The mode of repetition of a Mantra with feeling and in a particular manner, a definite number of times, with right observances until a fixed number of Japa is reached, in order to obtain substantial benefit out of the Mantra, is called Puras charana.
The Practitioner of Purascharana of a Mantra should take vegetables, fruits, milk, roots and tubers, curd, barley, Havishya (rice cooked along with ghee, sugar and milk, and which has been offered to God) or he may live on pure Biksha alone. •
Any holy place of pilgrimage and holy place on the banks of holy rivers, caves, tops of hills and mountains, confluence of rivers, huge holy forests, below the Ashwata tree — all these are recommended as places fit for doing the Purascharana.
The Sadhaka should sit facing either the east or the nprth, during Japa. During the night time, he may sit facing the north only. One should bathe three times a day, and if it is impossible, he may take bath atleast twice, or even once, according to his convenience and prevailing circumstances.
An advanced aspirant can use any Mala or he may not use the Mala at all. It all depends upon the stage ofevolution in which one is. Padma, Siddha, Swastika, Sukha, or Vira Asana is recommended for Japa. Cotton cloth, blanket, silk or tiger skin should be used as seat which will bring Saubhagya, Jnana and Siddhi.
Abstracting the mind from all worldly objects, being merged in the inner meaning ofthe Mantra, one should repeat the Mantra, neither very quickly nor too slowly. The Mantra should be repeated as many lakhs of times as there are letters contained in the Mantra.
The number of Japa done during each day should be constant, and should not vary day by day. Every day after finishing the Japa, Ahutis of ghee or oblations of the Charus that are prescribed, equal in number to one-tenth ofthe Japa done should be offered in the sacred fire. Or else, this may also be done at the end of each lakh.
When the required number ofJapa is over, oblations equal in number to one-tenth of the total Japa done, should be offered in Yajna, uttering the same Mantra with each offering or Ahuti.
In case one is unable to perform Нота and observe its restrictions, he can worship the Deity, do, in addition to the total Japa already done, further Japa equal in number to one-tenth, and feed Brahmins and Mahatmas afterwards.
Sleeping on the bare ground, celibacy, worship of the Deity three times a day, prayer to the Deity, faith in the Mantra, bath three times every day, abandoning of oil-bath, are to be observed strictly as vows during the Mantra-Sadhana.
The Sadhaka should not sit placing one leg on the other, and he should not touch his feet with hands. Concentration of the mind on the Mantra and its meaning is very essential at ail times. Japa should not be done when walking here and there or looking this side and that side. The Upasaka should never be engaged in other activities even in mind, and should not.be murmuring, grumbling, etc., or covering the face with any kind ofgarment.
Brightness, clearness and tranquillity of mind, contentment, dispassion towards sense-objects, will dawn on Mantra-Siddhi, if the Purascharana is done without any selfish motive or desire behind it. The aspirant should not do Purascharana for any petty selfish end. S akam a-Up asana will not bring to him real spiritual knowledge and experience or inner strength. Japa should be done with an aspiration to obtain the grace ofthe Deity and realise the Deity. The best Purascharana is that which is done for self-purification and Atma-Sakshatkara. After this the Purascharana that is done will bring Sakshatkara or realisation ofthe Deity.
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 example. •>
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 Vishwa. ' U ' is the dreaming state or H iranyagarbha and Taijasa. ' M ' is the sleeping state or Ishwara afcd Prajna. Study the Mandukyopanishad in detail in order to understand the meaning of Om.
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 P ara - В rah m an , or the Paramatman Himself. Om contains within itself all the other Bija-Aksharas. Om is the general sound 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 is 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 Dhwani or Vibration. The transcendental sound of Om is heard only by Yogis 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 Anuswara 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, 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,
In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. Au is Sadasiva. Nada and Bindu mean that which dispels sorrow,
this Mantra Lord Siva should be worshipped.
Here Da means Durga. U means to protect,
means the mother of the universe. Bindu signifies action (worship or prayer). This is the Mantra of Durga.
With this Mantra Kalika should be worshipped. Ka is Kali. Ra is Brahma. Ее is Mahamaya. Nada is mother of the universe. Bindu is the dispeller of sorrow.
This is thef Mantra of Mahamaya or Вhuvaneshwari.
Ha means Siva. Ra Nada is the mother dispeller of sorrow.
is Prakriti. Ее means Mahamaya. of the universe. Bindu means the
Mantra of Mahalakshmi. Sha is M ah a -means wealth. Ее means satisfaction or
contentment. Nada is Apara or the manifested Brahman or Ishwara. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Bija-Mantra of Saraswati. Ai means Saraswati. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow. This is also Guru- Bij a.
This is the Kamabija. Ka means the Lord of desire (Kamadeva). Ka may also mean Krishna. La means Indra. Ее means contentment or satisfaction. Nada and Bindu mean that which brings happiness and dispels sorrow.
Bijas have no meaning according to the ordinary-use of language. Their meaning is the own form or Swarupa of the particular Devata whose Mantra they are. They are a form ofthe subtle power as creative Dhwani.
Each letter, syllable and Mantra is a form of the Brahman. The primary Mantra in the worship of any Deva or Devi is knowrJ as the Mula-Mantra (го о t - M ant ra). All letters are forms of Sakti as sound powers.
The Bija-Mantras can be recited by persons who have knowledge of Sanskrit and know the proper intonation.
In this Mantra, Ha is Siva. U is Bhairava. Nada is the Supreme. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow. This is threefold Bija ofVarma or armour (coat of mail).
This is the Ganesha-Bija. Ga means Ganesha. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is also a Mantra of Ganesh. Ga means Ganesha. La means that which pervades. Au means lustre or brilliance. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Bija ofNarasimha. Ksha is Narasimha. Ra is Brahman. Au means " with teeth pointing upwards." Bindu means the dispeller ofsorrow.
There are, like these, many other Bija-Mantras which signify various Devatas. ' Vyaam ' is the Bija of Vyasa-Mantra, ' Brum' is the Bija ofBrihaspathi-Mantra, ' Raam ' of Rama-Mantra. Aim Kleem Sauh are the Bija-Mantras of Bala T ripu rasun dar i. Aim Hreem Kleem Ghamundaayai Vicche are the Bija-Mantras of Chamundeshwari.
The aim ofthe Sadhaka of Lalita is to realise his identity first with the Yantra and Mantra and then with Lalita or Tripura, the Mahasakti who is the creator and director of the universe.
If th» Para-Sakti were not united with Para-Siva, she could not produce the universe which is within Herself. Therefore the world cannot be created by Siva alone nor by Sakti alone. It is by both of them all the Tattvas are produced.
Without Siva there is no Devi. Without Devi there is no Siva. There is no difference between Siva and Sakti.
In the external form of worship the Sri Chakra is worshipped. Yantra is inscribed on the Bhurja leaf of gold or other metalic plates. Mantras are repeated with gestures, postures, waving of light or Arati and offerings of incense, Naivedya or various sorts offood or Prasad.
Sri Chakra is the highest point or acme to which Yoga practices can lead. When you attain perfection in Sri Vidya there is nothing more left for you to gain by the practice ofYoga. Sri Chakra with forty-three triangles is the mansion of the Devi. In the Sri Chakra (Nagara) in the centre between the seventeenth and eighteenth walls, is the seat of Vishnu ; between the sixteenth and seventeenth is that of Brahma ; between the fourteenth and the fifteenth is that of Indra and other Lokapalas (protectors of the world). All these reside (in the respective places) for the sake of worshipping Devi. The ' Devi Bhagavata Purana ' says : " Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Varuna, Yama, Vayu, Agni, Kubera, Tvashta, Pusha, Aswins, Bhaga, Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Viswadevas, Marutganas, all these meditate on Devi, the cause of creation, preservation and destruction.
Outside and beyond the countless myriads of world's systems, in the centre of the Ocean of Nector, more than a thousand crores in extent, in the Gem Island (Ratnadwipa),. a hundred crores in area, the lamp of the world, there is the supreme city of Sri Vidya, three lacs ofYojanas in height and adorned with twenty-five walls representing the twenty-five'Tattvas. 4
Sri Vidya is the great Mantra of Tripurasundari or Bhuvaneshwari or Mahamaya. It is also called the Pancha-dashi or the Panchadashakshari, for it is formed of fifteen letters. In its developed form it consists of sixteen letters and is called Shodashi or the Shodashakshari. The aspirant should directly get initiation of this Mantra from a Guru, and should not start reciting of this Mantra for himself or doing Japa of it, of his own accord. This is a very powerful Mantra. So it is imperative that it should be got directly from a Guru who has got Siddhi of this Mantra.
The general rule is that this Mantra (Sri Vidya) should be repeated after one's passing through certain stages of self-purification through other Mantras. In the beginning a Purascharana of Ganesh-Mantra should be done. Then Purascharana of Gayatri-Mantra, Maha Mrityunj ay a-Mantra and Durga-Mantra (Vaidika or Tantrika) have to be done. After this the Panchadashakshari and the Shodashakshari have to be taken up for Japa.
The Sri Vidya should not be repeated by those who are not well acquainted with this. Only those who have a very good knowledge of the Sanskrit language and who have been directly initiated by a Guru (who has Mantra Siddhi) can take up the Japa of the Sri Vidya. Others should not approach this Mantra and should do only Japa of their own Ishta Mantras which are very easy to pronounce and remember.
The Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra is the Yantra of Lalita, or Tripurasundari, the Devata of Sri Vidya. Every Devata has his or her Yantra. Lalita is the supreme Sakti aspect of the Brahman.
The Chakras extend from the point or Bindu called Sarvandamaya ; the Supreme Siva-Sakti in the centre to the outermost section of the Chakras the Bhupura which is called Trailokyamohana.
As long as we live and move in this universe, we are aware of a Power or Sakti that sustains and motivates it. Ifwe think ofwhat the universe itselfis, we shall find that it is not as it at first appears. When we speak of the universe, we speak of the beings that inhabit and constitute it—men, birds, beasts, plants and minerals. We find the universe consisting of tangible and also intangible things. Not only do we find concrete matter but also such things as heat, light, sound, magnetism and electricity. Nay, more, we find in the universe, hatred, fear, avarice, greed, jealousy, etc., and also love, mercy, compassion, charity, generosity, etc. We also find in the universe the sense of right and wrong, the sense ofthe beautiful and the sense ofthe true and the good. We speak of some things as perishable and others as imperishable. When we do so, we mean that some things go out of our sight and some do not. In truth, what looks like matter is really found to be energy or force.
Now it is possible to group all these and arrange them in such a way that our view of the universe may be clear and also complete. That has been done by our ancients who have given us the Sankhya and Yoga philosophies. Thev have started from the five primordial elements which they call Pancha Bhutas, viz-, Prithvi or earth, Apas or water, Tejas or fire, Vayu or wind and Akasa or ether. The whole of creation in the concrete forms is made ofthe combinations in different proportions of these five elements. Beyond these " elements." there are the five Tanmatras corresponding to the five elements. They are Sabda (sound), Sparsa (sense of touch), Rupa (form), Rasa (taste) and Gandha (smell).
Having disposed of the concrete part of creation in this fashion, our ancients have dealt with the equipment found in individual Jivas which enables them to recognize and make use of these concrete objects in the universe. This equipment consists of the five Jnana-Indriyas and the five Karma-Indriyas. The former are the windows of consciousness and
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI I
Tantra Yoga (Sri P. C. Diwanji, Retd. Judge, Bombay)
The fact that in the early Upanishads there are no references to the six Chakras, the Kanda. the four Pithas, the Vahnisthana, the Kundalini, the process of rousing it and the development of its latent powers, which are said in some of the Upanishads of the Smarta class such as the Jabala Darsana, Trisikh-Brahmana, Varaha, Yoga-chudamani and several others to enable the Yogis to perform miracles, leads to the inference that no beginning had been made in that early age of the kind of Yoga known as the Tantra Yoga or Kundalini Yoga. That inference is supported by the facts that the processes ofrousing ofthe Kundalini, and the development of the Chakras and the union of the Kundalini which is said to be a microcosmic form ofthe Sakti ofthe Lord Siva, with the Linga (symbol) of the Lord located in the portion of the head above the forehead, were dependent upon the Hatha Yoga, the Yoga of the Prana and the Apana, as explained in detail in some of the later Upanishads and in the specific treatises on that Yoga such as the S iva-S amhita, Gheranda-Samhita and Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika and in those on the Tantra Yoga such as the Mahanirvana Tantra, KLularnava-Tantra and others, and that the process of Pranayama itself was in the experimental stage in the age of those early Upanishads. It was in a later age that the Yogis who set a higher value on Self-realisation and the peace of mind resulting therefrom progressed from the Hatha Yoga to what is called Raja Yoga in the above special treatises, and those who valued more the acquisition of miraculous powers progressed from the same Yoga, to the Tantra Yoga, which lays special emphasis on the development ofthe powers latent in the six Chakras from Muladhara to Ajna.
symposium on sakti
the latter are the instruments of action. To make use of these Indriyas, a separate entity is needed, and that is spoken ofas Manas or the mind.
The mind also is regarded by our ancients as an instrument to be used by the Jiva. According to Patanjali's system of Yoga, the Jiva creates for its own special use a special mind and a special set of Indriyas so that the experience which that particular Jiva seeks for in the universe may be gained. For example, a buffalo has to create a buffalo's mind so that it may have the buffalo's experience of the universe. Man has to get a different experience. The Jiva ofthe eagle creates a special eye (one of the Jnana-Indriyas) so that it can see much more than the human eye. Thus, according to Patanjali, there are six Aviseshas or common things and sixteen Viseshas or special things. The common things are (1) Ahamkara—the sense of" I-ness," and (2) the five Tanmatras, viz-, Sabda, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha. The Viseshas or special things are (1) the Manas (or Buddhi), (2) the ten Indriyas, and (3) the five Bhutas (elements).
Order of Creation
There is an order of Creation mentioned in our scriptures which, if understood, will give us a clear idea of what position and status should be assigned to the objects and forces we see in the universe. First of all Sakti emanated from Purusha, the Supreme Being. This Sakti is called either Pradhana, or Prakriti, or Alinga. The last name means " without any distinguishing mark." The meaning is that as pure undifferentiated Sakti or Power, it is not possible to recognize even its existence. That is the Para-Sakti or Supreme Power. It can be called Atma Sakti or Chit Sakti. From the Pradhana (or Prakriti or Alinga) came the Mahat or Linga Matra (only the Linga). It is the manifestation of pure Satvic force in the Alinga. \
There are three Gunas — Satva, Rajas and Tamas. The first is detected by Prakasha or. brilliance, the second by movement and the third by its power of resistance. In Mahat the qualities of Rajas and Tamas are hidden and only the Satva shows itself. ' Therefore, we cannot find in Mahat
—which is also Cosmic Intelligence—any Chalana or change or modification ; nor can we find resistance. It does not refuse to take into it any, vibration coming from the Supreme Being (Purusha). It shines in its own splendour. That shining it is that enables it to be recognized.
Coming down from the Mahat, we have the next entity in Creation, Ahamkara, i.e., the sense of" I." The moment Ahamkara comes, the three Gunas — Satva, Rajas and Tamas —begin to manifest themselves. From Ahamkara, when it is mixed up with Tamoguna comes the Sabda Tanmatra. It is from the Sabda that Sparsa evolves. From Sparsa comes Rupa ; from Rupa, Rasa ; from Rasa comes finally Gandha. From the same Ahamkara as it is affected by the same Tamoguna, we get the first of the primordial elements, viz, Akasa. From this comes Vayu ; from Vayu, Tejas ; from Tejas comes Apas ; and from Apas comes at last Prithvi.
Likewise, from Ahamkara, when it is affected by Rajas, come the ten Indriyas. From Ahamkara, when it is affected by Satva, comes Manas. (When we speak of Manas, we think ofits threefold aspects pfintelligence, emotion and will.)
Thus we see that the entire universe has come out of Sakti, the projection of Purusha. What about the Jivas themselves ? The scriptural view is that the Jiva is the seer ofthe universe. He is spoken of as the Drashta and the universe is the Drisyam (that which is seen). The Jiva is like Isvara, imperishable—the Amsa or partial manifestation ofthe Supreme Purusha. This is not the Advaitin's view ; but when we are discussing the universe, we are in the region of duality and not of Advaita. The Jivas, therefore, can be spoken of as Amsas or fractions. Each Jiva creates for itself its own mind, its own Indriyas and its own shape, making use ofthe five Bhutas. That is why each person is different from every other in facial features, mental outlook and spiritual level.
Now it is the Jiva which makes use of its equipment in the form of body, mind and Indriyas for experiencing pain and pleasure and also for finally liberating itself from the contact with the universe.' We have seen that the universe itselfis only Sakti, variously called as Pradhana, Prakriti or
SYMPOSIUM ON SAKTI
Alinga. Let us now enquire, in brief, into how this Sakti manifests itself through the different objects in creation.
Manifestation of Sakti
We shall start from the mineral kingdom. If we dissolve common salt and copper sulphate in water to the saturation point of each and leave the solution undisturbed for a few days we shall find that common salt crystals and copper sulphate crystals are deposited in the bottom. Now, who gave the brain to the common salt particles to separate themselves from the copper sulphate particles and form common salt crystals ? The answer is that it is the ' mineral Buddhi ' (or mind)—the creation of the Jiva embodied in the mineral (common salt or copper sulphate)—that gave the order for the arrangement of the particles in that particular manner. That " mineral Buddhi " is the universally prevalent Sakti or Prakriti as it manifests itself through the mineral. In the case of the formation of crystals, we have the Sakti showing itself as cohesion. But in the mineral world we have Sakti manifesting itself as heat, light, sound, magnetism and electricity. The highest form in which it shows itself is as electricity. We can call this manifestation of Sakti the name of Bhuta Sakti for the reason that it is revealed by the things made up of the Pancha Bhutas.
Passing on to the plant world, we notice that the Sakti shows itself in a higher degree. The plant has the power of taking in food through water, etc., and it consequently grows. There we see life or Prana. This Sakti has to be called Prana Sakti because it is different from electricity. It is not merely proton and electron. We often see big plants—usually banyan plants—growing on the top of temple walls and breaking those stone walls. The life energy in the growing plant is greater and more powerful than the electron energy in the stone wall. That manifestation of the cosmic Sakti through plants may be called Prana Sakti.
If we now go to the animal world, we shall find that animals have a still higher form of energy. They have got the mind which can find out relations to a certain extent—■ between cause and effect, and which can have a more acute sense of pain and pleasure. The animal mind will also show
will-power. This is Manosakti. It is superior in kind and not merely in degree to the Prana Sakti of the plant. As against the Manosakti of the animal, the Prana Sakti of the plant is nowhere.