A Bija-Akshara is a seed-letter and is a very powerful Mantra. Every Devata has his or her own Bija-Akshara. The greatest of all Bija-Aksharas is OM or Pranava. It is the symbol of the Paramatman Himself. OM contains within itself all the other Bija-Aksharas. There is no Mantra superior to OM. This triliteral sound is only an expression or manifestation of the highest primal Dhvani or vibration.
Generally a Bija-Mantra consists of a single letter but sometimes it constitutes several syllables. Some Bija-Mantras are made up of compound letters, such as the Mantra Hreem. Their meaning is subtle and mystical. The form of the Bija-Mantra is the form of the Devata signified by it.
The Bijas of the five elements, namely Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, are Ham, Yam, Ram, Vam and Lam respectively.
The meanings of a few Bija-Mantras are given as under :
OM consists of three letters: 'A', 'U' and 'M'. They signify the three states of consciousness, the entire existence. 'A' is the waking state or Virat and Visva. 'U' is the dreaming state of Hiranyagarbha and Taijasa. 'M' is the sleeping state or Isvara and Prajna.
In this Mantra, Ha is Siva and Au is Sadasiva. Lord Siva is worshipped with this mantra.
Here Da means Durga. U means to protect. This is the Mantra of Durga Mata.
Kalika Maa is worshipped with this mantra. Ka is Kali. Ra is Brahman. Ee is Mahamaya.
This is the Mantra of Mahamaya or Bhuvanesvari. Ha means Siva. Ra is Prakriti. Ee means Mahamaya. Nada is the mother of the universe. Bindu means the dispeller of sorrow.
This is the Mantra of Mahalakshmi. Sa is Mahalakshmi. Ra means wealth. Ee means satisfaction or contentment.
This is the Bija-Mantra of Sarasvati. Ai means Sarasvati.
This is the Kamabija. Ka means the Lord of desire (Kamadeva). Ka may also mean Krishna. La means Indra. Ee means contentment or satisfaction.
In this Mantra, Ha is Shiva. U is Bhairava.
This is the Ganesha-Bija. Ga means Ganesha.
This is a Mantra of Ganesha. Ga means Ganesha. La means that which pervades. Au means lustre or brilliance.
This is the Bija of Narasimha. Ksha is Narasimha. Ra is Brahma. Au means with teeth pointing upwards.
Vyaam is the Bija of Vyasa-Mantra
Brim and Raam
Brim is the bija of Brihaspati-Mantra and Raam of Rama-Mantra, The Bindu in all the above mantras means the dispeller of sorrow.
Sri-Vidya is the Mantra of Tripurasundari or Bhuvanesvari or Mahamaya. This is a very powerful Mantra and, when it is not properly repeated, it may harm the Upasaka. So it is imperative that it should be got directly from a Guru who has got Siddhi of this Mantra.
The Bija-Mantras and the Sri-Vidya should not be chanted by those who are not well acquainted with them. Only those who have a very good knowledge of the Sanskrit language and/or who have been directly initiated by a Guru (who has Mantra-Siddhi) can take up the Japa of Bija-Mantras and the Sri-Vidya.
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