[Advaita-l] idaM na mama - failure part-1

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 21 09:33:07 CDT 2011

This is in response to the question of Siva Senani ji but the you is a generic 
not meant for Senaniji This is a long post.
These questions were not new and of-course any rational being would first put 
these questions and I put these questions myself. The answers below may or 
maynot be convincing because of the nature of the subject but yet here is an 
attempt to make people understand the complex interplay of the forces/events 
that shape nations/civilizations and humanity in general and the part (tiny or 
large depending on how one looks at it) that such rituals play.
But before answering, let us think about why these questions come in the first 
place. We will investigate this to see the assumptions people make about mAntric 
rituals and then they imagine their assumptions as claims of mantra shAstra and 
then say, well this is all bogus. Very good.
Of the many possible reasons the most likely one is because those ShaTkarma 
rituals are seen as something that is done just in a snap. No practical 
knowledge exists on the back breaking work/difficulty involved in the process. 
Take for eaxmple a bhUtocchATana ritual.. the mere time required to complete the 
procedure is so demanding that if you are really a mantrin, you wont feel like 
doing it.. it is just neither fun nor easy. It is so burdensome that genuine 
mAntrika-s will never ever let the public know about their mAntric abilities.
The second reason why such questions are asked is related to the first but a 
little different. It is lack of
practical thinking. The inability to visualise the logistics involved in 
commissioning a ritual of this kind.
People seem to kind of imagine "ok. you just find the guy and make him do the 
prayog. simple.done.easy."
The third reason: People seem to imagine a mAntric ritual as being fool proof, 
as though it would never fail. Ask them who told you that a mAntric ritual 
cannot fail? They have no answer.
The fourth and the hard one to understand: This is the worst assumption people 
make about mAntric rituals. mAntric rituals are seen as some sort of an 
alternate to duties or as sort of an alternate solution to problems or as some 
act to be done by stopping the actual work needed for the task. There are 
situations where actually this assumption is valid. The most popular one is 
curing snake bite. To explain these four points I can refer you to a ten page 
article by a Jewish ritualist. But understanding the article is going to take 
time.. do not expect to understand the article by a quick glance. Most people 
may not want to go through it unless they are quite interested in gaining 
knowledge of this subject.
Did a real mantra practitioner ever tell you that if you are well versed in 
mantra-s, one can just sit around and need not do anything?
We will deal with this whole affair in two parts. For the most part words were 
chosen carefully though there can be an occasional slip which might befuddle 
one's understanding.
 1) We will take the example of somanAtha and examine some practicalities 
involved and then. 

2) I will cut paste some articles where such rituals were done for various 
temples. I might provide brief comments at some places if it is not clear.
We will take one example and try to examine the practical details in this case 
and the logistics or difficulties involved in this. Here are some possible 
1) so the city where somanAtha temple exists is being attacked and we needed 
someone who is capable of performing these rituals as an *extra aid* to protect 
the city. Do you think in the city streets, people loiter around with boards 
hanging down their necks saying they are specialists in ShaTkarma or in 
apotropaic rituals? At any given time in history these people are not freely 
available and not very well known(they do not like to be known- one reason is 
mentioned above and there are other reasons too), the number of people with such 
abilities in a given population is very less at any given point in history.
It is not that in old days cities are teeming with mAntrika-s.
2) Now, let us say now somefow at that moment in history by a very good stroke 
of luck they found a mAntrika with reasonable skill to perform a protective 

With respect to the assumptions that people make, which i mentioned above, it is 
certainly possible that the King in charge employed this mAntrika to assist(mark 
the usage of this word assist.. this word is intentionally used to denote that 
the mAntric rite is never intended by mAntrika-s nor others as a replacment for 
required action) in the defense of the city and that the mantra prayoga(along 
with the military defenses) failed badly. So why is this a surprise?
So why did it fail? I dont know.. certainly not my job to find out :-) even if 
it is, its is impossible now without knowingly exactly the ritual details, 
without knowing the skill level of the mantrin, other conditions etc etc
3) They did find a mAntrika but because of a war situation they could not obtain 
all the dravya that is required to complete the rite... see the first para of 
the reconstructed narrative in the next mail.
Three examples were given as possible reasons... there could be a thousand 
scenarios and reasons.. The point of all this is to show that because something 
was not protected in the ancient past despite the presence of ritualists.. it 
does not automatically prove the non-efficacy of rituals like the shyena yAga 
described in the veda to destroy one's enemies.
I wanted to treat the topic in much greater detail but it can be very 
a) In the next mail, a reconstructed narrative will be pasted which makes people 
see that mantra-shAstra is something vastly different from what people see in 
folk movies. 

b) Likewise the outcome of a mantra prayoga need not be binary, the outcome 
could be in between i.e. the prayoga may work but only a small portion of the 
phala might be received. And this could be for a thousand reasons like something 
going wrong in the process, the enemy nullifying it through a counter prayoga or 
through a yoga practice or for some other 101 reasons...the factors involved are 
too many and sometimes the performer might lose control of a few decisive 
factors and this should not cause any surprise.
If one keeps in mind a) & b) mentioned above, half of these questions wont 
The very act of observation changes reality!

That said, I wonder why a thousand years of pressure on, and consequent downfall 

/ degradation of sanatana dharma was not counter-acted by the many abhisArika 
yajnas by so many venerable acharyas. Why were the kavachams not invoked to 
protect the faithful? Why was nothing done to protect Somnath temple or the 
so-many temples which have been desecration by building mosques in / or upon 
 Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Mon, March 21, 2011 1:31:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] idaM na mama - The scientific evidence?


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