Mantra: Awareness of Reality

By Shruti Rai and Surjya Kamal Borah.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Mantras are the inevitable part of the rituals in Indic tradition. But more interesting and perhaps more worth facets of concept of Mantra i.e. the foreground of mantras, is explained in the non-dualistic Kashmir Shaiva philosophical tradition, particularly in the schools of Pratyabhijna and Spanda (the branches of the Kashmir Shaiva tradition). Both schools speculate more thoroughly on issues like the nature of Mantra, how is it put into use, source of its power and how can be imagined to function, rather than the other schools of the same philosophical system. Ontologically, it is established as the nature of supreme consciousness (the ultimate Supreme Reality). The supreme consciousness is defined as self-aware. Here the self-awareness, that is said vimarsha, opens the door for the principle of Mantra, which connotes the aspect of thinking own nature i.e. self-awareness. In such a manner, Consciousness is the nature of Mantra. Thus, a Mantra is not conglomeration of different syllables in this context. It is the deepest level of the principle of speech, the expressive of core of reality and near to the source of language as well as to that of our energies. In this way, nature and functioning aspect of Mantra at the ultimate level of reality in Kashmir Shaiva philosophy has been taken for evaluation in this research paper, since the philosophical nature of Mantra becomes the source of development of the religious aspect further.

Keywords: Mantra, Prakash-vimarsha, Vak, Pashyanti-madhyama-vaikhari, Parama Shiva, Vimarsha, Aham, Shakti, Shabda

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.159-166. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.003MB).

Shruti Rai

Reserch Student, Special Center for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New delhi, Delhi, India

I am doing research on ‘Kashmir Shiva philosophy of language (with special reference to works of Abhinavagupta)’. I have done my M.phil in same philosophy, wherein the area of subject was ‘aesthetics of abhasa’. I have deep propensity for the research, since research is always helpful to increase knowledge. It gives varied-deeper idea of any concept and new views for maximize our vision. However, oriental studies help to understand the ‘culture, religion and civilization’ in particular manner of India. Here, Tantra explains principles and values in different way from Vedic tradition. According to my understanding, it would closer to ‘Nature’ and values of humanity, so that I have deeper interest for the study of Tantra. In this manner, my research work is based on Kashmir Shaiva philosophy, which is one of schools of Tantra.

Surjya Kamal Borah

Research Scholar, Special Center for Sanskrit Studies,, Jawaharlal Nehru University, , New Delhi, , India, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Surjya Kamal Borah, an ardent student of Indian philosophy, has submitted his Ph. D. thesis on the topic – ‘Epistemology in the Principal Upanishads’ from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He did his M. Phil on ‘Epistemology in Kathopanishad’ and M.A. in Sanskrit with philosophy specialization. He has a very good understanding of the Sanskrit texts and a deep interest in bringing the ancient Indian wisdom for the cause of humanity. He is trying to specialize in the area of religion and spirituality as a contemporary response to the various global crisis, from an Indian perspective recently. He has presented research papers in national and international seminars/conferences and has publications in reputed journals. He is currently teaching Hinduism in the Jamia Millia Islamia University, as a guest teacher.