Monday, June 11, 2012

Mantra ucharan

Mantra ucharan: Pronunciation of a Mantra

‘The objective behind doing spiritual practice of mantras 
is to reveal their obscure energy'

   The divine consciousness (caitanya) in a mantra is superior to the gross words in it. The science of Mantra has originated from the word (shabdaBrahman. The energy of a mantra lies in its pronunciation. This energy is manifested from frequencies generated in the atmosphere by the sound vibrations that are generated through its chanting. The nature of the mantra is one of radiance (tej). In the Vedas too, the mere meaning is unimportant. One should be able to recite them with the correct rhythm (chhanda), syllabic foot (vrutta) and measure of verse (matra). Only then is the real benefit obtained. With such Vedic chanting one also acquires the benefit of pranayam.

   The science of Matras, that is the correct pronunciation of the mantras as regards their notes such as aroha, avaroha, udatta, anudatta, svarit, prachay, etc. is of special importance. If there is an error in that then the deleterious effects that can be caused are described with examples in the teachings of Panini as:-

मन्‍त्रो हीन: स्‍वरतो वर्णतो वा  मिथ्‍याप्रयुक्तो न तमर्थमाह ।
स वाग्‍वज्रो यजमानं हिनस्‍ति  यथेन्‍द्रशत्रु: स्‍वरतोऽपराधात्‌ ।

Mantrohinah svarato varnato va Mithya prayukto na tamarthamaha
Sa vagvajro yajamanam hinasti Yathendrasatruh svarato' paradhat


   The mantra without proper pronunciation of vowels (svar) and consonants (varna), that is the utterance of a mantra in a faulty manner makes it faulty and does not convey the intended meaning. Instead it gets converted into a verbal thunderbolt and harms the one chanting it, as had occurred in the case of the word Indrashatru with faulty pronunciation of the vowels.
The compound word 
Indrashatru could have two meanings, one being “Indra’s enemy” (the slayer of Lord Indra) from Tatpurush Samas and “the one whose enemy is Lord Indra” (the one who will be slain by Lord Indra) from Bahuvrihi Samas. Since the first meaning was intended for Tvashta he had to utter the note of the last letter of the entire word in a lofty tone. He however, uttered the last letter of the first word in the Samas in a lofty tone. Consequently, instead of a son being born to slay Lord Indra, a son, Vrutra who would be killed by Lord Indra was born.  The teachings of Panini further say:

अनक्षरं हतायुष्‍यं विस्‍वरं व्‍याधिपीडितम्‌ । 
अक्षता शस्‍त्ररूपेण वज्रं पतति मस्‍तके ।।

“anaksharam hatayushyam viswaram vyaadhipeeditam 
akshataa shastrashrupen vajram patati mastake”

   If some of the consonants in a mantra are deleted then they destroy life, if the vowels (svar) are faulty then disease sets in. The consecrated rice (akshata) [consecrated with a mantra which has discordant vowels and omission of letters] descends upon the head of the host like a thunderbolt (vajra).

  Therefore ‘A mantra should be obtained only from the Guru and should be chanted according to the science of Matras.  Only a mantra imparted by an appeased Guru, one obtained in a dream or from a deity during meditation or accepted after the performance of appropriate rites such as the removal of kilak, chanted with pure and appropriate notes observing the ritualistic rules and restrictions can prove successful and even endorse the desired benefits. Chanting a mantra read in a book and getting initiation of a mantra from a person without spiritual authority is not only meaningless but also disastrous.

Hare Krsna!