[INDOLOGY] Question

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 00:39:05 UTC 2020

Dear Madhav,
I've been trying to find this out (especially about *k**ī**laka *for over
20 years.
1. Thomas Coburn in his book "Encountering The Goddess" note 27 to Chapter
6 says:
Ambika Datta UpAdhyAya observed that all mantras, Rg Vedic and other, have
placed over them a curse which renders their recitation ineffective until
it is removed with a kIlaka, a sort of "counter curse". An appropriate
kIlaka exists for every mantra.  The episode that appears here in the
kIlaka is clearly similar, but the restraint is placed on the mantra in
SaptazatI not as a curse, but to contain its overwhelming power.
2. The TAK entry for kIlaka is:

Au sens figuré, le *k**ī**laka *est un des éléments servant à caractériser

un mantra tantrique et qui, dans les rites, doivent être imposés,

par *ny**ā**sa**, en commençant par le ṛ*ṣ**i* (v. s.v. *rṣā**di**)*. Ce

*kī**laka *est conçu comme la pointe grâce à laquelle le mantra va

pouvoir se ficher dans la personne ou l’objet qu’il vise et donc

agir. Les manuels de rituel qui mentionnent le *k**ī**laka *le donnent

comme formé par un des éléments constitutifs (mot ou syllabe) du

mantra. Une telle mention ne paraît pas être très ancienne. [A.P.]

Le *k**ī**laka*, *PHA**Ṭ**􀄝****, du *sudar**ś**anasahasran**ā**mastotramah*
*ā**mantra *est

mentionné dans le Sudarśanasahasranāmastotra donné en appendice

de l’AhS (p. 617). [M.R.] Voir aussi TBhS, p. 170, citant un

texte non daté. La mention du *k**ī**laka *est courante à l’époque moderne.


3. Other than whats above.  The vague contradictory information that I've
received 15 0r 20 years (I no longer remember the sources)  is that it is
like a bolt of a lock or a door.  Some informants saying that repeating the
kIlaka bija syllable removes the pin of the lock or door releasing the
power of the mantra.  Other informants saying repeating the kIlaka bija
syllable puts the pin in the lock or door of the mantra to contain its
power so the repeater of the mantra isn't destroyed by the power of the

If you receive any information offlist please pass it on to me.

Harry Spier

On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:54 PM Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> What is the exact significance of the terms अर्गला and कीलक as they
> appear in qualifying several mantras, stotras etc?  I have seen these
> terms, but did not think further about them. Someone asked me this
> question, and I did not have an answer.
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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