ecstasy, and happiness. It also


promotes modesty, purity, and shame (hri), as
these are the basis for joy, the humility
necessary for our exaltation. It is golden in color
and gives light and warmth.
KRIM
KRIM (pronounced Kreem) is a mantra of Kali,
the goddess of power. It is the mantra of work
(karma) and gives the capacity for dedicated
action, service, and sacrifice It serves to draw
the mind towards the Divine and aids in the
breaking up of the ego and the cutting through
of illusions and attachments. It catalyzes the
work of the transformation of consiousness.
KLIM
KLIM (pronounced Kleem) is a mantra for
Krishna, Vishnus avatar form as the incarnation
of bliss, beauty, and delight The mantra KLIM
gives joy and connects us to the source of
Divine love. It gives us mastery of time (Kala)
and transcendence of desire.

SOHAM
Sound and breath go together. The breath is the
basic sound-current behind the mind. SOHAM
is the natural mantra of the breath. SO is the
sound of inhalation; HAM (pronounced with the
a-vowel as in our word the) is the sound of
exhalation. The root of sa in Sanskrit means
to hold, to have power, to be or exist, Sa is
truth, reality, being, and eternity. The root ha
means to leave, abandon, or relinquish. Ham
is the bija-mantra for ether and the sound of
Prana, the life-force or breath. SO is shakti or
the cosmic feminine principle; HAM is Shiva,
the cosmic masculine principle. SOHAM
literally means He am I, referring to the unity
of our true Self with the Divine Person, which is
the secret message of the life current. Repeating
SOHAM mentally along with natural breathing
allows the breath to deepen and turns breathing
into a tool of meditation and Self-inquiry. Some

yogis have realized their true nature through


SOHAM alone.

Occult Correspondences
One of the most secret correspondences existing
between the mantras on the Vaikhari Vak or the
Sthula plane of matter, and the higher planes is
Bijas, which I have partly hinted at in the
preceding Section The central idea involved in
the working of the mantras is that certain sounds
when uttered produce a disturbance in the Akasa
which is, in its turn communicated, according to
the severity of such a disturbance. This
phenomenon cannot be judged from the known
laws of physics, as that science has rarely
meddled with the higher The central idea
involved in the working of the mantras is that
certain sounds when uttered produce a
disturbance in the Akasa which is, in its turn
communicated, according to the severity of such
a disturbance. planes of matter. All that we can,

therefore, say is that there exists some relation


between sounds, and the disturbance in the
Akasa, and that certain kinds of sounds produce
certain kinds of disturbance. These sounds are
known in Sanskrit by the name of Bijaksaras,
the latent forces in the letters being .known as
Bijas. All the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet are
also Bijaksaras, and as everything in nature can
be judged from the three standpoints of Visnu,
Siva and Sakti, we have also three different sets
of meanings, accordingly as they are either
Vaisnava, Saiva and Sakta. Thus there are three
ways of interpreting a mantra, composed as it is
of various Bijaksaras, and accordingly as it
belongs to either Visnu, Siva or Sakti. As
regards the question of relation of mantra, to the
force it symbolises, no clear words can be found
in the Mantrasastras. Such explanations as and
when literally translated mean the devata is of
two forms, viz., that of a mantra, and that of the
Suksma Sarira, occur, but they do not in any
way enlighten us. There seems to be a good deal
of mystery cast on this question by the Agamas,

but judging from their context in the


Mantrasastra and from Sankaracharyas words
in his famous Commenteries on the Brahma
Sutra (1.3.33) this may be concluded that a
devata has the power of assuming any lbrm.

Purascarana
Purascarana as applied to the Practice of
mantras means that act or a series of acts which
should be performed as soon as one is initiated
They are Japa, homa, tarpana, marjana and
Brahmanas These are called the five angas to
the practice of mantra. Before one begins to
practice it, it is absolutely necessary that he
should find out whether he will in any way be
benefitted. In other words, whether his Karma is
such as to prevent his being benefitted at all by
the practice of a mantra in that birth in which he
wishes to obtain the result in view. For purposes
of finding out whether Karma allows one to be
benefited by the practice of a mantra, recourse

should be had to Astrology. From which it


should be found out whether at the particular
period in which work is commenced or during
his life-time he may have control over the
mantra in question. If it is found out from his
horoscope that he would control it, he may set
himself to work, but not, if otherwise. He then
finds out what sort of relation exists between
himself and the devata as judged by the
constellation under which he was born, and the
elements surrounding him, and thereby the
powers presiding over those elements. The next
thing to be done is the selection of a good day
for the purpose, but before this comes the
initiation into the mantra itself by a competent
Guru, who should have a complete control over
the devata of the mantra, which is known in
Mantrasastras as Mantrasidhi.

It is now the turn of the disciple to practice the


mantra. Special months are selected for the
purpose. The month of Vaisakha (May-June) is

very favourable, to the production of early


results, so also are Asvina and Kartika months
(October-November and November-December);
of a more doubtful nature are those of Phalguna
(March-April), Maragasira (December-January),
Jyestha (June); less beneficial still are Asadha
(July), Sravana (August-September),and Magha
(February); while the remaining months should
always be avoided. The full-moon day, the
second, fifth to seventh, the tenth, the twelfth,
and the thirteenth days are good ones.The Moon
being more connected with these matters, any
mantra practised during these days in that half
of waxing Moon will be productive of worldly
comforts; but if on the corresponding day of the
waning Moon, it will be more productive of
spiritual bliss.

One should fast the day previous to the day of


practice, probably to enable him to concentrate
his attention better on the mantra. On the day
fixed, he should resolve within himself not to

leave the place or village in which he is put up,


until the practice is over, as also to avoid sexual
intercourse, oil bath, studying other subjects,
vain talk, mid-day meal, etc., abstinence from
all of which tend to improve the physical part of
the person, and to enable him to concentrate his
attention better. Until this practice is over, he
should rise early in the mornings and perform
all the duties involved upon him. The next thing
to be done is the ordinary puja or worship.

The number of times a mantra should be


repeated is regulated as regards each. The best
way is by counting the fingers, although beads
are also recommended, but not quite necessary.
Out of the number to each of the following:
homa (offerings), tarpana, marjana, bathing and
food to Brahmanas. This last, and in fact all the
essentials, are necessary only in the case of the
more powerful mantras, but not for the lesser
ones, such as the inferior devatas. As for the
substances required for homa, palasa flower

(Butea frondosa) is necessary, if the object is to


obtain knowledge, if for Brahmatejas, or
increasing his aura, Asvattha branches; if for
increase of age, darbha (the common grass); if
anxious of sovereignty, cooked rice and ghee
exclusively; cracked rice will bring success in
love; bilva
IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS THE
WORD AND THE WORD WAS WITH THE
GOD AND THE WORD WAS THE GOD.

leaves bring on fame; Putranjivi seeds will


induce fertility; if sesamum seeds are used, the
cure of sickness results; and if flowers of any
kind, prosperity For Tarpana, a little quantity of
milk and ghee may be mixed with water, and the
mixture let down through the fingers, each time
the mantra is repeated the particular mantra
being followed by the word Svaha while
being so repeated. Marjana is the sprinkling
oneself by water while a mantra is being

repeated. A pot or vessel is filled with water


mixed with a little milk while the practiser takes
a blade of darbha grass and by it sprinkles on his
head the water in the mantra. In feeding
Brahmanas he should similarly invoke the
devata in each individual.
(Former President Delhi Theosophical
Federation The Theosophical Society,
Editor Delhi Theosophical Digest)

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