The Most Visited Articles in the Month of July  2012 in the Order as Listed Below.






Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit


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Mantra is life, action, love, and wisdom flowing from within.

Japa Mantra cleanses and clarifies the mind, whose impure vibrations Mantra washes away. Silent chanting of Mantras helps you obtain peace of mind, discard undesirable thoughts, go to sleep, get good sleep, forget the worries of the day, awaken fresh every day, project a positive mood all day and face the day with vigor and balance.

"When we repeatedly utter a Mantra we are tuning to a particular frequency and this frequency establishes a contact with the cosmic energy and drags it into our body and surroundings."[7]--





In successful Mantra meditation, Mind dissolves in Buddhi and Buddhi dissolves in Cittaṁ. Cittaṁ dissolves in the Self or Witness. This is essential for proper meditation. This sequential process has four parts to it: meditation by the mind, chanting of mantra by Buddhi, contemplation by Cittaṁ, eventual dissolution in the Self. It goes from thought-initiation to application to contemplation to dissolution. Cittaṁ keeps you in the 'groove’. You need Cittaṁ to keep meditation, concentration and contemplation in sync. Mind is a mechanical meditator; Buddhi is a fickle meditator; Cittaṁ is a serene meditator. Your aim is to graduate to and dissolve in Cittaṁ meditation and the self. Mind meditation and Buddhi meditation are out-bound meaning the thoughts are out-bound in the world of happenings; you are in the world of Nama and Rupa, names and forms. Cittaṁ meditation is inbound in the sense it is in step with the Atman, the Inner Soul, the Witness. Now the Cittaṁ goes into Smṛti mode (remembrance) and engages in deep contemplation. What does it remember? What do you mean by re-cognition (Pratyabhijna)? Cittaṁ remembers its organic connection to the Universal soul, the Self.... From before, Cittaṁ knew the Self, the Universal Soul and meditation is re-cognizing the Soul.

For successful Mantra Meditation, an aspirant must have the following qualities. Santi = Serenity. Mind must be brought under control and trained not to chase after sense-objects under the false belief that they provide happiness.

Antaḥkaraṇa is operational in two modes: External knowledge Acquisition (Abhina) and internal Self-Knowledge (Pratyabhijna) acquisition. In Abhijna knowledge acquisition, knowledge proceeds from the gross to the subtle, from the sense organs to Cittaṁ via Mind, Ego, and Buddhi. Sense organs report to Mind which reports to Ahamkara, which reports to Buddhi, which reports to Cittaṁ. As we proceed from Sense Organs to Witness, we are moving from a world of matter via the Mind, Ego, Buddhi and Cittaṁ to a world of Self, Pure Consciousness or Witness. Mind and others are matter, while Witness is Spirit. We are moving from matter to Spirit. In this centripetal movement, the perfected one realizes that he (the individual self) is one with the Witness or Self. Tat Tvaṁ Asi = That Thou Art = That you are. That Knowledge is Pratyabhijna (Spontaneous Recognition). We need the Mind, Ego, Buddhi and Cittaṁ to arrive at Sākshin or Witness. These are aids or way stations. Each entity churns and propels knowledge from one to the next. This churning is called Vṛitti. Once all entities have performed their functions, they undergo autolysis, self-destruction, immolation, a sort of psychic apoptosis (programmed death). By the way, these four entities are functional and not anatomical entities. You cannot have matter enter the realm of Spirit. The matter must die; Mind must die; Ego must die; Buddhi must die. The flesh dies and Spirit rises. Cittaṁ has the remembrance power (smṛti). All Vṛttis dissolve and matter is reabsorbed by Kundali as the Kundalini Sakti rises through the Chakras. This is the power needed for the Yogis to dissolve in the Witness and become one with It. As Sakti moves from one matter to the next to go to Spirit, each encounter with matter evokes a response, 'Neti Neti, Not this, Not this. Once each entity is studied and rejected, Sakti arrives at the Real Thing, Witness or Self. This is It. In Pratyabhijna mode, it turns itself inward and obtains Self-Knowledge. Abhijna is outbound, while Pratyabhijna is inbound.

Abhijna is to know God exists by knowledge; Pratyabhijna is to know Him by direct experience and knowing, Tat Tvaṁ Asi. I am that Siva. It is realization of the ever-present Reality. It is finding Anuttara, the One not having a superior or the Ultimate Reality.

In Pratyabhijna mode, it turns itself inward and obtains Self-Knowledge. Abhijna is outbound, while Pratyabhijna is inbound. Abhijna is to know external objects; Pratyabhijna is to know oneself as the Self, Witness or the Universal Soul.

In Kashmir Saivism, Pratyabhijna means Spontaneous Recognition. You are in spiritual search; your Guru says what you are searching is you; you and the object of your search are one; you and Self are one; Individual self and the Universal Self are one; You and Siva are one. One's true self is nothing but Siva.

What is the purpose of all this discussion? It is all about meditation. It is becoming one with the object of your meditation.




  Om Namasivaya

Mantra is the sound-body of a god; Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram. Mantra = (Man = to think or meditate + Tra = to protect or liberate.) The word 'man' comes from Sanskrit meaning 'to think.'  Manitan (மனிதன்) in Tamil also means Man. Thus, man is a thinking animal. That which thinks is Manas (= mind). Yantra = instrument, engine, apparatus, amulet with mystical diagram endowed with protective occult powers. Sanskrit letters are strung together like a wheel called Matrikachakra. You know A is the first letter and Z is the last letter. All Sanskrit letters are sacred. The first letter is 'a' (अ) and the last letter is h (ह) ; 'a' is dynamic Siva starting creation and 'h' is resting Siva in that creation has come to a standstill. The first letter and the last letter encompass all the letters between them. Letters 'a' and 'ha' ( and ) are combined with a terminal 'm' resulting in 'Aham', which is the Mantra of Siva.  All the vowels abide in Siva; all the consonants from ka to a (+ ष) abide in Sakti and thus Her Mantra is Ka-क्ष (= क् + ष) .  Mantra Hamsa: Ha (the vowel) is Siva and a (the consonant) is Sakti.




Here is another variation of the same theme.


Mantras are solar (Saura) and masculine, lunar (Vidya, Saumya) and feminine, and neuter.  Neuter and masculine Mantras terminate in Namah, Hum, Phat; feminine in Tham or Svāhā .  Ajapa (A + Japa = No + Chant) is the primal Mantra. This chantless Mantra pervades the breath going in and out, the subtle sound ‘sah’ going in and the subtle sound ‘ham’ going out. (Sa = Siva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, or Gauri [Parvati or Sakti]; Ham = I am; so = Parvati. As one chants this subtle-sound Mantra ‘soham’, a derivative of ‘sah-ham,’ ‘Hamsa’ comes into being by inversion and is the personification of Vital Air  or life-breath. Sa (Sah) is Sakti and Ha is Siva. Soham, Hamsa and AUM (Pranava) are equipotent. Hamsah the inverted Sah-ham is the union of male and female. The universe is Hamsah, according to Woodroffe. This is the bird Hamsah which disports in the Lake of Ignorance. Here ignorance indicates spiritual ignorance.

 Anataratma, Guru, Hamsah and Parama Siva are all the same. Parama Siva (Supreme Siva) is seated on Hamsa Pita (पीठ = pīa = Seat), which is Mantramaya (of the nature of Mantra). The Guru-Siva is in the white Lotus of a thousand petals--Sahasrara Chakra, within which is a triangle enclosing two Bindus making the Visarga. There in the empty void is Parama Siva.  Bindu is the circle O, the void is the Brahmapada or space within Bindu. Tirumular says that AUM, though a three-letter word, is one-letter Mantra. Soham is the unintonated sound of normal breathing, meaning ‘I am He.’ Hamsa, meaning ‘Swan’ as in RamaKrishna Parma-Hamsa, stands for an ascetic --Hamsan. All of us including all air-breathing living beings recite this Mantra ‘Soham’ unknowingly for a lifetime. The west says that normal breathing is an unconscious act, while conscious breathing of inspiration and expiration becomes an efficacious Mantra (Hamsah).

Svāhā = (sva + āha) = (his [one's] own + said) = he said 'svāhā, as he made offerings;  Hail! Hail!; Personified Svāhā is the daughter of Daksha and wife of Agni, presiding over burnt offerings; Wife of Rudra or Pasupati.    āha is also an interjection.  Prajapati is the first one to make offerings and say Svāhā. Phat =  an interjection.

  मन्थारं त्रयतेति मन्त्र: (மந்தாரம் த்ராயதேதி மந்த்ரஹா manthāram trayateti mantraha).  தன்னை நினைப்பவனை எது ரட்சிக்கிறதோ அது மந்திரம். What protects upon deliberation is Mantra. Likewise, Bhagavan protects whoever thinks of Him. Thus Mantra and Bhagavan are the same. U.V. Krishnan Swamy.



This chantless Mantra (Ajapa Japa) is called Ajapa Gayatri. As you are breathing this chantless Soham in and out, you are identifying your individual self (individual soul) with the Great Self (the Universal Soul) of the Supreme Being. Every breath (and the Mantra) that you take pervades the whole universe of your body. This life giving force or Mantra has the Great Self as the basis. Every time you chant a Mantra, it leads the individual soul to the Great Soul-- the Source, the Essence. All Mantras inclusive of Sakti, Vishnu and Siva Mantras and many but not all rituals are Tantric in origin; that is the reason why Tantra is called Mantra Sastra. Don't be surprised that all Catholic rituals have their origin in Tantra--Woodroffe.   Devi or Sakti says that all Sastras that is in opposition to Sruti, Smrti, and Oneness (Siva and Sakti in Saiva tradition, Vishnu and MahaLakshmi in Vaishnava tradition); Bhairava, Gautama, Kapala, Sakala and the like are created by her Maya power for bewilderment of those devoid of Her Grace.




Śakti and Śākta -- Essays and Addresses on the Śākta Tantra-Śāstra--Sir John Woodroffe

The Tantras say—“Begin practising under the guidance of a good Guru; if you do not obtain favourable results immediately, you can freely give it up.” No other religion dares to give so bold a challenge.

We believe that the Sādhanā of the Moslems, and the “esoteric religion” or secret Sādhanā (and rituals) of

the Christians of the Roman Catholic and Greek Churches is based on this groundwork of the Tantras.”



Ajapa Japa or Ajapa Gayatri. Soham Mantra

Breath is life, life is breath and thus must be a Mantra. Yes it is. There is a Mantra just for those who believe that nature has the right answers. It is good for everybody. You perform your daily activities without conscious awareness of your breath or beating heart. This automatic and autonomic breathing is such that it can vary its rate depending on the needs of the body. The Mantra is So'ham (So + Ham). This is the Mantra you chant throughout your life whether you know it or not. Ajapa (A + Japa = No + Chant) is the primal Mantra. This chantless Mantra pervades the breath going in and out, the subtle sound ‘so’ going in and the subtle sound ‘ham’ going out. Make yourself comfortable in Padmasana sitting position (Lotus position). This Mantra is not chanted loud as said earlier.  Take a slow, deep and sustained breath as if you are doing it from the base of the spine to your crown and say to yourself 'so'.  Example: Sooooooooooooooooo.... The breath that you inhale starts at the Muladhara Chakra (base of the spine) and ends in Brahma Randhra (the top of the head, anterior fontanel area). As you breath in and say 'so, your chest expands and the Prana (life force) rises from below. When you are done with inspiration and the silent mental chanting of 'so', you exhale the breath with the silent mental sound 'Hum'. Example:  Hummmmmmmmmmmmm....Exhalation is from the top of the head to the base of the spine in a slow, steady and sustained manner. The duration of inhalation and exhalation is according to your comfort level. You may do this for ten minutes each session twice a day


That is, "He I am". Saḥ = he, Aham = I. The two words, when  combined, according to the rules of Sandhi, become So'ham, or the unity  of the individual and Supreme Spirit.  --Woodroffe

kundal48.jpg---> soham.jpg









 The Hugging Saint of India and the World
Natal name = Sudhamani = Pure Gem AKA Sri Mātā Amritānanadamayi Devi = Sri1-Mātā2-Amrit3-Ānanda4-Mayi5-Devi6 = Her divineness1-Mother2-Ambrosia3-Bliss4-She full of or in the form of5-Goddess6  =  Her Divineness Ambrosial Mother Goddess full of Bliss AKA Amma = Mother

"There is one truth that shines through all of creation. Rivers and mountains, plants and animals, the sun, the moon and the stars, you and I—all are expressions of this one Reality."

“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.”----Sri Mātā Amritānanadamayi Devi


Amritanandamayi says that these practices (“Karma [action], jńana [knowledge] and bhakti [devotion]) refine the mind, making it fit for assimilating the ultimate truth: that one is not the limited body and mind but the eternal blissful consciousness that serves as the non-dual substratum of the universe.This understanding itself Amritanandamayi refers to as jivanmukti [liberation while alive]. Amritanandamayi says, "Jivanmukti is not something to be attained after death, nor is it to be experienced or bestowed upon you in another world. It is a state of perfect awareness and equanimity, which can be experienced here and now in this world, while living in the body. Having come to experience the highest truth of oneness with the Self, such blessed souls do not have to be born again. They merge with the infinite."--Wikipedia.

This Corporeal liberation (jivanmukti ) while alive is a monistic view of the Saivites. SriVaishnavites believe in Videha Mukti, meaning that it is incorporeal liberation (liberation after death),  when the soul is divested of the body. In Saiva tradition, the Grace of Siva descends on an embodied soul (We the people) as soon as our merits and demerits are brought to naught, and the soul is cleansed of the impurities. --Krishnaraj

Louis Hughes op from

At first sight Amma appears to westerners to be a traditional Hindu teacher. However, there are unique, even revolutionary, elements in her approach to spirituality and mission. These include an emphasis on love that is more characteristic of the Gospels than of any Hindu scriptures. And this isn’t only theory. She exemplifies it in her loving approach to people on a one-to-one basis, as well as in the extraordinary range of social services with which she is associated. This focus on love provides the foundation for her ecumenism: “Love is a universal religion and this is what society really needs.”[13] She has had a network of Temples called brahmasthanam (places for Brahma) built in different parts of India. These are designed to emphasize an essential unity underlying different forms of God.
The manner in which Amma expresses love to all – her embrace – is exceptional in an Indian context. Physical touch is used in some guru movements as part of an initiation ceremony. The guru communicates spiritual energy by touching the disciple, usually on top of his/her head. This is called shaktipata (descent of the power). Generally however, touching is discouraged in polite society and particularly in religious circles. Non-westernized Indians do not shake hands – they greet one another by joining their own hands together in front of the chest and bowing the head. To embrace someone, especially of the opposite sex, is highly unconventional.
In another breach with convention Amma has installed women priests in her brahmasthanam temples, something previously unheard of in India. On the other hand her popularity in the west is due in no small way to the fact that she pays homage to the feminine aspect of God, something taken for granted in India. Here she has a strong appeal for women, many of whom feel alienated from what they see as a male-dominated Christian Church, in which God is conceived of first of all as Father.
Finally, Amma’s over-riding concern with the social and material uplift of people is atypical of Hinduism and particularly the advaita vedanta philosophy to which she subscribes. Advaita views the world as maya – not fully real. Its concerns are with the world of spirit. This otherworldly attitude has led to a neglect of developments that improve this world. Amma has rejected this approach. For her, practical help for people’s needs must come first. After that they can be introduced to the mysteries of religion.[14] Her programmes of social uplift and care for the environment are driven by spiritual energy. Thus, religion is seen as leading to the renewal of society. This has some parallels with what has been happening in the Christian world for centuries. Consider for example how Benedictine monasteries contributed to the building up of European civilization in the early medieval period.

 Girish's photo. on Facebook  Added on November 10, 2014


“Love is our true essence. Love has no limitations of caste, religion, race, or nationality. We are all beads strung together on the same thread of love. To awaken this unity--and to spread to others the love that is our inherent nature--is the true goal of human life." ~ Amma




We do not consider a genuine check or bill as mere paper; it has the value and the beneficiary's name written on the face. In like manner Mantras are not mere letters, syllables and words. Mantra is the manifestation of Sakti and thus is Cit Sakti, which is part of Sat, Cit, Ananda; She having Cit Sakti is Citrupini, the form of Consciousness. By dedicated chanting and meditation one can awaken the Mantra Caitanya, the consciousness in a Mantra. That awakening gives Sadhaka (aspirant, skilled person, worshipper) Mantra Siddhi (power resulting from Mantra) which imbibes the powers and goodness of the presiding deity of the specific Mantra. Now there is a concordance between Mantra Caitanya and Sadhaka's consciousness, resulting in transfer of the power of Mantra to the Sadhaka. This transfer of power is also seen in Guru-Sisya tutelage. The communion with Mother Goddess in Her Mantra form (Mantramayi) is Mantra Vidya and Sadhana, the latter is of three forms: S. Anavopaya, S. Saktopaya, and S. Sambhavopaya


S. Anavopaya, S. Saktopaya, and S. Sambhavopaya .  (Meager path, Sakti path and Siva path)

1. Anavopaya/ Anupaya =  AnavopAya = Anu + Upaya = Monad + means.

It is also interpreted as absence of means; NO means; Not really any means.

2. Saktopaya = Sakti + Upaya = Sakti means.  

3. SambhavopAya = Sambhava + upaya = Sambhava + means; Sambhava = coming together.  Sambhavopaya is also interpreted as the means of Sambhu-Siva.

The object of Upaya is to move from individual consciousness and gain entry into Universal Consciousness of Siva.



One should seek help from Kashmir Saivism Gurus for more information and guidance.

1. Anavopaya: This is for an aspirant who cannot do the 2nd and 3rd. In order to enhance his awareness, he engages in external props such as breathing exercises, meditation, fixation on a body part, Mantras, Ajapa Gayatri.... Fixation is on glabella between the eyebrows on the forehead, sternal notch (pit of the throat), or the heart.  This will merge into Saktopaya and eventually into Sambhavopaya.

2. Saktopaya: Thoughts take birth, persevere and die in the mind. Between thoughts there is a period of silence and inactivity. There are a series of thoughts and a series of silent intervals. This gap (silent interval) is filled by the Universal Reality of Siva.  The Sadhaka should concentrate on the Supreme Being abiding in this gap. One should develop intense awareness of this gap and Siva Consciousness by letting the thoughts die and increasing the gap so much so that the aspirant is in continuous immersion in Siva Consciousness.  Once this persists, the aspirant gets grace and Anavopaya state merges into Sambhavopaya.


3. In Sambhava Upaya, the aspirant gains Samvesa (entry) into Supreme Consciousness without any meditation, Mantras.... The Yogi has to maintain a thoughtless state (Nirvikalpa) so that by grace of Siva he gains entry into Universal Consciousness.   

The Jiva (we the people) is limited and Siva is unlimited. This limitation is imposed upon the Jiva by Mahamaya. One cannot gain entry with a limited human consciousness. Jiva's limitation and dependence on Siva cannot force Siva's Unlimited Divine Reality to reveal itself.  Just keep the Mind-lake free of thought waves and wait for Siva to facilitate entry into Universal God Consciousness.



Swami Vishnu Devananda says that there are six criteria characteristic of a Mantra, slightly modified by the author. 1. It was originally revealed to a Seer, Sage or Rishi who has attained Siddhi. 2. It has a presiding deity. 3. It has a specific meter. 4. It has a Bija, seed or essence as its hypostasis. 5. It carries sakti or power. 6. It is like a jewel box whose lock has to be opened (by the aspirant) by prolonged repetition so that the aspirant receives self-realization and vision of the Ishta Devata (Deity of his or her desire).

Siddhi = perfection, communion with Universal Consciousness.


Mantras are syllables, phonemes, quasi-morpheme and its series, morphemes, single word, words, phrases, sentences, verses, and passages. Examples of Phonemes are hrim, hram, and hrum ending in 'm' (or 'n'), which can be intonated as long as one's breath can sustain it.  HRIM: H = Siva; R = Sakti Prakrti; I = Mahamaya; Terminal M is Chandrabindu (Moon-Dot). Chandrabindu = Nada and Bindu = Nada-Progenetrix of the Universe and Bindu-Brahman as Isvara and Isvari (Isvaratattva). There is another interpretation of HRIM: H = gross body; R = subtle body; I = causal body; M = Turiya state. Sakti is the causal body of the subtle and gross bodies of all living beings. Another interpretation of HRIM. HA, Ra, I, Ma. Ha =AkAsa = Ether; Ra = Agni = Fire; I = Ardhanarisvara = Androgynous Siva; M = Nadabindu (Moon-dot).

Take the letter Ka. It is a combination of a generic consonant and a vowel: k + a = Ka. A vowel is interminable and so a terminator M (Chandrabindu) is added; thus Ka becomes Kam. The M sound vibrates intranasally. Here is the anatomy of Aum with M terminator.

  Mahamaya = Maha = Great. Maya = (Ma + Ya) = (Not +That). = Great Illusion
Maya is illusion. Illusion is appearance. God is the magician who creates illusions, by virtue of magical powers. The magician knows it is magic and thus knows it is not truth. We the people see the illusion as real and assume it is true. That condition is called ignorance (Avidya, spiritual ignorance.) God is the creator of these illusions or Maya. Mahamaya or great Illusion is the deified partner or Sakti. This illusion comes between you and the magician--Brahman or God. Where there is no a magician, there is no magic. Where there is no Brahman, there is no illusion. This illusion is the phenomenal world of beings and matter. Illusion or Maya is true but not the truth. What is 'true' is true (exists) for now and here. What is Truth is forever, eternal and immutable; that is Brahman. The phenomenal word is true in its projection but untrue when compared to the Absolute Truth, Brahman. It is like seeing your image in the mirror. The phenomenal image is true now and here. When the mirror is removed, what is untrue was your image and what is Truth is you. This illusion or phenomenal word serves as a barrier between you and Brahman. It is called Obscuration (Tirobhava or Tirodhana) and Brahman is an Obscurant. We are all marching in a centripetal fashion towards Brahman. Not everyone can merge with Brahman unless he is pure (Amalam = without impurities). We came from Brahman and we merge back with Brahman. No one received his Ph.D in maths with 4th grade maths knowledge. Likewise we cannot receive Grace (anugraha) unless we are pure. Grace of spiritual knowledge descends on us.
That is the obscuration or illusion that prevents us from seeing the Truth. We are so immersed in relative reality of illusion (the phenomenal world) that we fail to see the Absolute Reality, the Truth (the magician or Brahman). Once you shed the impurities (Malas and get spiritual knowledge or higher knowledge maths), you receive Grace (your Ph.D). There is removal of obscuration and manifestation of Grace from Brahman. It is apparent now that Brahman and the phenomenal universe are one (Advaitam or monism). 




 March 1, 2013.

Each repetition of AUM is sounded for about seven seconds, with two seconds on A, two seconds on U and three seconds on M, with a silence of about two seconds before the next repetition. The three syllables are run together: AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence).

On the first syllable, A, we feel the solar plexus and chest vibrating. On the second syllable, U, the throat vibrates. The third syllable, M, vibrates the top of the head. Thus, proper chanting of Aum also is a high form of yoga, moving energy from the lower chakras of the body up to the highest chakra, or energy center—the sahasrâra chakra at the crown of the head. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.


HRIM (Devi) H =Siva R = Sakti I = Mahamaya M = Chandrabindu
SRIM (Lakshmi S = Mahalaksmi R = Wealth I = Satisfaction M = ditto
KRIM (Kali) K =Kali R = Brahma (Siva) I = Mahamaya M = ditto
DUM (Durga) D = Durga U = protection   Ditto


As there are seeded and seedless grapes, so are seeded and seedless Mantras.


Seedless Mantra: NirpIsam = that which has no PIsam (seed). Nir +PIsam = No + PIsam = no + seed.  PIsam (பீசம்) in Tamil is Bija in Sanskrit. Bija means seed. Bija Mantra = Seed Mantra =  One syllable Mantra = by convention Bija Mantra is one syllable Mantra from Sanskrit letters. Sometimes compound letters form the Bija Mantras (Hreem). Seedless Mantra in NirpIsam is chanting of Mantras without  Bija Mantras. Seeded Mantra in SapIsam is chanting of Mantras with the inclusion of Bija Mantras.

பீசாட்சரம் =  Bija or seed letters, forming seed Mantras of a Sanskrit letter or syllable.


Bija Mantras are the seed (based on Sanskrit alphabet) mantras (like Lam the seed sound of Muladhara Chakra, Vam of Svadhisthana, Ram of Manipura, Yam of Anahata, Ham of Visudha, and Om of Ajna. The first is Maya Bija, the second Lakshmi Bija, the third Kali Bija, the fourth KUrca Bija, the fifth Varma Bija, the sixth Astra Bija. Ram is Agni Bija, Em is Yoni Bija, Klim is KAma Bija, Srim is BadhU Bija, Aim is Sarasvati Bija, Krim is Kali Bija, Hrim is the Maya bija, Haum for Sadasiva,  and so forth. The first letter of the Devata serves as the Bija Mantra: Gam for Ganesa, DUm for Durga.--Woodroffe. See the table below


Note:  'Alpha' for A; and thus in Sanskrit 'Ram' रं for the letter Ra (र). The terminal 'M' is added. Ra = Generic R plus Vowel a.




A note on Woodroffe (1865-1936): That wonderful soul, that British Orientalist, that universal man, that gift to humanity, that Britisher came to India by divine ordination in the form of a civil servant and justice, who later became professor of Indian Law at Oxford. If it is not for him, the hidden treasures of India would not have been revealed to the world. Indians kept all religious texts under wraps esp. from foreigners. Woodroffe pried their tight fists open to reveal the treasures for public good. Woodroffe felt at ease in his British attire and Indian loin cloth and shawl, an attestation to his status as universal man.

"While maintaining his public profile as a judge and scholar of British Indian law, Woodroffe was also a private student of the tantras, who published a huge body of texts and translations and thus pioneered the modern academic study of Tantra in the West. Yet Woodroffe was also an apologist, seeming to have bent over backward to defend the Tantras against their many critics and to prove that they represent a noble, pure, and ethical philosophical system in basic accord with the Vedas and Vedānta."[2]--Wikipedia.

London-born Paul Brunton (October 21, 1898 - July 27, 1981), British philosopher, Journalist, Mystic, traveler, guru says in his book 'Search for Secret India': And with a country as with an individual. The most sacred things a country keeps secret. It would not be easy for a stranger to discover what England holds most sacred. And it is the same with India. The most sacred part of India is the most secret. Now secret things require much searching for; but those who seek will find. Those who seek with their whole heart and with the real determination to find will at last discover the secret. The Indians...shrink from discussing it with them. The white man will, in most cases, possess but an imperfect acquaintance with the Yogis, if he knows them at all, and certainly not with the best of them. The latter are now but a mere handful in the very country of their origin. They are exceedingly rare, are fond of hiding their true attainment from the public, and prefer to pose as ignoramuses.

In India, in Tibet and in China, they get rid of the Western traveller who may happen to blunder in upon their privacy, by maintaining a studied appearance of insignificance and ignorance. Perhaps they would see some sense in Emerson's abrupt phrase : "To be great is to be misunderstood"; I do not know. Anyway, they are mostly recluses who do not care to mingle with mankind. Even when met with they are unlikely to break their reserve except after some period of acquaintance.



BĪJA-MANTRA. Author: Sir John Woodroffe


ACTION necessarily implies movement. Whenever thereforce, there is action, there is Spanda or movement and therefore what to the perceiving subject (when heard) is called Sound. This may or may not be heard. One person may have a sharpened natural faculty of hearing; so that he may hear what escapes the ear of another. There is Sound, though the latter may not hear it. Similarly, there is Sound which is not heard by any natural ear until assisted by the extension of faculty procured by a material scientific instrument. Similarly again, there is Sound which is apprehended by the Yogic Mind as part of its experience. In the beginning of things the natural Principal (Prakṛti) was in a state of equilibrium (Sāmyāvasthā). Then there was no Sound, for there was no movement of the objective world. The first Vibration which took plaoe at the commencement of creation, that is, on the disturbance of equilibrium (Vaisamyāvasthā) was a general movement (Sāmānya-Spanda) in the whole mass of Prakṛti. ̣ This was the Pranava-Dhvani of Om Sound. It is not  that the Sound is represented as it is by the Sound of the letters Om. Om is only the approximate representation or gross utterance to gross ear of the Subtle Sound which is heard in Yoga experience of the first movement which is continually taking place, for at each moment the creative movement is present. From out of this general movement and Sound special movements (Viśesa-Spanda) ̣ and Sounds arise. The following apt illustration has been given (see “World’s Eternal Religion”). If a vessel of water is shaken, there is first a general movement of the whole water in the vessel. Next, there are particular movements in every part of the water, now this way, now that. So the evenly balanced Gunas or factors of  Prakṛti equally vibrate throughout their whole mass, and as the movement continues, the equilibrium is disturbed and the Gunas act and re-act on one another as in the ̣ second state of the water in the illustration. Diverse vibratory conditions being set up, diverse Sounds are given forth. The first equally distributed motion throughout the ̣ mass is Om, which is the great seed-mantra (Maha-bīja), for it is the source of all others and of all compounded ̣ Sounds. Just as Om  is the general Sound, the other Bīja-Mantras are the particular Sounds which are the letters of the alphabet. These are evolved out of the general Sound which underlies all particular Sounds.  Both the Omkara or Pranava and the Bīja-Mantras as  pronounced by the mouth are thus the articulate equivalents of the inarticulate primal Dhvani. They become articulate at the last stage called Vaikharī or Spastatarạ Spanda of the four stages, known as Parā (Rest passing into movement), Paśyantī (general movement), Madhyamā or special movement of subtle character heard by the subtle ear, and Vaikharī or special movement which as speech is the fully articulated Sound heard by the gross ear. The Pranava-Mantra is thus the Sound Equivalent ̣ of Brahman and the Bīja-Mantras are the various forms with attribute (Sagunarūpa) of the Devas and Devīs. It is true that the approximate Sound Om is said to be constituted of the letters a, u, m. This is not to say that the primordial Dhvani was these letters or their combination. For these letters are the product of the primordial Dhvani which precedes them. What is meant is that Om as a gross ̣ Sound heard by the gross ear is the Sadhi or combination of these letters. A European Sanskritist told a friend of mine that Om said before a Mantra is simply the “clearing of the throat” before utterance; and I suppose he would have said—the clearing of the throat after utterance, ̣ for Om both precedes and follows a Mantra. Why however ̣ should one clear the throat then? Om has nothing to do with hawking sounds, or the throat. Om is, according to Indian belief, a sound actually heard by Yogīs as above described. If, moreover, the learned man had ever heard the Mantra recited he would have felt that it could not be explained in so shallow and materialistic a way. For Om is sounded as from the navel with a deep rolling and continuous Sound ending at the upper part of the nostrils where the Candra-bindu is sounded. Moreover, how are we to account for the other Bīja Sounds on this hypothesis, such  as Am, Ām, Em and so forth, except by supposing that the unpleasant and unmannerly act of clearing the throat had undergone an unaccountably varied development? Be the doctrine true or false, it is more profound than that.

Mantras are given various names according to the number of their syllables. A Bīja or Seed-mantra, is strictly ̣ speaking, a Mantra of a single letter such as Kam, which is composed of the letter K (Ka) together with Candrabindu which terminates all Mantras Even here there is in a sense another letter. The reason is that the vowel cannot be interminably pronounced and is therefore terminated by a consonant. In fact, as Pānini says, the function ̣ of a consonant is to interrupt a vowel sound. The consonant cannot be pronounced without a vowel, which is hence known as the Śakti of a consonant. Here the termination is M in the form of the nasal breathing called Candrabindu ( ) which is Nāda and Bindu. The M which ends the Bīja is sounded nasally, high up in the bridge of the nose, and never reaches the lips. In all the other letters one or other of the five Bhūtas or forms of sensible matter (Ākāśa, Vāyu, Agni, Ap, Pṛthivi) predominates. For this reason, in the selection by the Guru of the Mantra for his disciple the letters are chosen according as an examination shows that there is an excess or deficiency of any particular Bhūta. Where there is excess of a Bhūta, the letter in which it is predominant is said with the outbreathing. Where there is deficiency it is said with the inbreathing. M is chosen to end the Bīja because here the Bhūtas are said to be in equipoise. Though strictly the Bīja is of one letter as the seed from which the Mantra springs, popularly other short unetymological vocables such as ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ Hrīm, Śrīm, Krīm, Hūm, Aim, Phat are called Bījas In these there are two or more letters, such as in the first H, R, I and Candra-bindu. Thus a Mantra may, or may not, convey on its face its meaning. Bījas have no meaning according to the ordinary use of language and for this reason they have formed the subject of ridicule to those ignorant of the Mantra-śāstra. The initiated however know that their meaning is the own form (Svarūpa) of the particular Devatās whose Mantra they are, and that they are a form of the Subtle Power as creative Dhvani which makes all letters sound and which exists in all that we say or hear. Each Devatā has His or Her Bīja. Thus the Devatās of Krīm, Hrīm and Ram are Kālī, Māyā and Agni respectively. The primary Mantra in the worship of any Deva or Devī is known as the Root Mantra (Mūlamantra). Every letter, syllable and Mantra is then a form (Rūpa) of the Brahman, and so is the image and are the lines of the Yantra and all objects in the universe. And so the Śāstra says that they go to Hell who think that the image is merely stone and that the Mantra is merely a letter of the alphabet. All letters are forms of Śakti as Sound-powers. The Śakti, of which they are a manifestation, is the living Energy which projects itself into the form of the universe. The Mantra of a Devatā is the Devatā. The rhythmical vibrations of its sounds not merely regulate the unsteady vibrations of the sheaths of the worshipper, thus transforming him, but through the power of striving (Sādhana-śakti) of the worshipper, there arises the form of the Devatā which it is. And thus the Bṛ had-gandharva-Tantra (Ch. V) says:

Śṛṇu devi pravakyāmi bījānām deva-rūpatām.

Mantroccārṇamatrea deva-rūpam prajāyatte.


The Bījas thus have a meaning. They indicate the Artha or Devatā which they are. What that Devatā is, is taught to the Sādhaka, just as the child learns that rose means a particular flower, and that rice and milk are the names for particular forms of food and drink which he takes. The Bījas of the five Bhūtas, that is, of the Devatās of the four forms of sensible matter, are Ha, Ya, Ra, La, Va with Candra-bindu. Where there is more than one letter, each has its meaning. As examples I here select twelve Bīja-mantras (in their popular sense), the meanings of which are given in the 6th Chapter of the Varadā-Tantra as quoted in the well known Bengali compendium known as the Prāṇatoṣiṇī. I may here observe that the meaning ̣ ̣ of individual letters is given in the Bījakośas, such as the Tantrābhidhāna. The Varadā-Tantra, Ch. 6, says: ̣

Hauṁ (हौं)

Śivavācī hakārastu aukārah syāt Sadāśivah.

Śūnyam ̣ dunkhaharārtham ̣ tu tasmāttena Śivaṁ yajet.


That is,

Ha means Siva. Au is Sadāśiva. The Śūnya  is that which dispels sorrow. Hence with that Śiva should be worshipped. ̣

The Moon-dot is Sūnya.

Dum (दुं)

Da durgāvācakam ̣ devī ukāraścāpi rakṣaṇe.

Viśvamātā nādarūpā kurvartho bindurūpakah.

Tenaiva Kālikādevim pūjayedduhkhaśāntaye.

That is,

Da, O Devī, means Durgā. U also means to save. Nāda is the mother of the Universe. Bindu means (pray) do.

Krīm ̣(क्रीं)

Ka Kāli brahma ra proktaṁ Mahāmāyārthakaśca ī.

Viśvamātārthako nādo bindurduhkhaharāthakah.

Tenaiva Kālikādevim ̣ pūjayedduhkhaśāntaye.

That is,

Ka is Kālī. Ra is said to be Brahma. Ī means Mahāmāyā. Nāda means Mother of the universe. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. With that Devī Kālika should be worshipped for cessation of sorrow.

Hrīṁ (ह्रीं)

Hakārāh śivavāci syād rephah prakṛtincyate.

Mahāmāyārtha ī-śabdo nādo viśvaprasūh smṛtah.

Duhkhaharārthako bindurbhuvanā m ̣ tena pūjayet.

That is,

Ha means Śiva. Ra is said to be Prakṛti. Ī means Mahāmāyā. Nāda is said to be the mother of the universe. Bindu means dispeller of sorrow. With that Bhuvaneśvarī should be worshipped.

Śrīm (श्रीं)

Mahālakṣmyārthakah Śah syād dhanārtho repha ucyate.

Ī tustyartho’ paronādo bindurduhkhaharārthakah.

Lakṣmīdevyā bījam etat tena devīm prapūjayet.

That is,

Sa means Mahālakṣmi. Ra is said to mean wealth. Ī means satisfaction. Nāda is Apara (which may mean Aparabrahma or Īśvara). Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. This is the Bīja of Devi Lakṣmī. With it the Devī should be worshipped.



Aiṁ (ऐं)

Sarasvatyārtha ai-śabdo bindurduhkhaharādhakah.

Sarasvatyā bijam etat tena Vāṇīm ̣ prapūjayet.

That is,

Ai means Sarasvati. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. This is the Bīja of Sarasvatī. With it Vānī or Sarasvatī should be worshipped.


Klīm ̣ (क्लीं)

Kah Kāmadeva uddiṣṭo’ pyathavā Kṛṣṇa ucyate.

La Indra ī tuṣṭivāci sukhaduhkhapradā ca am

Kāmabījārtha uktaste tava snehān maheśvari.

That is,

Ka refers to Kāmadeva, or according to some to Kṛṣṇa. La means Indra. Ī means contentment. Am is that which grants happiness and sorrow. Thus, O Maheśvari, the meaning of Kāmabīja is spoken unto Thee out of my love for Thee.

Huṁ (हुं)

Ha śivah kathito devi ū Bhairava ihocyate.

Parārtho nāda śabdastu Bindurduhkhaharārthakah.

Varmabījatrayo hyatra kathitas tava yatnatah.

That is,

Ha, O Devī, is said to be Śiva. U is said to be Bhairava. Nāda means Para, Supreme. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. Here the three composing the Varmabīja (armour-bīja) are spoken unto Thee owing to Thy solicitation.

Gaṁ (गं)

Ganeśārthe ga uktas te Bindurduhkhaharārthakah.

Gaṁbījārtham tu kathitam tava snehān maheśvarī.

That is,

Ga, I speak unto Thee, means Ganeśa. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. Thus, O Maheśvarī, the meaning of Gam-bīja is spoken unto Thee out of love for Thee.

Glauṁ (ग्लौं)

Ga Ganeśo vyāpakārtho lakārasteja au matah.

Duhkhaharārthako bindurganeśaṁ tena pūjayet.

That is,

Ga is Ganeśa, La means what pervades. Au means tejas. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. With it Ganeśa should be worshipped.  


Kṣa, Nṛṣimho Brahma raśca ūrdhvadantārthakaśca au.

Duhkhaharārthako bindurNṛṣimhaṃ tena pūjayet.

That is,

Kṣa is Nṛṣiṃha and Ra is Brahma. Au means teeth pointing upwards, Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. With it Nṛṣimha should be worshipped.

Strīm ̣ (स्त्रीं)

Durgottārṇavācyah sa tārakārthastakārakah.

Muktyārtho repha ukto’tra mahāmāyārthanakaśca ī.

Viśvamātārtako nādo Bindurduhkhaharāthakah.

Vadhūbījartha ukto’tra tava snehān maheśvari.

That is,

Sa means deliverance from difficulties. Ta means Saviour. Ra here means salvation or liberation. Ī means Mahāmāyā. Nāda means Mother of the universe. Bindu means Dispeller of sorrow. Thus the meaning of Vadhūbīja is spoken unto Thee, O Maheśvari, out of love for Thee.


A close examination of the above may raise some difficulties, but must, in connection with what is elsewhere written, remove the charge that the Bīja is a meaningless saying to the worshipper. It is full of meaning to him.






Before creation Prakrti was in a state of equilibrium  (= Sāmyāvasthā). Pra = as in pro(-cess) = natural urge. Krti = producing and the produced = process and the product. Prakriti denotes a thought, a function, and an urge to produce and is the product itself. Prasava Dharmin is the working principle: observation of the law of conception and begetting. Prakriti is an active female principle, while Purusa is the materially inactive male principle; and the product is the universe and beings. Prakrti is the repository of Primary Matter wherein all subjects, objects and effects exist before and after their manifestation. Prakriti stands for cosmic will, and energy in projecting this universe (the phenomenal world). Purusa is Isvara, a modification of Brahman and has the power of manifestation or māyā (Sakti). Purusa is the subject and Prakriti is the object. Manifest Prakriti is matter which one can touch and feel; Prakriti is also an attitude that you love, hate, ignore, or transcend because of its gunas or qualities. Prakriti is existence itself; Prakriti's modes are the stuff of human relationship, in which Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas clash, collide, and compromise. Sattva = virtue; Rajas = motion and passion; Tamas = darkness. Prakriti by its nature makes compounds or substances, which are not intelligent or thinking on their own accord. This substance needs something that transcends it to control and direct it. Purusa or Spirit carries out this necessary transcendence, because if the spirit is a compound or a substance and has a stain of gunas, it cannot control another substance. Purusa is Light or Consciousness.

There was nothing; there was no Spanda (movement). Then came the Sound which brought on vibrations of Prakrti. That Sound was Pranava (Om/AUM). Om Sound is not mere sound. It is the Great Seed Sound (Maha-Bija). It reverberated; new vibrations came about from the original Om just like water in half empty vessel sloshes about and creates many disparate sounds. Many Bija Sound Mantras originated. Many sounds acquired particularity and became the sound of alphabets. Many compound sounds arose; sounds of syllables and words blossomed out. The name of objects came from the intrinsic sound of an object (the internal sound produced by the orbiting particles--see details below in faded text). These sounds originate in Muladhara as ParA VAk; it is a Still Sound--High-frequency Sound only NAda Yogis can hear. (Let me give an example. A dog can hear sounds that human ear can't.) This still-sound acquires form and color (Pasyanti) as it ascends up the Chakras and eventually becomes Vaikhari of articulated sound in the voice box. The Great Seed Sound is the source of other Bija Mantras of Devatas; thus Om is the patronymic sound which is the origin and has the power of all sounds and Devatas. People not in the know call them gibberish and cacophonic. Devatas are named after Bija sounds; its meaning is the form (Rupa) of the Devata. Its utterance and vibration invoke the particular Devata.  Bija is Devata Mantra. Bija sounds are Vocable Sounds, each one invoking a Devata. A votary invokes a Devata by his or her name and worship him or her. Examples:

Mantra Hrim Shrim Krim Hūm Hum Phat
Deity Maya Bija Lakshmi Bija Kali Bija Kurca Bija Varma Bija Astra Bija
Mantra Ram Em Klim Shrim Aim  
Deity Agni Bija Yoni Bija KAma Bija Badhu Bija Sarasvati Bija  


Natural Sounds and Natural Names:

Inspiration for this article came from Natural Name by Woodroffe in Garland of letters. For better understanding, new terms introduced by me are as follows: Primary Essential Sound (Causal Stress Sound) and External Stress Sound (Stress).

There is movement in all that exists. All movements (and objects) emit sound whether you hear it or not. Remember sub-atomic particles in atoms in objects spin and make sound but we cannot hear that sound.  If you can hear that sound and name it after the way it sounds, that is Natural Name of that sound or the object that produced the sound. Cuckoo is named onomatopoeically so because it emits that which sounds like "cuckoo". In Tamil a Crow is named after its sound Ka. Since it usually makes two consecutive Ka-Kas, it is called KAKA (¸ˇ¸ˇ). If you can hear the sound of the sap moving up the tree from its roots, you can give it a Natural Name. The Uncreated Brahman is Unmoving (Nispanda); the created world is moving and anything that moves makes sound. Sound is the basic phenomenon by which man apprehends the world. All else such as touch and feel, form and color, taste, and smell are all complex and specialized sounds. The skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose are the peripheral organs that transmit the 'sound' to the respective cortex. Human ear and the brain cannot hear all sounds. Elephants in the wild communicate by sounds that humans cannot hear. Humans cannot smell what a dog smells. Smell is also a movement or complex sound. A dog can smell a narcotic 10 feet away from its source. Something moved from the narcotic to the nose for the dog to apprehend the narcotic. In like manner the Supreme Absolute Ear of Divine Sakti can hear sounds in its purest state from all objects and that sound is the Natural Name for that object. If you think further all objects emit a Primary Essential Sound and that sound is the same in all languages. Objects produce two kinds of sounds: Causal Stress Sound (Primary Essential Sound) and External Stress Sound. Let us take a tuning fork. There is a sound, though not audible to us, emanating from a non-vibrating tuning fork; that is the Causal Stress Sound we don't hear and yet is heard by the Supreme Absolute Ear of Sakti and accomplished Yogi and is produced by the motion of sub-atomic particles. When the tuning fork is subject to external stress (tapping), it vibrates and emits sound and that is the stress-induced sound heard by the (our) Relative Ear. What the Yogi hears from the non-vibrating tuning fork is imperfect sound because only Brahman, Prajapati or God can hear the Natural Sound in its perfection with His Supreme Absolute Ear which is not gross or physical. Prajapati hears without ears, sees without eyes and walks without legs. The Prajapati utters and reproduces the Causal Stress Sound  by His Supreme Tongue to his Sadhaka (Yogi) who hears it by his imperfect Relative ear in a distorted way. When the Yogi rises to the level of Prajapati, the Causal Stress Sound sounds true to its quality to him. The Yogi communicates the Causal Stress Sound to his disciples who hear the sound in varying degrees of imperfection. Mantra Sastra states that Bija Mantras (Root Mantras sounding the Sanskrit letters) represent the Natural Names. The breath consisting of Inspiration and Expiration emits the sound of Prana-Bija Mantra, Hamsa ( or its inversion So-Ham). The out-breath sound is Ham and the in-breath sound is Sa. Om is the sound that has come down from its pristine natural state to its present form, structure and sound through many MAnasaputras and a line of Gurus, who tried to reproduce the sound to the best of their ability. Woodroffe states that it is an open continuous sound uninterrupted by any consonant which clips it, vanishing as it were upward in the NAdabindu which is placed on the vowel.

Interpretation of the term, "Natural".

1) The Supreme Absolute Ear hears the Primary Essential Sound (Causal Stress Sound) of an object without any distortion and He utters them with His Absolute Tongue without any distortion. Causal stress Sound is the name of an Object. Example: The air moves making a 'whoosh' sound. Air's natural name should be 'whoosh.'

2) When Prajapati utters them to Yogis, what they hear varies according to their Relative Ear and what they utter varies according their Relative Tongue. What we hear and utter are not Natural Sounds because we hear with imperfect relative ears and brain and utter with imperfect tongues. The Mantras Om, Ham, Ram are all distorted sounds as heard and uttered by the imperfect us; the degree of distortion depends on the nature and sensitivity of the Relative Ear and Tongue.

3) Cuckoo and the crow are named onomatopoeically from the sound they make. This is the sound they make when subjected to stress--External Stress-induced Sound. When the firewood is burning, it emits many sounds (crackles), which the Relative Gross Ear hears. The Causal Stress Sound or the Primary Essential Sound fire emits is Bija Mantra Ram which only a Yogi hears. Various organs in the body make Causal Stress Sound Hamsa and so on. Primordial Sounds descend to our relative levels according to our Relative Ears and Relative Tongues. Some do not descend to us at all.

4) Objects are named by Denotation and Connotation.

       de·no·ta·tion:  SaktyArtha, AbhidAsakti. Intrinisic, direct. Literal power or sense of the word. Primary name

1. the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience. Cf. connotation.

Ram is the Denotation of Fire. Ram is the Primary Essential Causal Stress Sound for Fire. Ram is the name for Fire that Yogi hears from the Absolute. Ram should be the real name for fire in all languages.

con·no·ta·tion: LaksyArtha, laksanAsakti  Secondary meaning, with attributes or qualities. Secondary Name

the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of "home" is "a place of warmth, comfort, and affection." Cf. Denotation

Ram is the Denotation of Fire. Ram is the Primary Essential Causal Stress Sound for Fire. Agni, Vahni, HutAsana are connotation and the Secondary External stress-induced Sound for Ram.

Ram is the Denotation of Fire. Ram is the Primary Essential Causal Stress Sound for Fire. Ram is the name for Fire that Yogi hears from the Absolute. Agni is the Sanskrit name (Connotation) for Fire; Agni is the connotative name heard by the ear. The Europeans heard the Sanskrit word Agni for fire and their imperfect tongue called it Ignis. From Ignis came the word Ignition.

The British heard the word Tiruvanantapuram (Tiru-Ananta-Puram = Sacred + Endless + City) the name of a famous Temple Town in Kerala. His relative ear, his relative tongue and his penchant to untwist his tongue made him say Trivandrum. He knows the word TRI (meaning three); he knows the word VAN ( for vehicle) and he knows the word DRUM (that you beat). He put them all together and used the corrupted word, TRIVANDRUM (Three + Van + Drum) for the sacred town. The original meaning of the word was Sacred-Endless-City. Tiru + Ananta + Puram = Sacred + Endless + City.  Thus the Sacred-Endless-City has come to be known Three + Van + Drum.  Now you see how relative ear and relative tongue can alter the sacred sound and meaning of a word and create an ignominious name for a sacred city. 

5) "Primary and Secondary names may be combined in such order (Krama) and metre or harmony (Chandah) that by vitalizing one another, these in combination may appear as an approximate name of thing or process.


All letters, syllables and Mantras are the names of Brahman, so are the lines of Yantra and objects of the universe. They who consider a Mantra mere letter and an image mere stone are on their way to hell. A jiva has many sheaths: Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manonmaya, Vijnanamaya (food sheath, breath, mind, Knowledge etc); they vibrate, each with it own frequency. Bija Mantras bring unison and regularization of vibrations of the sheaths, contributing to the welfare of the Jiva. Bija is the name of a Devata as rose is the name of a particular flower.


A mantra, unless specifically stated or instructed, should be repeated 108 or a thousand times, the latter is ten rounds of 108 (redundancy built-in,  in case of error in counting). Loud uttering of mantra is the least effective; muttering is ten times more efficacious; repetition with movement of the tongue within mouth is 100 times more efficacious; mental repetition is a 1000 times more efficacious. Mantra is chanted looking east or down. All mantras start with Om; one should look at the Guru or Deity while chanting Mantra; one should eat prescribed Prasada (food; Sacrament). Ideal places for chanting mantra are solitary sites, temples, river banks, and temple tanks. The ideal food for the aspirant to succeed in Mantra is rice, milk, grains and butter offered to Agni god (Fire), who is the intermediary between God and man. Hara (Siva), Durga, Jupiter, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, and Kubera are the presiding deities of the days of the week. See a different version of presiding deities of the days of the week.


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
In Hinduism the following are considered auspicious or otherwise.
pink or maroon White red green yellow or off-white light blue purple
No commerce launch anything new animal husbandry banking, crops, romance education healing, friendship pious day
Sun-the ruler Siva rules Kartikeya rules Vishnu Lakshmi Devi Dakshina Kali
Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Below is the Jewish way of counting (and naming) days; days have no names.
1st day after Sabbath 2nd day 3rd day 4th day 5th day 6th day Sabbath (7th day of the week)




Generally a Mantra has three components: Pranavam, Atas, and NamahPranavam is the primordial sound of auspicious nature and so is Atas.  Atas means afterwards or what follows after Om and in this context depicts the name of the deity; Namah is offering of bowing salutation, obeisance, homage, reverence.

An example:

(Pranavam - Atas - Namah) =  (Om - NarAyanAya - Namah) = (Om Narayanaya namah) = (Om, I offer bowing salutation to Narayana).  (Pranavam-Namah-Atas) = (Om NamO NArAyanA).


Mantra as said earlier is a syllable or a string of syllables. Varna and Svara (sound and Rhythm, intonation, musicality) are essential elements.  A diva uses Varna and Svara to sing a song; the result is musical excellence, pleasing to the ear, mind and soul. The same words uttered by a screechy voice evokes pain and distemper. Kundali is the source of varna and svara; thus, the Mantras are suffused with the Consciousness of Kundali, just like the music of any diva. Diva = a distinguished female singer. Diva has divine voice. Diva is cognate with Sanskrit Deva (deity). Diva is Devi of music.  Devi = female deity.  A Sadaka's sakti has to unite with the Mantra Sakti to produce peace, harmony, steadiness of vibrations of his sheaths (Kosas) and appearance of the image of the Mantra-specific Devata. The fruit is Mantrasiddha, consisting of fulfilled desires, material gain, Caturvarga (Dharma, Artha, KAma, and Moksa), advaitic wisdom and liberation.  Dharma, Artha, KAma, and Moksa = Virtue, Wealth, Love, and Liberation = Goal of man.


A view from the West: Abbe Dubois in his own words in green.

Abbe Dubois (1770-1848) a Christian Missionary from France was one of the most astute Hindu watcher in Tamil Nadu, India and an acerbic commentator. He did feel that Mantras neither induced vibrations nor oscillations of Spirit nor obtain realm of peace. He most of his time was watching the Hindus so much so that he did not have time and that he converted in his own words only  "two to three hundred converts, 2/3rd were 'pariahs' (his words) or beggars and the rest composed of Sudras, vagrants and outcastes of several tribes." He was frustrated that Roman Catholicism contaminated with caste system prevailed among the converts. The converts consulted the astrologers and purohitas (priests), practiced Hindu manners and customs in marriage. He had a particular annoyance at the Brahmin community then, whom he regarded as the sole purveyors of Mantras, which 'enchain the power of gods themselves.' Gods thus bound by chains were afraid of Purohitas who declared themselves as 'Brahma gods or gods of the earth.' He quotes a Mantra familiar to Purohitas:


Devadhinam jagat sarvam,

Mantradhinam ta devata

Tan mantram Brahmanadhinam

Brahmana mama devata


Variation of the same Mantra.


देवधीनं जगत् सर्वः मन्त्राधीनं च देवता |
      ते मन्त्रा ब्रह्मणाधीनां तस्माद् ब्राह्मण देवता ||

Devadhīna jagat sarva mantrādhīna ca devatā|

te mantrā brahmaādhīnā tasmād brāhmaa devatā||




Which means, 'The universe is under the power of gods; the gods are under the power of Mantrams; the Mantrams are under the power of the Brahmins; therefore the Brahmins are our gods.'  'The argument is plainly set out, as you may see, and these modest personages have no scruples about arrogating to themselves the sublime title of Brahma gods or gods of the earth. When one points out  to the Brahmins that these much-vaunted Mantrams do not produce startling effects in the present day, they reply that this must be attributed to the Kali-Yuga, a veritable age of iron when everything has degenerated.'

Abbe Dubois derides Gayatri Mantra, so highly regarded by Hindus. He observes derisively that Gayatri Mantram removes the sins and that gods tremble at it. The Brahmin must make sure that he always repeats it in a low voice,  that he is not overheard by a Sudra, or even by his own wife, particularly at the time  when she is in a state of uncleanness (monthly periods). The Mantram should not be imparted to an unbeliever (like Abbe Dubois). Page 138-140: Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. (Dubois speaks and writes here in green and I in black.)

Donald A Mackenzie says that Brahma took Gayatri, the milkmaid, as a second wife because his chief wife, Sarasvati, despite her wisdom arrived late for a certain important ceremony, at which the spouse of the god was required. Sarasvati cursed Brahma so that he could only be worshipped once a year. page 44, 149 Myths & Legends of India.

The following commentary by the author (Krishnaraj) is an analysis and mock anger directed at mack (a device to entice people to read the article on Mantra) rather than an annoyance. Dear mack: Calling Gayatri the milkmaid is as bad, idiotic, inconsiderate and ignorant as calling the Lord Jesus Christ the unemployed carpenter and a loser, President Truman the out-of-his-league haberdasher, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)  the Bulldog that barked in queen's English, Honorable Jewish Matchmaker Shadchan a pimp, Bible a Jewish Fairy tale, Prophet Moses a shepherd who lost his way.... Sarasvati, despite her wisdom arrived late: This characterization of dissociating wisdom from late-coming is a subtle and yet obvious insult to Sarasvati, who is the goddess of arts, music and letters.  mack expects all wise people to show up on time; only stupid people show up late. All this goes to show that the West goes out of the way to denigrate Hinduism in any way it can.  What mack says is that Brahma left a learned woman for a milkmaid. mack must have felt a vicarious glee at this scandal. West treats Hinduism in a manner the media treats Paris Hilton or Jamie Lynn Spears. (Feb 2008). Sensationalism is its currency. Brahma's consorts are his energies. What Sarasvati represents in Brahma is His Creative Aspect and Knowledge required for such an act. Sarasvati's other names are Gayatri, Satarupa, Savitri and Brahmani. Actually her full name is Sarasvati Gayatri, who is the personified energy of Brahma. (These are the secrets the Indian sages never told mack.) Many names of Sarasvati are intended to depict her essential quality in each of her names. When Sarasvati was busy with other important chores, Sarasvati sent herself in the name of Gayatri (a deity can do such things) for the sacrifice which could not continue without the physical presence of wife.  Sarasvati  is a river, wife of Brahma, daughter of Brahma, goddess of all arts and sciences, a milkmaid....Remember mack, in your days when there was no supermarket (Yes, I am talking to a dead man), your wife was a milkmaid. I bet you had a milch cow around  ready and willing to be milked.  Let me give you an example as to how mack has interpreted Brahma's marriage to Gayatri (the milkmaid). King and queen attend a ball.  The queen on occasions adjusts his pillow, makes his bed, cooks his meals, and makes coffee for the king. What mack says is that the king takes his maid (cook) for the ball. Now that my mock anger is out in the open, I could go back to Mantra.



If you don't have an initiating Guru, you can use OM as your Mantra.

Aum (Om) is the mystic syllable intonated audibly, sotto voce, or mentally; It is the fusion of three sounds beginning with aw (as in paw) originating in Muladhara Chakra, vibrating as oo (as in coo) in the Anahata and Visuddha Chakras and resonating as mm (as in mm, that is good) in Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras. It is Primal Mula (root or original) Mantra and thus a non-secular Mantra. Ām (ஆம் = variation of Aum) in Tamil means "Yes, expressing assent."   OM

Mantra Devata is like a three-limbed tree: Guru mantra (given by a Guru), Stotra or hymn of praise and prayer for the general good and specific rewards, and Kavaca, mantra of protective nature.

Kavacha mantra is a mystical syllable forming a part of Mantra offering protection. Kavaca is mail, coat of mail, cuirass or armor. Mystical words can be carved and worn as amulet to ensure protection. Kavacha Mantras are used to invoke, for example, Brahman to protect various parts of the body. Each mantra is like a key that opens or invokes a god who offers protection. Siva is meditated upon in the heart. Vishnu is meditated upon to protect the throat, so the devotee can chant a mantra to invoke his Ishta Devata, a god of his choice. (The Hollywood celebrities insure their legs, hands, larynx, face for obvious reasons. Now you see why the Hindus want to protect their body parts for various reasons with the insurance of faith in God, who prevents mishaps and protects them. Insurance does not really protect the limb but only pays its insured worth after it is lost or injured. Kavacha Mantra is a preventive and a protective measure; now you see the immense difference.


As said earlier, Mantra is the sound-body of god; as the tree is contained in a seed, Brahmanda (Brahman + Anda = Brahman's Egg = Brahman's universe) is contained in the Mantra, Hamsa Mantra. Siva and Sakti throb in this Mantra. There is no life without this Mantra; it is integral to life and breathing, not only inspiration and expiration of air but the internal breathing of each cell. To exemplify this fact it is said that Hamsa Mantra is like light in the sun, oil in the sesamum seed, fire in the wood, Sakti in Siva, movement in the wind. All other Mantras do not have any potency unless they are conjoined with this Mantra; it is like saying a little salt goes a long way to make food palatable. Hamsa is Prasadapara (Supreme Grace) Mantra, learned from a Guru and gives release (emancipation). Even gods like Vishnu, Rudra, and Brahma repeat this Mantra and gain knowledge, luster, and liberation. An ordinary Pasu (individual soul) becomes Pasupati (the Lord of the pasus). It is so powerful that a lowly man chanting this mantra can consecrate the idols and images. This mantra can be chanted by anyone to obtain its benefits; it erases all class distinctions, and confers liberation. Mantras in general are deity-specific and therefore fruit-specific (Specific benefits); Hamsa is the King of Mantras and confers the Complete Fruit. Hamsa is thus Siva and Sakti, SatChitAnanda, and Supreme Reality, yielding both Yoga and Bhoga.

SatChitAnanda = Being-Consciousness-Bliss.


This is a fundamental principle of the Tantrik method. The Kaula thus enjoys both Bhoga and Yoga, the worship being with enjoyment. Yoga is the union of Prana and Apana, of seed and ovum, of " Sun " and "Moon,'' of Nada and Bindu, of Jivatma and Paramatma, So also the Rudra-yāmala and the Maṅgala-rāja-stava say: "Where there is worldly enjoyment there is no Liberation; where there is Liberation, there is no worldly enjoyment. But in the case of excellent devotees of Srīsundarī both Liberation and Enjoyment are in the hollow of their hands."

Oct 6, 2012. The Worship of Sakti, The Great Liberation, by Woodroffe

Yoga.jpg dated November 3, 2017


Tantrics advance this theory you can enjoy this world and still obtain liberation (emancipation). They call it Bhoga and Yoga. They have it both ways. Tantrics are the first group that believed man mired in the mud of animalism, prurience, sense satisfaction, and world enjoyment (like the happy worm wriggling in ordure) can become man in the true sense of the word and manifest his divinity in him. Accordingly, the Tantrics divided people into Pasu (animal), Vira (the hero), and Divya (Divine). Man is all three in one. Man goes from the Faustian to the sapient to the divine in a progressive manner. Everyone is capable of this change to a divine being. The Tantrics took on this human experiment, wherein they imposed some rules of moderation in lifestyle of the Faustian: the Five Ms (= Matsya, Mamsa, Madya, Mudra and Maithuna = Fish, Flesh, Wine, Grains and sexual intercourse) Hey, What is life without these five Ms? Is it worth? Are we having fun with these five Ms? The idea is to transform man from his animalistic behavior to human behavior by imposing certain rules, regulations and restrictions and positive reinforcements to move him from human to divine status. Animal is darkness (Tamas); man is all action (Rajas); Yogi is divine (Sattva).

Now let introduce to you Swami Sivananda, who explains this better than me.

Tantra Yoga


Sri Swami Sivananda


Tantra Yoga

Tantra Yoga had been one of the potent powers for the spiritual regeneration of the Hindus. When practiced by the ignorant, unenlightened, and unqualified persons, it has led to certain abuses; and there is no denying that some degraded forms of Saktism have sought nothing but magic, immorality, and occult powers. An example of the perverted expression of the truth, a travesty of the original practices, is the theory of the five Makaras (Pancha Makaras);-Madya or wine, Mamsa or flesh, Matsya or fish, Mudra or symbolical acts, and Maithuna or coition. The esoteric meaning of these five Makaras is: "Kill egoism, control flesh, drink the wine of God-intoxication, and have union with Lord Siva".

Tantra explains (Tanoti) in great detail the knowledge concerning Tattva (Truth or Brahman) and Mantra (mystic syllables). It saves (Trayate). Hence it is called Tantra.

The Tantras are not books of sorcery, witchcraft, magic spells, and mysterious formulae. They are wonderful scriptures. All persons without the distinctions of caste, creed, or colour may draw inspiration from them and attain spiritual strength, wisdom, and eternal bliss. Mahanirvana and Kularnava Tantras are the important books in Tantra Sastra. Yoga Kundalini Upanishad of Krishna Yajurveda, Jabala Darsana, Trisikha Brahmana, and Varaha Upanishad are useful for getting knowledge of Kundalini Sakti and the methods to awaken it and take it to Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head.

The Tantra is, in some of its aspects, a secret doctrine. It is a Gupta Vidya. You cannot learn it from the study of books. You will have to get the knowledge and practice from the practical Tantrikas, the Tantric Acharyas and Gurus who hold the key to it. The Tantric student must be endowed with purity, faith, devotion, dedication to Guru, dispassion, humility, courage, cosmic love, truthfulness, non-covetousness, and contentment. Absence of these qualities in the practitioner means a gross abuse of Saktism.

The Sakti Tantra is Advaita Vada. It proclaims that Paramatman (Supreme Soul) and Jivatman (individual soul) are one. The Saktas accept the Vedas as the basic scriptures. They recognise the Sakta-Tantras as texts expounding the means to attain the goal set forth in the Vedas.

Tantra Yoga lays special emphasis on the development of the powers latent in the six Chakras, from Muladhara to Ajna. Kundalini Yoga actually belongs to Tantric Sadhana which gives a detailed description about this serpent-power and the Chakras (plexus). Entire Tantric Sadhana aims at awakening Kundalini, and making her to unite with Lord Sadasiva, in the Sahasrara Chakra. Methods adopted to achieve this end in Tantric Sadhana are Japa of the Name of the Mother, prayer, and various rituals.

Guru and Diksha (Initiation)

Yoga should be learnt from a Guru (spiritual preceptor). And this is true all the more in the case of Tantra Yoga. It is the Guru who will recognise the class to which the aspirant belongs and prescribe suitable Sadhana.

The Guru is none other than the Supreme Divine Mother Herself, descended into the world in order to elevate the aspirant. As one lamp is lit at the flame of another, so the divine Sakti consisting of Mantra is communicated from Guru to the disciple. The disciple fasts, observes Brahmacharya, and gets the Mantra from the Guru.

Initiation tears the veil of mystery and enables the disciple to grasp the hidden truth behind scriptures' texts. These are generally veiled in mystic language. You cannot understand them by self-study. Self-study will only lead you to greater ignorance. The Guru only will give you, by Diksha (initiation), the right perspective in which to study the scriptures and practise Yoga.

Qualifications of a Disciple

The qualifications of the disciple are purity, faith, devotion, dispassion, truthfulness, and control of the senses. He should be intelligent and a believer in Vedas. He must abstain from injury to all beings. He must be vigilant, diligent, patient, and persevering. He must be ever doing good to all. All Sadhana should be done under the personal direction of a Guru or spiritual teacher.

Tantra Sadhana

Bhuta Suddhi is an important Tantric rite. It means purification of the five elements of which the body is composed. The Sadhaka (aspirant) dissolves the sinful body and makes a new divine body. He infuses into the body the life of the Devi.

Nyasa is a very important and powerful Tantric rite. It is placing of the tips of the fingers of the right hand on various parts of the body, accompanied by Mantra.



Vacya = Vakya; Vacaka = Vasaka.

Every Mantra has two Saktis (powers): Vakya Sakti and Vasaka Sakti; the former is the seed and latter is the flesh of the fruit; the former is life of Mantra and the latter is the sustainer of life; the Vakya Sakti is subject and transcendent, and Vasaka Sakti is object and immanent; one cannot get to the seed without going through the fruit; one cannot understand the meaning and true nature of Vakya sakti without worshipping Vasaka Sakti (they are like Brahman and Isvara); Vakya sakti is without attributes (Nirguna Brahman), Vasaka Sakti is with attributes (Saguna Brahman = Isvara); Vakya sakti is seed and Vasaka Sakti is the tree; seed and Vakya Sakti are latent and dormant, and tree and Vasaka Sakti are awake and florid; Vakya Sakti is white light and Vasaka Sakti is spectral or rainbow colors, yellow, blue, red and more of Kundalini Devi. Paramatma is Vakya Sakti, while the son of Devaki (Krishna) is Vasaka Sakti. Vakya is meaning; Vasaka is words, phrases and mutterings of Mantra. The god who is the subject of Mantra is Vakya Sakti and Pratipaadya (to be explained, meaning) Devata and god who is Mantra itself (god's sound body = Mantra) is Vasaka Sakti. Vakya Sakti is like clouds and Vasaka Sakti is like rain water. Vakya Sakti is unlimited; Vasaka Sakti is delimited. Vakya sakti is all-pervasive and unmanifest, while Vasaka Sakti is manifest.  The Vasaka Sakti of Mantra with attributes is awakened by Siddhi of Sadhakas who then with the help Devi step into the monistic world of Brahman knowledge.  (Ref. to white light and spectral or rainbow colors, and seed and tree are author's input.) Vasaka Sakti is the road to Vakya Sakti; the former is the means and the latter is the goal. Yogis are capable of meditating on Brahman without going through the preliminary step of worshipping and meditating on Isvara. In this instance, they are the seekers of Cashew Nut which is outside the fruit--author's opinion.


Mular says that 'Sa'  sound originates in Nada and 'Ha' sound originates in Bindu.  Hamsa = Ham + Sa = Male + Female = Siva + Sakti = Purusa + Prakrti. Hamsa is a bird: swan.

Each Mantra is packed with salubrious vibrations, the release of which spreads through the universe of human body and spirit like the ripples generated by a rock dropped in a pond. The ripples in the mind lake created repeatedly by the mantras keeps the physical, emotional and mental state in good health.  It is also compared to a seed, which packs a tree inside, the growth of which depends upon the fertile soil. Such is the power of Mantra. Mere chanting helps, but sincerity and surrender augment its power. Coming back to Soham, conscious recital (Mantra japa) of a Mantra and increasing the cycles of respiration with accompanying Mantra are performed by yogis. Increasing the respirations without professional guidance is not recommended for beginners for it alters the pH of the blood with some ill effects. The purpose of Mantra in kundalini yoga is to take you from a mere existence at Muladhara plane of four petals to superconscious Sahasrara plane of a thousand petals, where the unwound Chakra-penetrating serpetine Kundalini power finds her union with Siva.

Mantras are double-edged swords; it can be used only for the good and never for harming anyone. If Mantras are used for evil purposes, it is like digging a grave for someone else but falling and getting interred live in it. A Mantra is sound and or silent energy which has transformational power on the person who utters it. By Mantra a Devata is invoked. Chanting of Mantra is like shaking a sleeping person to wake up from sleep. The moving lips are Siva and Sakti; their movement is Mithuna (union). Sabda or sound is the name, artha is Devata whose name it is. The Devata that is produced is his/her manifestation, which is actually a roused, altered or higher consciousness of the Sadaka (aspirant), which can perceive the Artha or the object that is invoked by Mantra. Sabda is cognitive sound, while Artha is the object it denotes and the thought it provokes. Thus the whole universe is covered by sabda and the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which is the articulate Vaikhari stage in the evolution of Sound. Go to SOUND.HTM. Mahakali's garland of fifty heads represents those fifty letters; she absorbs the letters, the Sabda, and the Artha into herself during Maha Pralaya (Great dissolution). That is the naked fierceness of absorption or dissolution. 


Sabda's causal source is Sabda Brahman, a manifest Brahman, while Para Brahman is unmanifest, soundless and Supreme, which is Turiya Consciousness where sound and thoughts involute or subside. Go to POTPOURRI  --Potpourri two for Sabda Brahman and Para Brahman.


Mantra is a magical formula based on a sound, a syllable, a word, a phrase or a verse which, when chanted in silence, solo, or chorus, creates wholesome vibrations and energy.

    Mantra is the soul of Yantra; worship in Yantra pleases the Goddess. Mantra is the language of communication with a chosen Deity. Yantra restrains, regulates, modulates, subdues, and sublimates all miseries born of desire, anger, hate, greed, love and other entities.  Worship without Yantra brings curse from the Deity. While worshipping the Deities, the deity-specific Mantra and Yantra with all the attendant rituals and paraphernalia should be brought into play, guaranteeing the proper respect and reverence to the deity; invocation of one deity, and worship of another brings the wrath of both offended deities. The Inner power (Antahsakti) is brought to the full force in worship with all its rituals. All this is done under instructions from the Guru. Mantras are used for Worship, Communication, Rewards, Gains, Powers, Avoidance and Expulsion, Cures, Detoxification, Manipulation, Control, Purification, inflicting injury, and other purposes.

    The written Mantra is Varnātmaka Sabda, meaning the sound is based on the written characters --written Mantra; Dhvayātmaka Sabda is the sound (Nāda) based on speech--Uttered Mantra. The mystics and Kundalini practitioners hear the sound in the Anahata (heart) center, which is the abode of Sabda Brahman, Nada Brahman or Sound Brahman--all synonyms. It is said that there are 330 million of devatas (deities or divine beings) of layered hierarchical status in this universe living in various lokas or world domains. Each deity presides on his assigned domain, has a name, a mantra, a mantra-body known as Yantra and his or her followers. When a deity-specific mantra is chanted, that particular mantra-specific deity responds according to the intensity of devotion and faith. The Guru gives to the Sisya or pupil a Mantra, that is compatible with the pupil,  brings the best from that devata and fructifies the pupil's needs. The mind of the meditator in the depth of his faith takes the shape of the deity and the aspirant becomes one with the deity. This is the Maxim of Worm and Wasp.

The Maxim of Wasp and Worm

(Disclaimer: The 'WASP' has nothing to do with White AngloSaxon Protestant.)

'Wasp, where is thy sting?' is a book that I read many years ago.

A lowly worm is in constant fear of the wasp and thus meditates on the wasp, not knowing when the dreaded fate of wasp sting will strike it. The worm is so much possessed of the image of the wasp, that its consciousness is reposed only in the thought and form of wasp. The worm becomes a wasp in its mind's image.  Similarly, an Avadhuta is constantly meditating on Brahman, not knowing when the blessed event of knowing and transforming himself to deity would take place. He thus becomes deity himself by dwelling in his mind on the deity.

Bhakti (devotion) and Kriya (ritual external and internal purification) bring beneficial results from the devata.


Broadly, Mantras fall into three categories: Vedic, Tantrika, and Puranic; each category has three divisions: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Sattvic mantras are used for light, wisdom, discrimination, awareness, divine love, compassion and realization; Rajasic mantras are used for material gains: progeny and prosperity; Tamasic mantras are used to invoke evil spirits for destructive purposes. Meditation on Tamasic mantra is Vāma Marga meaning a path that is left-handed, vile, wicked, base, low and bad. They earn a direct descent to hell. Rajasic mantras guarantee birth and rebirth because there is no salvation in the chanting of these mantras. Sattvic mantras expunge all sins and karma and rewards the aspirant with peace and tranquility, Bliss, Grace and Moksa (liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths).



AUM: Tirumular says that the one letter, A, represents the universe. The two letters A and U are Siva and Sakti, the latter being the all-powerful manifest energy of Siva. The three letters, A, U, and M are Siva, Sakti and Light, the last being Jnana or knowledge.  The letter M is also Maya. Tirumular calls AUM as one-letter Mantra, representing Tandava, the Divine Dance of Siva. Tandava is derived from Tandu, a dancer and servant of Siva. Any act performed by Siva is a dance. The dances are named according to his acts (creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and Grace), places (Chidambaram), and competition (Urdhva), 25 Lilas (acts of play). The most celebrated dance is the ‘Tandava’ in Chidambaram.

In the plane of Muladhara (Kundalini, fist plane), he stands as Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya--Na for earth and Brahma, Ma for water and Vishnu, Si for fire and Rudra, Va for Vayu and Rudra, Ya for Akasa and Sadasiva. NaMaSiVaYa has contextual meanings:








The soul’s journey to Grace

Veiling or Tirodhana

Mala or impurity

Lord Siva

Arul or Grace

The Jiva or individual soul

Panchaakshara (Five Syllables)


The Universe

Lord Siva

Revealing Grace

The Jiva

Body Parts@

the lower limbs

the abdomen

the shoulders

The mouth or face

The eyes or the head.

Dynamic Panchaakshara of Nataraja Fire in the hand Right foot on Muyalakan


drum out-stretched hand left lower hand, dispelling fear

Siva’s five functions in Nataraja stance

Destruction (left posterior hand with flame).

Concealing Grace, planted right foot.

Creation, right posterior hand with the drum.

Revealing Grace, left anterior hand pointing down to left foot--Jiva's refuge

Maintenance (Sthiti), right anterior hand with supinated upright palm. (A-bhaya mudra—fear-not symbol)

[high-five position of palm]







Five Elements





Akasa or ether

Muladhara triangle-Kundalini

Earth and Brahma

Water and Vishnu

Fire and Rudra

Vayu and Rudra

Akasa and Sadasiva




A (Siva)

U (Sakti)


Perpetual Bliss






Jnana (knowledge)






Pure Joy



Pure Joy

Pure Joy

Pure Joy

Tandava dance of dissolution






Agamic Mantra



A (Sadasiva)

U (Sadasiva)


Pati-Pasu-Pasa Triangle






Siva and Sakti



A (Srim)

U (Krim)


A and U



Body of Siva

Body of Siva


The dance letters of Siva’s rhythmic dance steps. (The life letters or vowles)






 Five groves@@






Five hoods of snake@@          
Five fingers@@          
five Cupid's arrows@@          

@ = Thiruvarutpayan sings praise of Lord Nataraja and ascribes the alphabets to body parts of Nataraja: NA for foot, Ma for abdomen, Si for shoulders, Va for face,  Ya for crown of the head.

@@ = Thiru-gnana-sambandar's list of fives.

Panchaaksharam, the five-syllable mantra, represents Siva in Lingam and Nataraja.

Tirumular says that anagram Mantra, Na-Ma-Va-Si-Ya stands in the sphere of Fire; Va-Si-Ya stands in that of Sun; and Va-Si stands in the sphere of  Moon. Chanting Namasivaya drives away the fiery snake of Pasa--bondage. Sivaya Nama is the Sukshma (subtle) Mantra, chanting which eight thousand times reveals the subtle path of Sushumna, destroys karma, and gives the bliss of Siva.  For a detailed presentation of AUM (OM) go to POTPOURRI


Mantrasakti (the power of Mantra) reveals the forms  of the deity in the wood, stone, earth, stalagmite, stalactite and infuses life into the idol. Mantrasakti  also is self-awakening and self-propelling in bringing together the Brahma Tejas in the spiritual heart of the Sadhaka (worshipper or aspirant) and the Tejas (light, splendor) of the external idol; this combined Tejas of sacrificial fire accepts the oblations of the Sadhaka. The deity descends on the idol with grace, beauty, benevolence and sweetness, when the Sadhaka approaches the idol with devotion, fervor, focus and sincerity.  For Saktas, the goddess is the power in the Yantras of river, ocean, mountain, tree, aparajita flowers,  bush, jackals, cremation grounds, Bael tree, cows, bulls, Brahmanas, Gurus and the rest in nature. The whole universe and its parts are her Yantras (Power Points).  If you worship a flower as Devata, you are not worshipping the flower but the goddess in the form of the flower; this is Svarupa Vibhuti.  Sva-rūpa = its own-form. Vibhūti = expansion. It means the flower is the expansion of the goddess.




    Clitoria Ternatea (AparAjitA flower) If you see Labia Majora, Minora and Clitoris in this image of the flower, you are right and that is why it is named, Clitoria Ternatea. Thus the flower represents the Goddess.  Consider these symbols:

Caravay seeds representing  phallus stand for God.


    The goddess or god is macrocosmic Being; this universe and parts are Her or His microcosmic parts. That is Virāta, the external manifestation.  He or She is the Sutaratma (Sūtrātman / sutratman), the thread on which the universe and its parts are strung together.  Isvara, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, gods, goddesses, demons, Brahmanas, Ksatriyas,  Vaisyas, Sudras, animals, trees, fruits, crops, stone, rivers, mountains, and  the rest are all connected by one thread. You appease one, you appease Isvara; you hurt one, you hurt Isvara. (The word 'Suture' came from Sanskrit word 'Sutra' for thread.)

    Brahma Vidya is the ticket for liberation or Moksa.  It can be achieved by Sravana, KIrtana,  Smarana (Manana), PAdasevana, Arcana, Vandana, DAsya, Sakhya, Atmanivedana,  Nidhidyāsana, Yoga, and Sādhana.




When we pray to God, we use the sound-syllable OM; OM is the first sound, first thought, Brahman and God; OM consists of three letters: A U M, the beginning, the middle and the end. AUM includes or contains the past, the present and the future and is beyond time itself. When Prajapathi was meditating on the three worlds, three Vedas originated; earth, atmosphere and sky came into existence; and the syllable AUM came about. AUM is the basis of any thought, spoken or written and more; AUM also represents the Hindu Holy Trinity: A, Brahma; U, Vishnu; and M, Siva. AUM knows neither fear nor death and so men, gods and Asuras take refuge in AUM. (Sing it sotto voce and have no fear of anything.) In Sanskrit A and U combine to form O sound and M gives that resonance. A begins at the voice box,  fills the mouth (u) and ends in the closed lips (m). While modulations of the sound takes place, as said before, it resonates in the sinus cavities. Upanishads state, “As all leaves are held together by the stalk, so all speech is held together by AUM.” Joseph Campbell explains this as follows:

"Consonants are simply interruptions of these vowel sounds according to this view. So that all words and their meanings are simply broken inflections of aum, just as all the scattered reflections on that pond that I mentioned are merely broken inflections of that great cosmic image." (page 33, Myths of Light.) End of quote.

Aum is the whole universe and beings in all their states. A comes into a state of wakefulness; U goes into dream sleep; M goes into deep sleep. A is creation; U is life on earth; M is dissolution. The silence that follows OM is the period between dissolution and creation. This cosmic series of events takes place in our daily lives on a smaller human scale: birth, life and death; wakefulness, dream, and deep sleep.

In wakefulness (A), one is aware of subject and object differentiation. It is I compared to you, it and that. Duality is the order of wakefulness; there is no self-illumination; it is all ego; it is matter; it is waiting for (spiritual) illumination from outside of itself. The empirical world is its playground.

In dream sleep (U), I , You, and that become objects; you are a subject who dreams and also an object along with others; thus, subject and object differentiation blurs and becomes one. It is a subtle state, where all are imageries, hopes, aspirations, fears, and possibilities.

In deep sleep (M), consciousness is in a potential state. It is a conceptual self in that seminal concepts are incubated without awareness until they are hatched. This state of union with Brahman confers a temporary relief lasting for the duration of deep sleep. It is a Bliss state, though temporary.

That is the beginning of spiritual awakening. Wakefulness is spiritual night; night is spiritual awakening.

Here I am quoting from Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, Verse 69.

2.69:  What is night for all beings is awakening for the disciplined soul and what is awakening for all beings, is night for the Muni– the silent one, the sage or seer.


What is night for all beings is wakefulness for the self-controlled person. That (the senses) which keeps all beings awake, is the night for the Muni-the discriminating sage or seer.


Man, who seeks satiation of the senses, lives his life in the night of darkness and ignorance; and is not awake to the reality of the soul or Truth. The ignorant man “walks the nights.” What is awakening for a man of heightened senses, is the night of the soul (no enlightenment) for the Muni (sage, seer). Muni, lacking worldly and sensual pursuits, and in the darkness (night of quietness) of his Mauna (silence), sees enlightenment of the soul

Pleasure seekers are the “nightwalkers.” Muni, in his silence, is the night guard keeping the senses out of his realm for the sake of realization of the Self.  

OM is the syllable, the utterance of which helps a soul to penetrate Brahman proportionate to the degree of belief in it, detachment, abrogation of desires and contact with sense objects, and awareness. Its power is diluted by exegesis. Tirumular says in Tantra Four, Verse 885, that A became the world, A and U became Sakti and Siva and AUM became the Light (Jnana = Wisdom). M became the Maya.

    In Prasna Upanishad, there is a two-way conversation between Guru Pippalada and his disciples. Questions are asked and answered. The sound AUM is equated to the Higher and Lower Brahman, also known as nameless (or unqualified = Nirguna Brahman) Brahman and personal Brahman (or Isvara = Saguna Brahman)  Meditation on each and all component(s) of AUM brings benefits to the mediator. Component A guarantees a quick rebirth soon after death among men of high caliber and greatness associated with austerity, abstinence and faith. Meditation on the two components, A and U, guarantees a sojourn on the moon in all its greatness with a return to earth. Meditation on all three components, AUM, guarantees oneness with the light of the sun, shedding of all sins, (compared to the shedding of the skin by the snake) and an entry into the world of Brahma greeted by Sāma chants. (The world of Brahma is a collection of individual souls, who at one time or another are sent back to earth in embodied forms, after their term in Satya loka expires.)  From the world of Brahma, he goes one step above, gets vision of Isvara, qualified Personal Brahman and thereby attains eternal liberation from the world of samsāra. Meditation on the three components are better than meditating on individual components because AUM as one triad guarantees liberation and immortality in the world of Isvara, and AUM in its individual components guarantees only rebirth in this phenomenal world. 

Nada Bindu Upanishad says that AUM is a Bird.  MANTRA2.gif  converted to  MANTRA2A.jpg.




MANTRA2A.jpg was modified to MANTRA2AB.jpg







Bija Mantra = Seed Mantra =  One syllable Mantra = by convention Bija Mantra is one syllable Mantra. Sometimes compound letters form the Bija Mantras (Hreem)

M with ChandraBindu (Crescent with a dot) on top of it:  


ChandraBindu means Moon dot, a diacritic sign. It means that the previous vowel is nasalized.  It is also known as Anusvara which forms the termination of all Bija Mantras. Chandrabindu is a combination of Nada and Bindu.  Nada and Bindu are two saktis (power). Naada (Nada) is sound and Bindu is dot, or point. Nada and Bindu are the progenitors of Tattvas, the building blocks of the universe. Nada is Sakti and Bindu is Siva (Siva-Sakti); Nada is action and Bindu is static; Nada is white and Bindu is red. (Skanda Purana says that Siva-Sadasiva is of the nature of Nada (divine sound) sitting in AkArapIthikA (Pedestal of the letter A) and Five-letter Mantra Namasivaya.)

The first part of the mantra A resonates in Muladhara Chakra in the base of the spine; the second part of the mantra U resonates in Anahata and Visuddha Chakras; the third part of the mantra M  resonates in Ajna and Sahasrara planes. The crescent with a dot in the concavity above the mantra, is Chandrabindu or Nada and Bindu and stands for the soundless sound Paranada. Chandrabindu = moon with a dot. Paranada is Supreme soundless sound, Nada is sound, Bindu is the derivative of Nada and the source of the universe. Nada is called Visvamata or Mother of the Universe; Bindu is Duhkha Hara or Pain killer or remover of pain. This idea from antiquity (actually a revealed knowledge) makes one consider that the Big Bang came from Nada-Bindu, a dot. 

There is an explanation as to how the Chandra Bindu (M) originated. Seed Sound Krim (Bija Krim) is formed in Ajna Chakra at glabella (spot between the eyebrows). Krim is composed of three components or sounds: Ka-kara, Kali; Ra-kara, Brahma as fire; I-kara, Mahamaya and m. Kara is the term used in designating a letter or sound: Om-Kara. m is Chandrabindu made of two parts: Nada (Visvamata), the Mother of the Universe and Bindu (Duhkha Hara), pain killer or remover of pain (Bijakosa). According to Kundalini Yoga, Kaali (Kundalini or Sakti) is the origin of sound; Krim is the Kali Mantra. See files: Sabda  <<<Click>>> Mantra.

A for wakefulness, U for dream sleep, M for deep sleep and Chandrabindu for Turiya silence: this is the explanation. Turiya silence occurs between two AUM intonations. Nada and Bindu (Paranada, soundless Sound) represent Turiya silence of the Unmanifest world, while AUM represents the manifest world of living beings in three states of consciousness as said earlier. AUM is Pravrtti, meaning continuation of life processes; Turiya is Nivrtti, meaning cessation (the 4th state); thus, the cycle of evolution, maintenance, and involution of an individual and the universe is contained in Pranava, .  

    In Maitri Upanishad Chapter six, the Brahman is depicted as three-footed and three-lettered according to the three letters of the syllable AUM. The three-footed Brahman is rooted above and the branches are the ether, wind, fire, water, earth etc; this upside-down tree is Asvattha or fig tree: The import is that Brahman is rooted in heaven and the material world draws sustenance from Brahman. One has to cut asunder all attachments to the material world in order to attain Brahman. In AUM, Brahman is gender, light, holy triad, mouth, knowledge, physical elements, time elements, physical sustenance and growth, thought, and breath. 

Table: The Triads of Brahman

Gender Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter
Light Fire, Wind, and Sun
Holy Triad Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva
Mouth Three sacrificial fires
Knowledge Three Vedas, Rg, Yajur and Sāman
Physical Elements Earth, ether and sky 
Time Elements Past, Present and Future
Physical Sustenance and Growth Food, Water and Moon
Thought Buddhi (Intellect), mind, and Self-sense or Ego
Breath Prāna, Apāna and Vyāna– Breath, Downward breath, Pervading Breath

There was a rivalry between the Devas and the Asuras (the gods and the demons) born of Prajapati. The devas took refuge in and possession of OM and used it as breath through the nose. The demons corrupted the breath with evil and so the breath has become sweet and foul for the nose. The Devas meditated on OM as the speech, the eyes, the ears, the mind, and the breath by mouth. But they were all corrupted by the Asuras so we speak truth and falsehood, see beauty and ugliness, hear what should be heard and what should not be heard, entertain good and bad thoughts, and experience dissipation of life breath as a clod of earth shatters on impact on a stone wall. (Chandogya Upanishad 1.2.1-8) This not only tells the importance of chanting OM, but also brings into focus the Sattva (divine) and Tamas (asuric) gunas or modes of behavior of an individual.

Upanishads mention that OM is the bow, the jivātman is the arrow and the Brahman is the target. A bow must be strong and tensile in that the faith is strong, one has depth and breadth in Vedic wisdom, and life lived by Sattva sharpens the arrow with devotion. The mind is the tip of the arrow. Silence and stillness are the goals that are Param-Brahman.

Om, as an entity, is a sage Visvamitra; it has three feet, A - U – M; the ocean is its abdomen; the moon and the sun are its eyes; the fire is its mouth; Visnu is its heart; Brahma is its head; and Rudra is its locks.


Swami Sivananda says: The Bijas of the five Mahabhutas or great elements, i.e., of the Devatas or the presiding intelligences of the elements, viz., Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, are respectively Ham, Yam, Ram, Vam and Lam. The meanings of a few Bija-Mantras are given here, to serve as examples.


OM consists of three letters: 'A', 'U' and 'M'. It signifies the three periods of time, the three states of consciousness, the entire existence. 'A' is the waking state or Virat and Visva. 'U' is the dreaming state of Hiranyagarbha and Taijasa. 'M' is the sleeping state or Isvara and Prajna. Study the Mandukyopanishad in detail in order to understand the meaning of OM.


In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. Au is Sadasiva. The Nada and Bindu mean that which dispels sorrow. With this Mantra Lord Siva should be worshipped.


Here Da means Durga. U means to protect. Nada means the mother of the universe. Bindu signifies action (worship or prayer). This is the Mantra of Durga.


With this Mantra Kalika should be worshipped. Ka is Kali. Ra is Brahman. Ee is Mahamaya. Nada is the mother of the universe. Bindu is the dispeller of sorrow.


This is the Mantra of Mahamaya or Bhuvanesvari. Ha means Siva. Ra is Prakriti. Ee means Mahamaya. Nada is the mother of the universe. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.


This is the Mantra of Mahalakshmi. Sa is Mahalakshmi. Ra means wealth. Ee means satisfaction or contentment. Nada is Apara or the manifested Brahman or Isvara. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.


This is the Bija-Mantra of Sarasvati. Ai means Sarasvati. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.


This is the Kamabija. Ka means the Lord of desire (Kamadeva). Ka may also mean Krishna. La means Indra. Ee means contentment or satisfaction. Nada and Bindu mean that which brings happiness and sorrow.


In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. U is Bhairava. Nada is the Supreme. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow. This is the threefold Bija of Varma of armour (coat of mail).


This is the Ganesha-Bija. Ga means Ganesha. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.


This also is a Mantra of Ganesha. Ga means Ganesha. La means that which pervades. Au means lustre or brilliance. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.


This is the Bija of Narasimha. Ksha is Narasimha. Ra is Brahma. Au means with teeth pointing upwards. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.

There are, like these, many other Bija-Mantras which signify various Devatas. 'Vyaam' is the Bija of Vyasa-Mantra, 'Brim' of Brihaspati-Mantra and 'Raam' of Rama-Mantra.


Sa is deliverance from difficulties. Ta is Saviour. Ra is liberation. I is MahAmAyA. Nada is Mother of the universe and Bindu is Dispeller of sorrow.


Sri-Vidya is the great Mantra of Tripurasundari or Bhuvanesvari or Mahamaya. It is also called the Panchadasi or the Panchadasakshari, for it is formed of fifteen letters. In its developed form it consists of sixteen letters and is called Shodasi or the Shodasakshari. The aspirant should directly get initiation of this Mantra from a Guru, and should not start reading it for himself or doing Japa of it, on his own accord. This is a very powerful Mantra and, when it is not properly repeated, it may harm the Upasaka. So it is imperative that it should be got directly from a Guru who has got Siddhi of this Mantra.

The general rule is that this Mantra (Sri-Vidya) should be repeated after one's passing through certain stages of self-purification through other Mantras. In the beginning a Purascharana (prefatory rite) of Ganesa-Mantra should be done. Then Purascharanas of Gayatri-Mantra, Maha-Mrityunjaya-Mantra and Durga-Mantra (Vaidika or Tantrika) have to be done. After this the Panchadasakshari and the Shodasakshari have to be taken up for Japa.

The Bija-Mantras and the Sri-Vidya should not be repeated by those who are not well acquainted with them. Only those who have a very good knowledge of the Sanskrit language and who have been directly initiated by a Guru (who has Mantra-Siddhi) can take up the Japa of Bija-Mantras and the Sri-Vidya. Others should not approach these Mantras and should do only their own Ishta-Mantras which are easy to pronounce and remember. End of Swami Sivananda quote.


 The following are the most favorite Mantras

1: Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah, Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Diyo Yonah Prachodayat. GAYATRI

2: Om Sri Maha Ganapataye Namah - Homage to Lord Ganesa.

3: Om NamaSivaya - Homage to Lord Siva.

4: Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya - Homage to Vishnu, Krishna.

5: Om Sri Ramaya Namah - Homae to Lord Rama (Incarnation of Vishnu).

6: Om Sri Durgayai namah - Homage to Goddess Durga (Goddess destroying our evil qualities)

7: Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah - Homage to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth)

8: Om Air Sarasvatyai Namah (Goddess of learning)

9: Om Klim Krishnaya Namah (Homage to Krishna, Incarnation of Vishnu)

10: Om Triyambhakam Yajamahe Sugandhim PushtivardhanamUrvarukamiva Bandhanam Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat.


Mantras are uttered with or without breath control. Simple Kundalini Pranayama is for the modern man who has no time for contemplation, meditation or the real McCoy, Kundalini Yoga. PrAna + Yama  =  Breathing Restraint  =  Breathing Regulation  =  Control of Breathing. The following is modified and based on the recommendation of Swami Sivananda. (Page xxiii, Kundalini Yoga.) Pranayama consists of Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka: Inspiration, Retention and Exhalation of breath. Swami Sivananda says that positive attitude and dedication (Bhava) are more important than the time ratio of three components of Pranayama. Sit in Padma Asana pose looking East or North. Perform a short prayer in worship of your Guru or Ishta Devata (Personal God = God of your liking). Take a deep breath without snorting, hissing etc. As you inhale, imagine that Kundalini Devi is rising from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra through all the intermediary chakras. Retain your breath for five to ten seconds (Kumbhaka Phase). As you retain your breath mentally chant Pranava (OM) or your own chosen Mantra. Feel that you are suffused with  LIGHT, POWER AND WISDOM  during Kumbhaka phase. Next comes exhalation (Rechaka phase). Imagine that Kundalini is descending stepwise from Sahasrara, to Ajna, to Visuddha, to Anahata, to Manipura and finally to Muladhara Chakra. As you are exhaling imagine that you are exhaling all Tamasic qualities (sloth and slumber) out of your system.

As you take a breath, imagine that you are inhaling all the auspicious cosmic powers into your system, for the breath (Prana or power) spreads all throughout your body and takes all the cosmic powers to each cell. During Kumbhaka phase, all the cosmic powers take their residence in each cell. In exhalation phase, imagine that you are getting rid of all unwanted qualities from your system. During Kumbhaka phase, you can chant OM or any other mantra and also pray for the welfare of you, your family, your community, your nation and the world. Kumbhaka phase is the most important. Hold the breath as long as you possibly can.  

    If you have an  Ishta- or Adhi-devata in mind, meditate on him or her with or without retained breath, and then recite his or her name sotto voce keeping your right palm over the heart which means that you invoke the Devata to come and reside in your heart.  Ishta   =   of your liking. Adhi   =   over. Adhidevata   =   tutelary deity.

Swami Vivekanada recommends the following Pranayama. Pranayama trains the superconscious mind. It consists of inspiration, retention and expiration. Inspiration is done for a count of four through one nostril; the breath is retained for a count of sixteen; exhalation is done through the other nostril for a count of eight. One has to occlude the non-breathing nostril with the thumb. "In time your breathing will obey your mind. Make four of these Pranayamas morning and evening."

A simple Sandhyavandanam Pranayama is performed as follows: block the right nostril by the right thumb, breathe in through the left nostril for the duration it takes to mentally say the Gayatri mantra. Block both nostrils, hold the breath and say the Gayatri; breathe out through the right nostril as you block the left nostril for the duration it takes to chant Gayatri.

Om -- Bhur, Bhuva, Svaha -- tat savitur varenyam -- bhargo devasya dhimahi -- dhiyo yo nah prachodayat-.  You may stop to catch the breath after each round.  Performing all nine rounds in one session does not usually pose any problem.

When soldiers are stressed out during battle, they are advised to take Pranayama exercises consisting of Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka. If it works for them, it should work for us. You can do this any number of times a day wherever and whenever it is feasible.

There are others who recommend modifications of Pranayama: Viloma Pranayama, Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama.

Anuloma   =   Natural Direction. Viloma: Turned the wrong way.

Loma is hair; Anuloma is going with the hair or grain; Anuloma is going with the flow.

 Viloma is going against the hair or grain; Viloma is going against the flow.

Anuloma -Viloma Pranayama

Assume Padmasana Pose. Think of Hawaiian Hang Loose Pose of the right hand. Extend the thumb, the ring finger and the pinky; fold the index and the middle fingers. The right thumb serves to occlude the right nostril and the combined ring finger and pinky occlude the left nostril.  It takes a little practice to get it right.



Occlude the right nostril with the right thumb and take a deep breath  through the left nostril until you cannot breath any further.

Occlude the left nostril with the combined ring finger and pinky and breath out slowly through the open right nostril.

The time ratio between inhalation and exhalation is 1: 2.

Now take a deep breath through the right nostril by occluding  the left nostril, followed by exhalation through the left nostril.

This completes one cycle of Anuloma-Viloma.

The next step to learn is to hold the breath between Inhalation and Exhalation by occluding both nostrils. This is Anuloma-Viloma with Kumbhaka. Kumbhaka   =   retention of breath.  Inhalation and Retention (Kumbhaka) are of equal duration.

Assume any posture that makes you comfortable. Practice Anuloma-Viloma for a few months and feel at ease with the practice; later you can go on to Anuloma-Viloma with Kumbhaka.

Viloma Pranayama

Viloma Pranayama is against the established order. Make sure both nostrils are patent for airflow before these exercises. Assume sitting or lying position, close your eyes and just relax. Breath out completely as much as you can with comfort. With both nostrils open, breath in for a few seconds, take a pause holding the remaining breath, resume breathing in for a few seconds; take a pause as before and repeat the process until you have filled your lungs. This is Staccato Inspiration. (I introduced this foregoing term.) Hold the breath (kumbhaka phase) for a few seconds (Duration: as long as it takes to say 1-2-3) and breath out in a staccato fashion reversing the process. The pauses in this staccato respiration are about 4 or 5 in each phase of inspiration or expiration. Repeat this staccato respirations for about ten minutes.  You may engage in a few normal respirations between Viloma cycles according to your comfort level.  (Staccato speech: Enunciation of a word in distinct syllables, example: stac-ca-to instead of staccato. Staccato inspiration: breathing-in in a disconnected fashion. Staccato Expiration: breathing out in a disconnected fashion. Legato as compared with Staccato is smooth and connected without breaks.)

Sastras say that Gayatri should not be chanted loud. Loud chanting earns low gains (Remember, Senior Bush got into trouble and lost his 1992 reelection bid for saying his Mantra loudly, "Read my lips: no new taxes"); Sotto voce begets greater benefits; mental chanting of Gayatri Mantra earns the highest reward. There are five stops in the course of reciting the Mantras; there are five faces of Gayatri Devi. 1st stop is after Om; 2nd stop after Bhur, Bhuva, Svaha; 3rd stop after tat savitur varenyam; 4th stop after bhargo devasya dhimahi; 5th stop after dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. Chanters get Brahma Varcas (Tejas, power, splendor, brilliance); that is why it is called Brahma Sutra. Gayatri's Tejas gives the Light to Solar, Lunar and Stellar Mandalas and that light has spread to all that shines. It is the Light in the eye and the heart.  Gayatri is so supreme that it is beyond the Gunas. It is like the sun casting its light on the high and the low, the pure and the impure, the sacred and the sacrilegious and yet does not take on the character of the object it shines on.

Gayatri Mantra:  1st round of Mantra mental enunciation should span the duration of inhalation; 2nd round with retention of breath and 3rd round with expiration.  That means one should mentally recite the whole mantra once with inhalation, once with retention and once with exhalation. Three grand rounds of a total of  nine recitations are considered suitable for a person in a hurry. Inhalation and mental chanting take 10 seconds; retention and exhalation take 10 seconds each. If you face the sun and do it, it  is even better.

Here are some thoughts expressed by Ramana Maharishi and modified by me. He says that you, the Spirit, are part and parcel of the universe, you are Brahman and you as an individual subside in Brahman thus loosing your individuality. If you insist you are an individual, you are body-conscious and cannot dissolve in the ocean of Bliss. You are the salt and Brahman is the ocean; Brahman is You, He, She, It and That that contain all the souls or solutes.

Lingapurana Vol 6, Chapter 8 says the following about Mantras.

Eight-syllabled Mantra, Om namo NArAyanAya and the 12-syllabled Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate VAsudevAya are the greatest Mantras of the Great Atman.  The 6-syllabled Mantra, Om NamasivAya connotes the entire meaning of all Vedic passages. The Mantra of Rudra, the Purusa in conjunction with Pradhana = Namaste SankarAya.


Om Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya

AUM: Tirumular says that the one letter, A, represents the universe. The two letters A and U are Siva and Sakti, the latter being the all-powerful manifest energy of Siva. The three letters, A, U, and M are Siva, Sakti and Light, the last being Jnana or knowledge.  The letter M is also Maya. Tirumular calls AUM as one-letter Mantra, representing Tandava, the Divine Dance of Siva. Tandava is derived from Tandu, a dancer and servant of Siva. Any act performed by Siva is a dance. The dances are named according to his acts (creation, maintenance, destruction, veiling and Grace), places (Chidambaram, etc.), and competition (Urdhva), 25 Lilas (acts of play). The most celebrated dance is the ‘Tandava’ in Chidambaram.

In the plane of Muladhara (Kundalini, first plane), he stands as Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya--Na for earth and Brahma, Ma for water and Vishnu, Si for fire and Rudra, Va for Vayu and Rudra, Ya for Akasa and Sadasiva. NaMaSiVaYa has contextual meanings:

Tirodhana sakti = திரோதானசத்தி).  (சத்தி = சக்தி)








The soul’s journey to Grace

Veiling or Tirodhana

Mala or impurity

Lord Siva

Arul or Grace

The Jiva or individual soul

Panchaakshara (Five Syllables)


The Universe

Lord Siva

Revealing Grace

The Jiva

Body Parts@

the lower limbs

the abdomen

the shoulders

The mouth or face

The eyes or the head.

Dynamic Panchaakshara of Nataraja Fire in the hand Right foot on Muyalakan


drum out-stretched hand left lower hand, dispelling fear

Siva’s five functions in Nataraja stance

Destruction (left posterior hand with flame).

Concealing Grace, planted right foot.

Creation, right posterior hand with the drum.

Revealing Grace, left anterior hand pointing down to left foot--Jiva's refuge

Maintenance (Sthiti), right anterior hand with supinated upright palm. (A-bhaya mudra—fear-not symbol)

[high-five position of palm]

Five Elements





Akasa or ether

Bija Mantras


Vam Ram Yam Ham

Muladhara triangle-Kundalini

Earth and Brahma

Water and Vishnu

Fire and Rudra

Vayu and Rudra

Akasa and Sadasiva




A (Siva)

U (Sakti)


Perpetual Bliss






Jnana (knowledge)






Pure Joy



Pure Joy

Pure Joy

Pure Joy

Tandava dance of dissolution merges in






Agamic Mantra



A (Sadasiva)

U (Sadasiva)


Pati-Pasu-Pasa Triangle






Siva and Sakti



A (Srim)

U (Krim)


A and U



Body of Siva

Body of Siva


The dance letters of Siva’s rhythmic dance steps.






 Five groves@@






Five hoods of snake@@          
Five finger@@
five Cupid's arrows@@          


Na Ma Si Va Ya
Earth Water Fire Air / Wind / Vayu Sky / Akasa
Lam Vam Ram Yam Ham

@ = Thiruvarutpayan sings praise of Lord Nataraja and ascribes the alphabets to body parts of Nataraja: NA for foot, Ma for abdomen, Si for shoulders, Va for face,  Ya for crown of the head.

@@ = Thiru-gnana-sambandar's list of fives.

Panchaaksharam, the five-syllable mantra, represents Siva in Lingam and Nataraja.

Tirumular says that anagram Mantra, Na-Ma-Va-Si-Ya stands in the sphere of Fire; Va-Si-Ya stands in that of Sun; and Va-Si stands in the sphere of  Moon. The basic Mantra is Na-Ma-Va-Si-Ya. See variant example below. When the soul Ya is flanked by Na and Ma on the front and Si and Vā in the end, Na and Ma representing Tirodhana and Mala lead the soul into bondage and  rebirth and Si and Vā representing Siva and Arul confer salvation and Grace to the soul.  

Na Ma Ya Si Vā

In the above Mantra, obscuration and impurities are the burdensome front load (Na Ma) on the soul Ya, Siva and Grace Si Vā come once the soul is divested of the front load of Na Ma.

Na Ma Ya Si Vā:  Strike Na and Ma (obscuration and impurities). This is what you want. At this juncture the soul Ya moves and sits between Si Vā (Siva and Bliss) and the new configuration is Si Ya  Vā. This is bliss; this is liberation.

Na = Tirodhana Sakti or Obscurant Siva Sakti திரோதானசத்தி).  (சத்தி = சக்தி)

Ma = Malas or impurities

Si = Siva

Vā = Grace

Ya  = soul

Kēvala state is dream-sleep state of the soul Ya before birth.

Sakala state is awake state, life of the embodied soul on earth (Na Ma Ya).

Suddha state is deep-sleep state, merger with Siva (Si Vā Ya---> Si Ya Vā ); Na Ma left the soul.

For more information on OM Namasivaya, go to OM NAMASIVAYA


SriVaishnava Mantras.


Srivaishnava Mantras are passed down as secret to the deserving disciple by the Vaishnava Acharya during initiation. The disciple offers his surrender at Naaraayana's feet and the revered line of Acharya-Gurus. The disciple lives and maintains a sattvic life in accordance with Vaishnava tenets.

These three secrets reveal the absolute status of Naaraayana, Sri, and relative status of Jivatma; His JagatkAranatva (Primary Cause of Creation); His AudhAratva, being the supporter of the Universe;  Paramatma's ownership of Jivatma; Unity in Bimodality, Sri's inseparability from Naaraayana; His pervasion in beings and universe; Naarayana being the Hypostasis or Basis for all Chetanams and Achetanams; Naaraayana's Supremacy as Sarvesvara; Sesha's dependence and servitude to bimodal Seshi; Sesha's renunciation;  Removal of all obstacles in the service of the Lord; Sri's mediation on behalf of Chetanams; His Feet as the Means (Upayam) to attain the Lord; Atma Samarpanam (dedication of self) by the Jivatma to Paramaatma as Prapannan; simple means to attain Him without the need for cumbersome Yogas (Sarva Dharman); forgiveness of  sins; Exclusive surrender to Naaraayana only as precondition to Naaraayana's Grace; VAtsalyam by the Lord; Paramatman's feet as the Object and Goal of Prapatti and Surrender; Removal of all impediments to Moksa; Total Surrender as the guarantor of relief from grief.

For more Srivaishnava mantras


The Follwing is the Chapter on Mantra from The Six Centers and the Serpent Power by woodroffe.

IV Chapter MANTRA  

REFERENCE is made in the Text and in this Introduction to Śabda, Varṇa, Mantra. It is said that the letters (Varṇa) of the alphabet are distributed throughout the bodily centres on the petals of the lotuses, as is shown on Plates II-VII. In each of the lotuses there is also a Seed- Mantra (Bīja) of the Tattva of the centre, Kuṇḍalinī is both Light (Jyotirmayī) and Mantra (Mantramayī),1 and Mantra is used in the process of rousing Her.  There is perhaps no subject in the Indian Śāstrawhich is less understood than Mantra. The subject is so important a part of the Tantra-Śāstrathat its other title is Mantra-Śāstra. Commonly Orientalists and others describe Mantra as "prayer," "formulae of worship," "mystic syllables," and so forth. Mantra science may be well founded or not, but even in the latter case it is not the absurdity which some suppose it to be. Those who think so might except Mantras which are prayers, and the meaning of which they understand, for with prayer they are familiar. But such appreciation itself shows a lack of understanding. There is nothing necessarily holy or prayerful about a Mantra, Mantra is a power (MantraŚakti) which lends itself impartially to any use. A man may be injured or killed by Mantra; 2 by Mantra a kind of union with the physical  

1 The first is the subtle, the second the gross form. See as regards the subject-matter of this Chapter the Author's "Garland of Letters".  

2 As in Maranam and other of the ṣatkarma. To quote an example which I have read in an account of an author nowise "suspect" as an Occultist, Theosophist, etc. - General J. T. Harris noticed a scorpion close to the foot of a Sadhu. "Don't move," he said; "there is a scorpion by your foot." The Sadhu leaned over, and when he saw the scorpion he pointed at it with his fingers, on which the animal immediately and in the presence of the General shrivelled up and died. "You

seem to have some powers already," the General said; but the Sadhu simply waived the matter aside as being of no importance ("China Jim" : "Incidents in the Life of a Mutiny Veteran," by Major-General J. T. Harris, p. 74. Heinemann).  


A man may be injured or killed by Mantra; by Mantra a kind of union with the physical Śakti is by some said to be effected; 1 by Mantra in the initiation called Vedhadīkṣa there is such a transference of power from the Guru to the disciple that the latter swoons under the impulse of it;2 by Mantra the Homa fire may and, according to ideal conditions, should be lighted; 3 by Mantra man is saved, and so forth. Mantra, in short, is a power (Śakti); power in the form of Sound. The root "man" means "to think".  

The creative power of thought is now receiving increasing acceptance in the West. Thought-reading, thought-transference, hypnotic suggestion, magical projections (Mokṣaṇa), and shields (Grahana), 4 are becoming known and practised, not always with good results. The doctrine is ancient in India, and underlies the practices to be found in the Tantras, some of which are kept in general concealed to

 1 An extraordinary use to which it is put, I am informed by some worshippers of the Bhairava Mantra. The man projects the Mantra on to the woman, who then experiences the sensation of a physical union. The Viṣṇu Purana speaks of generation by will power.

 2 As the Kularnava Tantra says, and as may be readily understood, such a Guru is hard to get. The disciple who receives this initiation gets all the powers of his initiator. It is said that there are Gurus who can at once make their disciples fit for the highest aims.

 3 As is stated to have actually happended lately in the house of a friend of a collaborator of mine. A man is alleged to have lit the fuel in Kuṣandikā-Homa simply by Mantra and the Bīja of fire ("Ram") without recourse to light or match.

 4 This Sanskrit term expresses not so much a "fence" to which use a Kavacha is put, but the knowledge of how a man may "catch" a Mantra projected at him.  

 MANTRA page 85  

prevent misuse.1 What, however, is not understood in the West is the particular form of Thought-science which is Mantra-vidyā. Those familiar with Western presentment of similar subjects will more readily understand 2 when I say that, according to the Indian doctrine here described, thought (like mind, of which it is the operation) is a Power or Śakti. It is, therefore, as real, as outer material objects. Both are projections of the creative thought of the World-thinker. The root "man," which means 'to think', is also the root of the Sanskrit word for "Man," who alone of all creation is properly a thinker. Mantra is the manifested Śabda-brahman .  But what is Śabda or "sound"? Here the Śakta-Tantra Śāstra follows the Mimamsa doctrine of Śabda, with such modifications as are necessary to adapt it to its doctrine of Śakti. Sound (Śabda), which is a quality (Guṇa) of ether (Ākāśa), and is sensed by hearing, is twofold - namely, lettered (Varnātmaka Śabda) and unlettered, or Dhvani (Dhvanyātmaka Śabda). 3 The latter is caused by the striking of two things together, and is meaningless. Śabda, on the contrary, which is Anāhata   (a term applied to the Heart Lotus), is that Brahman sound which is not caused by the striking of two things together. Lettered sound is composed of sentences (Vākya), words (Pada), and letters (Varṇa).

 1 In the Samhitā called Kulārnava (not the Tantra of that name) Śiva, after referring to some terrible rites with the flesh of black cats, bats, and other animals, the soiled linen of a Chandala woman, the shroud of a corpse, and so forth, says: "Oh, Parvati, my head and limbs tremble, my mouth is dried" (Hridayam kampate mama, gatrani mama kampante, mukham shushyate Parvati), adding : "One must not speak of it, one must not speak, one must not speak, again and again I say it must not be spoken of" (Na vaktavyam na vaktavyam na vaktavyam punah punah).

 2 It is because the Orientalist and missionary know nothing of occultism, and regard it as superstition, that their presentment of Indian teaching is so often ignorant and absurd.

 3 This Dhvani is the gross body of the Mantra. See the Author's "garland of Letters".


letters (Varṇa). Such sound has a meaning.1 Śabda manifesting as speech is said to be eternal. 2 This the Naiyāyikas deny, saying that it is transitory. A word is uttered, and it is gone. This opinion the Mīmāmsā denies, saying that the perception of lettered sound must be distinguished from lettered sound itself. 3 Perception is due to Dhvani caused by the striking of the air in contact with the vocal organs - namely, the throat, palate and tongue. Before there is Dhvani there must be the striking of one thing against another. It is not the mere striking which is the lettered Śabda. This manifests it. The lettered sound is produced by the formation of the vocal organs in contact with air, which formation is in response to the mental movement or idea, which by the will thus seeks outward expression in audible sound. 4 It is this perception which is transitory, for the Dhvani which manifests ideas in language is such. But lettered sound, as it is in itself - is eternal. It was not produced at the moment it was perceived. It was only manifested by the Dhvani. It existed before, as it exists after, such manifestation, just as a jar in a dark room which is revealed by a flash of lightning is not then produced, nor does it cease to exist on its ceasing to be perceived through the disappearance of its manifester, the lightning. The air in contact with the voice organs reveals sound in the form of the letters of the alphabet, and

 1 When the word "Ghata" is uttered, then there arises in the mind the idea of a jar. "When the Mantra of a Divinity is uttered there arises the idea of the Deity whose name it is.

 2 Not as audible sounds (Dhvani), but as that which finds auditory expression in audible sounds. The sensible expressions are transient. Behind them is the eternal Logos (Śabda-brahman ), whose manifestation they are.

 3 Samantu tatra darŚanam ("But alike is the perception thereof").

 4 This is only one form in which letters find sensible expression. Thus writing gives visual expression, and to the blind perforated dots give tactual expression.  

 87 MANTRA  

their combinations in words and sentences. The letters are produced for hearing by the effort of the person desiring to speak, and become audible to the ear of others through the operation of unlettered sound or Dhvani. The latter being a manifester only, lettered Śabda is something other than its manifester.  Before describing the nature of Śabda in its different forms of development it is necessary to understand the Indian psychology of perception. At each moment the Jīva is subject to innumerable influences which from all quarters of the universe pour upon him. Only those reach his Consciousness which attract his attention, and are thus selected by his Manas. The latter attends to one or other of these sense impressions, and conveys it to the Buddhi. When an object (Artha) is presented to the mind and perceived, the latter is formed into the shape of the object perceived. This is called a mental Vritti (modification), which it is the object of Yoga to suppress. The mind as a Vritti is thus a representation of the outer object. But in so far as it is such representation it is as much an object as the outer one. The latter - that is, the physical object - is called the gross object (Sthūla artha), and the former or mental impression is called the subtle object (Sukshma artha). But besides the object there is the mind which perceives it. It follows that the mind has two aspects, in one of which it is the perceiver and in the other the perceived in the form of the mental formation (Vritti) which in creation precedes its outer projection, and after the creation follows as the impression produced in the mind by the sensing of a gross physical object. The mental impression and the physical object exactly correspond, for the physical object is, in fact, but a projection of the cosmic imagination, though it has the same reality as the mind has; no more and no less. The mind is thus both cognizer (Grāhaka) and cognized (Grāhya), revealer (Prakāśaka) and revealed (Prakaśya), denoter (Vācaka) and denoted (Vāchya).


(Prakashya), denoter (Vachaka) and denoted (Vachya). When the mind perceives an object it is transformed into the Shape of that object. So the mind which thinks of the Divinity which it worships (Ishta- devata) is at length, through continued devotion, transformed into the likeness of that Devata. By allowing the Devata thus to occupy the mind for long it becomes as pure as the Devata. This is a fundamental principle of Tantrik Sadhana or religious practice. The object perceived is called Artha, a term which comes from the root "Ri," which means to get, to know, to enjoy. Artha is that which is known, and which therefore is an object of enjoyment. The mind as Artha - that is, in the form of the mental impression - is a reflection of the outer object or gross Artha. As the outer object is Artha, so is the interior

subtle mental form which corresponds to it. That aspect of the mind which cognizes is called Śabda or Nāma (name), and that aspect in which it is its own object or cognized is called Artha or Rūpa (form). The outer physical object of which the latter is, in the individual, an impression is also Artha or Rūpa, and spoken speech is the outer Śabda. Subject and object are thus from the Mantra aspect Śabda and Artha - terms corresponding to the Vedāntic Nāma and Rūpa, or concepts and concepts objectified. As the Vedānta says, the whole creation is Nāma and Rūpa. Mind is the power (Śakti), the function of which is to distinguish and identify (Bheda-samsarga-vṛitti Śakti).

Just as the body is causal, subtle and gross, so is Śabda, of which there are four states (Bhava), called Parā, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī - terms further explained in Section V of this Introduction. Parā sound is that which exists on the differentiation of the Mahābindu before actual manifestation. This is motionless causal Śabda in Kuṇḍa-linī in the Mūlādhāra centre of the body. That aspect of it in which it commences to move with a general - that is, non-particularized - motion (Sāmānya-spanda) is Paśyantī, whose place is from the Mūlādhāra to the Maṇipūra  Cakra, the next centre.


non-particularized - motion (Sāmānya-spanda) is Paśyantī, whose place is from the Mūlādhāra to the Maṇipūra  Cakra, the next centre. It is here associated with Manas. These represent the motionless and first moving Īśvara aspect of Śabda. Madhyamā sound is associated with Buddhi. It is Hiranyagarbha Śabda (Hiraṇyagarbha-rūpā) extending from Paśyantī to the heart. Both Madhyamā sound, which is the inner "naming" by the cognitive aspect of mental movement, as also its Artha or subtle (Sukshma) object (Artha), belong to the mental or subtle body (Sukshma or Liṅga Śarīra). Perception is dependent on distinguishing and identification. In the perception of an object that part of the mind which identifies and distinguishes, or the cognizing part, is subtle Śabda, and that part of it which takes the Shape of the object (a Shape which corresponds with the outer thing) is subtle Artha. The perception of an object is thus consequent on the simultaneous functioning of the mind in its twofold aspect as Śabda and Artha, which are in indissoluble relation with one another as cognizer (Grāhaka) and cognized (Grāhya). Both belong to the subtle body. In creation Madhyamā-Śabda first appeared. At that moment there was no outer Artha. Then the cosmic mind projected this inner Madhyamā Artha into the world of sensual experience, and named it in spoken speech (Vaikharī-Śabda). The last or Vaikharī Śabda is uttered speech developed in the throat issuing from the mouth. This is Virāt-Śabda. Vaikharī- Śabda is therefore language or gross lettered sound. Its corresponding Artha is the physical or gross object which language denotes. This belongs to the gross body (Sthūla Śarīra). Madhyamā Śabda is mental movement or ideation in its cognitive aspect, and Madhyamā Artha is the mental impression of the gross object. The inner thought-movement in its aspect as Śabdārtha, and considered both in its knowing aspect (Śabda) and as the subtle known object (Artha), belong to the subtle body (Sukshma Śarīra).


the subtle known object (Artha), belong to the subtle body (Sukshma Śarlra). The cause of these two is the first general movement towards particular ideation (Paśyantī) from the motionless cause, Para-śabda, or Supreme Speech. Two forms of inner or hidden speech, causal and subtle, accompanying mind movement, thus precede and lead up to spoken language. The inner forms of ideating movement constitute the subtle, and the uttered sound the gross, aspect of Mantra, which is the manifested Śabda-brahman . The gross Śabda, called Vaikharī or uttered speech, and the gross Artha, or the physical object denoted by that speech, are the projection of the subtle Śabda and Artha through the initial activity of the Śabda-brahman into the world of gross sensual perception. Therefore in the gross physical world Śabda means language - that is, sentences, words and letters, which are the expression of ideas and are Mantra. In the subtle or mental world Madhyamā Śabda is the mind which "names" in its aspect as cognizer, and Artha is the same mind in its aspect as the mental object of its cognition. It is defined to be the outer in the form of the mind. It is thus similar to the state of dreams (Svapna): as Para-śabda is the causal dreamless (Suṣupti) and Vaikharī the waking (Jagrat) state. Mental Artha is a Saṁskāra, an impression left on the subtle body by previous experience, which is recalled when the Jīva re-awakes to world experience and recollects the experience temporarily lost in the cosmic dreamless state (Suṣupti) which is dissolution (Mahā-pralaya). What is it which arouses this Saṁskāra? As an effect (Kārya) it must have a cause (Kāraṇa). This Kārana is the Śabda or name (Nāma), subtle or gross, corresponding to that particular Artha. When the word


 When the word "Ghata" is uttered this evokes in the mind the image of an object - a jar- just as the presentation of that object does. In the Hiranyagarbha state Śabda as Saṁskāra worked to evoke mental images. The whole world is thus Śabda and Artha - that is, name and form (Nāma Rūpa). Those two are inseparably associated. There is no Śabda without Artha or Artha without Śabda. The Greek word Logos also means thought and word combined. There is thus a double line of creation, Śabda and Artha, ideas and language together with their objects. Speech, as that which is heard, or the outer manifestation of Śabda, stands for the Śabda creation. The Artha creation are the inner and outer objects seem by the mental or physical vision. From the cosmic creative standpoint the mind comes first, and from it is evolved the physical world according to the ripened Saṁskāras, which led to the existence of the particular existing universe. Therefore, the mental Artha precedes the physical Artha, which is an evolution in gross matter of the former. This mental state corresponds to that of dreams (Svapna) when man lives in the mental world only. After creation, which is the waking (Jagrat) state, there is for the individual an already existing parallelism of names and objects.  

Uttered speech is a manifestation of the inner naming or thought. This thought-movement is similar in men of all races. When an Englishman or an Indian thinks of an object, the image is to both the same, whether evoked by the object itself or by the utterance of its name. Perhaps for this reason a thought-reader whose cerebral centre is in rapport with that of another may read the hidden "speech" - that is, the thought of one whose spoken speech he cannot understand. Thus, whilst the thought-movement is similar in all men, the expression of it as Vaikharī-Śabda differs. According to tradition, there was once a universal language. According to the Biblical account, this was so before the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel. Nor is this unlikely when we consider that difference in gross speech is due to difference of races evolved in the course of time. If the instruments by,


If the instruments by, and conditions under, which thought is revealed in speech were the same for all men, then there would be but one language. But now this is not so. Racial characteristics and physical conditions, such as the nature of the vocal organs, climate, inherited impressions, and so forth, differ. Therefore, so also does language. But for each particular man speaking any particular language the uttered name of any object is the gross expression of his inner thought-movement. It evokes that movement and again expresses it. It evokes the idea and the idea is Consciousness as mental operation. That operation can be so intensified as to be itself creative. This is Mantra-caitanya.  

From the above account it will be understood that, when it is said that the "letters" are in the six bodily Cakras, it is not to be supposed that it is intended to absurdly affirm that the letters as written shapes, or as the uttered sounds which are heard by the ear, are there. The letters in this sense - that is, as gross things - are manifested only in speech and writing. This much is clear. But the precise significance of this statement is a matter of great difficulty. There is, in fact, no subject which presents more difficulties than Mantravidya, whether considered generally or in relation to the particular matter in hand. In the first place, one must be constantly on guard against falling into a possible trap - namely, the taking of prescribed methods of realization for actualities in the common sense of that term. The former are conventional, the latter are real. Doubts on this matter are increased by some variations in the descriptive acoounts. Thus in some Ganeśa is the Devata  of the Mūlādhāra . In the Text here translated it is Brahmā. Similarly this Text gives Dakini in the Mūlādhāra as the  Devata of the Asthi Dhatu (bony substance). When sitting in the prescribed Asana (posture), the bones are gathered up  around this Cakra, and, moreover, from it as the centre of the body the bones run up and downwards.


the body the bones run up and downwards. Another account,  however, given to me places Devi Śakini here.1 Mistakes have also to be reckoned with, and can only be  ascertained and rectified by a comparison of several MSS.2 Again, four letters are said to be on the petals of the  Mūlādhāra Lotus - namely, Va, Śa, Ṣa, and Sa (= व श ष स).


Why  are these said to be there? Various statements have been  made to me. As there are certain letters which are ascribed  to each form of sensible matter (Bhuta), it seems obvious  to suggest that the Earth letters (Pārthiva-Varṇa) are in  the Earth centre. But an examination on this basis does  not bear the suggestion out. Next, it is said that the letters have colours, and the letters of a particular colour are allocated  to the lotuses of the same colour. The Text does  not support this theory. It has been said that certain  letters derive from certain Devatas. But the letters produce  the Devata, for these are the Artha of Mantra as  Śabda. I have been also told that the letters are placed according to their seat of pronunciation (Uccāraṇa). But it is replied that the Mūlādhāra is the common source of  this (Uchcharanasthana) for all.3 Again, it is said that  the 

1 This account, which may be compared with that of the Text, is as follows:  

Bone (Asthi-dhātu): Mūlādhāra Cakra : Devi Śākinī.

Fat (Meda- dhātu) : Svādhiṣthāna-Cakra ; Devi Kākinī.

Flesh (Mamsa- dhātu): Maṇipūra-Cakra ; Devi Lākinī.

Blood (Rakta- dhātu): Anāhata-Cakra ; Devi Rākinī.

Skin (Tvak- dhātu): Viśuddha-Cakra ; Devi Dākinī.

Marrow (Majjā- dhātu): Ājńā-Cakra ; Devi Hākinī.  

In the Sahasrāra Padma are all Dhātus beginning with Śukra (semen).

2 Thus in the text given me, from which I quote, the four letters of the Mūlādhāra are given as Va, Śa, Śa Sa and La (= ). The latter should, according to other accounts, be Sa.

3 This is true, but nevertheless there may be special seats of pronunciation  for each letter or class of letters. As apparently supporting  this suggestion it may be noted that the vowel sounds are placed in the throat centre, and Ha and Kṣa (= ह क्ष) above.   


Again, it is said that the letters on the petals are Bijas or seed-mantras of all  activities (Kriyā) connected with the Tattva of the centre,  each letter undergoing variations according to the vowels.1  All beings in Pṛthivī (Earth) Tattva, should be meditated  upon in the Mūlādhāra . Here are therefore (as we might  expect), the organs of feet (Padendriya), the action of  walking (GamanaKriyā), smell (Gandha), the quality of  Pṛthivī, the sense of smell (Ghrana), Nivritti Kala, 2 and  Brahmā (Lord of the Tattva). But we are also told that  the letters Va, Śa, Śa, and Sa are the Ātma and Bijas  of the four Vedas, 3 of the four Yugas, 4 of the four oceans, 5  which are therefore called ChaturVarṇatmaka, or in the  self of the four letters. It is true that the four Vedas are  in, and issue from, Para-śabda, the seat of which is the  Mūlādhāra . For Veda in its primary sense is the world  as idea in the mind of the creative Brahman , portions of  which have been revealed to the Rishis (seers) and embodied  in the four Vedas. But. why should Va be the seed of the  Rigveda, Śa of the Yajurveda, and so forth? The ritual  explanation, as given in the Rudrayamala (xiv. 73, xv. 2,  xvi. 1, 2) is that the petal Va is Brahmā (RajoGuṇa),  and is the Bija of Rik; Śa is Viṣṇu (Sattva-Guṇa ), and  in the Śa, being Puṇdarīkātma, and is the Bija of Yajus; Śa is Rudra (Tamo-guṇa), and is the Bīja of Sāma, Sa is the Bija of Atharva, as it is the Bija of Śakti.6 These four are in Para-śabda in Mūlādhāra . It seems to me (so far as my studies in  

1 I am informed that the subject is dealt with in detail Kuṇḍalinī-kalpataru and in particular in the Adiyātma-s{gara, neither of which MSS, have I yet seen.

2 See. Author's  "Garland of Letters" (Kalās of the Śaktis). Samāna-Vāyu is also located here.  

3 Va of Ṛk, Śa of Yajus, Ṣa of Sama and Sa of Atharva-Veda.  

4 The four ages - Satya, Treta, Dvāpara and Kali.  

5 Of Sugarcane juice, wine, ghee (Ghṛita), milk,

6 See Rudra-yāmala XVII, where priority is given to Atharva as dealing with Ācāra of Śakti. From Atharva arose Sāma, from Sāma, Yajus, and from the latter Ṛk.

 95 MANTRA   

It seems to me (so far as my studies in the Śāstra have yet carried me) that the details  of the descriptions of the centres are of two kinds. There  are, firstly, certain facts of objective and universal reality.  Thus, for example, there are certain centres (Cakra ) in the  spinal column. The principle of solidity (Pṛthivī Tattva)  is in the lowest of such centres, which as the centre of the  body contains the static or potential energy called Kuṇḍalinī-Śakti. The centre as a lotus is said to have four  petals, because of the formation and distribution of the  Yoga-nerves 1 (Nādi) at that particular point. Solidity is  denoted aptly by a cube, which is the diagram (Yantra) of  that centre. The consciousness of that centre as Devata  is also aptly borne on an elephant, the massive solidity of  which is emblematical of the solid earth principle (Pṛthivī).  The forces which go to the making of solid matter may, by  the Yogi, be seen as yellow. It may be that particular  substances (Dhātu) of the body and particular Vṛtti qualities)  are connected with particular Cakras, and so forth.   

There are, however, another class of details which have  possibly only symbolical reality, and which are placed before the Sādhaka for the purposes of instruction and  meditation only. 2 The letters as we know them - that is,  as outer speech - are manifested only after passing through the throat. They cannot therefore exist as such in the  Cakras. But they are said to be there. They are there,  not in their gross, but in their subtle and causal forms. It  is these subtle forms which are called Matrika. But as  such forms they are Śabda of and as ideating movements,  or are the cause thereof. Consciousness, which is itself  (Svarūpa) soundless (Nih-śabda), in its supreme form  (Para-śabda)    

1 The term "nerve" is used for default of another equivalent. These Nādis, called Yogā-Nādīs, are not, like the Nādis of physiology,  gross things, but subtle channels along which the life-force works in  bodies.

 2 See the Demchog Tantra, published as the seventh volume of "Tāntrik Texts". 


Consciousness, which is itself  (Svarūpa) soundless (Nih-śabda), in its supreme form  (Para-śabda) assumes a general undifferentiated movement  (Sāmānya-spanda), then a differentiated movement (Viśeṣa-spanda), issuing in clearly articulate speech (Spaṣta-tara-spanda). The inner movement has outer correspondence  with that issuing from the lips by the aid of Dhvani. This  is but the Mantra way of saying that Consciousness moves  as Śakti, and appears as subject (Śabda) and object  (Artha) at first in the subtle form of Mind and its contents  generated by the Saṁskāras, and then in the gross form  of language as the expression of ideas and of physical  objects (Artha), which the creative or Cosmic Mind projects  into the world of sensual experience to be the source of  impressions to the individual experiencer therein. It is true  that in this sense the letters, as hidden speech or the seed  of outer speech, are in the Cakras, but the allocation of  particular letters to particular Cakras is a matter which,  if it has a real and not merely symbolical significance, must  receive the explanation given in my "Śakti and Śakta".  

In each of the Cakras there is also a Bīja (seed) Mantra  of each of the Tattvas therein. They are the seed of the  Tattva, for the latter springs from and re-enters the former.  The Natural Name of anything is the sound which  is produced by the action of the moving forces which constitute  it. He therefore, it is said, who mentally and vocally  utters with creative force the natural name of anything,  brings into being the thing which bears that name. Thus  "Ram" is the Bija of fire in the Maṇipūra-Cakra. This Mantra "Ram"is said to be the expression in gross sound  (Vaikharī-Śabda) of the subtle sound produced by the forces  constituting fire. The same explanation is given as regards  "Lam" in the Mūlādhāra, and the other Bijas in the other  Cakras. The mere utterance,1 however, of "Ram" or  any other Mantra is nothing but a movement of the lips.

1 The mind must in worship with form (Sākāra) be centred on the  Deity of Worship (Iṣtadevatā); and in Yoga on the light form (Jyotir- Maya-Rūpa). It is said, however, that mere repetition of a Mantra without  knowing its meaning will produce some benefit or that which arises  from devotion. The subject of natural Name is dealt with in the  author's "Garland of Letters".  


When, however, the Mantra is "awakened" 1 (Prabudha) - that is, when there is Mantra-caitanya (Mantra-consciousness)  - then the Sādhaka can make the Mantra work. Thus  in the case cited the Vaikharī Śabda, through its vehicle  Dhvani, is the body of a power of Consciousness which  enables the Mantrin to become the Lord of Fire.2 However  this may be, in all cases it is the creative thought  which ensouls the uttered sound which works now in man's  small "magic," just as it first worked in the "grand  magical display" of the World creator. His thought was  the aggregate, with creative power, of all thought. Each  man is Śiva, and can attain His power to the degree of  his ability to consciously realize himself as such. For  various purposes the Devatas are invoked. Mantra and  Devata are one and the same. A Mantra-Devata is Śabda  and Artha, the former being the name, and the latter the  Devata whose name it is. By practice (Japa) with the Mantra the presence of the Devata is invoked, Japa or  repetition of Mantra is compared to the action of a man  shaking a sleeper to wake him up. The two lips are Śiva  and Śakti. Their movement is the coition (Maithuna)  of the two. Śabda which issues therefrom is in the  nature of Seed or Bindu. The Devata thus produced is, as it were, the "son" of the Sādhaka. 

1 Thought is not then only in the outer husk, but is vitalized through its Conscious centre.  

2Some attain these powers through worship (Upāsanā) of Agni Vetāla, a Devayoni; some of Agni Himself. The former process, which  requires 12,000 Japa, is given in Śābara-tantra. In the same way  objects are said to be moved, though at a distance from the operator,  by the worship of Madhumatī-Devī. A higher state of development  dispenses with all outer agents.   


It is not the  Supreme Devata (for it is actionless) who appears, but in  all cases an emanation produced by the Sādhaka for his  benefit only.1 In the case of worshippers of Śiva a Boy-Śiva (Bāla Śiva) appears, who is then made strong by  the nurture which the Sādhaka gives to his creation. The  occultist will understand all such symbolism to mean that  the Devatā is a form of the consciousness of the Sādhaka  which the latter arouses and strengthens, and gains good  thereby. It is his consciousness which becomes the boy  Śiva, and when strengthened the full-grown Divine power itself. All Mantras are in the body as forms of consciousness  (Vijńāna-rūpa). When the Mantra is fully practised it enlivens the Saṁskāra, and the Artha appears to the mind.  Mantras are thus a form of the Saṁskāra of Jivas, the Artha of which becomes manifest to the consciousness  which is fit to perceive it. The essence of all this is -concentrate and vitalise thought and will power. But for  such a purpose a method is neoessary - namely, language and determined varieties of practice according to the end  sought. These, Mantravidya (which explains what Mantra is) also enjoins.  The causal state of Śabda is called Śabda-brahman - that is, the Brahman as the cause of Śabda and Artha.

The unmanifest (Avyakta) power or Śabda, which is the cause of manifested Śabda and Artha, uprises on the differentiation  of the Supreme Bindu from Prakṛiti in the form  of Bindu through the prevalence of Kriyā 2 Śakti. Avyakta  Rava or Śabda (unmanifested sound) is the principle of  sound as such (Nada-matra) that is, undifferentiated sound  not specialized in the form of letters, but which is, through  

1 If Surya (Sun-God) be invoked, it is an emanation which comes  and then goes back to the sun.

2 See, v. 12 : Śāradā .

KriyāŚaktipradhanayah ŚabdaŚabdartha-Kāraṇam

Prakriter bindu rupinyah Śabda-brahmābhavat  param.

In plain English this means, in effect, that increasing activity in  the Consciousness about to create (Bindu) produces that state in which  it is the cause of subject and object, as mind and matter.  


creative activity, the cause of manifested Śabda and  Artha.1 It is the Brahman considered as all-pervading  Śabda, undivided, unmanifested, whose substance is Nada  and Bindu, the proximate creative impulse in ParaŚiva and proximate cause of manifested Śabda and Artha.2 It  is the eternal partless Sphota 3 which is not distinguished into Śabda and Artha, but is the Power by which both  exist and are known. Śabda-Brahman is thus the kinetic ideating aspect of the undifferentiated Supreme Consciousness  of philosophy, and the Saguṇa Brahman of religion. It is Cit-Śaktivehicled by undifferentiated Prakṛiti - Śakti- that is, the creative aspect of the one Brahman who is both transcendent and formless (Nirguṇa), and immanent and with form (Saguṇa).4 As the Hathayogapradlpika says: 5 "Whatever is heard in the form of sound Śakti.  The absorbed state (Laya) of the Tattvas (evalutes of Prakṛiti )ia.that in which no form exists. 6 So long as there  is the notion of Ether, so long is sound heard. The soundless is called 

1 Tena Śabdartharūpa-viśiṣtasya Śabda-Brahmātvaṁ  avadhāritam (Prāṇa-toṣinī 13).  

2 See Prāṇa-toṣinī, p. 10; Raghava Bhatta, Comm. v. 12, Ch. I, Śāradā .  

Srishtyunmukha-paramaŚiva-prathamollasamatram akhando vyak-

to nadabinduMāyā eva vyapako Brahmātmakah Śabdah.  

3 Sphota, which is derived from Sphut, to open (as a bud does), is  that by which the particular meaning of words is revelded. The letters singly, and therefore also in combination, are non-significant. A word  is not the thing, but that through which, when uttered, there is cognition of the thing thereby denoted. That which denotes the thing  denoted is a disclosure (Sphota) other than these letters, This Sphota  is eternal Śabda.  

4 It is to be noted that of five Bhutas, Akāśa and Vāyu belonging  to the formless division (Amūrtta), and the remaining three to the form division (Mūrtta). The first is sensed by hearing. Śabda is vibration  for the ear as name. Agni, the head of the second division, is sensed as form (Rūpa). Artha is vibration to the eye (mental or physical) as form.  

5 Ch. IV, vv. 101, 102.  

6 Yatkinchin nadarupena Shruyate Śaktir eva sa

Yas tattvanto nirakarah sa eva parameshvarah.  


The soundless is called Para-brahman or Paramātma." 1 Śabda-brahman thus projects itself for the purpose of creation into  two sets of movement - namely, firstly, the Śabda (with  mental vibrations of cognition) which, passing through the  vocal organs, become articulate sound; and, secondly,  Artha movements denoted by Śabda in the form of all  things constituting the content of mind and the objective  world. These two are emanations from the same Conscious

Activity (Śakti) which is the Word (Vāk or "Logos"),  and are in consequence essentially the same. Hence the  connection between the two is permanent. It is in the  above sense that the universe is said to be composed of the

letters. It is the fifty2 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet  which are denoted by the garland of severed human heads

which the naked3 Mother, Kali, dark like a threatening raincloud, wears as She stands amidst bones and carrion beasts and birds in the burning-ground on the white corpse-like  (Śavarūpā) body of Śiva. For it is She who "slaughters" - that is, withdraws all speech and its objects into Herself  at the time of the dissolution of all things (Mahapralaya).4 Śabda-brahman is the Consciousness (Chaitanya) in all creatures.  It assumes the form of Kuṇḍali , and abides in the body of all breathing creatures (Prānī), manifesting itself by  letters in the form of prose and verse.5 In the sexual

 1 Tavad Akāśasamkalpo yavachchhabdah pravartate

NihŚabdam tatparam Brahmā paramatmeti giyate.  

2 Sometimes given as fifty-one.  

3 She is so pictured because She is beyond Māyā (Māyātītā). She is  the "Bewilderer of all" by Her Māyā , but is Herself unaffected thereby. This Kālī symbolism is explained in the Svarūpa-vyākhyā of the "Hymn  to Kālī " (Karpūrādi Stotra) which I have published as Vol. IX of  Tantrik Texts.

4 The same symbolism is given in the description of the Heruka in the Buddhist Demchog Tantra.  

5 Caitanyam sarvabhutanam Śabdabrahmeti me matih

Tat prapya kundalirūpām praninam dehamadhyagam

Varṇatmanavirbhavati gadyapadyadi-bhedatah. (Śāradā Tilaka,

Ch. I.)

 101 MANTRA  

In the sexual symbolism of the Śākta Tantras, seed (Bindu)1 issued  upon the reversed union2 of Mahakala and Mahakali, which  seed, ripening in the womb of Prakṛiti, issued as Kuṇḍali  in the form of the letters (Akśara). Kuṇḍali  as Mahāmātṛikā-sundari has fifty-one coils, which are the Mātṛikās or  subtle forms of the gross letters or Varṇa which is the  Vaikharī form of the Śabda at the centres. Kuṇḍali  when  with one coil is Bindu; with two, Prakṛiti -Puruṣa; with  three, the three Śaktis (Icchā, Jńāna, Kriyā) and three  Guṇas (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas); with the three and a half  She is then actually creative with Vikṛiti ; with four She  is the Devī Ekajatā, and so on to Śrīmātṛikotpattisundarī  with fifty-one coils 3 In the body, unmanifested Para-śabda  is in Kuṇḍali-Śakti. That which first issues from it is in  the lowest Cakra, and extends upwards through the rest  as Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī Śabda. When Śakti first "sees"4 She is Paramā Kalā 5 in the mother-form  (Ambikārūpā), which is supreme speech (Parā vāk) and  supreme peace (Paramā Śāntā). She "sees" the manifested  Śabda from Paśyantī to Vaikharī. The Paśyantī 6  state of Śabda is that in which Icchā Śakti(Will) in the  form of a goad 7 (Amkuśākāra) is about to display the universe,  then  

 1 The term Bindu also means a drop as of semen.  

2 Viparita maithuna. Śaktiis above Śiva, and moving on and in coition with Him because She is the active and He the inert Consciousness.  

3 Śaktisamgama Tantra, first Ullasa Utpattikhanda. When with  the ten coils She is the well-known DaŚamahavidya.  

4 The first movement in creation, called lkŚana ("seeing") in Veda. To see is to ideate.  

5 Parama = supreme or first. Kala = VimarŚa-Śaktiof Ātma. She is, as such, the first cause of all the letters.  

6 Paśyantī = She who "sees" (lkŚana).  

7 Here the crooked line (Vakrarekha) comes first, and the straight second. Possibly this may be the line rising to form the triangular pyramid.  


in seed (Bīja) form. This is the ŚaktiVāmā.1  Madhyamā Vak, which is Jńāna (knowledge), and in form  of a straight line (Ṛijurekhā), is Jyeṣthā Śakti. Here  there is the first assumption of form as the Mātṛikā (Mātṛikātvam upapannā), for here is particular motion (Viśeṣa- spanda). The Vaikharī state is that of Kriyā Śakti,  who is the Devī Raudri, whose form is triangular 2 and  that of the universe. As the former Śakti produces the  subtle letters of Mātṛikā which are the Vāsanā,3 so this  last is the Śaktiof the gross letters of words and their  objects. 4 These letters are the Garland of the Mother issuing  from Her in Her form as Kuṇḍalinī Śakti, and absorbed  by Her in the Kuṇḍalinī-yoga here described.  

1 So called because she "vomits forth" the universe (Vamanāt vāmā iti).  

2 Śrīṅgātaka - that is, a triangular pyramidal figure of three dimensions.  

3 That is, Saṁskāra or revived impression, which is the seed of the ideating Cosmic Consciousness.  

4 Yoginīhṛdaya Tantra. Saṁketa I.

End of Chapter on Mantra in The Six Centers And the Serpent Power by woodroffe.

 Here is a link that you can click to read the PDF file Chapter V Mantras and Purification in Woodroffe's Book The Great Liberation.




Mantras By Periyavar of Kanchi Mutt (Monastery)

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamy

சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சுவாமிகள் (May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994)

As compiled by Shri Ra Ganapati in Tamil

Translation: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

The Rishis gave us the Veda Mantras, the sounds unheard of by us and received by them from ether. It is sufficient for the seekers to follow the sayings in Vedas as to how to restrain desires, how to stand the mind still, and how to obtain eternal bliss. In the end, we can attain Supreme Bliss (பேரானந்தம்). May Paramesvaran do Anugraha (favor) to you.
What is the core (Tatpariyam = தாத்பரியம் pith of the matter) of this Mantra? This world inseparable from Brahmam. It is the Brahmam only that appeared as the world. Brahmam did not create the world from some extraneous matter. Brahmam is the world. Brahmam did not transform into the world. Brahma appears like the world. There is nothing more or nothing less.
According to declaration in Upanishadic Mantras, Brahmam is Pūraṇam (பூரணம் = complete and perfect) and immutable; the world is Pūraṇam, mutable and thus can be assumed as Anantham (அனந்தம் = infinity).
Other religions (do not go beyond, and) stop only with the mention of God (without any elaboration of Parabrahman and Sagunabrahman and the difference between them). Sanathana Dharma (சனாதனதர்மம் caṉātaṉa-tarmam = Eternal order) as mentioned in Hinduism shows us that one God comes (presents himself) in many forms and names according to the mental makeup, (receptivity and proclivity), with which the devotee can get closer to God with love and worship. This is not a creation of imagination. The Unitary Paramatman (in his oneness) revealed himself in multifarious forms to many great men. Each one of them had an intimate relationship with his Ishta Devata by sight, conversation and worship. Likewise, for our benefit of Dharsan (seeing) of God in his or her many forms, they recommended tailor-made specific Mantras and procedures in the worship of individual Ishta Devata.

Whatever may be the kind of worship, Bhakti that is Bhavam (= பக்தி என்கிற பாவம் = Devotion that is a sentiment, a disposition, an emotion…) is common to all. Bhakti occupies the central place in polytheistic worship in our religion and other religions.
Ok, let us assume our religion is immemorial. The question of who the founder was, arises in our mind. Much research produced no results as to the founder of our religion. It was neither Vyasa of Brahma Sutra nor Krishna of Bhagavadgita. They made mention of preexisting Vedas. Could we call the Rishis, who wrote the Mantras, as the founders? They deny any authorship of the Vedas. The Mantras named after the Rishis preceded the Rishis, who, according to their claim, did not compose the Mantras. The Rishis claim that they saw and received these Mantras from the sky or space, when they were in meditation. They were Mantra-Drstas (Mantra seers) and not Mantra-Kartas (Mantra composers).

Space or the sky is the birth place (origin) of many sounds, from which Dristi (Seeing, beholding, intuition, Vision) came about. Science tells us that Space-Vibration is the Causal Agent of this earth. The Rishis, on account of the greatness of their Tapas or austerity, saw the sounds (synesthesia) as soul-liberating Mantras in space. These Apurusheya (Not composed by man) Mantras are the respirations of Paramatman in the form of Space. Having seen and found them, the Best of Rishis gave them to the world.
Now there may not be a teacher to offer instructions (in Vedas). We are in that precarious condition. Conduct Vedic studies from neighborhood to neighborhood in common places, considering economic situations. Conduct Vedic classes in a cooperative basis. In ten years, slowly, they will learn mantras by rote and the procedural elements of performing rites and rituals (Prayoga) like Upakarma (= beginning. Changing the sacred thread) for themselves and others. Earning expertise in Proyoga or practice of rituals helps in the performance of Vedic rites for themselves in the absence of Purohitas (priests) in the future. If people may ask whether Purohitam (priestcraft) alone can make a livelihood for the children, this arrangement comes handy.

Mantras are mere sounds: that is one view. They are in words, which should carry some meaning. They may have lofty meanings. Though it is so, can't we learn them from books? Why should we be chanting these Mantras all our lifetimes? Where is the need for a group of people to chant these Mantras? If the Vedas and their meanings were to remain resplendent, you can always look them up in the books. Where is the necessity to perpetuate a hereditary and traditional Jāti (Here, Brahmana Caste) to protect what is already in the book?
Anyone can open the book and learn Vedas, Mantras and Tattvas. The Veda Sabdas (sounds) should retain the order and symmetry and not change in any way. These mantras have meanings. Why should there be a group to voice the Vedas to protect them? Here is the answer.
Veda Mantras are sounds that have the inductive power to those with good and lofty thoughts. It is not just that. People need food to live. There is a formation of clouds. The clouds come down as rain, which means that many kinds of vibrations caused the series of actions.
With the production of some sounds and their inherent vibrations, the rainfall must happen perforce. We can bring to people life's essential needs through sounds. Certain sounds can produce unneeded and bad fruits or results. All sounds in the Veda have one supreme purpose: the welfare of the world.
Are these vibrations and sounds spontaneous in origin? No. Spontaneous and varied vibrations, having no relationship, appear zigzag. In this world, there is so much of orderliness, propriety, and mutuality. It appears that One Great Intellect has planned all these events, and made all the movements (and sounds), and the creation. The movement in this Intellect made sounds. That is why we say Veda Mantras were formed in the Supreme Soul and the Witness. We have to protect and nurture those sounds for the welfare of the world. Veda Mantras are a series of sounds (sabda-k-kovaikal சப்தக் கோவைகள்) offering welfare to the world.

Veda Mantras: We heard them well with our ears. The Sabdas of creation, produced outside of the world, are not perceived by the ears. How could you say that Creation Sabdas (creation sounds) and Veda Mantras are one?
Jiva has all that is found in the cosmos. Pinda (body) has all that is in Anda (cosmos). (We are a little beings, made of cosmic dust.) If we raise Mantra Sabdas with musical notes, with the vibrations created in the Nadis of the body, we can catch the welfare-producing vibrations in the Ether. This premise might sound incompatible with analytical intelligence. We are unable to grasp many events in the cosmos with the limited instruments of our body. Even the atheists agree with this premise.
When you look at the orderly functioning world, it is apparent that there must be a Great Intelligence or Wisdom (in command). It is that Supreme Soul from whom all matter and all Sabdas emerged. First after a world of Sound in Ether appeared, a world of visible objects appeared. All sounds exist in the Ether. In the phenomenal world, man's body is present. The external Ether is present in the heart of the Jiva. Yogis in a state of Samadhi experience this Ether in the heart (hrdyakasa). Thereat, the difference between the external and the internal disappears, and everything becomes one. In that state, the Yogis receive the sounds from the Ether and give them to the world. This series of sounds, granting wellness to the world, are the Veda Mantras. No Rishi created these sounds or Mantras, though the Mantras are named after Rishis. What it means is that a Rishi discovered a hitherto unknown Mantra in Ether and offered it to humanity. Rishi means Mantra Drsta, the discoverer of a Mantra. It is not that he is a Mantra Karta (the designer of Mantra). As the breath moving in the body giving us life, the movements of the Sound sustain the life on earth. Paramatma's breaths are Veda Mantras. There is no Supreme Soul without these Mantras. Like Paramatman like Mantras. The unique nature of these Mantras in the form of sound without meaning is they grant wellness to the world. There is more to it. There are transcendent meanings in them. The supreme purport (தாற்பரியம் = tāṟpariyam) in all Vedas is Truth, which, Vedas say, manifested in so many forms. When the deities existed as Sound-forms, they remained in the forms of individual Devathas, granting us bliss and favors and manifesting as idols.

Sabdas by themselves do not offer any benefits. The omnipotent Isvara, remaining such, does not offer benefits, boons and bliss directly; as a king would have delegates to run his affairs, Paramatman has ceded power to a Devata, capable of offering favors. That Devata's Sound Form is the respective Mantra. (Your sound form is your name, spoken aloud; your name is your Mantra.) If an aspirant attains Siddhi (Realization, Yogic perfection) by meditating on the personified Mantra, the Yogi will see the Devata with body parts with his own eyes. If the Yogi invokes (ā-hūti) the Devata's body with Devata-specific Mantras, that itself becomes ā-hāra (sacrifice).
Sabdas. (Sabdas carry no less honor and respect than those of Vedas in their import.) In truth, Sabda carries unique Sakti or power. It is true of Veda Mantras and also of any Mantra.
Sabda or sound (Mantras) carries more importance than the meaning in many Mantras. The syllables and correct musicality alone carry special power. The meaning of Mantra does not carry such an import. (How you say it is more important than what it means.) Take Scorpion Mantra; its meaning is nowhere to be found. It is said that meaning should not be of prime importance. If you chant the sound series, the vibrations caused by it in the Ether or by the power of syllables, the scorpion poison attenuates itself. Every kind of sound (intonation) has every kind of power. Abhichara is a Mantra that could cause harm to others. Those sounds have the power to inflict harm. In these, there are purity of syllables. Musical perfection in the sound has the power. They knock out the teeth of the Incantor (sorcerer) of pilli-cūṉiyam (பில்லி சூநியம் = witchcraft). If the teeth are lost, so goes the correct enunciation. The Mantras develop defective syllabic enunciation. Their effect suffers. Enunciation has to be precise for the syllables to offer benefits. (If your name is JOHN, and some one calls you JOAN, he mispronounced your name, altered your gender...) When we understand the power in the sounds, what is the language of Mantras? We get the urge to translate the Mantras into English. We can translate the Death-Anniversary Mantras (திவிச மந்திரம் = thivisa Mantras) into English. Veda Mantras have whatever sounds that offer wellness to all living things. Trusting them is important. Do not ask whether Rishis can hear whatever we do not hear (the sounds coming from the Ether, that are the respirations of Brahmam). Divine vision and Divine hearing of what we do not see and hear do occur (in Rishis). Our vision is dependent on the lens in the eye. If the lens has structural problems, our vision will be distorted. By yoga Sadhana, we can obtain all these divine faculties.
It is not advisable to test (exegesis) what is in the Vedas with the help of eyes, ears, intuition, Buddhi (scientific means)...Vedas are here to tell us what is beyond the reach of eyes, ears, intuition, and Buddhi. We have the capacity to comprehend what we perceive before us. There is no need for Veda to expound such common perceptions. Whatever that cannot be proven by evidence, and where
Buddhi cannot reach, such supreme truths are within the reach of Rishis, who offered them as Veda. We do not see the happenings in foreign countries. We come to know of them via newspapers (and TV). And we trust them implicitly. Rishis have given us the newspaper, "Veda Mantras" which has the material that we cannot perceive by worldly instruments.

We have to accept them on implicit faith. If we take it with a tad of trust, we will discover its benefits and with the passage of time, we will know with certainty that it is Truth.

We can see some benefits from the power of Mantras. There are more bad than good Mantras. Incitement, Mantras induce fear in us. If some sounds have inimical power, it is easy to understand that there must be salubrious Mantras. Varuna Japam (Invocation of rain god Varuna) brought rain (to the parched tongues and fields), which we have seen.
There were instances, when Varuna Japam did not work. We cannot castigate the Mantra as powerless. Some patients respond to medications well. Some do not respond. Should we blame the medication? We may say that the disease is too far advanced for the medicine to work. If Karma is strong, no medication or no Mantra will work. It may be that the patient did not observe dietary rules. If Mantra Sakti is to fructify, there are some observances (Niyamam). If the Niyamam is not observed well, Mantras will not offer benefits. Yoga Sastra is science. If the laboratory tests are not conducted well by procedures, the results will be awry or may even cause catastrophe. Working on live electricity, one should stand on non-conducting wood and wear gloves. If you break the rules, things go wrong. If Yoga Sastra is science, you have to follow the rules (and procedures). Where Varuna Japam was unproductive, I made inquiries. They did not eat salt-free (அலவணம் = alavana = salt-free; லவன = salt) diet, which is mandatory for rain-making Varuna Japam.

Because of the greatness of Mantra, a fallen apparently dead log spouted sprigs, as witnessed by people in Tatiruvanaikka (a town). The sacred tree (Sthala Viruksha) of the temple is the white Jambhu tree (Rose-apple tree). That is why the town is named Jambukesvaram.
The tree was practically dead with one branch showing minimal life. The town's Chettiars performed the sacred ceremony with Ekadasa Rudra-apishekam (11th-day ritual ablution). By Mantra Sakti, the barely living branch started to sprout sprigs at that moment.
Every sound shows results in the outer world. Researchers compiled many sound syllables in a musical arrangement and played the note over and over again; the vibrations shone on the surface of the lake water as little points of light, which later coalesced into a recognizable form. Every kind of musical series produced a light-form. From this, we can believe that the sound of Veda Mantras can make the forms of the deity for us to witness it.
Not that Sound (oli ஒலி) changes into Light (oLi ஒளி) in the outer world. The Sound Pervades the outer world producing many kinds of results. These Veda Sounds pervades the environment so much so they cause supreme auspiciousness; that kind of power exists in the Mantras. Notes are important, some raised, some lowered, and some on an even keel. Then only we obtain benefits. Vedas, chanted in three Svaras, Utattam, Anutattam, and Svaritam, come to fruition (palitham = பலிதம்). Svara and Sabda together will make the cosmic power to confer benefits to us. ஸ்வரம் svaram = svara. 1. (Mus.) Note of the musical scale. We have faith in the power of Veda Mantras. Why do we need a separate caste or Jāti (to perpetuate the Vedic tradition)? There are many reasons.

First, Vedas are not meant to be read from books. It is an aural-oral tradition. It has to be committed to memory. What one learnt, the next generation should hear. This is impossible if he has to hold another job. The teacher and the taught maintain an oral-aural tradition. This is a full-time job and not a part-time vocation.

It is a Brahmana’s vocation to protect, learn and teach other Jātis Vedas, other Sastras, and arts. He should teach hereditary and traditional skills that a particular Jāti should know to pursue latter's caste-specific livelihood. He has the responsibility to nurture knowledge and tradition of the society. He should become masterful in Yuddha Sastra (science of warfare) inclusive of Dhanur Veda (Archery) and teach them to the traditional warrior class. Sastras tell that though he knows all arts and sciences, he should not practice them to make a living. He should teach others. He should not make it his vocation, though the monetary returns are excellent. Vedic learning and teaching are his vocation. Sastra says that for Mantra Siddhi, a Brahmana should observe severe rules, vows, and fasting, that he should curtail his food intake and sensual pleasures (= ஆஹாரவிஹாரங்கள் = akāravihārangaḷ) to the extent to safeguard his life, and that he should live in a hut. He should not make money by doing other jobs and fall into the abyss of sensual pleasures. Making money should not be his aim. He should spend his time by being a Thyagi (selfless servitor) for the welfare of the world, protecting the Vedas, and observing rituals and performing sacrifices.
Others should nurture him so that a Brahmana will not die of hunger. He should be given the bare essentials for sustaining life. He should be provided without any impediments grains necessary for the performance of sacrifices. We pay salary for a particular job performance. We pay to buy goods and services, which we need for daily living. We must provide living wages to the Brahmana for his services such as performance of sacrifices with Mantra Sabdas for public weal of the whole society. I am not suggesting to build a palace for the Brahmana or dole out gold coins. It might be necessary to provide him enough riches, so he is not short of grains needed for the performance of sacrifices. There should not be any pomp and circumstance in his life His sensuality should dry, parch, wither, droop and fall (வாட வாட வைத்து) and consequently, his Mantra Siddhi should be able to create world weal.
What benefit can we obtain, if we cannot keep Veda Rakshana for the next generation as a model for life-time vocation and service? I am asking the interested party to organize in a cooperative basis in all places Veda classes for children from 8 to 18 years of age on a daily one-hour study of Veda Mantras and pirayōkam (பிரயோகம் = practice of rites and rituals). This is in truth the
kaṉakāpiṣēkam and festival.
Isvara, Ambal, Vishnu, Vinayakar and Surya are the five deities who should receive the Puja. This is known as pańcāyataṉa-pūcai (= பஞ்சாயதனபூசை = worship of the Pentad = worship of Viṣṇu, Civaṉ, Pārvati and Cūriyaṉ, conducted daily in houses. It is the tradition to use naturally-occurring substances in the place of idols, invoke divinity into them (Āvākaṉam = ஆவாகனம் = invocation divinity in an idol(s) or other substances representing them). ā-vāhana = Invocation to a deity, by mantras, to be present in an object) and offer prayer.



Sir Monier Monier-Williams, KCIE (12 November 1819 – 11 April 1899) was the second Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, England. He studied, documented and taught Asian languages, especially Sanskrit, Persian and Hindustani.—Wiki


Monier-Williams talks about mantras in his book, Brahmanism and Hinduism.


The subject of the employment of Mantras or sacred texts, their use, misuse, and prostitution to the worst purposes, is one of the greatest interest and importance in its bearing on the past and present religious condition of the Hindus.


A Mantra, as most persons know, is properly a divinely inspired Vedic text, but with the Śāktas, and indeed with the great mass of the Hindus in the present day, it loses this character and becomes a mere spell or charm. Even though the text be taken from the Ṛg, Yajur or Atharva-Veda (p. 8), and be generally employed as a prayer or invocation with a definite meaning and application attached to the words, it becomes with the Śāktas a mere collection of magical letters and sounds, which, if properly uttered and repeated according to prescribed formularies, possesses in itself a mystical power capable of causing every conceivable good to one's self or evil to one's enemies.


The Bījas, again, are mystical letters or syllables invented for the sake of brevity to denote the root (mūla) or essential part of such Mantras, or the name of the deity to whom it may be addressed, or some part of the body over which that deity presides. For example; — Am is said to denote Siva, U Vishnu, Hrim the sun, Lam the earth. Nam the mind, Dham both the goddess Bhuvaneśvarī and the tongue. Nam both the goddess Anna-pūrṇā and the nose, Pam the ear, etc.


Perhaps the following abridgment of a passage from a little work by Pratāpa-ćandra Ghosha, descriptive of the worship of Durgā (Durgā-puja) in Bengal;, and giving directions for the performance of a preparatory rite called Bhūta-śuddhi,’ removal of evil demons,' will give the best idea of the uses to which the Bījas are applied; —

Holding a scented flower, anointed with sandal, on the left temple, repeat OM to the Gurus, OM to Gaṇeśa, OM to Durgā. Then with OM  phaṭ rub the palms with flowers, and clasp the hands thrice over the head, and by snapping the fingers towards ten different directions, secure immunity from the evil spirits. Next utter the Mantra Ram sprinkle water all around, and imagine this water as a wall of fire. Let the priest identify 8 himself with the living spirit (jīvātman) abiding in man's breast, in the form of the tapering flame of a lamp, and conduct it by means of the Suṣumṇa nerve through the six spheres (Ćakras) within the body upwards to the Divine Spirit. Then meditate on the twenty-four essences in nature; viz. the Producer, Intellect, Egoism, the five subtle and five gross elements, the five external organs of sense, the five organs of action, with mind. Conceive in the left nostril the Mantra Yam, declared to be the Bīja or root of wind; repeat it sixteen times while drawing air by the same nostril; then close the nose and hold the breath, and repeat the Mantra sixty-four times. 

Then meditate on the Mātṛikā, and say,’  Help me, goddess of speech:' Am to the forehead. Ām to the mouth, Im to the right eye, Im to the left eye, Um to the right ear, Ūm to the left ear, Im to the right cheek, Īm to the left cheek. im to the right nostril, Rīm to he left nostril, Lim to the right cheek, Lrīm to the left cheek, Em to the upper lip, Aim to the lower lip, Om to the upper teeth, Aum to the lower teeth. Tam, Tham, Dam, Dham, and Nam to the several parts of the left leg, Pam to the right side, Pham to the left. Bam to the back, Mam to the stomach, Yam to the heart, Ram to the right shoulder, Lam to the neck-bone, Vam to the left shoulder, Śam from the heart to the right leg. Ham from the heart to the left leg, Ksham from the heart to the mouth.

198 Mantras and Bijas.  198 (234 of 644)


To us it may seem extraordinary that intelligent persons can give credence to such absurdities, or lend themselves to the practice of superstitions so senseless; but we must bear in mind that with many Hindu thinkers the notion of the eternity of sound — as propounded in Patańjali's Mahābhāsya (I. I. i) and in the Pūrva-mīmāṉsā of Jaimini — is by no means an irrational doctrine. According to the well-known Mīmāṉsā aphorisms (I. i. 18-23), sound is held to have existed from the beginning. Hence the letters of the alphabet, being the ultimate instruments by which sounds are uttered and thoughts expressed, are considered to possess supernatural qualities and attributes and to contain within themselves an occult magical efficacy.


Let a man only acquaint himself with the proper pronunciation and application both of the Mantras and of their Bījas or radical letters, and he may thereby propitiate the Śaktis so as to acquire through them superhuman power (siddhi) — nay, he becomes, through their aid, competent to accomplish every conceivable object.



Mantras and Bījas, 199 (235 of 644)


At the same time it is to be observed that for any ordinary man to make himself conversant with the Mantras is no easy task; if at least we are to believe a statement in the Tantras that the primary Mantras are seventy millions1 in number, while the secondary are innumerable.


This, no doubt, is an absurd exaggeration; but it must be borne in mind that only a certain number are regarded as efficacious, and that in the present day there are Brāhmans called Mantra-śāstrīs who make a knowledge of these Mantras their peculiar business, learning them by heart with the sole object of using them as spells and charms. Only a few, however, are believed to have acquired perfect mastery over the most powerful Mantras, which must be pronounced according to certain mystic forms and with absolute accuracy, or their efficacy is destroyed. Indeed, this kind of craft, though supposed to endow the possessor of it with very enviable omnipotence, is not unattended with unpleasant risks and drawbacks; for if in the repetition of a Mantra the slightest mistake is made, either by omission of a syllable or defective pronunciation, the calamity which it was intended to bring down on an enemy will inevitably recoil on the head of the repeater. Then, again, there are various methods of obstructing or neutralizing the effect of Mantras used by  Mantra-śāstrīs for the destruction or humiliation of others. The difficulty, of course, is to find out the exact Mantra which is being employed for one's injury; but, having done so, every such Mantra is rendered powerless by uttering it with one's face bending over a vessel full of milk and then swallowing the milk, or by writing it on the leaf of a banian tree and throwing the leaf into a river2.  


It must be noted, too, that Mantras are not always repeated without a knowledge of their meaning, though the meaning is 8 of little importance compared with the magical force of the letter and sound.


1 The same number is given in the Śaiva-darśana of Mādhava's Sarva- darśana saṅgraha.

2 Full directions are given in the Tantra-sāra.



200 Mantras and Bījas,  200 (236 of 644)


8of little importance compared with the magical force of the letter and sound. Their efficacy also is greatly increased if they are employed on lucky days or at particular times and seasons. One Tantra teaches that Mantras should be repeated in the month Ćaitra to give valor; in Vaiśākha to obtain jewels; in Magha for intelligence; on Sundays for wealth; on Mondays for tranquillity; on Tuesdays for long life, and so on. The intercalary (inserted or interpolated in the calendar, as an extra day or month.) month ought always to be avoided1 A few translations of common Mantras2 are here given; —


'Cause stupefaction (stambhana) of the enemy, paralyze his mouth and tongue; confuse his senses, arrest his speech.'


'Om — reverence to the Lord — svāhā. Let everything be auspicious; let everything opposed to me perish; let everything be favorable.'


'Let Brahmāṇī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Indrāṇī, (Ćāmuṇḍā, Vārāhī, and Vaishṇavī protect my head, mouth, neck, hands, heart, waist and feet, together with my whole body; protect me, O great goddess, Bhadra-Kālī.' This Mantra is worn as a kavaća or amulet; see p. 204.


'I invoke Bhāvanī, accompanied by her husband, attended by her subordinates, by her retinue, by her power (sa-śāktikā), by her vehicle, by her weapons, and by all defensive things.'


'Salutation to the god of love (Kāma-deva) with his five arrows; — the arrow that puts to flight (drāvaṇa-bāṇa); the arrow that enchants (sammohana); the arrow that fascinates (vaśīkaraṇa); the love-kindling arrow (sandīpana); the love-inflaming arrow (santāpana).'


The Gāyatrī or holiest text of the Ṛg-Veda (see p. 19) is of course the most potent of all Mantras. It is not surprising, therefore, that many Mantras employed by the Śāktas are composed after the model of that text. The following are translations of Gāyatrī Mantras;

1The Tantra-sāra gives full directions on this subject. 2The original Sanskrit text of these, as of all the extracts from the Tantras, will be found in Gopal Hari Deshmukh's Āgama-prakāśa.



Mantras and Bījas.  201 (237 of 644)  


'We meditate on that being who has ashes for weapons; we think of that being who possesses sharp teeth; let our fever (jvara) incite him.' This is called the fever-gāyatrī.


'We meditate on the goddess of nectar; we think of the goddess of love (Kāmeśvarī); let our affection incite him.' This is called the nectar-gāyatrī.


'We meditate on the lord of water (Jaleśvara); we think of the fish-net; let the fish (mīna) incite him.'' This is called the fish-gāyatrī.


'We meditate on that being who has a snare for snaring animals; we think of the act of cutting off the victim's head (Siras-cheda); let our offering (bali) incite him.' This is called the bali-gāyatrī.


No magician, wizard, sorcerer or witch whose feats are recorded in history, biography, or fable, has ever pretended to be able to accomplish by incantation and enchantment half of what the Mantra-śāstrī claims to have power to effect by help of his Mantras. For example, he can prognosticate futurity, work the most startling prodigies, infuse breath into dead bodies, kill or humiliate enemies, afflict anyone anywhere with disease or madness, inspire any one with love, charm weapons and give them unerring efficacy1 , enchant armour and make it impenetrable, turn milk into wine, plants into meat, or invert all such processes at will. He is even superior to the gods, and can make gods, goddesses, imps and demons carry out his most trifling behests. Hence it is not surprising

that the following remarkable saying is everywhere current throughout India; —


'The whole universe is subject to the gods; the gods are 8 subject to the Mantras; the Mantras to the Brahmans; therefore the Brahmans are our gods2.'


1 Warlike weapons when thus charmed were supposed to possess supernatural powers, and to assume a kind of divine personality like the genii of the Arabian Nights. Certain spells had to be learnt for their restraint as well as for their use. When once let loose, he only who knew the secret Mantra for recalling them could bring them back.

2The Sanskrit version of this saying is given incorrectly by Dubois (P 77)' I have heard it variously rendered. Perhaps the following is the most usual; — Devādhīnaṃ Jagatsarvam Mantrādhīnāś-ća Devatāḥ Mantrāś-ća Brāhmaṇādhīnā Brāhmaṇā mama Devatāḥ.


Dubois’ version

Devadhīnaṃ Jagatsarvam

Mantradhinam Devata

Tan Mantram Brahmaṇadhīnam

Brahmaṇa mama Devata.



202 Mantras and Bījas, 202 (238 of 644)


8subject to the Mantras; the Mantras to the Brahmans; therefore the Brahmans are our gods ^.'


Often these Mantra-śāstrīs are mere fortune-tellers.


Prophesy came true.--Krishnaraj


I may mention as an illustration that a Śākta Brahman of this type came to see me one day at Patna. He asked to look at my hand, and, after examining it for a minute, prophesied that my stay in India would be happy and prosperous, except that on that day fortnight I should meet with a great disappointment. I smiled at the absurdity of his attempting to forecast my future biography, but it is certain that I only met with one unexpected and most mortifying contretemps (an inopportune occurrence)from the day of my departure from England to the day of my return, and that happened on the very day predicted. It must at least be acknowledged that the coincidence was remarkable.


I may also give an outline of a story told to me by a Maratha Pandit, which well illustrates the sort of use these Mantra-śāstrīs are supposed to make of their magical powers. A certain Śākta Brahman, named Bhāskarāćārya, well-versed in the Mantras, expected to be asked to a dinner-party given by a wealthy friend, but received no invitation. This so irritated the Brahman that he determined to revenge himself on the householder who had ventured so imprudently to slight him. Having waited till the moment when the assembled guests, with appetites stimulated by the fragrance of an array of choice dishes, were about to feast on the delicacies prepared for their consumption, he quietly in his own house selected a particular Mantra, and by simply repeating it turned all the viands into foul and fetid excrementitious matter. The story goes on to relate how the householder, suspecting the cause of this disastrous metamorphose, sent a messenger in hot haste to implore the immediate presence of the offended Brahman,8 who thereupon becoming mollified, obligingly consented to repeat another Mantra which reconverted all the filth into the most delicious ambrosial food.





(Click Mantra-Purification_all.pdf

(Click mantras_rites_all.pdf


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