Books On Mantra

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Books on Mantra and Tantra

‘Mantra’ – sacred syllable, spell, or incantation, is divine power clothed in sound. As clothes are inner, upper, and the uppermost, Tantra identifies three kinds of sounds: ‘Sphota’ – the transcendental, inaudible, defined as ‘unstruck sound’; ‘Nada’ – the supersonic sound; and, ‘Dhwani’ – the audible sound. A ‘Mantra’ wears all three kinds of sounds, that is, recited loud, or commemorated unspoken within, the ‘Mantra’ charges with divine energy all sounds and thereby ‘Vayu’– air, the vehicle of sound. As ‘Vayu’ is life within and beyond, which the ‘Mantra’ charges with divine energy, the ‘sadhaka’, by using ‘Mantra’ as his divine instrument, emerges as better-prepared for the final attainment, that is, kindling of ‘Kundalini Shakti’.

The term ‘Mantra’ is made of two syllables: ‘Man’ and ‘Tra’, the former meaning ‘mind’ or ‘speech’, and the latter ‘to guide’ or ‘to protect’, that is, ‘Mantra’ guides and protects the mind and speech. The ‘Mantra’ is an articulated word. A ‘Mantra’ may have more words, but not occurring in grammatical sequence forming a sentence.

Without being communicable in terms of meaning, this ‘word’ connects the ‘sadhaka’ with the Brahmanda’, deity, or the object meditated on. Usually ‘Mantras’ are divine names preceded by ‘Bijaksharas’, the letters which are indeclinable seed-sounds. ‘AUM’, the monosyllabic ‘Bijamantra’, which by its three sounds A U M symbolises God’s three aspects – creation, preservation and destruction, is the source of all ‘Mantras’.

Similarly, all ‘Mantras’ end with, or have intermittent ‘Anushvaras’, a phonetic sound transcribed as a ‘dot’ – ‘bindu’, which is in Tantra the symbol of Shiva-Shakti, creative process, seed, and the creation. Thus, every ‘Mantra’ constantly draws its power from the Timeless Shiva and Shakti.

Other monosyllabic ‘bija-mantras’ are ‘hrim’, ‘shrim’, ‘krim’, and ‘klim’. ‘Hrim’ is the ‘bijamantra’ of Bhuvaneshvari representing female energy; ‘krim’, of Kali representing the power to create and destroy; ‘shrim’, of Lakshmi, representing abundance and multiplicity; and, ‘klim’, of procreative desire of Shiva as Kama representing joy and bliss. ‘Mantras’ are sometimes classified as male, female and neuter, the male ending with ‘hum’ or ‘phat’, female, with ‘svaha’, and neuter, with ‘namah’.