Parama Samhita (English translation)

by Krishnaswami Aiyangar | 1940 | 69,979 words

This page describes mantra kosha which is Chapter 6 of the English translation of the Parama Samhita, representing a manual of the Pancaratra school of Vaishnavism philosophy. These pages summarize ritualistic worship, initiation and other topics, as contained in the various Agamas belonging to the Pancaratra school

Chapter 6 - Mantra Kośā


1. Expound to me the collection of mantras relating to Paramātma, the manner of their use, and the various results attainable thereby.


2. Very well I shall describe to you the supreme character of the mantras, their key letters (bījāni) and the way to use them. This is however a secret.

3. All that is done with the appropriate mantras obtain for you the wished for result. It is by mantra that God is drawn to you. It is by mantra again that He is released.

4. By secret utterance these are mantras, and therefore these are not to be published. Their form is not to be written and their features not to be described.

5. Praṇava (mantra) which is illuminating is counted the seed of all the mantrasBeing like their life (?), it is regarded superior to all the mantras.

6. Worshipping God by that mantra, keep always uttering it in mind. He who is daily devoted to uttering the Praṇava in secret, attains the highest siddhi (miraculous power).

7. There is no mantra superior to the Praṇava, O, Pitāmaha. The Oṃkāra in Praṇava is of three mātras (short vowel lengths); while the makāra in it, is half a mātrā.

8. The seeds (bīja) of mantras, other than Praṇava are regarded as various. After the it is laid down that namaskāra should follow (the word namaḥ) in all mantras.

9. After namaskāra, know that the term parā should follow. The next half śloka is corrupt.

10. Make the name coupled with Satvayoni, Rajoyoni and Tamoyoni, take the dative plural affix, and join it to the term parā, with a similar termination.

11. The first and the eleventh vowels (a and ai) coupled with bindu (ru) and Visarga (:) together with la constitute the five bījas of the five Śaktis beginning Jyeṣṭa.[1]

12-13, The third and the fifth vowels together with the 12th and the 14th and la-kāra are regarded as the five of the five Śaktis beginning Vāgiśvarī.[2] The five vowels beginning with the sixth form similarly the five bījas of Śaktis beginning Mohini.[3]

14.-15. The names of all these are as they were given them at their creation. The ma-kāra is in the form of bīja (o) in all other sound-combinations just as breath is in the body O, Padmaja; dakāra is said to be the bīja of the guṇas. Regard it as the source (yoni) of the guṇas.

16. The bīja of Buddhi is ba-kāra, and its variation in the different forms of buddhi,then listen. For Dharma and other forms of buddhi.[4] (Sātvika form), the four letters beginning a form the bīja.[5]

17. The first half is corruptMa-kāra forms the bīja of the Ahaṅkāras. In its variations the vowels other than guṇa (9 vowels excluding a, e, o).

18. Pakāra is the bīja of manas (mind), and is the name of Saṃkalpa (wish); hakāra is the bīja of Kālaha with visarga (:) is digbīja, (bīja of direction or space),

19. The five letters beginning na form the bīja of the five tanmātras beginning with Śabda;[6] for the five buddhi indriyas five letters beginning ṇa (karmendriyas)[7] and for the other indriyas the five beginning with ta.

20. O, Padmaja, the bīja for the five bhūtas[8] are the five letters beginning ñ. The names of these are those given at creation.

21. For Vāsudeva and others let those well advanced in the Pāñcarātra make the bījā-akṣaras based on the combination of guṇas and śaktis.

22. These are to be placed in order in the outer enclosure. For the construction of the Cakramaṇḍala (the circle of the mystic figure), I shall then expound the cakra-mantra.

23-25. The bīja of the axis is cakāra and is placed in the middle of the circle. The bīja of time, ha however, in combination with the twelve vowels (svaraḥ) become the bīja of the signs of the zodiac beginning Meṣa (Aries), and are put in the place of the spokes. To the left and the right of the rāśis (zodiacal signs), the bījas of the tithis (lunar days) are in order the consonants up to the letter Sa. They are respectively considered Śukla (bright) and Kṛṣṇa (dark) in two parts.

26. For the bright fortnight take the first fifteen letters in order with a terminal bindu (anusvāra); for the dark make the terminal visarga (:). Nakṣātras beginning with Aries, and in order, have for their bīja letters from ra onwards to ka.

27. It is said these begin with Aśvayuk, and are placed in the middle of the spokes. The Grahas (planets) are to be understood as having these bīja beginning with and counted in reverse order down to Ma.

28. By virtue of the position of Rāhu and Ketu the seven Grahas (Planets) take their position tortuously each in its own house of the zodiac. The first short vowels (3) are

29. Sa-kāra and Ma-kāra are the bījas of the two halves of the felly. The bījas of the tattvas have already been detailed in full.

30. These are said to be chakra mantra for the making of the chakra in due form. Hear now the bījas of the six organs and their names in order.

31. The guṇa vowels (a, e, o) together with ai, the visarga (:) and bindu (.) joined on to the syllable ha are said to form the bījas of the six aṅgas (organs).

32. The heart, the head, the tuft, and the body (kavaca), the arms (astra) and the eye (netra)—these are the appointed six organs, O, Padmaja.

53. The six-organs-placing (Ṣaḍaṅga-nyāsa) ought to be made daily whenever one’s own protection is requisite, at the beginning of the worship in the morning and the evening, while going to bed and after food.

34. When you get rid of contact pollution of a woman in her courses, when you wish to purify a place, when you take up weapons of war the Śastra-mantrais prescribed.

35. When one sprinkles oneself with water, when one circumambulates God, when the communion prayer is offered during morning and evening worship, the mantra of the directions) is prescribed.

36. By the incantation of Bhūta-mantra (mantra of the elements) bring the elements under your control. By daily incantation of Kāla-maṇṭra (mantra of time) one gains length of life.

37-39. By incantation of Prakṛti-mantra one gains perpetual health. By constant incantation of the mantra of Vāsudeva and others (vyūhas) a man gains fulfilment of Dharma, etc. [Dharma; (righteousness), Jñana (wisdom), Vairāgya (non-desire), and Aiśvarya (lordly power)]. One desiring emancipation must mutter daily the eight syllables or the twelve with his senses under control, and bring it to completion with the Praṇava at the end. One desirous of other wordly ends need not bring his incantation to an end with the Praṇava.

40-41 In miking fire offerings all the mantras conclude with the term Svāha. Being pure of life and living on milk, barley, corn or what is gained by begging, whether it be leaves or fruits, gain the mantra desired, by practice at the holy junction of rivers, hills or temples.

42. first worship God, and then make your daily incantation, one thousand, ten thousand, one lak, or, the best of all, twelve laks of times.

43-44 By japa (incantation) one attains mastery of the mantras, but the wished for result can be gained by homa (fire offering). Samid (sticks of wood), ghee, fruits, lotus-petals, havis (cooked food), these should be offered into the fire daily for gaining the benefit if one is desirous of material benefit. For large benefits, the fire offering should continue for long; for small, only for a short time.

45. When one’s object has been attained, a wise man would continue to do the worship mentally. The supreme Being should not be invoked for worship to be offered for a short time.

46. A Vaiṣṇava should never invoke the aid of God to get rid of suffering caused by others, as, for a worshipper of Viṣṇu, such calamities destroy themselves.

47-49A. Even to one who does not wish for anything, prosperity or wealth is ever on the increase. Even one who wishes to gain an object gains that object for certain by offering worship to the Supreme God giving up that actual purpose. One who worships Him with great effort after expressing his desire ‘Give me this’, he is far from pleased, even though his desire be granted by Govinda.

49-51. If a Vaiṣṇava still cherishes a desire to achieve an attainable object, on such occasions let him offer worship to one of the attendents of that God. The great wheel with 12 spokes, glorious as the Sun, well made with nave and fellows, should be worshipped for gaining a kingdom. Hum is its bīja and its name Sudarśana.

52. Worship the great conch, Pāñcajanya, if you desire fame. Śaṃ is its bīja, its devatā (deity) is Śabdapūrṇā.

53-54. For causing trouble to your enemy, worship the (mace) as one who destroys, who is angry and whom it is not possible to overcome by Suras and Asuras (gods of war and demons). Ṣaḍ is its bīja. A woman in form is its deity whose names are Kṛtyā and Durgā, O, Pitāmaha (Brahman)

55. If wealth is the object desired, worship with devotion the Supreme One as Vaiśravaṇa. His bīja is Kaṃ; by him that wished for object will be obtained.

56. One wishing to enjoy greatness should worship Fire every day. His bīja is ga; its nakṣatra (asterism) Kṛttikā.

57-59. O Pitāmaha, worship in particular tithis (days) and yogas (junctions) are also as described. It is with this object that I explained to you, and for the benefit of worshippers, a few of the Kāma-bījas (the origin of wishes). As wishes are so many it is not possible to go into elaborate details, even if both the teller and the hearer had really a hundred divine years. To all embodied beings all possible wishes are really desirable as is admitted generally.

60-61. By cherishing wishes one will gain nothing else. Therefore desire is of no benefit. Therefore make every effort to give up cherishing a wished-for desire. Render your service therefore unto God; by Him everything is attainable.

In the Parama Saṃhitā of the the Sixth chapter, entitled Mantra Kośā.

Footnotes and references:


Ch. II, 36.


Ch. II 37.


Ch. II 38.


Ch. II 43 (b)


Ch. II, 45.


Ch. II, 50-51.


Ch. II, 55B.


Ch. II 54.

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