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Mantras and Tantras

The Vatican Council exhorts all members to recognise, preserve and promote the good things in Hinduism. This is a serious matter, made official through the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. Nostra Aetate". There is much to consider in the light of Buddha's glorious Kalama Sutta too, where you are taught how to benefit from sagacious doubts. And the Vatican Council wants all members to recognise, preserve and promote the good things in Buddhism too [More from the Vatican Council].

Yoga terms: There is a link - 'Words' - to a little glossary on any of these pages.

Source(s) include texts translated by Swami Satyeswarananda. The renderings here hardly make the translation in a context redundant, but are designed to serve as an introduction to yoga teachings within Sanatan Dharma, also called Hinduism.

Mantras are sounds - syllables and medleys of syllables. Such sounds, syllables, words, or groups of words are considered capable of "creating transformation". Their uses and types vary - Mantra use is an essential part of the Hindu tradition and a customary practice within Buddhism too. (118)

The Sanskrit word mantra(m), comes from 'man' and 'think' and 'tra' (tools or instruments). Thus, the mantra is the tool of thought. Mantra Japa is repetition of mantra. These ways of repeating the mantra are considered the topmost ones: by thinking; by uninterrupted inner repetition. The effecs of a bija mantra are said to develop more readily in deep meditation. Simply by uttering the Bija [Seed] Mantras that are written in Tantra, one cannot have the greatest results. But if the mind is focused well enough and long enough in a deep, interior state, then the mantra becomes awakened, effective, it is held. (cf. introduction by the First Publisher, p. 128)

We hope the beneficial effects of the mantra and how it is used are strong enough to counteract those of routines, company, destinty and whatever. There could also be better ways to solve some situations or tangles we are in, for that matter.

There are simple mantras, as those Sivananda shows. (Link] And there are more complex, involved mantras. Many mantras are devised on top of formulas that consist of "building blocks" of standard Sanskrit words and phrases. Such mantras fairly often contains a root mantra that relates to the aim of chanting, or to whose presence is invoked. It could be God!

  1. First there is OM - variously spelled Ong, Aum. The Aum syllable is considered a mantra in its own right in Vedanta mysticism. For the authors of Upanishads, the syllable Aum represents Brahman, the godhead and the whole of creation. It is called the "pranava mantra," and pranava sound, the source of all mantras. A NOTE: The venerated Shankaracharya of Northern India, Guru Dev, does not recommend repetition of OM at all for all in the householder stage of life. For them, meditation on OM "does not give good effects, it will be responsible for decline and misfortune." (Mason 2009:323-24).
  2. Then comes perhaps 'namah' and/or 'shri' and/or 'swaha (svaha), followed by the root mantra the seed mantra, the bija.
  3. In many cases 'namah' and/or 'shri' and/or 'swaha (svaha) etc. are sounded after the root mantra, rather.

Namah implies "I honor and salute".

Shri denotes success.

Jai means victory to, i.e., hail.

Phat (start with an f) is said to shoo disturbing influences.

According to such a pattern, Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah involves Om and salutations to the god involved, and that is Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, in this case.

There are simpler mantras or ways to use mantras for deep meditation too, and without OM. Transcendental Meditation is ◦well researched..

Mantras serve different ends. Many are for developing the enlightened mind. And here are some by which gurus like Lahiri probably fight such mantras are at any rate used by yoga magicians, for attaining wealth, long life, and eliminating enemies. I give you some examples from Lahiri's mantra collection right here:

To increase cows: Ong Kshong Namaha. (p. 125)

To have wealth from the sea: Ong Bhagavan Samudra Dehi Ratnani Jalavaso Hring Namastute Swaha. (p. 122)

To create a monster and engage him for one's benefit: Ong Kshang Kshand Hang Hang Phat. (p. 124)

To have knowledge of past, present and future: Ong Biswarupini Pisachi Bada Bada Kring. (p. 124)

To fulfill whatever one wishes: Ong Ong Ong (Biswe Bada Bada Swaha). (p. 125] [NOTE. "Whatever?" Now suppose to persons use the last mantra to fulfill a certain wish each, and that these two wishes clash and completely oppose one another. Another mention: "You cannot eat your cake and have it too," is a proverbs. But according to Lahiri's word, by repeating Ong (etc.) skilfully you can!]


Lahiri Mahasaya rendered, Literature  

Mason, Paul. 108 Discourses of Guru Dev: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 1. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.

Satyeswarananda, Swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. III: The Upanisads: The Vedic Bibles. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.

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