Last night I said something regarding mantra and incantation. I tried to explain to you that mantra and incantation are not the same thing. A mantra must have an acoustic root, and at the same time, in the mundane plane, its ordinary significance must be the same as and not just similar to the significance of the acoustic root. And I also said that to become a mantra, even where there is the acoustic root and the proper significance, it must get recognition from Mahásambhúti or Mahákaola.
Now, there is movement everywhere in the universe. There is movement on the microcosmic plane and also and also in the realm of physicality. Wherever there is an idea, or an inference, there must be movement. Nothing is fixed, nothing is stationary in this universe. We should remember that the acoustic root of the mantra in the realm of the microcosm must maintain a symmetry with the significance of mantra on the physical plane. And it is the duty of the Mahásambhúti or Mahákaola to maintain the symmetry between the inferential expressions in the psychic world and the physical manifestations on the mundane level. Where this symmetry is wanting, neither the inference nor the physical movement can get recognition as a mantra or even as an incantation.
The movement in the realm of the microcosm is a movement either from the microcosmic extremities to the supreme – to the starting point of spirituality or from the starting point of spirituality to the culminating point of microcosmic manifestation. And in the field of physicality it starts as an inference either from the touching point of the microcosm and the physical plane or from the subtlest point of the physical plane to the level of microcosm. These inferences must have a coordination as well as symmetry between them and you must remember that the symmetry is the guiding factor. There are many words in the world but not all words can be mantras, can be incantations, because in mantra there should be the spirit of mobility. Hence the word should be formed either with the mobility of the physical plane or with the mobility of the inferential plane.
Take the case of the word “Ráma”. As you know, the root meaning, the rudimental significance of the word “Ráma” is “the attractive faculty”. “Rám” root verb + “ghaiṋ” suffix. Now here the root verb is to raise the spirit of mobility. And this mobility should be on both planes, physical and inferential. On the physical plane the body moves towards the Supreme Goal by being attracted by the Supreme Nucleus, and on the inferential plane the mind moves towards the Supreme Entity, towards the Nucleus of the Cosmic order. This movement of the mind towards the Cosmic Nucleus, and the movement of the body towards the Supreme Goal, must maintain not only parallelism but also symmetry. The symmetry is called “pramá” in Saḿskrta. Now on both these planes there is the spirit of mobility, and in the inferential sphere what happens? The movement finally encourages aspirants to ensconce themselves in the vast ocean of the cosmos. Hence the word “Ráma”, has the value of a mantra. But it requires the support of a Mahákaola or Mahásambhúti to be treated as a siddha mantra.
Another meaning of “Ráma” is “Ráti Mahiidhara Ráma”. The first letter of “ráti” is “rá”, and the first letter of “mahiidhara” is “ma” – “Ráma”. The spirit of the term is that Ráma is the most glittering entity in the entire universe. All the glittering entities, so many stars, planets, meteors and galaxies, get their light from the Supreme Entity, and so the supreme light-supplying entity, the supreme effulgent figure in the entire universe, is Ráma.
Now this light is light both on the plane of physicality and also in the field of inference. The symmetry is maintained. Thus the word “Ráma” can be treated as a mantra if it is supported by a Mahákaola. What is the duty of the Mahákaola in this respect? It is to inject the spirit of movement from the lowermost point of expression to the subtlest point of culmination.
Similarly, another meaning of “Ráma” is “Rávańasya marańam Ráma”. What is Rávańa? The first letter of “Rávańa” is “Ra”, and the first letter of “marańam” is “ma”. Hence “Rá-ma”. What is “Rávańasya marańam”? “Rávana” is the ten-faced demon functioning in each and every entity. It is the demoralizing, depraving and degenerating agency. And “marańa” means “death”. When aspirants ensconce themselves in the Supreme Entity, what happens? Rávańa – the ten-faced demon – ceases to exist. And what is Rávańa? What is the ten-faced demon? The depraving mind, the evil propensities of human beings which goad the human mind or microcosm in ten directions. These ten directions are represented by ten faces. Actually Rávańa means ten-faced depraving propensities. Now when one ensconces oneself in, when one becomes one with the Supreme Entity mentally in the realm of inference, one is free from the fetters of these depraving agencies, from this avidya. Hence, here also, the same purpose is served.
So in each interpretation of “Ráma” all the significances come to a single point. Hence the word “Ráma” is a mantra, if it is supported by a Mahákaola.
But finally one must remember, “Mantramúlaḿ Gururvákyam”. It is the Shivokti, said by Lord Sadáshiva, that is the rudimental faculty functioning behind each and every Mantra – it is Guru Vákyam.
Who is Guru? As you know, “gu” means “darkness” and “ru” means “dispelling agency or faculty”. The entity that dispels all sorts of darkness from the mind is “Guru”. Who is “Guru”? Guru is He who knows the secrets of one’s spiritual salvation. Who can know the secrets of spiritual salvation? Parama Puruśa Himself can know. Others cannot know His secrets and that is why in Ánanda Sútram it has been said, “Brahmaeva Gururekah Náparah.” Only Brahma is the Guru. “Gurureva Parama Brahma”. So Guru Vákyam means Brahmavákyam. So, “Mantramúlaḿ Gururvákyam”, and “Mantramúlaḿ Brahma vákyam”.
Now we should remember two things here. Whatever you see, whatever you do, whatever you perceive or conceive in this world, both in the world of inferences and also in the arena of quinquelementality, comes from the Nucleus; everything comes from Parama Puruśa. But some of those physical entities and inferential values we receive through certain media, and some we receive directly. What we receive through some medium is known as “prápta vastu” and what we receive directly from the Nucleus of the universe, what we receive from the Parama Puruśa is called “ápta vastu”. Now in this realm of spirituality, whatever we receive, we receive directly from Him, and not through any medium, and that is why the secrets of his spirituality are known as “ápta vákyam” and not “prápta vákyam”. Prápta vákyas come through different media, through different physical media, and that is why they may vary, or undergo metamorphosis. After their metamorphosis, they may come within the scope of relativity and undergo distortion. That is why these prápta vákyas or prápta vastus are not infinite, and therefore can never be, must never be the desiderata of human beings. The only thing that an aspirant wants from Him is ápta vákya and this ápta vákya is guru vákya, and this guru vákya is the mantramúlaḿ. It is the rudimental faculty behind all mantras.
30 November 1978, Madras