On 11/22/2014 3:48 PM, Bhairitu wrote:
I don't think anyone knows for sure where the beej mantras came from. Those are lost in antiquity and undoubtedly commonly in use even at the time of Shankara.
So let's review what we know about the TM bija mantras:

The Sankrit word "man" in Sanskrit means to think and "tra", means a tool; "bija" in Sanskrit means a "seed". Bija mantras are seed sounds used as a tools for meditation.

So, in TMer practice you just become aware of the seed syllable, experienced just like any other thought; then you add a little fertilizer; you just water the root and enjoy the fruit. It's not complicated.

Are we agreed so far?

Now we can review the purpose of bija mantra:

There are several uses of bija mantras: for purification, acquisition, propitiation, or in some cases, for protection.

But, according to Brooks, the most noble use of bija mantras is for spontaneous meditation. Seed-syllables (bijasaras), are the purest form of mantric sound - they do not make a request or praise a God - they are natures purest expression of Being.

Now we can consider the history of bija mantra usage:

There are no bija mantras mentioned in the Rik Veda - bija mantras came much later during the alchemical phase of the Nath Siddhas, after the rise of Tantric Buddhism in the Indian Gupta period.

To sum up:

Meditation on a bija mantra seed syllables rather than words, transcends such mundane considerations as semantic meaning. Accordingly, a bija-only mantra meditation is not merely esoteric, but inherently superior.

However, "bija" mantras are not "meaningless" sounds; everything in the cosmos has meaning. But, bija mantras are non-semantic sounds - they are not words found in any standard Sanskrit lexicon. Bija mantras, by definition, are esoteric.

Works cited:

*Auspicious Wisdon*
The Texts and Traditions of Srividya Sakta Tantrism in South India
by Douglas Renfrew Brooks
SUNY, 1992

On the origin of the TM bija mantras:

/"Bija mantras issued by TM are ''Sri Vidya'' bija mantras. To be fair, I won't go into what they are, but if one listens to all TM mantras, except for 2, they are 2 or 3 syllable, and this is a very important component of the //
//technique..." /

From: Billy Smith
Subject: Re: Guru Dev and "Sri Vidya"
Newsgroups: alt.meditation.transcendental
Date: April 22, 2003
//"You are getting "warmer" when it comes to understanding TM's origins with your posts regarding the Shankaracharya tradition and its practice of Srividya..." /

From: James Duffy
Subject: Re: TM: Siva Sutra
Newsgroups: alt.meditation.transcendental, alt.yoga, alt.meditation
Date: September 21, 2003

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