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Musings on garUda/mantrA etc.-8A

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Mon Apr 07 1997 - 00:24:58 PDT

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

Dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s",

The first thing about "mantrA-s" --- at least those truly "vEdic" "mantrA-s"
of which Swami Desikan and other "pUrvAchAryA-s" have talked about, and even
the one the boy in Mukkur Swamy's story worked on --- the first thing that
should strike one about such "mantrA-s" is that they are NOT INCANTATIONS in
the sense in which incantations are commonly referred to in "voodoo-ism",
"shamanism", tribal or even modern occult practices in many countries and

It's important to understand that while INCANTATIONS are central to the
practice of "voodoo" or shamanism, the same cannot be said of the Vedic
tradition where "mantrA-s" constitute only a sub-set of a much larger body
of "vEdic" experience, "samhitA-s" (texts), "brahMaNA-s" (practices),
speculation, injunction, ritual and belief.

Therefore, at the outset, in discussions on "mantrA", we must avoid the
folly of mistaking "mantrA" to be akin to the frenzied abracadabra of some
village witch-doctor moaning his mumbo-jumbo !

In the vEdi-c tradition, "mantrA-s" serve a much more sophisticated, much
more evolved purpose than those of voodoo or similar occult practices.

"mantrA" is essentially a religious exercise; it is occult, if at all, only
very incidentally.

Next post.

srimathE srivan satagOpa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha