Shakti as Mantra (Mantramayi Shakti)

From: "jagbir singh" <adishakti_org@...>
Date: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:10 pm
Subject: Shakti as Mantra (Mantramayi Shakti)

> —- In adishakti_sahaja_yoga@yahoogroups.com, "jagbir singh"
<adishakti_org@y...> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Dear Semira,
> >
> > Definitely and without question the Divine Message will triumph
> > over the organization itself. In future more and more people
> > will embrace its central message of evolving into the eternal
> > spirit that all religions, holy scriptures and prophets have
> > since time immemorial upheld. The Divine Message is a spiritual
> > sanctuary, a beacon of hope, joy, peace of eternal life to all
> > humans. The Shakti/Holy Spirit/Ruh/Aykaa Mayee is the Divine
> > Feminine that gives Self-realization/Birth of Spirit/Baptism of
> > Allah/Opens Dasam Dwar for humanity to enter the Sahasrara/
> > Kingdom of God/Niche of lights/Inner Sanctuary within where
> > Brahman/God Almighty/Allah/ Waheguru resides as THE LIGHT.
> > Semira, not only the current Sahaja Yoga organisation but all
> > religious organizations as well have merely been intended as
> > temporary vehicles and starting points for the Divine Message.
> >
> > jagbir
> >
> >
> > —- In adishakti_sahaja_yoga@yahoogroups.com, "jagbir singh"
<adishakti_org@y...> wrote:
>
> By the way things are moving the Adi Shakti will eventually
> triumph. All we need to do as Her bhaktas is to stand our ground
> and not yield an inch because Truth always triumphs. Years of
> silence from religious regimes is the sure sign that the Devi and
> Her Divine Message to all humanity cannot be challenged, and will
> eventually be victorious in Her battle against the evil forces.
> All we need to do is to fearlessly announce the Truth. Shanti,
> Shanti, Shanti.
>

Shakti as Mantra (Mantramayi Shakti)

This is in every way both a most important, as well as a most
difficult, subject in the Tantra Shastra; so difficult that it is
not understood, and on this account has been ridiculed. Mantra, in
the words of a distinguished Indian, has been called "meaningless
jabber". When we find Indians thus talking of their Shastra, it is
not surprising that Europeans should take it to be of no account.
They naturally, though erroneously, suppose that the Indian always
understands his own beliefs, and if he says they are absurd it is
taken that they are so. Even, however, amongst Indians, who have
lost themselves through an English Education, the Science of Mantra
is largely unknown. There are not many students of the Mimamsa now-a-
days. The English-educated have in this, as in other matters,
generally taken the cue from their Western Gurus, and passed upon
Mantravidya a borrowed condemnation. There are those among them
(particularly in this part of India), those who have in the past
thought little of their old culture, and have been only too willing
to sell their old lamps for new ones. Because they are new they will
not always be found to give better light. Let us hope this will
change, as indeed it will. Before the Indian condemns his cultural
inheritance let him at least first study and understand it. It is
true that Mantra is meaningless—to those who do not know its
meaning; but to those who do, it is not "Jabber"; though of course
like everything else it may become, and indeed has become, the
subject of ignorance and superstitious use. A telegram written in
code in a merchant's office will seem the merest gibberish to those
who do not know that code. Those who do may spell thereout a
transaction bringing lakhs of "real" Rupees for those who have sent
it. Mantravidya, whether it be true or not, is a profoundly
conceived science, and, as interpreted by the Shakta Agama, is a
practical application of Vedantic doctrine.

The textual source of Mantras is to be found in the Vedas (see in
particular the Mantra portion of the Atharvaveda so associated with
the Tantra Shastra), the Puranas and Tantras. The latter Scripture
is essentially the Mantra-Shastra. In fact it is so called generally
by Sadhakas and not Tantra Shastra. And so it is said of all the
Shastras, symbolized as a body, that Tantra Shastra which consists
of Mantra is the Paramatma, the Vedas are the Jivatma, Darshanas or
systems of philosophy are the senses, Puranas are the body and the
Smritis are the limbs. Tantra Shastra is thus the Shakti of
Consciousness consisting of Mantra. For, as the Vishvasara Tantra
(Ch. 2) says, the Parabrahman in Its form as the Sound Brahman
(Shabda-Brahman or Saguna-Brahman), whose substance is all Mantra,
exists in the body of the Jivatma.. Kundalini Shakti is a form of
the Shabda-Brahman in individual bodies (Sharada-Tilaka, Ch. 1). It
is from this Shabda-Brahman that the whole universe proceeds in the
form of sound (Shabda) and the objects (Artha) which sounds or words
denote. And this is the meaning of the statement that the Devi and
the Universe are composed of letters, that is, the signs for the
sounds which denote all that is.

At any point in the flow of phenomena, we can enter the stream, and
realize therein the changeless Real. The latter is everywhere and is
in all things, and hidden in, and manifested by, sound as by all
else. Any form (and all which is not the Formless is that) can be
pierced by the mind, and union may be had therein with the Devata
who is at its core. It matters not what that form may be. And why?
What I have said concerning Shakti gives the answer. All is Shakti.
All is Consciousness. We desire to think and speak. This is Iccha
Shakti. We make an effort towards realization. This is Kriya Shakti.
We think and know. This is J—ana Shakti. Through Pranavayu, another
form of Shakti, we speak; and the word we utter is Shakti
Mantramayi. For what is a letter (Varna) which is made into syllable
(Pada) and sentences (Vakya) '? It may be heard in speech, thus
affecting the sense of hearing. It may be seen as a form in writing.
It may be tactually sensed by the blind through the perforated dots
of Braille type. The same thing thus affecting the various senses.
But what is the thing which does so? The senses are Shakti, and so
is the objective form which evokes the sensation. Both are in
themselves Shakti as Cit Shakti and Maya Shakti, and the Svarupa of
these is Cit or Feeling-Consciousness. When, therefore, a Mantra is
realized, when there is what is called in the Shastra Mantra-
Caitanya, what happens is the union of the consciousness of the
Sadhaka with that Consciousness which manifests in the form of the
Mantra. It is this union which makes the Mantra "work".

The subject is of such importance in the Tantras that their other
name is Mantra Shastra. But what is a Mantra? Commonly Orientalists
and others describe Mantra as "Prayer," "Formulae of
worship," "Mystic syllables" and so forth. These are but the
superficialities of those who do not know their subject. Wherever we
find the word "Mystic," we may be on our guard; for it is a word
which covers much ignorance. Thus Mantra is said to be a "mystic"
word, Yantra a "mystic" diagram, and Mudra a "mystic" gesture. But
have these definitions taught us anything? No, nothing. Those who
framed these definitions knew nothing of their subject. And yet,
whilst I am aware of no work in any European language which shows a
knowledge of what Mantra is or of its science (Mantra-vidya), there
is nevertheless perhaps no subject which has been so ridiculed: a
not unusual attitude of ignorance. There is a widely diffused lower
mind which says, "what I do not understand is absurd". But this
science, whether well-founded or not, is not that. Those who so
think might expect Mantras which are prayers and the meaning of
which they understand; for with prayer the whole world is familiar.
But such appreciation itself displays a lack of understanding. For
there is nothing necessarily holy or prayerful alone in Mantras as
some think. Some combinations of letters constitute prayers and are
called Mantras, as for instance the most celebrated Gayatri Mantra.

A Mantra is not the same thing as prayer or self-dedication (Atma-
nivedana). Prayer is conveyed in the words the Sadhaka chooses. Any
set of words or letters is not a Mantra. Only that Mantra in which
the Devata has revealed His or Her particular aspects can reveal
that aspect, and is therefore the Mantra of that one of His or Her
particular aspects. The relations of the letters (Varna), whether
vowel or consonant, Nada and Bindu, in a Mantra indicate the
appearance of Devata in different forms. Certain Vibhuti or aspects
of the Devata are inherent in certain Varna, but perfect Shakti does
not appear in any but a whole Mantra. All letters are forms of the
Shabda-Brahman, but only particular combinations of letters are a
particular form, just as the name of a particular being is made up
of certain letters and not of any indiscriminately. The whole
universe is Shakti and is pervaded by Shakti. Nada, Bindu, Varna are
all forms of Shakti and combinations of these, and these
combinations only are the Shabda corresponding to the Artha or forms
of any particular Devata. The gross lettered sound is, as explained
later, the manifestation of sound in a more subtle form, and this
again is the production of causal "sound" in its supreme (Para)
form. Mantras are manifestations of Kulakundalini (see Chapter on
the same) which is a name for the Shabda-Brahman or Saguna-Brahman
in individual bodies. Produced Shabda is an aspect of the Jiva's
vital Shakti. Kundalini is the Shakti who gives life to the Jiva.
She it is who in the Muladhara Cakra (or basal bodily center) is the
cause of the sweet, indistinct and murmuring Dhvani which is
compared to the humming of a black bee. Thence Shabda originates
and, being first Para, gradually manifests upwards as Pashyanti,
Madhyama, Vaikhari (see post). Just as in outer space, waves of
sound are produced by movements of air (Vayu), so in the space
within the Jiva's body, waves of sound are said to be produced
according to the movements of the vital air (Pranavayu) and the
process of in and out breathing. As the Svarupa of Kundali, in whom
are all sounds, is Paramatma, so the substance of all Mantra, Her
manifestation, is Consciousness (Cit) manifesting as letters and
words. In fact, the letters of the Alphabet which are called Akshara
are nothing but the Yantra of the Akshara or Imperishable Brahman.
This is however only realized by the Sadhaka, when his Shakti
generated by Sadhana is united with Mantra-Shakti. kundalini, who is
extremely subtle, manifests in gross (Sthula) form in differing
aspects as different Devatas. It is this gross form which is the
Presiding Deity (Adishthatri Devata) of a Mantra, though it is the
subtle (Sukshma) form at which all Sadhakas aim. Mantra and Devata
are thus one and particular forms of Brahman as Shiva-Shakti.
Therefore the Shastra says that they go to Hell who think that the
Image (or "Idol" as it is commonly called) is but a stone and the
Mantra merely letters of the alphabet. It is therefore also
ignorance of Shastric principle which supposes that Mantra is merely
the name for the words in which one expresses what one has to say to
the Divinity. If it were, the Sadhaka might choose his own language
without recourse to the eternal and determined sounds of Shastra.
(See generally as to the above the Chapter on Mantra-tattva in
Principles of Tantra, Ed. A. Avalon.) The particular Mantra of a
Devata is that Devata. A Mantra, on the contrary, consists of
certain letters arranged in definite sequence of sounds of which the
letters are the representative signs. To produce the designed
effect, the Mantra must be intoned in the proper way, according to
both sound (Varna) and rhythm (Svara). For these reasons, a Mantra
when translated ceases to be such, and becomes a mere word or
sentence.

By Mantra, the sought-for (Sadhya) Devata appears, and by Siddhi
therein is had vision of the three worlds. As the Mantra is in fact
Devata, by practice thereof this is known. Not merely do the
rhythmical vibrations of its sounds regulate the unsteady vibrations
of the sheaths of the worshiper, but therefrom the image of the
Devata appears. As the Brihad-Gandharva Tantra says (Ch. V):

Shrinu devi pravakshyami bijanam deva-rupatam
Mantrochcharanamatrena deva-rupam prajayate.
Mantrasiddhi is the ability to make a Mantra efficacious and to
gather its fruit in which case the Sadhaka is Mantra-siddha. As the
Pranatoshini (619) says, "Whatever the Sadhaka desires that he
surely obtains." Whilst therefore prayer may end in merely physical
sound, Mantra is ever, when rightly said, a potent compelling force,
a word of power effective both to produce material gain and
accomplish worldly desires, as also to promote the fourth aim of
sentient being (Caturvarga), Advaitic knowledge, and liberation. And
thus it is said that Siddhi (success) is the certain result of Japa
or recitation of Mantra.

Some Mantras constitute also what the European would call "prayers,"
as for instance the celebrated Gayatri. But neither this nor any
other Mantra is simply a prayer. The Gayatri runs Om (The thought is
directed to the three-fold Energy of the One as represented by the
three letters of which Om is composed, namely, A or Brahma, the
Shakti which creates; U or Vishnu, the Shakti which maintains; and M
or Rudra, the Shakti which "destroys," that is, withdraws the
world): Nada and Bindu, Earth, Middle region, Heaven (of which as
the transmigrating worlds of Samsara, God, as Om, as also in the
form of the Sun, is the Creator). Let us contemplate upon the
Adorable Spirit of the Divine Creator who is in the form of the Sun
(Aditya-Devata). Map He direct our minds, towards attainment of the
four-fold aims (Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha) of all sentient beings.
Om. This great Mantra bears a meaning on its face, though the
Commentaries explain and amplify it. The Self of all which exists in
the three regions appears in the form of the Sun-god with His body
of fire. The Brahman is the cause of all, and as the visible Devata
is the Eye of the World and the Maker of the day who vivifies,
ripens and reveals all beings and things. The Sun-god is to the sun
what the Spirit (Atma) is to the body. He is the Supreme in the form
of the great Luminary. His body is the Light of the world, and He
Himself is the Light of the lives of all beings. He is everywhere.
He is in the outer ether as the sun, and in the inner ethereal
region of the heart. He is the Wondrous Light which is the smokeless
Fire. He it is who is in constant play with creation (Srishti),
maintenance (Sthiti) and "destruction" (Pralaya); and by His
radiance pleases both eye and mind. Let us adore Him that we may
escape the misery of birth and death. May He ever direct our minds
(Buddhivritti) upon the path of the world (Trivarga) and liberation
(Moksha). Only the twice-born castes and men may utter this Gayatri.
To the Shudra, whether man or woman, and to women of all castes, it
is forbidden. But the Tantra Shastra has not the exclusiveness of
the Vaidik system. Thus the Mahanirvana provides (IV. 109-111) a
Brahma-gayatri for all: "May we know the Supreme Lord. Let us
contemplate the Supreme Essence. And may the Brahman direct us." All
will readily understand such Mantras as the Gayatri, though some
comment, which is thought amusing, has been made on
the "meaningless" Om. I have already stated what it means, namely,
(shortly speaking) the Energy (Nada) in Sadakhya Tattva which,
springing from Shiva-Shakti Tattva, "solidifies" itself (Ghani-
bhuta) as the creative Power of the Lord (Bindu or Ishvara Tattva)
manifesting in the Trinity or Creative Energies. For further details
see my Garland of Letters. "Om" then stands for the most general
aspect of That as the Source of all. As it is recited, the idea
arises in the mind corresponding with the sound which has been said
to be the expression on the gross plane of that subtle "sound" which
accompanied the first creative vibration. When rightly uttered this
great syllable has an awe-inspiring effect. As I heard this Mantra
chanted by some hundred Buddhist monks (one after the other) in a
northern monastery it seemed to be the distant murmuring roll of
some vast cosmic ocean. "Om" is the most prominent example of
a "meaningless" Mantra, that is, one which does not bear its meaning
on its face, and of what is called a seed or Bija Mantra, because
they are the very quintessence of Mantra, and the seed (Bija) of the
fruit which is Siddhi (spiritual achievement). These are properly
monosyllabic. Om is a Vaidik Bija, but it is the source of all the
other Tantrik Bijas which represent particular Devata aspects of
that which is presented as a whole in 0m. As a Mantra-Shastra, the
Tantras have greatly elaborated the Bijas, and thus incurred the
charge of "gibberish," for such the Bijas sound to those who do not
know what they mean. Though a Mantra such as a Bija-mantra may not
convey its meaning on its face, the initiate knows that its meaning
is the own form (Svarupa) of the particular Devata whose Mantra it
is, and that the essence of the Bija is that which makes letters
sound, and exists in all which we say or hear. Every Mantra is thus
a particular sound form (Rupa) of the Brahman. There are a very
large number of these short unetymological vocables or Bijas such as
Hrim, Shrim, Krim, Hum, Hum, Phat called by various names. Thus the
first is called the 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,
Shrim is Badhu Bija, Aim Sarasvati Bija and so forth. Each Devata
has His or Her Bija. Thus Hrim is the Maya Bija, Krim the Kali Bija.
The Bija is used in the worship of the Devata whose Mantra it is.
All these Bijas mentioned are in common use. There are a large
number of others, some of which are formed with the first letters of
the name of the Devata for whom they stand, such as Gam for Ganesha,
Dum for Durga.

Let us then shortly see by examples what the meaning of such a Bija
is. (For a fuller account see my Garland of Letters.) In the first
place, the reader will observe the common ending "m" which
represents the Sanskrit breathings known as Nada and Bindu or
Candrabindu. These have the same meaning in all. They are the
Shaktis of that name appearing in the table of the 36 Tattvas given
ante. They are states of Divine Power immediately preceding the
manifestation of the objective universe. The other letters denote
subsequent developments of Shakti, and various aspects of the
manifested Devata mentioned below. There are sometimes variant
interpretations given. Take the great Bhuvaneshvari or Maya Bija,
Hrim. I have given one interpretation in my Studies above cited.
From the Tantrik compendium, the Pranatoshini, quoting the Barada
Tantra we get the following: Hrim = H + R + I + M. H = Shiva. R =
Shakti Prakriti. I = Mahamaya. "M" is as above explained, but is
here stated in the form that Nada is the Progenitrix of the
Universe, and Bindu which is Brahman as Ishvara and Ishvari
(Ishvaratattva) is described for the Sadhaka as the "Dispeller of
Sorrow". The meaning therefore of this Bija Mantra which is used in
the worship of Mahamaya or Bhuvaneshvari is, that that Devi in Her
Turiya or transcendent state is Nada and Bindu, and is the causal
body manifesting as Shiva-Shakti in the form of the manifested
universe. The same idea is expressed in varying form but with the
same substance by the Devigita (Ch. IV) which says that H = gross
body, R = subtle body, I = causal body and M = the Turiya or
transcendent fourth state. In other words, the Sadhaka worshipping
the Devi with Hrim, by that Bija calls to mind the transcendent
Shakti who is the causal body of the subtle and gross bodies of all
existing things. Shrim, (see Barada Tantra) is used in the worship
of Lakshmi Devi. Sh = Alahalaksmi, R = Wealth (Dhanartham) which as
well as I = (satisfaction or Tushtyartham) She gives. Krim is used
in the worship of Kali. K = Kali (Shakti worshipped for relief from
the world and its sorrows). R = Brahma (Shiva with whom She is ever
associated). I = Mahamaya (Her aspect in which She overcomes for the
Sadhaka the Maya in which as Creatrix She has involved him). "Aim"
is used in the worship of Sarasvati and is Vagbhava Bija. Dum is
used in the worship of Durga. D = Durga. U = protection. Nada = Her
aspect as Mother of the Universe, and Bindu is its Lord. The Sadhaka
asks Durga as Mother-Lord to protect him, and looks on Her in her
protecting aspect as upholder of the universe (Jagaddhatri).
In "Strim." S = saving from difficulty. T = deliverer. R = (here)
liberation (Muktyartho repha ukto'tra). I = Mahamaya. Bindu =
Dispeller of grief. Nada = Mother of the Universe. She as the Lord
is the dispeller of Maya and the sorrows it produces, the Savior and
deliverer from all difficulties by grant of liberation. I have dealt
elsewhere (Serpent Power) with Hum and Hum the former of which is
called Varma (armor) Bija and the latter Kurca, H denoting Shiva
and "u", His Bhairava or formidable aspect (see generally Vol. I,
Tantrik Texts. Tantrabhidhana). He is an armor to the Sadhaka by His
destruction of evil. Phat is the weapon or guarding Mantra used with
Hum, just as Svaha (the Shakti of Fire), is used with Vashat, in
making offerings. The primary Mantra of a Devata is called Mula-
Mantra. Mantras are solar (Saura) and masculine, and lunar (Saumya)
and feminine, as also neuter. If it be asked why things of mind are
given sex, the answer is for the sake of the requirements of the
worshiper. The masculine and neuter forms are called specifically
Mantra and the feminine Vidya, though the first term may be used for
both. Neuter Mantras end with Namah. Hum, Phat are masculine
terminations, and "Tham" or Svaha, feminine (see Sharadatilaka II.
Narada-pa—caratra VII, Prayogasara, Pranatoshini 70).

The Nitya Tantra gives various names to Mantra according to the
number of the syllables such as Pinda, Kartari, Bija, Mantra, Mala.
Commonly however the term Bija is applied to monosyllabic Mantras.

The word "Mantra" comes from the root "man" to think. "Man" is the
first syllable of manana or thinking. It is also the root of the
word "Man" who alone of all creation is properly a Thinker. "Tra"
comes from the root "tra," for the effect of a Mantra when used with
that end, is to save him who utters and realizes it. Tra is the
first syllable of Trana or liberation from the Samsara. By
combination of man and tra, that is called Mantra which, from the
religious stand-point, calls forth (Amantrana) the four aims
(Caturvarga) of sentient being as happiness in the world and eternal
bliss in Liberation. Mantra is thus Thought-movement vehicled by,
and expressed in, speech. Its Svarupa is, like all else,
consciousness (Cit) which is the Shabda-Brahman. A Mantra is not
merely sound or letters. This is a form in which Shakti manifests
Herself. The mere utterance of a Mantra without knowing its meaning,
without realization of the consciousness which Mantra manifests is a
mere movement of the lips and nothing else. We are then in the outer
husk of consciousness; just as we are when we identify ourselves
with any other form of gross matter which is, as it were,
the "crust" (as a friend of mine has aptly called it) of those
subtler forces which emerge from the Yoni or Cause of all, who is,
in Herself Consciousness (Cidrupini). When the Sadhaka knows the
meaning of the Mantra he makes an advance. But this is not enough.
He must, through his consciousness, realize that Consciousness which
appears in the form of the Mantra, and thus attain Mantra-Caitanya.
At this point, thought is vitalized by contact with the center of
all thinking. At this point again thought becomes truly vital and
creative. Then an effect is created by the realization thus induced.

The creative power of thought is now receiving increasing acceptance
in the West, which is in some cases taking over, and in others,
discovering anew, for itself, what was thought by the ancients in
India. Because they have discovered it anew, they call it "New
Thought"; but its fundamental principle is as old as the Upanishads
which said, "what you think that you become". All recognize this
principle in the limited form that a man who thinks good becomes
good, and he who is ever harboring bad thought becomes bad. But the
Indian and "New Thought" doctrine is more profound than this. In
Vedantic India, thought has been ever held creative. The world is a
creation of the thought (Cit Shakti associated with Maya Shakti) of
the Lord (Ishvara and Ishvari). Her and His thought is the
aggregate, with almighty powers of all thought. But each man is
Shiva and can attain His powers to the degree of his ability to
consciously realize himself as such. Thought now works in man's
small magic just as it first worked in the grand magical display of
the World-Creator. Each man is in various degrees a creator. Thought
is as real as any form of gross matter. Indeed it is more real in
the sense that the world is itself a projection of the World-
thought, which again is nothing but the aggregate in the form of the
Samskaras or impressions of past experience, which give rise to the
world. The universe exists for each Jiva because he consciously or
unconsciously wills it. It exists for the totality of beings because
of the totality of Samskaras which are held in the Great Womb of the
manifesting Cit Itself. There is theoretically nothing that man
cannot accomplish, for he is at base the Accomplisher of all. But,
in practice, he can only accomplish to the degree that he identifies
himself with the Supreme Consciousness and Its forces, which
underlie, are at work in, and manifest as, the universe. This is the
basal doctrine of all magic, of all powers (Siddhi) including the
greatest Siddhi which is Liberation itself. He who knows Brahman,
becomes Brahman to the extent of his "knowing". Thought-reading,
thought-transference, hypnotic suggestion, magical projections
(Mokshana) and shields (Grahana) are becoming known and practiced in
the West, not always with good results. For this reason some
doctrines and practices are kept concealed. Projection (Mokshana)
the occultist will understand. But Grahana, I may here explain, is
not so much a "fence" in the Western sense, to which use a Kavaca is
put, but the knowledge of how to "catch" a Mantra thus projected. A
stone thrown at one may be warded off or caught and, if the person
so wishes, thrown back at him who threw it. So may a Mantra. It is
not necessary, however, to do so. Those who are sheltered by their
own pure strength, automatically throw back all evil influences,
which, coming back to the ill-wisher, harm or destroy him. Those
familiar with the Western presentment of similar matters will more
readily understand than others who, like the Orientalist and
Missionary, as a rule know nothing of occultism and regard it as
superstition. For this reason their presentment of Indian teaching
is so often ignorant and absurd. The occultist, however, will
understand the Indian doctrine which regards thought like mind, of
which it is the operation, as a Power or Shakti; something
therefore, very real and creative by which man can accomplish things
for himself and others. Kind thoughts, without a word, will do good
to all who surround us, and may travel round the world to distant
friends. So we may suffer from the ill-wishes of those who surround
us, even if such wishes do not materialize into deeds. Telepathy is
the transference of thought from a distance without the use of the
ordinary sense organs. So, in initiation, the thought of a true Guru
may pass to his disciple all his powers. Mantra is thus a Shakti
(Mantra Shakti) which lends itself impartially to any use. Man can
identify himself with any of nature's forces and for any end. Thus,
to deal with the physical effects of Mantra, it may be used to
injure, kill or do good; by Mantra again a kind of union with the
physical Shakti is, by some, said to be effected. So the Vishnu-
Purana speaks of generation by will power, as some Westerners
believe will be the case when man passes beyond the domination of
his gross sheath and its physical instruments. Children will then
again be "mind-born". By Mantra, the Homa fire may, it is said, be
lit. By Mantra, again, in the Tantrik initiation called Vedha-diksha
there is, it is said, such a transference of power from the Guru to
his disciple that the latter swoons under the impulse of the thought-
power which pierces him. But Mantra is also that by which man
identifies himself with That which is the Ground of all. In short,
Mantra is a power (Shakti) in the form of idea clothed with sound.
What, however, is not yet understood in the West is the particular
Thought-science which is Mantravidya, or its basis. Much of the "New
Thought" lacks this philosophical basis which is supplied by
Mantravidya, resting itself on the Vedantik doctrine. Mantravidya is
thus that form of Sadhana by which union is had with the Mother
Shakti in the Mantra form (Mantramayi), in Her Sthula and Sukshma
aspects respectively. The Sadhaka passes from the first to the
second. This Sadhana works through the letters, as other forms of
Sadhana work through form in the shape of the Yantra, Ghata or
Pratima. All such Sadhana belongs to Shaktopaya Yoga as
distinguished from the introspective meditative processes of
Shambhavopaya which seeks more directly the realization of Shakti,
which is the end common to both. The Tantrik doctrine as regards
Shabda is that of the Mimamsa with this exception that it is
modified to meet its main doctrine of Shakti,

In order to understand what a Mantra is, we must know its cosmic
history. The mouth speaks a word. What is it and whence has it
come'. As regards the evolution of consciousness as the world, I
refer my reader to the Chapters on "Cit-Shakti and Maya-Shakti"
dealing with the 36 Tattvas. Ultimately, there is Consciousness
which in its aspect as the great "I" sees the object as part of
itself, and then as other than itself, and thus has experience of
the universe. This is achieved through Shakti who, in the words of
the Kamakalavilasa, is the pure mirror in which Shiva experiences
Himself (Shivarupa-vimarshanirmala-darshah). Neither Shiva nor
Shakti alone suffices for creation. Shivarupa here = Svarupa. Aham
ityevamakaram, that is, the form (or experience) which consists in
the notion of "I". Shakti is the pure mirror for the manifestation
of Shiva's experience as "I" (Aham). Aham ityevam rupam j—anam tasya
praka-shane nirmaladarshah; as the commentator Natanananda (V-2)
says. The notion is, of course, similar to that of the reflection of
Purusha on Prakriti as Sattvamayi Buddhi and of Brahman on Maya.
From the Mantra aspect starting from Shakti (Shakti-Tattva)
associated with Shiva (Shiva-Tattva), there was produced Nada, and
from Nada, came Bindu which, to distinguish it from other Bindus, is
known as the causal, supreme or Great Bindu (Karana, Para,
Mahabindu). This is very clearly set forth in the Sharada Tilaka, a
Tantrik work by an author of the Kashmirian School which was
formerly of great authority among the Bengal Shaktas. I have dealt
with this subject in detail in my Garland of Letters. Here I only
summarize conclusions.

Shabda literally means and is usually translated "sound," the word
coming from the root Shabd "to sound". It must not, however, be
wholly identified with sound in the sense of that which is heard by
the ear, or sound as effect of cosmic stress. Sound in this sense is
the effect produced through excitation of the ear and brain, by
vibrations of the atmosphere between certain limits. Sound so
understood exists only with the sense organs of hearing. And even
then it may be perceived by some and not by others, due to keenness
or otherwise of natural hearing. Further the best ears will miss
what the microphone gives. Considering Shabda from its primary or
causal aspect, independent of the effect which it may or may not
produce on the sense organs, it is vibration (Spandana) of any kind
or motion, which is not merely physical motion, which may become
sound for human ears, given the existence of ear and brain and the
fulfillment of other physical conditions. Thus, Shabda is the
possibility of sound, and may not be actual sound for this
individual or that. There is thus Shabda wherever there is motion or
vibration of any kind. It is now said, that the electrons revolve in
a sphere of positive electrification at an enormous rate of motion.
If the arrangement be stable, we have an atom of matter. If some of
the electrons are pitched off from the atomic system, what is called
radio-activity is observed. Both these rotating and shooting
electrons are forms of vibration as Shabda, though it is no sound
for mortal ears. To a Divine Ear all such movements would constitute
the "music of the spheres". Were the human ear subtle enough, a
living tree would present itself to it in the form of a particular
sound which is the natural word for that tree. It is said of ether
(Akasha) that its Guna or quality is sound (Shabda); that is, ether
is the possibility of Spandana or vibration of any kind. It is that
state of the primordial "material" substance (Prakriti) which makes
motion or vibration of any kind possible (Shabdaguna akashah). The
Brahman Svarupa or Cit is motionless. It is also known as Cidakasha.
But this Akasha is not created. Cidakasha is the Brahman in which
stress of any kind manifests itself, a condition from which the
whole creation proceeds. This Cidakasha is known as the Shabda-
Brahman through its Maya-shakti, which is the cause of all
vibrations manifesting themselves as sound to the ear, as touch to
the tactile sense, as color and form to the eye, as taste to the
tongue and as odor to the nose. All mental functioning again is a
form of vibration (Spandana). Thought is a vibration of mental
substance just as the expression of thought in the form of the
spoken word is a vibration affecting the ear. All Spandana
presupposes heterogeneity (Vaishamya). Movement of any kind implies
inequality of tensions. Electric current flows between two points
because there is a difference of potential between them. Fluid flows
from one point to another because there is difference of pressure.
Heat travels because there is difference of temperature. In creation
(Srishti) this condition of heterogeneity appears and renders motion
possible. Akasha is the possibility of Spandana of any kind. Hence
its precedence in the order of creation. Akasha means Brahman with
Maya, which Mayashakti or (to use the words of Professor P. N.
Mukhyopadhyaya) Stress is rendered actual, from a previous state of
possibility of stress which is the Sakti's natural condition of
equilibrium (Prakriti = Samyavastha). In dissolution, the Maya-
Shakti of Brahman (according to the periodic law which is a
fundamental postulate of Indian cosmogony) returns to homogeneity
when in consequence Akasha disappears. This disappearance means that
Shakti is equilibrated, and that therefore there is no further
possibility of motion of any kind. As the Tantras say, the Divine
Mother becomes one with Paramashiva.

The Sharada says—From the Sakala Parameshvara who is
Sacchidananda issued Shakti; from Shakti came Nada; and from Nada
issued Bindu.

Sacchidanandavibhavat sakalat parameshvarat
Asicchhaktistato nado nadad bindusamudbhavah.
Here the Sakala Parameshvara is Shiva Tattva. Shakti is Shakti
Tattva wherein are Samani, Vyapini, and Anjani Shaktis. Nada is the
first produced source of Mantra, and the subtlest form of Shabda of
which Mantra is a manifestation. Nada is threefold, as Mahanada or
Nadanta and Nirodhini representing the first moving forth of the
Shabda-Brahman as Nada, the filling up of the whole universe with
Nadanta and the specific tendency towards the next state of
unmanifested Shabda respectively. Nada in its three forms is in the
Sadakhya Tattva. Nada becoming slightly operative towards
the "speakable" (Vacya), (the former operation being in regard to
the thinkable (Mantavya) ) is called Arddhacandra which develops
into Bindu. Both of these are in Ishvara Tattva. This Mahabindu is
threefold as the Kamakala. The undifferentiated Shabda-Brahman or
Brahman as the immediate cause of the manifested Shabda and Artha is
a unity of consciousness (Caitanya) which then expresses itself in
three-fold function as the three Shaktis, Iccha, J—ana, Kriya; the
three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas, Tamas; the three Bindus (Karyya) which
are Sun, Moon and Fire; the three Devatas, Rudra, Vishnu, Brahma and
so forth. These are the product of the union of Prakasha and
Vimarsha Shakti. This Triangle of Divine Desire is the Kamakala, or
Creative Will and its first subtle manifestation, the Cause of the
Universe which is personified as the Great Devi Tripurasundari, the
Kameshvara and Kameshvari, the object of worship in the Agamas.
Kamakalavilasa, as explained in the work of that name, is the
manifestation of the union of Shiva and Shakti, the great "I" (Aham)
which develops through the inherent power of its thought-activity
(Vimarsha-Shakti) into the universe, unknowing as Jiva its true
nature and the secret of its growth through Avidya Shakti. Here then
there appears the duality of subject and object; of mind and matter,
of the word (Shabda) and its meaning (Artha). The one is not the
cause of the other, but each is inseparable from, and concomitant
with, the other as a bifurcation of the undifferentiated unity of
Shabda-Brahman whence they proceed. The one cosmic movement produces
at the same time the mind and the object which it cognizes; names
(Nama) and language (Shabda) on the one hand; and forms (Rupa) or
object (Artha) on the other. These are all parts of one co-ordinated
contemporaneous movement, and, therefore, each aspect of the process
is related the one to the other. The genesis of Shabda is only one
aspect of the creative process, namely, that in which the Brahman is
regarded as the Author of Shabda and Artha into which the
undifferentiated Shabda-Brahman divides Itself. Shakti is Shabda-
Brahman ready to create both Shabda and Artha on the differentiation
of the Parabindu into the Kamakala, which is the root (Mula) of all
Mantras. Shabda-Brahman is Supreme "Speech" (Para-Vak) or Supreme
Shabda (Para-Shabda). From this fourth state of Shabda, there are
three others—Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari, which are the
Shabda aspect of the stages whereby the seed of formless
consciousness explicates into the multitudinous concrete ideas
(expressed in language of the mental world) the counterpart of the
objective universe. But for the last three states of sound the body
is required and, therefore, they only exist in the Jiva. In the
latter, the Shabda-Brahman is in the form of Kundalini Shakti in the
Muladhara Cakra. In Kundalini is Parashabda. This develops into
the "Matrikas" or "Little Mothers" which are the subtle forms of the
gross manifested letters (Varna). The letters make up syllables
(Pada) and syllables make sentences (Vakya), of which elements the
Mantra is composed. Para Shabda in the body develops in Pashyanti
Shabda or Shakti of general movements (Samanya Spanda) located in
the tract from the Muladhara to the Manipura associated with Manas.
It then in the tract upwards to the Anahata becomes Madhyama or
Hiranyagarbha sound with particularized movement (Vishesha Spanda)
associated with Buddhi-Tattva. Vayu proceeding upwards to the throat
expresses itself in spoken speech which is Vaikhari or Virat Shabda.
Now it is that the Mantra issues from the mouth and is heard by the
ear. Because the one cosmic movement produces the ideating mind and
its accompanying Shabda and the objects cognized or Artha, the
creative force of the universe is identified with the Matrikas and
Varnas, and Devi is said to be in the forms of the letters from A to
Ha, which are the gross expressions of the forces called Matrika;
which again are not different from, but are the same forces that
evolve into the universe of mind and matter. These Varnas are, for
the same reason, associated with certain vital and physiological
centers which are produced by the same power that gives birth to the
letters. It is by virtue of these centers and their controlled area
in the body that all the phenomena of human psychosis run on, and
keep man in bondage. The creative force is the union of Shiva and
Shakti, and each of the letters (Varna) produced therefrom and
thereby are part and parcel of that Force, and are, therefore, Shiva
and Shakti in those particular forms. For this reason, the Tantra
Shastra says that Devata and Mantra composed of letters, are one. In
short, Mantras are made of letters (Varna). Letters are Matrika.
Matrika is Shakti and Shakti is Shiva. Through Shakti (one with
Shiva) Nada-Shakti, Bindu-Shakti, the Shabda-Brahman or Para Shabda,
arise the Matrika, Varna, Pada, Vakya of the lettered Mantra or
manifested Shabda.

But what is Shabda or "Sound"? Here the Shakta Tantra Shastra
follows the Mimamsa doctrine of Shabda, with such modifications as
are necessary to adapt it to its doctrine of Shakti. Sound (Shabda)
which is quality (Guna) of ether (Akasha) and is sensed by hearing
is twofold, namely, lettered (Varnatmaka Shabda) and unlettered or
Dhvani (Dhvanyatmaka Shabda). The latter is caused by the striking
of two things together, and is apparently meaningless. Shabda, on
the contrary, which is Anahata (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 (Vakya),
words (Pada) and letters (Varna). Such sound has a meaning. Shabda
manifesting as speech is said to be eternal. This the Naiyayikas
deny saying that it is transitory. A word is uttered and it is gone.
This opinion the Mlmamsa denies saying that the perception of
lettered sound must be distinguished from lettered sound itself.
Perception is due to Dhvani caused by the striking of the air in
contact with the vocal organs, namely, the throat, palate and tongue
and so forth. Before there is Dhvani there must be the striking of
one thing against another. It is not the mere striking which is the
lettered Shabda. 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. 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, that is,
as the Consciousness manifesting Idea expressed in speech 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 their combinations in words and sentences. The
letters are produced for hearing by 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 maifester only,
lettered Shabda is something other than its manifester.

Before describing the nature of Shabda in its different form of
development, it is necessary to understand the Indian psychology of
perception. At each moment, the Jiva 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
subject. But, in so far as it is such representation, the mind is as
much an object as the outer one. The latter, that is, the physical
object, is called the gross object (Sthula 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 (Grahaka) and cognized Grahya), revealer (Prakashaka)
and revealed (Prakashya), denoter (Vacaka) and denoted (Vacya). 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 (Ishtadevata) 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
an exact 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
Shabda or Nama (name), and that aspect in which it is its own object
or cognized is called Artha or Rupa (form). The outer physical
object, of which the latter is in the individual an impression, is
also Artha or Rupa, and spoken speech is the outer Shabda. The mind
is thus, from the Mantra aspect, Shabda and Artha, terms
corresponding to the Vedantic Nama and Rupa or concepts and concepts
objectified. The Mayavada Vedanta says that the whole creation is
Nama and Rupa. Mind as Shabda is the Power (Shakti) the function of
which is to distinguish and identify (Bhedasamsargavritti-Shakti).

Just as the body is causal, subtle and gross, so is Shabda, of which
there are four states (Bhava) called Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and
Vaikhari. Para sound is that which exists on the differentiation of
the Mahabindu before actual manifestation. This is motionless,
causal Shabda in Kundalini, in the Muladhara center of the body.
That aspect of it in which it commences to move with a general, that
is, non-particularized, motion (Samanya Spanda) is Pashyanti whose
place is from the Muladhara to the Manipura Cakra, the next center.
It is here associated with Manas. These represent the motionless and
first moving Ishvara aspect of Shabda. Madhyama Shabda is associated
with Buddhi. It is Hiranyagarbha sound (Hiranyagarbharupa) extending
from Pashyanti to the heart. Both Madhyama 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 Linga Sharira). Perception is dependent on
distinguishing and identification. In the perception of an object
that part of the mind which identifies and distinguishes and
thus "names" or the cognizing part is, from the Shabda aspect,
subtle Shabda: and that part of it which takes the shape of, and
thus constitutes, 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 two-
fold aspect as Shabda and Artha, which are in indissoluble relation
with one another as cognizer (Grahaka) and cognized Grahya). Both
belong to the subtle body. In creation Madhyama sound first
appeared. At that movement there was no outer Artha. Then the Cosmic
Mind projected this inner Madhyama Artha into the world of sensual
experience and named it in spoken speech (Vaikhari Shabda). The last
or Vaikhari Shabda is uttered speech, developed in the throat,
issuing from the mouth. This is Virat Shabda. Vaikhari Shabda 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 (Sthula Sharira). Madhyama Shabda is mental
movement or ideation in its cognitive aspect and Madhyama Artha is
the mental impression of the gross object. The inner thought-
movement in its aspect as (Vacaka) and denoted (Vacya). 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
(Ishtadevata) 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 an
exact 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
Shabda or Nama (name), and that aspect in which it is its own object
or cognized is called Artha or Rupa (form). The outer physical
object, of which the latter is in the individual an impression, is
also Artha or Rupa, and spoken speech is the outer Shabda. The mind
is thus, from the Mantra aspect, Shabda and Artha, terms
corresponding to the Vedantic Nama and Rupa or concepts and concepts
objectified. The Mayavada Vedanta says that the whole creation is
Nama and Rupa. Mind as Shabda is the Power (Shakti) the function of
which is to distinguish and identify (Bhedasamsargavritti-Shakti).

Just as the body is causal, subtle and gross, so is Shabda, of which
there are four states (Bhava) called Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and
Vaikhari. Para sound is that which exists on the differentiation of
the Mahabindu before actual manifestation. This is motionless,
causal Shabda in Kundalini, in the Muladhara center of the body.
That aspect of it in which it commences to move with a general, that
is, non-particularized, motion (Samanya Spanda) is Pashyanti whose
place is from the Muladhara to the Manipura Cakra, the next center.
It is here associated with Manas. These represent the motionless and
first moving Ishvara aspect of Shabda. Madhyama Shabda is associated
with Buddhi. It is Hiranyagarbha sound (Hiranyagarbharupa) extending
from Pashyanti to the heart. Both Madhyama 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 Linga Sharira). Perception is dependent on
distinguishing and identification. In the perception of an object
that part of the mind which identifies and distinguishes and
thus "names" or the cognizing part is, from the Shabda aspect,
subtle Shabda: and that part of it which takes the shape of, and
thus constitutes, 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 two-
fold aspect as Shabda and Artha, which are in indissoluble relation
with one another as cognizer (Grahaka) and cognized Grahya). Both
belong to the subtle body. In creation Madhyama sound first
appeared. At that movement there was no outer Artha. Then the Cosmic
Mind projected this inner Madhyama Artha into the world of sensual
experience and named it in spoken speech (Vaikhari Shabda). The last
or Vaikhari Shabda is uttered speech, developed in the throat,
issuing from the mouth. This is Virat Shabda. Vaikhari Shabda 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 (Sthula Sharira). Madhyama Shabda is mental
movement or ideation in its cognitive aspect and Madhyama Artha is
the mental impression of the gross object. The inner thought-
movement in its aspect as Shabdartha, and considered both in its
knowing aspect (Shabda) and as the subtle known object (Artha)
belongs to the subtle body (Sukshma Sharira). The cause of these two
is the first general movement towards particular ideation
(Pashyanti) from the motionless cause Para Shabda or Supreme Speech.
Two forms of inner or hidden speech, causal, 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 Shabda-
Brahman.

The gross Shabda called Vaikhari or uttered speech, and the gross
Artha or the physical object denoted by that speech are the
projection of the subtle Shabda and Artha, through the initial
activity of the Shabda-Brahman into the world of gross sensual
perception. Therefore, in the gross physical world, Shabda means
language, that is, sentences, words and letters which are the
expression of ideas and are Mantra. In the subtle or mental world,
Madhyama sound is the Shabda aspect of 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 Parashabda is the causal dreamless (Sushupti), and
Vaikhari the waking (Jagrat) state. Mental Artha is a Samsara, an
impression left on the subtle body by previous experience, which is
recalled when the Jiva reawakes to world experience, and recollects
the experience temporarily lost in the cosmic dreamless state
(Sushupti) which is destruction (Pralaya). What is it which arouses
this Samskara? As an effect (Kriya) it must have a cause (Karana).
This Karana is the Shabda or Name (Nama) subtle or gross
corresponding to that particular Artha. When the word "Ghata" is
uttered, this evokes in the mind the image of an object, namely, a
jar; just as the presentation of that object does. In the
Hiranyagarbha state, Shabda as Samskara worked to evoke mental
images. The whole world is thus Shabda and Artha, that is Name and
Form (Nama, Rupa). These two are inseparably associated. There is no
Shabda without Artha or Artha without Shabda. The Greek word "Logos"
also means thought and word combined. There is thus a double line of
creation, Shabda and Artha; ideas and language together with
objects. Speech as that which is heard, or the outer manifestion of
Shabda, stands for the Shabda creation. The Artha creation are the
inner and outer objects seen 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 Samskaras
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. For this reason possibly if thought-reading be accepted, a
thought-reader whose cerebral center is en rapport with that of
another, may read the hidden "speech," that is thought, of one whose
spoken speech he cannot understand. Thus, whilst the thought-
movement is similar in all men, the expression of it as Vaikhari
Shabda 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. Similarly there is, (a
friend tells me though he has forgotten to send me the reference),
in the Rigveda, a mysterious passage which speaks of the "Three
Fathers and three Mothers," by whose action like that of the
Elohim "all-comprehending speech" was made into that which was not
so. 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 which, 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. 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 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.

It is said in the Tantra Shastras that the fifty letters of the
alphabet are in the six bodily Cakras called Muladhara,
Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Aj—a. These 50
letters multiplied by 20 are in the thousand-pealed Lotus or
Sahasrara.

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 some
difficulty. There is in fact no subject which presents more
difficulties than Mantravidya, whether considered generally or in
relation to the particular matters in hand. I do not pretend to have
elucidated all its difficulties.

What proceeds from the body is in it in subtle or causal form. Why,
however, it may be asked are particular letters assigned to
particular Cakras. I have heard several explanations given which do
not, in my opinion, bear the test of examination.

If the arrangement be not artificial for the purpose of Sadhana, the
simplest explanation is that which follows: From the Brahman are
produced the five Bhutas, Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth, in the
order stated; and from them issued the six Cakras from Aj—a to
Muladhara. The letters are (with the exception next stated) placed
in the Cakras in their alphabetical order; that is, vowels as being
the first letters or Shaktis of the consonants (which cannot be
pronounced without them) are placed in Vishuddha Cakra: the first
consonants Ka to Tha in Anahata and so forth until the Muladhara
wherein are set the last four letters from Va to Sa. Thus in Aj—a
there are Ha and Ksha as being Brahmabijas. In the next or Vishuddha
Cakra are the 16 vowels which originated first. Therefore, they are
placed in Vishuddha the ethereal Cakra; ether also having originated
first. The same principle applies to the other letters in the
Cakras. namely, Ka, to Tha (12 letters and petals) in Anahata; Da to
Pha (10) in Manipura; Ba to La (6) in Svadhisthana; and Va to Sa (4)
in Muladhara. The connection between particular letters and the
Cakras in which they are placed is further said to be due to the
fact that in uttering any particular letter, the Cakra in which it
is placed and its surroundings are brought into play. The sounds of
the Sanskrit alphabet are classified according to the organs used in
their articulation, and are guttural (Kantha), palatals (Talu),
cerebrals (Murddha), dentals (Danta) and labials (Oshtha). When so
articulated, each letter, it is said, "touches" the Cakra in which
it is, and in which on this account it has been placed. In uttering
them certain Cakras are affected; that is, brought into play. This,
it is alleged, will be found to be so, if the letter is carefully
pronounced and attention is paid to the accompanying bodily
movement. Thus, in uttering Ha, the head (Aj—a) is touched, and in
uttering the deep-seated Va, the basal Cakra or Muladhara. In making
the first sound the forehead is felt to be affected, and in making
the last the lower part of the body around the root-lotus. This is
the theory put forth as accounting for the position of the letters
in the Cakras.

A Mantra is, like everything else, Shakti. But the mere utterance of
a Mantra without more is a mere movement of the lips. The Mantra
must be awakened (Prabuddha) just like any other Shakti if effect is
to be had therefrom. This is the union of sound and idea through a
knowledge of the Mantra and its meaning. The recitation of a Mantra
without knowing its meaning is practically fruitless. I
say "practically" because devotion, even though it be ignorant, is
never wholly void of fruit. But a knowledge of the meaning is not
enough; for it is possible by reading a book or receiving oral
instructions to get to know the meaning of a Mantra, without
anything further following. Each Mantra is the embodiment of a
particular form of Consciousness or Shakti. This is the Mantra-
Shakti. Consciousness or Shakti also exists in the form of the
Sadhaka. The object then is to unite these two, when thought is not
only in the outer husk, but is vitalized by will, knowledge, and
action through its conscious center in union with that of the
Mantra. The latter is Devata or a particular manifestation of
Shakti: and the Sadhaka who identifies himself therewith, identifies
himself with that Shakti. According to Yoga when the mind is
concentrated on any object it is unified with it. When man is so
identified with a Varna or Tattva, then the power of objects to bind
ceases, and he becomes the controller. Thus, in Kundalini-Yoga, the
static bodily Shakti pierces the Cakras, to meet Shiva-Shakti in the
Sahasrara. As the Sadhaka is, through the power of the rising
Shakti, identified with each of the Centers, Tattvas and Matrika
Shaktis they cease to bind, until passing through all he attains
Samadhi. As the Varnas are Shiva-Shakti, concentration on them draws
the mind towards, and then unifies it with, the Devata which is one
with the Mantra. The Devata of the Mantra is only the creative
Shakti assuming that particular form. As already stated, Devata may
be realized in any object, not merely in Mantras, Yantras, Ghatas,
Pratimas or other ritual objects of worship. The same power which
manifests to the ear in the Mantra is represented in the lines and
curves of the Yantra which, the Kaulavali Tantra says, is the body
of the Devata:

Yantram mantramayam proktam mantratma devataiva hi
Dehatmanor yatha bhedo yantra-devata yoshtatha.
The Yantra is thus the graphic symbol of the Shakti, indicated by
the Mantra with which identification takes place. The Pratima or
image is a grosser visual form of the Devata. But the Mantras are
particular forms of Divine Shakti, the realization of which is
efficacious to produce particular results. As in Kundalini- Yoga, so
also here the identification of the Sadhaka with different Mantras
gives rise to various Vibhutis or powers: for each grouping of the
letters represents a new combination of the Matrika Shaktis. It is
the eternal Shakti who is the life of the Mantra. Therefore, Siddhi
in Mantra Sadhana is the union of the Sadhaka's

Shakti with the Mantra Shakti; the identification of the Sadhaka
with the Mantra is the identification of the knower (Vedaka),
knowing (Vidya) and known (Vedya) or the Sadhaka, Mantra and Devata.
Then the Mantra works. The mind must feed, and is always feeding,
something. It seizes the Mantra and works its way to its heart. When
there, it is the Citta or mind of the Sadhaka unified with the
Shakti of the Mantra which works. Then subject and object, in its
Mantra form, meet as one. By meditation the Sadhaka gains unity with
the Devata behind, as it were, the Mantra and Whose form the Mantra
is. The union of the Sadhaka of the Mantra and the Devata of the
Mantra is the result of the effort to realize permanently the
incipient desire for such union. The will towards Divinity is a
dynamic force which pierces everything and finds there Divinity
itself. It is because Westerners and some Westernized Hindus do not
understand the principles of Mantra; principles which lie at the
center of Indian religious theory and practice, that they see
nothing in it where they do not regard it as gross superstition. It
must be admitted that Mantra Sadhana is often done ignorantly. Faith
is placed in externals and the inner meaning is often lost. But even
such ignorant worship is better than none at all. "It is better to
bow to Narayana with one's shoes on than never to bow at all." Much
also is said of "vain repetitions". What Christ condemned was not
repetition but "vain" repetition. That man is a poor psychologist
who does not know the effect of repetition, when done with faith and
devotion. It is a fact that the inner kingdom yields to violence and
can be taken by assault. Indeed, it yields to nothing but the strong
will of the Sadhaka, for it is that will in its purest and fullest
strength. By practice with the Mantra, the Devata is invoked. This
means that the mind itself is Devata when unified with Devata. This
is attained through repetition of the Mantra (Japa).

Japa is compared to the action of a man shaking a sleeper to wake
him up. The Sadhaka's own consciousness is awakened. The two lips
are Shiva and Shakti. The movement in utterance is the "coition"
(Maithuna) of the two. Shabda which issues therefrom is in the
nature of Bindu. The Devata then appearing is, as it were, the son
of the Sadhaka. It is not the supreme Devata who appears (for It is
actionless), but in all cases an emanation produced by the Sadhaka's
worship for his benefit only. In the case of worshipers of the
Shiva-Mantra, a Boy-Shiva (Bala-Shiva) appears who is then made
strong by the nurture which the Sadhaka gives him. The occultist
will understand all such symbolism to mean that the Devata is a form
of the Consciousness which becomes the Boy-Shiva, and which, when
strengthened is the full-grown Divine Power Itself. All Mantras are
forms of consciousness (Vij—anarupa), and when the Mantra is fully
practiced it enlivens the Samskara, and the Artha appears to the
mind. Mantras used in worship are thus a form of the Samskaras of
Jivas; the Artha of which manifests to the consciousness which is
pure. The essence of all this is—concentrate and vitalize thought
and will power, that is Shakti.

The Mantra method is Shaktopaya Yoga working with concepts and form,
whilst Shambhavopaya Yoga has been well said to be a more direct
attempt at intuition of Shakti, apart from all passing concepts,
which, as they cannot show the Reality, only serve to hide it the
more from one's view and thus maintain bondage. These Yoga methods
are but examples of the universal principle of Sadhana, that the
Sadhaka should first work with and through form, and then, so far as
may be, by a meditation which dispenses with it.

It has been pointed out to me by Professor Surendra Nath Das Gupta
that this Varna-Sadhana, so important a content of the Tantra
Shastra, is not altogether its creation, but, as I have often in
other matters observed, a development of ancient Vaidik teaching.
For it was, he says, first attempted in the Aranyaka Epoch upon the
Pradkopasana on which the Tantrik Sadhana is, he suggests, based;
though, of course, that Shastra has elaborated the notion into a
highly complicated system which is so peculiar a feature of its
religious discipline. There is thus a synthesis of this
Pratikopasana with Yoga method, resting as all else upon a Vedantic
basis.

Shakti as Mantra (Mantramayi Shakti)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas24.htm


SHAKTI AND SHAKTA
by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), [1918]

Chapter 1: Indian Religion As Bharata Dharma
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas01.htm

Chapter 2: Shakti: The World as Power
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas02.htm

Chapter 3: What Are the Tantras and Their Significance?
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas03.htm

Chapter 4: Tantra Shastra and Veda
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas04.htm

Chapter 5: The Tantras and Religion of the Shaktas
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas05.htm

Chapter 6: Shakti and Shakta
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas06.htm

Chapter 7: Is Shakti Force?
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas07.htm

Chapter 8: Cinacara (Vashishtha and Buddha)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas08.htm

Chapter 9: The Tantra Shastras in China
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas09.htm

Chapter 10: A Tibetan Tantra
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas10.htm

Chapter 11: Shakti in Taoism
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas11.htm

Chapter 12: Alleged Conflict of Shastras
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas12.htm

Chapter 13: Sarvanandanatha
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas13.htm

Chapter 14: Cit-Shakti (The Consciousness Aspect of the Universe)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas14.htm

Chapter 15: Maya-Shakti (The Psycho-Physical Aspect of the Universe)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas15.htm

Chapter 16: Matter and Consciousness
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas16.htm

Chapter 17: Shakti and Maya
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas17.htm

Chapter 18: Shakta Advaitavada
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas18.htm

Chapter 19: Creation as Explained in the Non-dualist Tantras
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas19.htm

Chapter 20: The Indian Magna Mater
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas20.htm

Chapter 21: Hindu Ritual
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas21.htm

Chapter 22: Vedanta and Tantra Shastra
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas22.htm

Chapter 23: The Psychology of Hindu Religious Ritual
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas23.htm

Chapter 24: Shakti as Mantra (Mantramayi Shakti)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas24.htm

Chapter 25: Varnamala (The Garland of Letters)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas25.htm

Chapter 26: Shakta Sadhana (The Ordinary Ritual)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas26.htm

Chapter 27: The Pa—catattva (The Secret Ritual)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas27.htm

Chapter 28: Matam Rutra (The Right and Wrong Interpretation)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas28.htm

Chapter 29: Kundalini Shakta (Yoga)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas29.htm

Chapter 30: Conclusions
http://www.sacred-texts.com/tantra/sas/sas30.htm
 

 

 


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