BA PART III : PAPER 5.14
INTRODUCTION TO BIJA AKSHARA
A Bija-Akshara is a seed-letter. It is a very powerful Mantra. Every
Devata has his or her own Bija-Akshara. The greatest of all Bija-Aksharas
is OM or Pranava, for it is the symbol of the Para-Brahman or the
Paramatman Himself. OM contains within itself all the other Bija-Aksharas.
OM is the general source or the common seed from which all the particular
sounds or secondary seeds proceed. The letters of the alphabet are only
emanations from OM which is the root of all sounds and letters. There is
no Mantra superior to or greater than OM. OM, as it pronounced ordinarily,
is an outward gross form of the real subtle inaudible state of sound which
is called the Amatra or the immeasurable fourth transcendental state. As
the various Devatas are the aspects or forms of the One Supreme Being, so
the various Bija-Aksharas or Bija-Mantras are so many aspects or forms of
the Supreme Bija or Mantra, viz., OM. Even the letters 'A', 'U' and 'M' do
not really give the transcendental or original state of sound. Even this
triliteral sound is only an expression or manifestation of the highest
primal Dhvani or vibration. The transcendental sound of OM is heard only
by Yogins and not by the ordinary ear. In the correct pronunciation of OM
the sound proceeds from the navel, with a deep and harmonious vibration,
and gradually manifests itself by stages at the upper part of the nostrils
where the Anusvara or the Chandrabindu is sounded.
Generally a Bija-Mantra consists of a single letter. Sometimes it
constitutes several syllables. For example, the Bija-Mantra 'Kam' has a
single letter with the Anusvara or the Chandrabindu which forms
termination of all Bija-Mantras. In the Chandrabindu, Nada and Bindu are
blended together. Some Bija-Mantras are made up of compound letters, such
as the Mantra 'Hreem'. The Bija-Mantras have a significant inner meaning
and often do not convey any meaning on their face. Their meaning is
subtle, mystic. The form of the Bija-Mantra is the form of the Devata
signified by it.
The Bijas of the five Mahabhutas or great elements, i.e., of the Devatas
or the presiding intelligences of the elements, viz., Ether, Air, Fire,
Water and Earth, are respectively Ham, Yam, Ram, Vam and Lam. The meanings
of a few Bija-Mantras are given here, to serve as examples.
OM consists of three letters: 'A', 'U' and 'M'. It signifies the three
periods of time, the three states of consciousness, the entire existence.
'A' is the waking state or Virat and Visva. 'U' is the dreaming state of
Hiranyagarbha and Taijasa. 'M' is the sleeping state or Isvara and Prajna.
Study the Mandukyopanishad in detail in order to understand the meaning of
In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. Au is Sadasiva. The Nada and Bindu mean that
which dispels sorrow. With this Mantra Lord Siva should be worshipped.
Here Da means Durga. U means to protect. Nada means the mother of the
universe. Bindu signifies action (worship or prayer). This is the Mantra
With this Mantra Kalika should be worshipped. Ka is Kali. Ra is Brahman.
Ee is Mahamaya. Nada is the mother of the universe. Bindu is the dispeller
This is the Mantra of Mahamaya or Bhuvanesvari. Ha means Siva. Ra is
Prakriti. Ee means Mahamaya. Nada is the mother of the universe. Bindu
means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Mantra of Mahalakshmi. Sa is Mahalakshmi. Ra means wealth. Ee
means satisfaction or contentment. Nada is Apara or the manifested Brahman
or Isvara. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Bija-Mantra of Sarasvati. Ai means Sarasvati. Bindu means the
dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Kamabija. Ka means the Lord of desire (Kamadeva). Ka may also
mean Krishna. La means Indra. Ee means contentment or satisfaction. Nada
and Bindu mean that which brings happiness and sorrow.
In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. U is Bhairava. Nada is the Supreme. Bindu
means the dispeller of sorrow. This is the threefold Bija of Varma of
armour (coat of mail).
This is the Ganesha-Bija. Ga means Ganesha. Bindu means the dispeller of
This also is a Mantra of Ganesha. Ga means Ganesha. La means that which
pervades. Au means lustre or brilliance. Bindu means the dispeller of
This is the Bija of Narasimha. Ksha is Narasimha. Ra is Brahma. Au means
with teeth pointing upwards. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
There are, like these, many other Bija-Mantras which signify various
Devatas. 'Vyaam' is the Bija of Vyasa-Mantra, 'Brim' of Brihaspati-Mantra
and 'Raam' of Rama-Mantra.