BA PART III : PAPER 5.18
MANTRA AND INCANTATION
The word mantra in Sanskrit is very meaningful, and it has no synonymous term in any other language. Manana’t ta’rayetyastu sah mantrahparildirttitah - “Mantra is that particular word whose repetition or auto-suggestion or outer-suggestion helps the microcosm free itself of all the fetters of physical and psychic life.” Man plus trae plus d’a is the derivation of the term.
Now for a mantra two things are essential. It must be meaningful, that is, in the ordinary sense of the term the word should have proper significance; and at the same time it must be supported by the proper acoustic root, that is, it must be supported by acoustic propriety. In the realm of spirituality, each and every term should have these two meanings - one the mundane significance, and the other the acoustic signifi-cance.
Take the word krs’n’a. The root verb is krs’. One meaning otkrs’ is “to attract”. So the faculty that attracts everything towards itself is krs’ plus n’a, that is, “Krs’n’a”, the all-at-tracting, all-attractive faculty of the world, the nucleus of the universe. “Krs’na” means Purus’ottama, the nucleus of the entire Cosmic order, because it comes from the root verb krs’.
Another meaning of krs’ is “to be”. A sa’dhaka says that “Krs’n’a” means, “I exist because He exists,” “My existence is dependent on His existence.” Krs’ means “to be”, “to exist” - that’s why He is “Krs’n’a”. “He is my life’s life. He is the supreme existence behind all my existences in so many frameworks, in so many structures, in so many lives.” That’s why He is “Krs’n’a”.
Among so many colours, the dark colour is most attractive,
and for that reason in Sanskrit “dark” is also one meaning of
And so far as the acoustic root is concerned - the acoustic root of Krs’n’a is klrm’. The Sanskrit term, the Sanskrit acoustic root (not just Sanskrit -the acoustic root is universal for the entire Cosmos) of Krs’n’a is klrm’.
What is klrm”? Ka + lr. And what is kal The word ka has three meanings in Sanskrit.
One, it is the first consonant of the Sanskritic alphabetical order.
The second meaning ofka is as follows. You know in the phase of expression or manifestation, that is, when the Noumenal Cause is translated into the phenomenal effect, the sound created (during this phase of translation) is ka; and that is why ka is the first letter of our alphabetical order.
The entity from which this phase or this process of trans-lation starts, from which the process of metamorphosis starts, is represented by the sound awn. Because in it, within its scope, lie the faculties of creation, preservation and destruc-tion.
. The acoustic root of creation is a. First comes creation, then follows everything else — and that is why a is the first vowel. A is the first letter of the Indo-Aryan alphabetical order.
First creation - When the Supreme Entity creates some-thing, this creation takes place within the periphery of the Macrocosmic order; but a stir is created in the Macrocosm during the phase of creation, and wherever there is a stir, there is movement, there are waves - light waves, acoustic waves and so on. When He desires to create something, the stir created in the Macrocosm is represented by the sound a.
AJid in the next phase He is to preserve those created
beings. So in that Macrocosmic structure another stir is
created representing the desire to preserve. And that is repre-sented by the sound u.
And the point from which the culminating march starts is”
represented by the sound ma, hence ma is the last letter of the
vargiiya varn’ama’la’.* The pa varga is the last varga, and ma is the last sound of the pa varga -pa, pha, ba, bha, ma.
So the creating personality is represented by these three sounds - a, a, and ma - the Generating Entity, the Preserving Entity and the Destructive Entity. (Here everybody should remember that His destruction is not the destruction of ordi-nary living beings. His destruction means withdrawal -with-drawing the created being from the phenomenal world to its noumenal cause. Just a play of withdrawal, and nothing more than that.) The Generator, the Operator, the Destructor - if we take the first letter of “generator”, “g”; of “operator”, “o”; and of “destructor”, “d”; we get G-O-D, “God”.
Now, while this Supreme Entity, the Supreme Subjectivity,
the Supreme witnessing faculty, creates something, then He
is aurn. Awn gets as its counterpart the objective world, this
quinquelemental universe; and this world of objectivity is
represented by the acoustic root ka. Hence, awn is the
Ka’ran’a Brahma, or Causal Brahma, and ka is the Ka’rya
Brahma, the Effect Brahma. The second meaning of ka is the
Effect Brahma, the objectivated universe.
So the first meaning of ka is that it is the first consonant.
The second meaning is this objectivated world or effect wor-
· note: Van ‘a means “letter”, and van ‘ama ‘la ‘ means “chain of letters”. Most of this chain, or alphabet, of fifty letters in Sanskrit is phoneti-cally divided into groups, or vargas, of five letters each. Each varga is named after the first letter that falls within it. Ma is the last letter of the last varga, though the vam ‘ama ‘la ‘ - that is, the noa-vargUya vam ‘ama ‘la’ - continues for nine letters more.
Id. And the third meaning otka is “water”. A few days back I told you that fcaccha means “the land surrounded by water”:
ka means “water” and cha means “surrounded by”.
The acoustic root ofKrs’n’a is klrm’. The first letter is ka.
Ka means the objectivated world. The entity that preserves
this objectivated world is ka. (Human beings who have taken
the responsibility, the moral responsibility, of serving this ka,
that is, of serving this objectivated world, are called
ka’pa’lika. Our avadhu’tas and avadhu’tika’s practise
ka’pa’lika sa’dhana’, that is, they do thepa’lana kriya’ of
ka, they do the pa ‘lana kriya ‘ of this objectivated world. They
are to serve humanity.) The first letter is ka and the second is
la. La represents solid entities; that is, everything converted
into solid is represented by the acoustic root la. Now, the
divine faculty that serves, or helps, or rather vibrates, the
entire objectivated world, and keeps close proximity to the
material world (at the same time vibrating the entire objecti-
vated universe), is ka + la. Hence the acoustic root of Krs Va
Similarly, all mantras must have two meanings. One mean-ing is the mundane significance, and the other is the acoustic root. And wherever either meaning is wanting, the word cannot be treated as a mantra. That is why I said the word mantra cannot be properly represented by the word “incanta-tion”. But for want of a proper word in English, we find no alternative but to use the word “incantation”.
Similarly for Shiva. One name of Shiva is Hara. Ha repre-
sents the ethereal stratum, and ra represents energy -
kriya’shakti, electrical energy, magnetic energy, etc. All
these energies are represented by the acoustic root ra. So ha
plus ra means “the entity that rules over the entire ethereal
plane and at the same time controls all the energies of the
So only when a particular word has both a mundane mean-ing and an acoustic root may it be accepted as a mantra - if, that is, it is recognized as a siddha mantra by a Mafia ‘kaola, by uMaha’sambhu’ti. Otherwise it is not a mantra.