Shri Govindji Shastri
While the material science, with its prestige has made the term science an every-day affair for man, it has diverted his attention only outward, rather than taking him from outside to inside. The modern science does not give any value to spirituality because it is not based on logic but on faith and the material science accepts only logical truths. Eventhough there are many miracles happening before our very eyes, and whose causes cannot be explained by anybody, we, dazzled by the logic of the material science, have no daring to accept them, or to find out the truth in them. This is because we try to accept what is logically acceptable and which can be put to the test of cause and effect. From this point of view, the science of Mantras, or chanting of certain resonant words to bring about certain results, needs to be examined from the contemporary methods of examination and its change of cause-effect needs to be made clear for all. Mantra is really a complete control of the visible by the invisible, or of the gross by the subtle, a method which activates the cosmos within the man. No doubt, Nature is mysteriously invincible, but there is no higher power in Nature, endowed with such adaptability as that of Man. The announcement of " I AM THAT " " I AM HE " or " I AM SHE " which means that within the microcosm is confined the microcosm, within the man is all the Universe, either the male principle or the female principle. This may appear prima facie, as only a conceptual statement, but with a little effort, the veils of Nature are opened up. In herself, Nature is very complex and complicated process, but her capacity, beauty and grandeur is of such a magnificent scale that anybody would simply die to get hold on her powers. The science of Mantras contains experiments on that line, but due to many reasons these experiments are beyond the ken of the present-day logically blind brains of human beings. That however does not make any difference for the Mantra science. Its truth is unquestionable. That which is today subtle on the conceptual level, will become gross and palpable tomorrow when it appears in the physical world. At the same time, there are certain things which are gross, but are beyond the spectrum of audibility or visibility, they can only be measured by the ripples on the mental arena, and can be believed in by virtue of susceptibility. In such cases, our logical intellect does not want to believe in them. Intellect is a very good centre of knowledge but the control is not with the intellect but the vigorous mind, the mind with extra-ordinary energy. Today we have limited ourselves to the benefits accrued by the working of the intellect. Even on the nobility of faith, we dominate by our intellect. Spirituality is therefore losing ground. But the logical truth of today was only a concept yesterday. Similarly what is in the future is not truth today. It is only an imagination today. Therefore, truth does not lie in anything or any circumstance, within the area of Time.
Mantras are generally taken out from Vedas and are discovered by Rishis. The knowledge of Sanskrit language is utilized very successfully in formation of the Mantras. Mantras are not poetry and therefore, there is no scope for the imagination in Mantras. It is an occult science, a science beyond the normal sense-organs. Science gives relative values to every concept and it may well say that Mantras are not true science. But even though there may not be men who are well-versed in that science, it is not proper for us to believe that the science of Mantras is in itself baseless. Looking from the other side, if that science was not true, it would not have survived for so many years.
Actually what has happened is that the seers and Rishis have defined and laid down Mantras from their contemporary point of view. They might have some idea about the present-day world, but perhaps they might have not imagined that our intellects will be so hypnotised by materialistic sciences. From the base of the known or conjectured history of a few centuries, we come to the conclusion that the present state of human being is the more evolved, happy and intelligent than any other state in the past, but if we see carefully, the very way of thinking seems to have changed right from the era from which the history of mankind is known to modern man. At the same time, we must accept that as compared to the days of old when the Mantras were being discovered, recited, improved and utilized, the conditions of our times are much backwards. For the last thousands of years, there is no addition or improvement in the various systems of thought and Shastras of India, and Mantras are not exception to this decline or lack of interest. This is the dark age for Mantras which has caused the decline or waned the power of Mantras by neglect or misuse. The words of Raveendra Nath are verily true—that "We cannot imagine what is NOT". The space and time within our consciousness are very limited and if we try to decide the truth or untruth of any subject by basing our process of valuation on the limited knowledge of the space and time by which we are bound, there is definite sign of our shallowness. For instance, we cannot believe that a "Kawdi" -(outer shell of certain sea-creatures) was a legal tender in some old days. We think it very ridiculous today. We believe it because it is proved by scholars after careful study of old archieves and history. Secondly, Mantras are not subjected to the enquiry of "Why and How?" whereas, the modern thinking is moulded on this line.
Mantras are, as already said, mostly taken from Vedas. Mantras are like royal orders. They are not to be questioned "Why"? Two plus two makes four. Similarly, Mantras bring out certain results— we have to abide by the orders. The Mantras of Vedas give no place to critical enquiry. What is needed is but the faith and belief.
Those Mantras were pregnant with great powers, but to achieve the results was extraordinarily difficult and time-consuming. After the lapse of time, the Mantras were simplified and the systems of Mantra recitation as evident in Tantrikism came forward. The science of Mantras was practised with the help of minimum equipment or instruments. An aspirant is in that, supposed to control the outer forces by the forces within him, but for that also, much penance and denials were necessary in the ordinary life, and coupled with this, the times changed and reduced the life-expectancy, the endurance and the interest of the human beings. This gave rise to Yantras, or the physical expressions in lines, curves, geometrical signs, inlaid on certain plates, or certain crossword arrangement of figures, describing, denoting, symbolizing, what is contained as thoughts and aspirations in the recited Mantras. What is uttered in Mantras is pictured in Yantras. Whereas in Mantras, the letters of alphabet are given great value, in Tantras, the numerological values are spiritually symbolic of great values or forces. They denote our emotions, thoughts, desires, everything. From occult point of view, the God or Goddess, the Deva or Devata has no separate existence in itself, but it is the form of the Mantra. The Goddess having eight arms, ten arms, or the God with three eyes etc. are described in Mantras. Yantras express in lines the .same forms of Gods.
Essentially, Mantras are science of EMOTIONS and with those emotions are co-ordinated the sounds. This art of coordinating is the science of Mantras.
It is wrong to think that Mantras are always used only to kill, to hypnotize, to remove from one place to other, to hold something at a place, to create division in thought, or repulsion, or attraction towards anything or anybody. The Mantras are also the instruments of Moksha, or freedom of mind from bondage. The freedom of mind is being lost in the Cosmos. To infuse the cosmic energy in oneself and to be one with the Divine Will is the Freedom and that is the last attainable thing in spirituality. Mantras aim at that also. Mantras, generally, increase the will-power of the reciter and his weaknesses are taken away and destroyed by Mantras. Mantras simply increase the force of the individual—may it be good or bad according to the desire of the Sadhaka, the aspirant. The rules laid down for its fruition not only confirm and enhance the faith in it but also make evident the magnificence of the goal and assure its achievement.
There are five main factors involved in the successful fruition of Mantras. Rishi, Devata, Chhandas, Beeja and Shakti/Guru/ Muhurt (last three alternatives) are the five factors. They can be translated thus : The sage who discovers, the Goddess to who it is addressed, the Meter in which it is recited, the seed of power which it contains and the force which it creates (alternatively the Teacher whose willpower is at its back, or the Time meaning the juxtaposition of planets when it is started-which again means the force. We will consider each serially. (1) Rishi or Sage : The sage is the experiencer, the man who made experiments with the Mantra, or chanting of certain words in certain order, and he is also the scientist who comes to know its occult results and mundane results. He is also the teacher who can teach it to others with its subtle connotation. The mention of the sage at the first number gives us the indication that remembering his name in difficulty will set things right. At the first, the name of Rishi was placed at the number where the name of Teacher or Guru is given above. That Guru is embodiment of living faith. We contain limitless power. It is the work of Rishi to make ourselves aware of that power, and to re-establish it within ourselves. Faith works invisibly and for the success of Mantra, faith which is the first step towards occultism is absolutely necessary, not only in the efficacy of Mantra, but in the power of ourselves and that of the Rishi. 2. Chandas (Metre of recital) : This is the rhythm in which the utterance travel. ~ This adds to the meaning of the Mantra and arouses definite and desired emotion. We are always using rhythm in our daily life. The difference between lamentations at the time of death and the lamentations enacted by an actor in drama. We are sorry to listen to the first while in the drama we, in a way, enjoy the melodrama of the situation by remaining aloof, as well as sharing vicariously the feeling of the actors in the roles. The noise and blast of bombs destroy, but music creates. The rhythm creates a sort of atmosphere. The success depends upon the means and the utilization of the means properly. Mantras are these means but Chhanda is their proper utilization. We recite Mantras according to our objects. For bad and evil purposes, harsh abrupt utterances of words are used, and their rhythm is also repulsive. For attraction, pacifying and hypnotizing, melodious monotonous and lulling sounds are used and soft consonants are used. It is not the place here to go deeper into the science of notes with their undertones and octaves, their lengths and depths, but for successful recitation of Mantras, this science of vibration and sound is essential knowledge.
3. The God or Devata : This is the form which is created by the Mantras. Devata is not taking one and only form at all times. It is also not necessary that one Mantra invites only one Goddess in one singular form. A slight change in Mantra, changes the form of God. For instance, the God Shiv is beneficient as well as terrifying. The aspirant will visualize that form with its details, for which he tries with earnestness. Today also, as a form of energy, atom cannot be measured but according to the variation in place and utility, atom can be used either for benefit of destruction. All this depends on the emotional attitude of the aspirant of Mantra-shastra, as well as on the method he utilizes. There is a peculiar type of vibration of the sound used in the recitation of the Mantra and that decides the form of the God or Devata. The knowledge of the form of Goddess is also necessary and the proper establishment of the Goddess is also required. The Goddess is also symbolical of force and the aspirant reaches the expression of the Mantra-power through it. He has therefore to study thoroughly the proper valuation and establishment of Goddess.
Beeja (or seed of force) : The importance of seed or nucleous of the Mantra is equivalent to the importance of atom in the flow of energy. The Mantras with the Seed are more powerful than other Mantras. The power of the Seed can be concentrated within a very short vowel and that is the crux of the power of Mantra. Sometimes the seed is not in a particular letter, the whole Mantra j is short and is itself a Seed of power. The knowledge of the seed j of Mantra is also necessary.
Sakthi or Force : The final miraculous aspect of Mantra is the power, the energy, the force-which is in its essence free, but becomes channelised by the recitation of Mantra and is effective in one direction. It is just like electricity which is utilized in various ways. This Mantra power protects with its Sattwic quality, creates with its Rajasi quality and destroys with its Tamasi quality. The force is therefore to be understood properly according to the intension of the aspirant.
In short, Mantra is a penance, a mean of attainment of a high goal. It can be utilised for individual as well as public good. Mantras may perform ordinary miracles but they can also lead man to release from bondage.
The Mantras in Vedas are difficult, dangerous and very complicated for recitation. The Mantras from Tantra-Science are easier. But the Tantra science which works on the dark side of evolution —which is involution—is much fiercer than Veda-Mantras, and much more austere and harsh. The really powerful world is the invisible world of forces which are superhuman in all its aspects and our earthly senses cannot reach them, cannot control them, cannot benefit by them. The Mantras not only bring our consciousness in their contact, but they bring us the power to control the invisible planes of the world so that we can function occultly with ease. Mantras can be beneficial in two ways or in two conditions of mind. Either you should be completely a witness, without involvement emotionally, or you should be completely involved mentally, emotionally and physically-having real interest in them. The interest here means complete faith which can transform our inner nature immediately, while our quiet witnessing state of mind is turned by the Mantra to the state where Mantra becomes beneficial to our life. Here, it may be mentioned that our bodies-especially the area of our head and heart radiate forces of magnetic currents at all times. Normally they are continously radiated. Mantras can regulate these forces and can control them for good. Generally people start reciting Mantra for certain pre-conceived results, but gradually as the Mantra is repeated with devotion, interest and stead-fastness, the Nature reveals her higher realms and the earlier aims go back, the higher aims reveal themselves and are achieved. Though there are many ways of recitation of Mantras, which is called Japa, this is not the place to give details, about the beneficience of which, a proper Guru or Teacher is necessary to vouchsafe. Mantra science is vast and it is only an introduction that is aimed at in this article.
(D. A : Ghaisas)
—(With special permission from "Kalyan", Year 40, Issue No.4).