What Is Mantra Overview
What is sound?
How is it created?
Sound is that which is perceived by the ears.
It is known by our recognising it.
As is the case with all Perception, be it sight,touch or smell.
Whether they have their existence other than being perceived by us is a great philosophical question and this issue is the reason for various ‘isms’
Idealism, Empiricism,Rationalism,Pragmatism and Logical Positivism.
For more on this please read my post Perception.
Now to Sound.
It exists in Nature and some sounds instill Fear, some serenity.
Thunder instils fearvwhile the slapping of the waves soothes.
Sounds by Nature has qualities inherent in them.
Sound, ,according to Science,is produced because of Vibration/Resonance.
There is also a view that Sound produces Resonance..
One may never know.
Hinduism assigns important position to Sound.
Universe is in Constant Motion and consequently Sound is present since The Universe was born.
In Hindu thought, the Universe is Eternal and so is Sound.
Sound coexists with Universe.
Sound has Rhythm and Scale.
Nadha is Sound and its Rhythm is Nature.
It is described as an Attribute of Reality in the Upanishads.
Reality is described as Nadha Brahman.
Sound is different from Ether or Akasa
Akasa is the carrier of Energy including Sound.
Akasa is the energy source.
Article on Akasa, Energy source, Hinduism and Quantum follows.
Sound is grasped intuitively and remembered mentally.
Sound as grasped from Ehter directly by the Rishis are known as Mantra.
These are mystical.
When we attempt to write the sound, it may not convey the sound grasped.
Language is born of Sound and not the other way.
Hence Mantras, including the Vedas, were transmitted orally.
Vedas, the Scripture of Hindus are to be leant bt Hearning and not by writing or Reading.
The intonation is to be perfect.
When people started using the method of writing the grasped sounds, Mantras, were expressed through alphabets,in Hinduism Sanskrit.
Sanskrit produces the near perfect intonaton of the sound, as an attribute of Reality and hence Sanskrit is called the language of Gods, Deva Basha.
There are different types of Mantras.
1. Mantras one follows as enjoined in the Vedas and by Family traditions as a part of daily activity.
2. This type is to ward off or tide over or get relief from a specific problem.
3. The Mantra for spiritual development.
The first one is mandatory, without which all the other Mantras would not yield better results.That is the reason it is insisted that at least Sandhyavandan is performed daily for the Mantras to deliver results
The second one that is the one used for a specific issue becomes of no use once the problem is resolved.
Preferable one learns Mantras through hearing.
However there are also written forms.
The letters in Sanskrit are called Aksharas, meaning limitless.
The combination of letters, Aksharas locked mystically become Mantras.
There are two types of Aksharas.
One is the letters is a Mantra and the other is
the Root letter to which are bound the other letters of a Mantra.
This Root letter is called Beejakshara and it is held as a secret.
For Mantras to be efective one need not know the Beejaksharas.
Powerful slokascand Mantras deliver results because the Beejaksharas are embedded in them.
Soundaryalahari by Adi Shankaracharya contains 51 Aksharas of Devi embedded secretly in the slokas.
Mantrass should be initiated by a Guru.
In exceptional cases one can take the Mantra worshipping Family Deity and keepingShiva/Subrahmanya/Krishna as Guru.
Mantras are not to be translated.
Nor should one divulge the Mantra or thecreason for reciting it to others.
‘The bija mantras of the main chakras are given in the following table:
Mantras Chakra Physical location
Lam Mooladhara Perineum
Vam Swadhisthana Base of the spine
Ram Manipura Navel centre
Yam Anahata Heart centre
Ham Vishudhi Throat
Om Ajna Eyebrow centre
Chakra Beej Mantras
A, Aa, E, Ee, O, Oo etc are all vowels and are spoken with sounds that come from within i.e: stomach, buzzing in the ear, nasal tones, tongue rolling etc. each of which stimulates one part of the body or other thereby corresponding to a chakra.
Chakras have different tones and move and different frequencies, the root being the slowest and most dense to Ajna or third eye chakra being the fastest . The beej mantra or single seed syllable of the chakra balances the chakra and thereby purifies it.
|Chakra||Beej Mantra||Associated Planet||Presiding lord||Goddess|
|Muldhara-||LAM||Shani and Uranus but elements of Sun||Ganesha with Siddhi and Buddhi||Dakini|
|Svadhisthana||VAM||Guru/Jupiter and Neptune, but elements of moon & venus||Brahma in child form with Savitri||Rakini|
|Manipura||RAM||Mangal/Mars and Pluto, with elements of jupiter||Vishnu||Garbha and Kundalini chakras are associated. Lakini|
|Anahata||YAM||Venus but elements of sun and mercury||Mahadeva in rudra form with Uma||Kakini|
|Vissudhi||HAM||Mercury but elements of jupiter||Jiva and Adya sakti||Shakini|
|Ajna||OM||Moon mainly but elements of Sun||Parannath and Param Sakti , Hamsa Devata and sushmana sakt||Siva and Sakti|