2012-08-24 15:20:56 UTC
1500 BCE, but 'bija' mantras came much latter, during the Gupta
Age in India, after the rise of the bhakti sects. Bija mantras
do not occur in the Vedas or in the Brahma Sutra.
At some point, we all are going to have to face the historical
facts: the bija mantras used in both Tantric Buddhism and in
Hindu Yoga are made-up sounds that are found in any common
household, heard around the house every day, or from the sounds
found in nature. Bija mantras are NOT revealed or cognized or
'seen' by the monad or by some mythical 'rishi'.
All mantric practices stem from the ancient shamnistic practice
of Oddiyana, that is Buddhists of Trans-Himalya, hence to
India. The Mantrayna was adopted, with modifications, by the
Shiva and Vaishanava sects as Hindu tantricism following the
For example, the bija mantra 'phat' is called the astra 'weapon'
bija used as an aggressive mantra from the earliest times. The
sound of phat, to the Indian ear, conveys the sensation of
According to Bharati, in Hindi, 'phat' is a very common
colloquial household term for 'burst, explode', in both
intransitive and transitive use, as in a two wheeled,
two-stroke, motorized rickshaw, thus a 'phata phata'!
"From this, a causative verb pharna is formed. The motor-cycle
rickshaw in Delhi is called 'phat phata' by its drivers; phatki
is a fire-cracker. Once a syllable like this has been accepted
into esoteric usage, analogous syllables will readily follow,
such as a nickname for God, as in Agnihotra, i.e. fire from the
root 'hot'. If the onomatopoetic datum can be linked with part
of a meaningful morpheme, a more complex mantra would grow of
their combination" (116).
Phat!: (pronounced 'fot') phoneme; Buddhist Hybrid-Sanskrit;
causative verb? 1. Crack! 2. Snap! 3. Pop! 4. Meaningless
sound. 5. Gibberish. 6. Bija mantra - sometimes referred to
as the weapon mantra also, in that, it destroys obstacles.
'The Tantric Tradition'
by Swami Ageananda Bharati
Subject: Its Not What You Think!
Thread: Phat! A magic word for protection?
Updated: August 26, 2003