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Mantra Recitation - Part - 1
Date: Sun Sep 13 1998 - 09:33:56 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
May I add a few thoughts on Mantra recitation now being discussed?
Anbil Ramaswamy
Mantra Recitation - Part 1:

`MANTRA' - `Mananath Thrayathe iti Mantraha' - That which protects by being
remembered and recited. It consists of the silent recitation (japa) of a
sacred formula repeated indefinitely. A mystic recitation that invokes the
desired deities and establishes a spiritual relationship with them. It has the
effect of quieting the mind and integrating the gross bodies  with the divine-
educing  the latent spiritual experiences (sukshma) into the realm of the

Though `Mantra' is generally defined as a `formula comprising words and sounds
which possess a magical or divine power' no single definition can adequately
express its significance. It is a verbal instrument which possesses power. A
word or formula which represents a mental presence or energy; by it something
is employed to denote this magic power possessed by words when they are
brought together in a formula. 

May be the word `spell' partly explains the meaning of `mantra.' Sound as we
know creates vibration. Mantras have been `recovered' from ether through
vibrations set in motion by the meditation of Rishis. The utterance of
`Mantras' unleash a force of nature vivid and vibrant, effective and
efficacious. And, such `Mantra' came to be regarded as an entity by itself
(e.g.), Gayatri mantra is regarded as a personification of Gayatri - the word
means "Gayantam trayate iti gayatri" - the one who protects the one who sings
(utters) the Mantra by exercising a unique effect on the person uttering the

The sounds of Mantras constituted a secret initiatory language to be uttered
according to particular rules if this esoteric meaning and power were to be
assimilated and the initiate fully awakened. Particular attention is directed
to the dictum that the mantra imparted by his GURU to his SISHYA must never be
divulged "even if SIVA himself should demand it"    

Mantra is a Quasi morpheme or a series of Quasi morphemes or a series of mixed
genuine and Quasi morphemes arranged in conventional patterns, based on
codified esoteric traditions and passed on from one preceptor to one disciple
in the course of an initiation ritual.

AGNI PURANA points out that a mantra softly uttered is more efficacious than
if repeated loudly and that when its utterance can be discerned only by the
movement of the lips, it is hundred fold more potent and when mentally
repeated its power increases thousand fold.

MANTRA JAPA of 14 kinds have been identified in JAPAYOGA- a treatise on the
union through recitation of Mantras as follows:
 1. Nitya-( Daily recitation)                            
 2. Naimittika (Circumstantial recitation)
 3. Kaamya (for desired results)                      
 4. Nishiddha (forbidden)
 5. Praayaschitta (repentant)                          
 6. Achala (Immobile)
 7. Chala (Mobile)                                         
 8.Vaachika (Articulate)
 9. Upaamsu (Whispered)                              
10. Bramara (Humming)
11. Manasa (Meditative)                                
12. Akhanda (Unceasing)
13. Ajapa (Inarticulate)                                   
14.  Pradakshina (Circumambulatory)
(To continue)