MANTRAS
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  
Mantras are not devised by sages or gods but were revealed by gods. 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'  (rhymes with 'Run') 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.
The tree is contained in the seed. God's Universe (Brahmanda = Brahma + Anda = Brahman's + Egg = The universe) is contained in the Mantra. Here is the Saham Mantra (Sa for Sakti; Ha for Siva; Terminal M). It became Soham.  Breathing (Inspiration and expiration) is Mantra: Beathing-in sound is  'So'; breating-out sound is 'Ham'; respiration is Soham Mantra. All air-breathing living things utter this Mantra unknowingly. Sakti and Siva throb in Soham Mantra. 'So'  is Parvati and 'Ham' is Siva. Life without Soham is impossible.  Soham is not only inspiration and expiration by the nostrils but also the internal respiration of each cell of the body. Soham Mantra pervades every cell in the body. By inversion, Soham is Hamsah, the  paradigm for union of male and female. This universe is Hamsah.
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 ha (ह) ; 'a' is dynamic Siva starting creation and 'ha' 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.  

When we pray to God, we use the sound-syllable OM ओं, ओम्  in written and ॐ in symbolic form. 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 / contains  the past, the present and the future and also 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. There are so many sacred triads like these in Hinduism. "Just like the leaves are held together by its stalk, so is the speech held together by AUM."  - Chandyogya Upanishad.  AUM is the basis of any thought, spoken or written word and more.  AUM also represents the Hindu Holy Trinity,  A: Brahma, U: Vishnu, and M: Siva.   Vaishnvas say that A is Bhagavan, U is Sri and M is Chetanam (embodied soul). AUM knows neither fear nor death.  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.  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 - critical evaluations. 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, which makes the building blocks of the universe. AUM is used by all sects including Buddhists and Jains, and lately by the west. In Vaishnava tradition AUM stands for Vishnu, Sri and devotee. In Saiva tradition, Linga is marked by Om. 

Generally a Mantra has three components: Pranavam, Atas, and NamahPranavam (AUM/OM) 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).  

NArAyanA = narAh + ayana = The primeval waters + the abode. The Abode of the Creator in the Primeval waters. It simply means 'the God of the Regenerative ocean.'

AUM is the Trunk of Mantras as depicted below.

Mantra 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.

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.

Hamsa is a bird (Swan or a goose), Swan more than a goose. It is the vehicle of transportation for Brahma (God of Creation), Gayatri, Sarasvati and Visvakarma (The architect of the gods).  Hamsa is the high-flying zoomorphic representation of the human soul, the Universal Soul, and the breath of life.

Paramahamsa (= Parama + Hamsa = Supreme + Swan = Supreme Spirituality = The Holy High Flyer.) We are the earthbound spiritually hungry people. The Paramahamsa is the Spiritual Highflyer, an accomplished yogi.  Indian ancestors saw the highflying birds in the Himalayas where Siva has his Spiritual headquarters, Kailas. Yogis are compared to the high-flying birds.  Siva is the Most Evolved Spiritual Highflyer but also a Bull-rider and the Yogi of Yogis. Enlightened people who fly high in Siva’s neighborhood (The universe is His neighborhood.), a no-fly zone for the spiritual ignoramuses, belong to the exclusive club of Paramahamsas, the likes of whom is Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Om Namasivaya.

Here are the Hamsas and Ramakrishnaparamahamsa.

A,U,M represents Brahma, Vishnu and Siva-Rudra who are responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the visible universe. What existed before the visible Universe is represented by Chandrabindu (Moon-Dot), the silence, also known as Turiya. As said earlier, A is waking state; U is dream state; M is deep sleep; Chandrabindu is the Silence or Turiya following AUM.  The universe goes through these cycles; so also the Jivatma goes through the first three states, while Yogi realizes Turiya. Between intonations of two AUMs, there is a brief period of Silence; that is Chandrabindu and represent Turiya (4th state) silence.

AUM is a Triad. A-U-M-Silence is tetravalent.  Intonation of AUM is followed by silence and thus A-U-M-Silence has four components: A for Waking state, U for dream sleep, M for deep sleep and a period of silence before the next intonation of the next AUM. All of us know only the first three states. Silence is Turiya meaning 4th state. We miss this silent state, only acheived by the Yogis. When you begin to turn off the phenomenal world from your mind and consciousness, you enter the 4th state. In this state, your thoughts delve in the Super Consciousness (God) or Universal Consciousness (UC) You feel the dichotomy between the UC and you. He and you are two. Once you slowly lose yourself and the phenomenal world as a yogi does, you enter Turiyatita.

1: Waking State:   A of the A U M.  The 1st Sound, A. In the wakeful state, the Indriyas, prana, manas, buddhi, ahankaaara (Ego) - Citta are all operative.  This state is what we know as life and biological functions.  Accordingly, the consciousness is projected outwards. The Self (1st part) enjoys the gross matter. 

2: The Dream Sleep:  U of A  U  M.  the 2nd Sound, U.  The consciousness is turned inside.  The ego is still operative as per Ramana..  The Self  (2nd part) is dreaming and enjoys subtle objects.  

3:  Deep Sleep: M of A  U  M.  The 3rd sound, M. No ego play here.   The sleeper desires nothing that he usually desires during the waking state. No dreams occur.  The Self  (the 3rd part)  is undifferentiated consciousness, and  enjoys bliss, being bliss itself.  The lower self is absorbed in the Highest Self .   Buddhi is in a potential state, and in a state of suspended animation. 

4: Turiya:  Silence following  A  U  M.  The 4th part of the Self.  It is undifferentiated.  It is without attributes.  No ego play here.  There is quietness (Santam),  Peace and Bliss (Sivam),  without-a-second (advaitam). This is the realization. This is absorption.  This is  beyond Kaivalya - Splendid isolation -  and more.  This is Samadhi. This is oneness. This is SatChitAnanda. It is beyond time, space and form. It is beyond consciousness. It is the source.  The four parts of the Self are compared to the cow's feet.  And as said earlier Self is OM.  

AUM projects five rays: A,U,M, Nada, Bindu, Bija, and Santa.  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 Māyā.

Māyā. = Appearance, mutability, plurality, objects.

https://goo.gl/j8h4SS

Brahman and Māyā are the universe

Brahman

Māyā

Permanence

Impermanence

Spirit

Non-spirit

Immutability

mutability

Absolute Reality

Empirical reality

Oneness

Plurality

The Support

The supported

Noumenal

Phenomenal

Purusha

Prakṛti

Vidya

Avidya

True knowledge

False knowledge

Consciousness

Inconscient

Atman-Brahman

Emanations

Yoga

Māyā

The obverse

The reverse

The Invisible Soul

The visible world

Brahman

The manifest world

Metaphysical Truth

Empirical truth

Atman

Anatman

Monopolizer

Monopoly

Singularity

multiplicity

 

Wakefulness is Bija (seed); when Bindu is florid dreaming a million dreams it is in svapna (dreamy) state; when Nada is in deep sleep, it is Susupti state; Turiya is Sakti in union with Brahman; What is beyond Turiya state is Saanta. 

Turiya States: 4th State.

(4A) Jiva Turiya: Jiva realizes its pristine spiritual nature and its organic relationship with God or Self. Duality still exists.

(4B) Para Turiya: Jiva realizes Brahman, and union (absorption or merger) takes place. It is still NOT united. Duality is still apparent between object and subject, Jiva and Brahman. Remember: Brahman, the all-knowing subject can never be an object.

(4C) Brahman Turiya: Jiva unites with Brahman, and is fully absorbed and integrated into One Being.

(4D) Beyond Turiya: Jiva and Brahman become ONE as butter is poured into butter, and water is mixed with water. It is an undifferentiated and homogeneous state of subject and object fusion (Yogi and God).

(5) Turiyatita: This is the fifth transcendent state of the soul, in which the jivatma is absolved of all sins, malas (impurites), and bondages and is called Sivamukta.  The other expansive term for it is Nirmala (ninmala) Turiyatitam. Nirmala = no + impurities.

This tells us the distinction between The Absolute and the God, Brahman and Isvara, Turiya and Prajna.

Supreme Noumenal Level: Absolute, Brahman, Turiya, and Silence after AUM have a horizontal relationship; all are Imperishable; Brahman is all thought, all Bliss, no dream, no sleep, no name, no form, and all light.

The Phenomenal Level: Isvara, Hiranyagarbha, and Virāt in the descending order equate with or correspond to Prajna, Taijasa, and Visva, and in turn to deep sleep, dream sleep, and wakefulness.    

Turiya is Sakti in union with Brahman. What is beyond Turiya is Saan (Serenity).

 

Being

Condition

AUM-silence

Status

Consciousness

State

Brahman

Turiya

Silence after AUM

Absolute

4th state

Noumenal

Isvara*

Prajna

M of AUM

Isvara

Deep Sleep

Phenomenal

Brahma

Taijasa

U of AUM

Hiranyagarbha

Dream sleep

Phenomenal

 

Visva

A of AUM

Virat

Wakefulness

Phenomenal

   
Isvara: God. Prajna is knowledge by intuition and self-realization (Prajna is transcendental wisdom.)
Taijasa: Dream.  Hiranyagarbbha = Golden Egg . Brahma God of creation dreams of the egg of Universe. Visva = Waking state.

Antaratma, 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.

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. 

The Supreme I-Consciousness (Universal Consciousness or Brahman) is Ultima Thule (the farthest, the most powerful) and the heart of all Mantras. Individual souls are sparks popping and crackling off a great fireball. When two friction sticks (arani = two sticks from pipal or mesquit wood used for kindling the sacred fire by friction or attrition) are rubbed, the fire created is Prana, which ascends Susumna Nadi in the spinal cord in the vetebral column. The wooden sticks, compared to the body, are the Mantra creating the spark and the flame which rises in the Susumna Nadi to dissolve in Sky-Consciousness

 

Mantras can be uttered in the mind. As the lips move, Mantras can be chanted sotto voce (soft voice) or audibly.

Enunciation of the Mantras are based on Vedas and the quality and the utility of Mantras. Utter Ṛg Veda loudly, Yajur Veda sotto voce, and Sāma Veda loudly so many others can hear. Repetition is neither too slow or too fast. Thought should concentrate in the meaning of the Mantra. When the mind wanders, step on the gas and go fast (utter Mantra in a fast pace). No, you won’t crash.

After a while, repetition may generate monotony. How do you counteract?  Remedy: Dial up the volume; dial down the volume; go sotto voce; do the mental recitation…in a sequential manner.

Don’t worry if you feel it is mechanical. It is still beneficial and purifying.  Spirituality will eventually pervade your Mantra recitation. When you take your medication, you don’t know its chemistry and yet you get the remedy and the cure. Likewise, though you may not understand the import of Mantra, you still get the benefit.

Association of Mantra with an object or mentally visualizing the deity helps in concentration.  Rolling the beads of the Japa Mala (Rosary) also helps.

Writing Mantras (Likhita Japa) is another way of ‘recitation.’  Pen and paper or the computer should do.  No short cuts please: No copy and paste please. That defeats the purpose. After a while, give rest to the walking fingers. Start mental recitation and go through the cycle…

Find a Guru and receive the Mantra. Guru is the dispeller of darkness and revealer of your hidden spirituality which is your essence.

Bija Mantras (Seed Mantras) are for the specialists needing initiation by a Guru, Sanskrit knowledge…

"The Bija Mantras are one-syllable seed sounds that, when said aloud, activate the energy of the Chakras in order to purify & balance the mind & body. When you speak the Bija mantras, you resonate with energy of the associated Chakra, helping you focus upon your own instinctive awareness of your body & its needs." - Oct. 11, 2011 ar-yoga.com

 

 
 
 
 
 

Ajapa Japa (= Chantless prayer or meditation or Ajapa Gayatri. Soham Mantra

Breath is life, life is breath and thus it 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 
 

 

 

When Mantras are uttered loudly, there is a chance the mind and the senses may go astray. Mental chanting keeps the mind dwell on the Mantras with no distraction from external thoughts.  In silent chanting of the Mantras, the mind is absorbed.  Mental chanting guarantees all benefits from the Mantras.

Loud chanting in a group setting helps both the reciter and the listener.

Mantras do not cause harm. If the intention is harm to others, it may backfire. Mantras have Kavaćas (kavacam or Armor), which protect the chanter and the listener. Dharmasastra says, “Recite Mantra to destroy or remove evil.”

By Mantras, one cannot bring harm to others. Mantras purify, clarify, beatify, edify, pacify, sanctify and vivify the mind to do good to others and self.

Chant the Mantra; have no fear. Mantra is the remedy against evil and fear.

Lord Muruga says, “Have no fear; I am here.”

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).

Mantra is the sound-body or the soul of a god or goddess; Yantra depicts the sound-body in a diagram; just imagine Mantra is the computer code while Yantra is the computer electronic circuit board.

Mantra is the soul of Yantra; worship in Yantra pleases the Goddess. The vibrations from mantra gather on the surface of Yantra; gain momentum and bounce off; go to the specific god; receive his or her power, blessings, and grace; come back and deposit them on the chanter.  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 (Tantra) should be brought into play, guaranteeing the proper respect and reverence to the deity; invoking one deity and worshipping another bring 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.

The following diagram is the Yantra. It is flat on a flat surface and three dimensional in an objectified Yantra as in a pyramid.

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Gayatri Mantra

Om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ

tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ

bhárgo devásya dhīmahi

dhíyo yó naḥ prachodayāt

 

 

 

 

OM Sri Maha Ganapataye Namah.  OM Namasivaya.  OM Namo Narayanaya.

OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.  Hari OM.  OM Sri Ramaya Namah.

OM Sri Durgayai Namah.  OM Sri Maha Lashmyai Namah.  OM Aim Saraswatyai Namah.  OM Sri Hanumate Namah. 

 

Abstract Mantras.

Soham.  Aham Brahma Asmi.  Tat tvaṁ Asi.  OM

 

Bija (Seed) Mantras.

HAUM  DUM  KREEM  HREEM  SHREEM  AIM  KLEEM  HOOM  GAM  GLAUM  KSHRAUM

 Ref: Woodroffe; Swami Vishnu Devananda.  Other sources.

 

 

BĪJA-MANTRA. Author: Sir John Woodroffe

BĪJA-MANTRA

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.
Kṣraum   
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.

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. --Woodroffe

For more details on Mantras, go to
http://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/MANTRA.htm
http://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/AUM_OM.htm

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  

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.

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.

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

 

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).

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.

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.

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.