mantra zAstra

Harry Spier harryspier at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 2 21:19:37 UTC 1999

Many of the stotras/mantric texts that are chanted as part of a religeous
practice have a formula at the beginning somewhat similar to:

BBBBB chandas
CCCCC devatA
EEEEE zaktiH
FFFFF kIlakam

Where AAAAA is the RSiH, BBBBB the meter, CCCCC the deity etc.  Sometimes
all these elements are present, sometimes others such as "astra, argalA,
kavaca" are present, and sometimes not all are present. I have seen stotras
where the bIja, zakti, and kIlaka refer to bIja mantras not present in the
text, and in other stotras they refer to words or phrases within the stotra
itself.  In the case of the "DevImAhAtmya" as pointed out by Thomas B.
Coburn in "Encountering the Goddess" the kavaca, argalA and kIlaka are
complete angas to the text.

I am looking for any references [both from within the tradition (i.e.
commentaries, puranic passages, texts etc.) or from without (i.e. scholastic
studies, articles etc.)] that discuss the relationship between bIja, zakti,
kIlaka, kavaca etc. and the mantras/text being recited.

Thanks in advance,


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