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Re: Am Namo Narayanaya

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 13:28:38 PDT

At 07:55 PM 6/23/98 -1000, Greg Jay wrote:
>have taught. However what was not apparent in my research into this subject
>was the two answers to the two questions that I posed in my last e-mail,
>which till now no one has answered.
>
>1. Please state the Shastra Pramanam for substitution of "Am" for Pranava
>in Ashtaksharam. (Not just because Vedanta Desika says so, but in the same
>way as the quote from agama shastra sesa samhita was given.)

It is natural in the middle of an argument to forget this;  For respect for
all acharyas, I would recommend prefix "Sri" to be used before their names.
 In the heat of arguments sometimes we tend to use acharyas' names in a
style such as He wrote this.... etc. which is to be avoided.

In the last post, the sesha samhita suggests non-utterance of pranava for
other than brahmin castes. But the exact reason for why "am" instead of any
other sylabble is your question I guess. The fact that there should be a
syllable instead of pranava is clear since it has to be ashtakshari for
moola mantra. This is just to confirm your real question.  I am waiting
some answers to this question from India, since I do not have the whole of
sesha samhita with me. I guess, it is in some other part of sesha samhita
which was not quoted in the portion of the rahasya traya sara I had.  I
will post it as soon as I get this.
>
>2. Please state the Shastra Pramanam for allowing the chanting of a
>"Rahasya" (Secret) mantram in public assembly. (Perhaps someone could also
>give Shastra Pramanam that says that this particular mantram (Ashtaksharam)
>as opposed to other Veda mantras are not to be chanted in public. It seems
>that other veda mantras are regularly chanted at public ceremonies and
>processions.)
>

I do not believe that such a pramana exists.  Rahasya mantras are not
publicly uttered.  I know this for fact for example :  while chanting
"sharanagati gadya" of sri Ramanuja, there is a statement "atra dvayam"...
which means, here "dvaya mantra is to be uttered mentally".  then the gadya
continues as : " pitaram mataram daran putran bandhun sakhin... etc."

The general pramana regarding secrecy of mantra is : gurum prakashayet
dhiman mantram yatnena gopayet prakasa aprakashayoh ksheeyete sampadayushi
:  this is from the 1st adhikara of Rahasyatrayasara.  Sri Vedanta Desika
quotes this from a "samhita" which I do not remember; (I will check this
and post the reference later).  The meaning is : One should publicize one's
GURU but protect with great care the secret mantras learnt under the guru
(this means that one should extreme care to see that others do not
disregard or take this mantra lightly and give the upadesha regarding this
mantra (if one knows the details) to only the ones who deserve it so that
the mantra is protected now and hereafter). If one does not protect the
mantras and publicize his gurus, his wealth and life span will reduce.  

adiyen Krishna