mantras (was Re: [Advaita-l] The Wisdom in ...)

sri parasukhananda nadha sriparasukhanandanadha at
Thu Mar 3 10:58:42 CST 2005

  Priya mahaasay,
   Sometime back I have asked the same question to my guruji, whether we should not recite any mantra without understanding its meaning perfectly well in advance. For that, he was telling me that the mantras, especially veda mantras do not stick to one particular meaning.  They are so flexible to give various meanings according to the occation and also according to the needs if the sadhaka.  In srividyaandhra bhaashyam (telugu ) my paramaguru sri sriyaanandanadha has most elaborately explained how a manthra could be interpreted in several ways making it suitable according to our needs.  He gave hundreds of examples as a proof of it.  The book is available from ' Saadhana Grandha Mandali, Tenali 522 201.
               Bhaskaracharya in his Varivasya Ragasyam and also in other books has extracted several number of meanings for one single mantra.  Veda mantras were interpreted by sevaral commentators, every one with a different different meaning of their own.
               My guruji was explaing many yogic secrets, and was explaining how the commonly used veda mantras contain directions for the saadhana.  He was telling us to devote upon the mantra to extract meanings in different ways every day until the last breath of ours.(aa supthe raa `mrithaascha )  That is also one kind of Japa ( that chintanam thad bhavanam ).  
             Our knowledge is very much limitted to understand the veda mantras.  It would be just like attaching stair cases one after another  to catch the sky in our hands.  The effect will be there, when reciting the mantras even without understanding just as the fire will not act otherwuse even if we do not know that it will burn us.  If recited properly with an understanding of some meaning, it will certainly give the desired effects. There are several instances of raining instantly when recited Varuna mantraas combined with Rudram.  I my self have witnessed such occations, which is unexpected before hand but resulted most wonderfully even though the reciters were not much educated in sanskrit.
             If anybody says that when Muttuswamy Deekshitar while singing Amrithavarshini raagam, all of a sudden pouring rain occured, what will you say?  Is it due to the combination of some sounds of the raga or due to the meaning of that raga?
            There was one multi millioneer of Mumbai whose two daughters became totally blind, with certain congenital eye disease,  came upto Arasavilli where there is a temple for the Sun god at a northern fag end location of Andhrapradesh, when all the human efforts were failed, and all the doctors declared it as incurable.  He with his two daughters lived here for about six months on the advise of some learned friends and arranged a purohit,  to chant Aruna Paatham every day in front of the two children.  The purohit is not an educated one, nor he knows the meanings of Arunam mantras.  Miraculously both the two children have regained their vision.  Can any one show whether there is any specific command for regaining the lost sight mentioned, in the Aruna paatham?  We have to believe and follow the elders words, who say any thing with their past experiences.
                                 "Kaula pratishthan na kuryaat"
sriparasukhanandanadha   .  

On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 S Jayanarayanan wrote :
>--- Anand Hudli <anandhudli at> wrote:
> > >This is exactly the point where I feel that the traditional
> > approach lacks
> > >something. Do you know where this conclusion of the
> > Mimamsakas leads us?
> > >Mantras should not be understood, they just should be
> > recited. This has
> > >been happening for the last nearly 2500 years in India and is
> > still
> > >happening. Tell me one Vedic Pandit who understands all those
> > Mantras
> > >which he recites. This has lead to such strange Viniyogas,
> > where the
> > >Mantra which is being recited doesn't have any any connection
> > at all to
> > >the ritual which is being performed. Sometimes, simply
> > because a
> > >particular word occurs in a Mantra, it is being related to
> > that particular
> > >action.
> >
> > The 4th adhikaraNa of the second pAda of the first adhyAya of
> > the mImAMsa
> > sutras, starting with the sUtra "tadarthashAstrAt.h",  deal
> > with the issue
> > of whether mantras express any meaning or not.
>Thanks for your email on the meanings of mantras, I will be
>coming to that in my next posting on the series on pUrva
>mImAmsA. I have a couple of questions regarding what you wrote:
> > The doubt
> > raised here is:
> >
> > athedAnIM kiM vivakShitavachanA mantrAH? uta
> > .avivakShitavachanAH? iti|
> > kimarthaprakAshanena yAga upakurvanti? uta uchchAraNamAtreNa?
> > iti|
> >
> > (A doubt arises) here. Do mantras have intended meanings or
> > not?  Do they
> > help (the sacrificer) in the sacrifice (yajna) by expressing
> > meaning or by
> > mere utterance?
> >
> > The pUrvapakSha that can be summed up in the words of
> > mahAmahopAdhyAya
> > Ganganath Jha, in his commentary mImAMsAmaNDana, on the
> > mImAMsAnukramaNikA
> > of maNDana mishra:
> >
> > tatra pUrvapakShaH - mantrA avivakShitArthA eva - upakurvanti
> > cha
> > yAgasyochchAraNamAtreNa iti|
> >
> > The pUrvapakSha (opponent's view) states that (vedic) mantras
> > do not intend
> > to convey a meaning. They help the yAga (sacrifice) by merely
> > being uttered.
> >
> > In reply to this, KumArila bhaTTa's argues that mantras have
> > an intended
> > meaning.
> > His reply forms the vArtika on sUtras 1.2.40 through
> > 1.2.53. He
> > gives various reasons why mantras have definite meanings. In
> > fact, on sUtra
> > 1.2.46 "abhidhAne .arthavAdaH", he gives the metaphorical
> > meaning of the
> > famous mantra "chatvAri shR^ingA trayo asya pAdA ..."
> > dedicated to agni and
> > concludes that it is agni that is praised in the shape of the
> > Sun, by the
> > mantra. (Currently, this mantra is one among others used by
> > the R^igvedins
> > in the pUrNAhuti of a homa.)
> >
>The book I have, "The Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini, chapter
>I-III", by G. Jha, does say that "chatvAri shR^inga" refers to
>the four horns or quarters of the day, and "trayo asya pAda"
>refers to the three feet or seasons of the year, and therefore
>the mantra refers to the sun. However, there is no mention of
>this mantra referring to agni. Is there another source you have
>consulted for this?
> > The mImAMsA-paribhAShA states:
> >
> > mantrANAM adhyayanavidhinA kR^itsna-svAdhyAyasya
> > phalavadarthajnAnArthatvameva, na tu adR^iShTArthatvam.h |
> >
> > By the injunction on the studying one's own Veda completely,
> > the (Vedic)
> > mantras have the purpose of (revealing) knowledge of useful
> > things only.
> > They are not for obtaining an unseen (transcendental) result.
> >
>The book by Jha says on KumArila's commentary to pUrva mImAmsA
>sUtra 1.2.44 that reciting mantras does lead to a transcendental
>result. Is there a difference of opinion between KumArila and
>KR^ishhNa yajvan on this point - as to whether or not recital of
>mantras leads to a transcendental result?
> > The meaning of mantras, however, according to the mImAMsakas,
> > may not always
> > be the same as of other schools. For example, the
> > mImAmsa-nyAya-prakAsha
> > says "mantrANAM cha prayogasamavetArtha-smArakatayA
> > .arthavattvaM na tu
> > taduchchAraNaM adR^iShTArtham.h ...", the mantras are
> > meaningful in that
> > they remind one of something connected with the performance
> > (of the
> > sacrifice). But utterance of mantras is not for achieving an
> > adR^iShTa
> > (unseen transcendental) result.
> >
> > Anand
> >
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