[Advaita-l] A Brief Introduction to pUrva mImAmsA - 6 (Mantras)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Oct 12 19:57:55 CDT 2005

On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Yadu Moharir wrote:

> Namaste Jayanarayan-Ji:
> This is disturbing to learn that most teachers do not teach the meaning 
> of mantras.  No wonder we have lost the core principle "j~nana vastu" 
> from the culture.
> If we accept this, then whatever we say has no meaning.  All the words 
> and the combination there of become meaningless !!?
> This takes away the fundamental reasoning for language.  I believe that 
> is why yaaskaa said art.m vaacaH puShpa phalaM.
> The definition of mantra is as I recall - matraaH mananaata. or mannaata 
> traayat iti mantraH
> It is also said - "mantraarta mantracaitanya yo na jaanatoi saadhakaH | 
> shatalaksha prajaptopi tasya mantro nasidhyati ||"
> Our yogashaastra tell us - tatjapastadarthabhaavanam || samaadhipaada 
> 1.28||.
> We all desire to preserve or defend our culture, but how can we defend 
> something, if we do not know what and why we are defending?

Note the meaning being discussed is the _literal_ meaning.  Acharyas do in 
fact teach that this mantra is for agnihotra, this one for vivaha etc. 
And that is a "meaning" too.  Not knowing the literal meaning of mantra is 
suboptimal and one should try and learn it.  However not knowing the 
correct pronounciation of a mantra is a calamity.  Hence the Acharyas put 
greater emphasis on pronounciation.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list