By mantra the sought-for (sadhya) Devata is attained and compelled. By siddhi in mantra is opened the vision of the three worlds. Though the purpose of worship (puja), reading (patha), hymn (stava), sacrifice (homa), dhyana, dharana, and samadhi, and that of the diksa-mantra are the same, yet the latter is far more powerful, and this for the reason that, in the first, the sadhaka’s sadhana-sakti works, in conjunction with mantra-sakti which has the revelation and force of fire, and than which nothing is more powerful.
The special mantra which is received at initiation (diksa) is the bija or seed mantra, sown in the field of the sadhaka’s heart, and the Tantrik samdhya, nyasa, puja and the like are the stern and branches upon which hymns of praise (stuti) and prayer and homage (vandana) are the leaves and flower, and the kavaca, consisting of mantra, the fruit.
Mantras are solar (saura) and lunar (saumya), and are masculine, feminine, or neuter. The solar are masculine and lunar feminine. The masculine and neuter forms are called mantra. The feminine mantra is known as vidya. The neuter mantra, such as the Pauranik-rnantra, ending with namah, are said to lack the force and vitality of the others. The masculine and feminine mantras end differently. Thus, Hum, phat, are masculine terminations, and tham, svaha, are feminine ones.(1)
The Nitya-Tantra gives various names to mantra, according to the number of their syllables, a one syllabled mantra being called pinda, a three-syllabled one kartari, a mantra with four to nine syllables bija, with ten to twenty syllables mantra, and mantra, with more than twenty syllables mala. Commonly, however, the term bija is applied to monosyllabic mantra. The Tantrik mantras called bija (seed) are so named because they are the seed of the fruit, which is siddhi, and because they are the very quintessence of mantra. They are short, unetymological vocables, such as Hrim, Srim, Krim, Aim, Phat, etc., which will be found throughout the text.(2) Each Devata has His bija.(3) The primary mantra of a Devata is known as the root mantra (mula-mantra).
It is also said that the word mula denotes the subtle body of the Devata called Kama-kala. The utterance of a mantra without knowledge of its meaning or of the mantra method is a mere movement of the lips and nothing more. The mantra sleeps. There are various processes preliminary to, and involved in, its right utterance, which processes again consist of mantra, such as, for purification of the mouth (mukha-sodhana),(4) purification of the tongue (jihva-sodhana)(5) and of the mantra (asauca-bhanga),(6) kulluka,(7) nirvana,(8) setu,(9) nidhra-bhanga, awakening of mantra;(10) mantra-caitanya, or giving of life or vitality to the mantra.(11) Mantrarthabnavana, forming of mental image of the Divinity.(12)
There are also ten samskaras of the mantra.(13) Dipani is seven japas of the bija, preceded and followed by om. Where hrim is employed instead of am it is prana-yoga. Yoni-rnudra is meditation on the Guru in the head and on the Ista-devata in the heart, and then on the Yoni-rupa Bhagavati from the head to the muladhara, and from the muladhara to the head, making japa of the yoni bija (em) ten times.(14)
The mantra itself is Devata. The worshipper awakens and vitalizes it by cit-sakti, putting away all thought of the letter, piercing the six Cakras, and contemplating the spotless One.(15) The sakti of the mantra is the vacaka-sakti, or the means by which the vacyasakti or object of the mantra is attained. The mantra lives by the energy of the former. The saguna-sakti is awakened by sadhana and worshipped, and she it is who opens the portals whereby the vacya-sakti is reached. Thus the Mother in Her saguna form is the presiding deity (adhisthatri-Devata of the Gayatrimantra. As the nirguna (formless) One, She is its vacya-sakti. Both are in reality one and the same; but the jiva, by the laws of his nature and its three gunas, must first meditate on the gross (sthula) form (16) before he can realize the subtle (suksma) form, which is his liberator.
The mantra of a Devata is the Devata, The rhythmical vibrations of its sounds not merely regulate the unsteady vibrations of the sheaths of the worshipper, thus transforming him, but from it arises the form of the Devata which it is.(17) Mantra-siddhi is the ability to make a mantra ‘efficacious and to gather its fruit (18) in which case the mantra is called mantrasiddha. Mantras are classified as siddha, sadhya, susiddha, and ari, according as they are friends, servers, supporters, or destroyers-a matter which is determined for each sadhaka by means of cakra calculations.
1. See Sarada-tilaka (chap. ii); Narada-panca-ratra (chap. vii), the Prayogasara and Prana-tosinl, (p, 70). If it be asked why formless things of mind are given sex, the answer is for the sake of the requirements of the worshipper.
2. See also the mantra portion of the Atharva-Veda to which the Tantra stands in close relation.
3. Krin (Kall), Hrim (Maya), Ram (Agni), Em (Yoni), etc.
4. See Chapter X, Sarada-T’ilaka, Japa of pranava or the mantra varies with the Devata – e.g., Om Hsau for Bhairava.
5. Seven japas of one-lettered bija triplicated, pranava triplicated, then one-lettered bija triplicated.
6. Japa of mula-mantra preceded and followed by pranava, As to the “birth” and “death” defilements of a mantra, see Tantrasara 75, et seq.
7. See Sarada (loc. cit ). Thus Kulluka (which is done over the head) of Kalika is Maya (see Purascarana-Bodhini, p. 48, and Tantrasara) ,
8. Japa of Mula-and Matrka-bija in the Manipura.
9. Generally the mahamantra Om or Maya-bija Hrim, but also varies. Thus Setu of Ka1i is her own bija (krim), of Tara, Kurcca, etc.
10. Japa of the Mantra is preceded and followed by im seven times.
11. Japa of Mula-mantra in Manipura preceded and followed by Matrka bija. Meditating on the mula-mantra in the sahasrara, anahata, mula-dhara, with Hum, and again in Sahasrara. The mula is the principal mantra, such as the pancadasi.
12. Lit., thinking of meaning of mantra or thinking of the matrka in the mantra which constitute the Devata from foot to head.
13. See Tantrasara, p. 90.
14. See Purohita-darpanam.
15. Kubjika-Tantra (chap. v) .
16. These forms are not merely the creatures of the imagination of the worshipper, as some “modernist” Hindus suppose, but, according to orthodox notions, the forms in which the Deity, in fact, appears to the worshipper.
17. S’rnu devi pravaksyami bijanam deva-rupatam.
Mantroccaranamatrena, deva-rupam prajayate, – (Brhad-gandharva-Tantra, chap. v.)
18. Yam Yam prarthayate kamam
Tam tarnapnoti niscitam.
(Whatever the sadhaka desires that he surely obtains)
– Prana-tosini, 619.