Mantra

 

1.     The divine sound of the cosmos, sometimes a single sound, sometimes a phrase

a.     A beginning-less sound, uncreated, eternal

b.     One doesn’t produce it so much as tap into it

2.     RIG VEDA (EARLY) VEDA

a.     The divine word, emanates from the eternal source of all thing

b.     Rishis and the shruti texts (“heard, revealed”)

                                                 i.      Earliest Veda: Mantra as prayer to the gods

                                               ii.      Later (but pre-Upanishads): Mantra has an effect on the cosmos – an order with which the mantra is in tune.  Chanting the mantras (from the Samhtias) helps bring about cosmic order

c.      Example: Gayatri Mantra (see Coward)

3.     UPANISHADS

a.     Mantra brings about the illumination of consciousness – yoking the self to the infinite

b.     Example: Aum

4.     AESTHETIC

a.     Reliefs emerging from undifferentiated stone

b.     Sitar emerging from the drone of the Tanpura