About Kundalini Washishtha says: ‘Within the tender plantain bud (muladhara), situated in the sushumna, lies that Supreme Shakti (power) having lightning-like splendour and speed. That power is called Kundali, because she is coiled. She is the Supreme Power lying in all beings and the source of all forms of energy. The pranic functions are due to that coiled power, but when she is aroused pranas cease to function. . . . She is the seed of all consciousness
Mantra Suprasound Power
We are living in a world of sounds. As fish move through water, we move through sounds. Sounds are producing very many kinds of impressions on us. Some sounds are agreeable, others are annoying; some are sweet, others are harsh.
Sounds are produced in nature—thunder in the sky, sounds from storm, from rainfall, breaking of the waves in the ocean, flowing of rivers; and innumerable other sounds occurring in nature.
There are also the sounds made by birds and other creatures; the sounds of the human voice—language, even sounds within our bodies. Then, there are artificially created sounds—from planes, trains, cars, and machines.
We hear all these, but we do not hear mantra-sounds amidst them. Is it because these sounds destroy the mantra-sounds? If we go to a lonely place—a mountainous region, a deep forest, or some very solitary place where all these sounds are absent, and we feel calmness there, do we hear the mantra-sounds?
No, we do not. Are we then to conclude that the mantra-sounds are merely a fiction? No, this is not the case. The human ear is only able to perceive sounds of certain frequencies, beyond that it cannot go. Therefore, because of these limitations the human ear cannot be taken as a criterion of the authenticity of the mantra-sounds. Yogis say that the mantra-sounds are heard by a ‘perfect ear’.
They also say that the ‘perfect ear’ develops when senseconsciousness is transformed into nonundulatory, one-pointed consciousness by the process of concentration. When concentration becomes so deep that it continues without any interruption at any point and, finally, the sense-objects and the everyday I-ness vanish from the conscious field; and a `super-I’ is awakened, the mantra-sounds arise and are ‘heard’. If we accept the experiences of the yogis as facts, then we have to accept that sounds exist in three forms—audible, inaudible and audible in concentration. But this simple statement does not explain the sound phenomenon; it requires further clarification.
Sound is regarded as a disturbance or wave, produced by a vibrating object in a material medium, usually air, in which one molecule, when it collides with another, transmits sound. In this manner, the sound waves travel in the air, at an approximate speed of 1100 feet per second, and are perceived by the auditory mechanism as sound.
The transmission of sound waves through the external aspect of the auditory system occurs in this way: The sound waves are collected by the external ear and are transmitted through the external auditory meatus to the tympanic membrane, and thence through the ossicles to the cochlea of the inner ear where the auditory receptors are located. Sound vibrations are converted into nerve impulses in the cochlea, and pass as waves of electrical negativity along the acoustic nerve to the temporal cortex. The capacity of the human ear to receive sound vibrations is limited.
Out of practically an infinite range of vibrations occurring in nature, the human ear perceives sounds only from 16 to 20,000 complete vibrations per second. Below 16, only discontinuous pulsations are perceived and above 20,000 nothing is heard. But there are some animals, especially bats and dogs, who are able to perceive sounds of frequencies higher than 20,000. The brain is not the seat of consciousness, nor do brain functions effect consciousness.
The brain is a quantity of matter consisting of molecules, atoms and elementary particles, where no trace of consciousness is found. But when it is vitalized by the functioning of bioenergies, it becomes a highly sensitized instrument for the operation of consciousness. Neural-neuronal impulses, which are electrical by nature, are converted into a nonmaterial force—the wayu-energy—at a certain area of the brain and are conveyed to the sense-centres and then through the ida-path to the sensemind.
The sensemind finally radiates it to the senseconsciousness where it develops into a conscious form and the ‘I’ feels it as a sensory object. In this way sound is experienced. This is the internal aspect of the auditory system. That this aspect is not merely a fanciful appendage, but a more intrinsic part of sensory phenomena is indicated by the following facts. The sensemind, elevated to the Dhi level, is able to perceive a sensory object directly without using the external sensory mechanism. There are many instances of this. Moreover, in pratyahara (sensory control), all sensory impulses are normally stopped and none of them penetrate into senseconsciousness.
The external mechanism remains intact, only the connection is severed, Sense factors from the outer world may penetrate through the nervous paths and reach the brain, but no sensory perception is experienced in this state. Let us now return to the consideration of sound.
The Sound Phenomenon
A vibrating object emits vibrations which in turn set up vibrations—waves of sound—in the surrounding air. The range of air-vibrations is wide. But only a limited number of air-vibrations (10 or 11 octaves) can produce vibrations in the mechanism of the human ear; the other vibrations do not affect it. These vibrations are transformed into nerve impulses in the cochlea and pass through the acoustic nerve to the cerebral cortex and thence to a certain area of the brain.
Thereafter we experience a conscious sound form—the perception of sound—in the senseconsciousness through a complex power-line system in which sensemind plays a dominant role. An object, when vibrating, produces sound waves in the air. But when the object is not vibrating it cannot emit any sound. This indicates that an object in a quiescent state ceases to emit sound.
This can be interpreted to mean that the sound power is inherent in an object and remains in it in a latent form; when an object is made to vibrate by striking, the latent sound power becomes sound vibrations. Or, sound vibrations are simply a gross manifestation of subtle vibrations of sound which are not registered in a material medium. Our recognition of an external world is essentially due to sense-impressions radiating to our consciousness. We know the objective world mainly through our senses.
Objects which were outside consciousness penetrate through the sensory channels into it, where they develop into conscious images. The senses of smell, taste, and touch operate when they are in direct contact with objects.
The sense of hearing is activated by the sound waves in the air, and sight is due to light falling on the retina from the objects in the environment. Knowledge of an external world, acquired sensorially, is incomplete and only meaningful in a desire-bound existence. The senses are limited in their power. First of all, they cannot receive any impressions from the outer world if these fall below the threshold of sensation. This refers to both size and distance.
The perception of smell is not effected by a single molecule of a fragrant object or the perception of taste by a single molecule of sugar, we can neither hear nor see, if the objects are situated at a far distance. We also fail to establish sensory contact with an obscured object. These are the limitations of our senses. These limitations can be overcome to a certain degree by extending the range of our senses with the help of supersensitive instruments. We have been able to see objects very far from us with the aid of a telescope, to see minute objects through a microscope, and to see what is obscured by X-rays. But scientific instruments have also their limits.
The objective world appears to be larger and more complex than what we experience through our senses even when their range is greatly extended by the use of instruments. So, our knowledge of the outer world is restricted because of the sensory limitations. When ‘seeing’ through the senses, objects appear to be linked with space-time. Perhaps this incomplete seeing gives rise to space-time phenomena. A material object can be seen in three dimensions in space.
There is no possibility of the senses receiving any impressions of more than three dimensions. In our seeing of objects, time also becomes a factor. The space factor appears to arise in our ‘seeing’ the outer world through the senses. The material objects are seen in space, at rest or in motion. Space is that which affords the possibility of the existence of material objects to be perceived by us.
But consciousness, in which the images of the objects are formed and apprehended, does not know space, It has no length, breadth or thickness; it cannot be measured quantitatively; it is not located in space. But images in consciousness are seen in space. The time factor operates both in consciousness and with regard to objects outside consciousness. Time indicates changes which the object of the outer world are undergoing constantly.
Some changes are very rapid, some are slow. The influence of time on consciousness is not exactly like that exerted on material objects. The changes which are going on in consciousness can only be assessed by the rising and disappearing of the writtis (images in consciousness) in succession. So, the influence of time on consciousness is not exactly on consciousness, but on the writti-flows; on the other hand, time puts permanent marks on the material objects.
Space exists in relation to objects. Space by itself amounts to nothing. Space forms a part of the knowledge of an object. But without this objective knowledge space is zero. Time is also a factor in objective knowledge. Time by itself if interpreted as that moment when there are no forms in consciousness, is also zero. So, the space-time phenomenon is a relative truth, only applicable when the objective forms flow in consciousness. How does the writti-consciousness arise?
It is a mode of our being and is maintained by sense-functioning. Sense-impressions originate not in the senses but in events in matter. These impressions are received by the senses and are transformed into sensory impulses which are conducted to the cerebral cortex and thence to a certain area of the brain, where they are converted into matterfree energy and passes the body-mind bridge and reaches consciousness where objective knowledge develops. This consciousness is china—senseconsciousness.
The sensory knowledge, as writtis, is continually flowing in senseconsciousness. The writtis flow in succession, and may be termed—writti 1, writti 2, 3, 4, etc.
The duration of one writti at a time in consciousness is generally short and the continuous flow causes an undulatory form of consciousness. When writti 1 flows in consciousness, the knowledge of writti 1 arises, and this knowledge is only of that particular writti. When writti 2 comes, writti 1 has been obliterated from consciousness, and the knowledge of only writti 2 shines forth in consciousness.
This indicates that only one writti and its knowledge is possible at one time. But as the writtis flow in succession, our knowledge pattern is also in the nature of flowing, consisting of many forms. Usually our thoughts are composed of many forms fused together to constitute a more complete knowledge of certain things. However, connected with the writtis or ‘knowledges’ is an entity which knows what is flowing in consciousness as writtis. In fact a writti is a form of knowledge due to the knowingness of that entity. If the knower disappears, writtis or `knowledges’ disappear.
This entity, which establishes a conscious relation with objective images in consciousness, becomes the knower of the objects. This knowingness presents three facts: an objective form in consciousness, a conscious exposition of that object, and the presence of something which exhibits its quality as selfhood. This gives rise to the phenomenon of I-ness expressing ‘I am this, I am that’ feelings. This is abhimana (I-feeling). These feelings are intrinsically associated with I-ness.
All these feelings originate from and are supported by the I-ness in relation to objective images. There are three main forms of these feelings: I as knower, I as doer, and I as supporter (as of the body). Sensory perception is the basic knowledge pattern appearing as `I know this object, that object’, etc. This may be associated with thoughts, feelings or volition. There is another aspect of ‘I’ which is expressed on rare occasions. ‘I’ has the possibilities of knowing, thinking and doing unusual things which are not possible at the sensory level.
This phenomenon is due to a conscious contact between ‘I’ and some post-conscious impressions (sangskaras) stored in the nonconscious aspect of mind, called hridaya. In fact, all knowledge, thoughts, actions and feelings which have been experienced by the ‘I’ are transformed into post-conscious impressions and stored in hridaya, and can be brought back to consciousness by memory. However, the ‘I’ which knows what is arising in consciousness remains always in the same form and maintains its I-ness in all experiences. So, the objective forms are multifarious and transitory, whereas the I-ness is unchanging and stable. Does the complete picture of the outer world penetrate into consciousness through the sensory channels? It is only a part—a superficial layer—that known through the senses. We know the solidity, liquidity, luminosity and airiness of matter. We experience the material world in smell, taste, colour, touch, and sound forms. But all these are in the superficial stratum. Material substance is reducible to molecules, molecules to atoms, and atoms to elementary particles, such as electrons, protons, etc. It is now considered that the particles are the ultimate constituents of matter.
However, in addition to the particles, there is also energy in matter. Energy may exist either in association with matter, or may make itself free from matter to become radiation. These particles are considered to be exceedingly small, indivisible and ultimate units of matter. But these particles are not minute pieces of hard matter of permanent size. They have two aspects—particles and waves. Electrons, which are negatively charged particles, and protons, the positively charged particles—both may appear as particles at one moment and as waves at another. Both particles and waves appear to be the same thing, or two aspects of the same thing. Have we any direct experience of all these phenomena in relation to matter?
No, they are beyond our senses, and also beyond the reach of the sensitive instruments. How then are they known? They are known indirectly from the experimental evidence obtained in laboratories and by the mathematical interpretation of the results of these experiments. In other words, it is an intellectual interpretation in which inference plays an important role, and which is based on knowledge acquired through the senses, instrumental observations, and other experimental evidence.
However, what escapes our observation is that the energy which is active in the superficial material field is continuous with that subtle energy system which is operative in the substratum where our senses do not reach, into which material instruments do not penetrate, and which our Intellect does not grasp. This substratum is the subtle powerfield over which is superimposed the gross material field. The subtle power operation is the basic part which sustains matter.
Mainly two kinds of forces are active in the powerfield: mahabhuta (metamatter) as forces and pranic forces. There are five mahabhuta forces and five pranic forces. Mahabuta forces are reducible to highly concentrated sense forces, termed tanmatras, or tanons. The tanons are intrinsically associated with the phenomenon of the emission of lifeful ultraminisound—Swanana, or Swanon. Swanana is derived from swana, meaning sound, to which is suffixed ana, meaning life. Swann is the abbreviated form of Swanana. Swanon is the germmantra. Metamatter forces in combination with pranic forces constitute a subtle energy organization, arranged in five levels. They are:
1 Smell-energy organization, in which the fundamental aspect is the ‘earth’ metamatter which assumes a particular form and around which is a circular wave-motion. When the earth metamaner is reduced to its smell tanon, it emits a specific swanon.
2 Taste-energy organization, containing ‘water’ metamaner, a circular wave-motion and the taste tanon, emitting a specific swanon.
3 Sight-energy organization, containing ‘fire’ metamatter, a circular wave-motion and the sight tanon, emitting a specific swanon.
4 Touch-energy organization, containing ‘air’ metamatter, a circular wave-motion around it, and the touch tanon, emitting a specific swanon.
5 Sound-energy organization, containing ‘void’ metamaner, a circular wave-motion around it, and the sound tanon, emitting a specific swanon.
The sound tanon (shabda tanmatra) is the subtlest and perfect form of sound which can be ‘heard’ only by a perfect ear. It is here where swanons are formed. The sound swanon becomes transformed into the radiant (pashyanti) sound beyond the sound tanon level, and finally into sound-principle (pars shabda).
Four Forms of Sound
Sound exists in four forms. It has been stated: ‘Sound is in four forms; the Brahmanas (the seers of Shabdabrahman) who have controlled their minds fully, know these four forms. Of these, the first three are hidden and unknown; the fourth form of sound is used by human beings’ (—Rigwedasanghita, 22.214.171.124).
The four forms of sound are Para (supreme), Pashyanti (radiant), Madhyama (subliminal) and Waikhari (acoustic). The human beings hear only a part of acoustic sounds. The yogis ‘hear’ the other three forms in samadhi. About the four forms of sound it has been stated: ‘Sound is about to sprout in pars (supreme) form; it becomes two-leafed (that is first manifested) in pashyanti (radiant) form; it buds in the madhyama (subliminal) form; and it blooms in the Waikhari (acoustic) form. Sound which has been developed in the above-mentioned manner, will become unmanifested, when the order is reversed’ (—Yogakundalyupanishad, 3.18-19). Here, the stages of development of sound, from the supreme form to the acoustic form, and in reverse order, have been described. Maheshwara said: ‘What is called Shabdabrahman, the nature of which is nada (causal or unmanifest sound), is an aspect of Supreme Infinite Being.
Shabdabrahman as shakti (power) is in the form of bindu (supremely concentrated conscious power), and being in muladhara that shakti becomes Kundalini. From that arises nada (sound), like a sprout from a minute seed, called pashyanti by means of which the yogis see the universe. In the region of the heart (that is, in anahata), it becomes more pronounced, resembling thunder in the atmosphere. It is called madhyama. Again it (madhyama) becomes swara (voice) by the expiratory help and this is called waikhari’ (— Yogashilthopanishad, 3.2-5).
It has been disclosed above that Shabdabrahman is the source of sound. Shabdabrahman is in the form of sound which is unmanifest. So it is called para. The power in Shabdabrahman is bindu, from which issued the universe that is in the nature of pranawa (the first manifested sound).
The cosmic bindu in an individual being resides in muladhara as Kulakundalini who is the source of all sounds. From Kundalini arises pashyanti nada. Pashyanti becomes more pronounced and particularized in anahata and is called madhyama. The madhyama sound is expressed as voice, and this is waikhari. This Waidika exposition of sound has been adopted in the Tantras with explanations in greater detail.
Shiwa says: ‘The source of nada (sound) which is called para (causal) arises in muladhara; that sound being in swadhishthana, becomes manifested and is called pashyanti that sound going up to anahata, becomes reflected in the conscious principle and is called madhyama; then going upwards in wishuddha in the region of the neck, by the instrumentation of the larynx, palate, the root and tip of the tongue, teeth, lips and nasal cavities . . . it becomes waikhari’ (—Tantrarajatantra, 26.5-9). Further, ‘That eternal Kundalini in her Shabdabrahman aspect is the source of power in which is dhwani (power as supremely rarefied sound) that develops as nada (sound), then nirodhika (fire-energy expressed in control), ardhendu (the crescent moon), bindu (point) and para (supreme); and from para arise pashyanti, madhyama and waikhari sounds’ (—Sharadatilalcatantra, 1.108-9).
Kundalini as Shabdabrahman is endowed with power which is in the nature of sound-substance, having the possibility of developing as sound-power (nada), which is associated with fire-energy in the form of control-power, that is, higher spiritual energy. The sound-power assumes a semilunar shape with which is connected concentrated divine power-consciousness. This is the latent sound which is unmanifest. This is para sound. From para arises pashyanti, and then madhyama and finally waikhari.
Kundalini has two aspects—supreme and sound. In her highest aspect Kundalini, as Supreme Kundalini (Mahakundalini), is united with Supreme Consciousness and is one with that. At this level there is a complete absence of sound in any form—ashabda (non-sound). Kundalini in this aspect is Infinite Supreme Consciousness, having no attributes. But in her specific powerfulness, Supreme Power is able to produce a power phenomenon from which emerges the universe of mind and matter.
At this stage Kundalini is Shabdabrahman and her power is in the nature of sound-substance (dhwani). Sound-substance is not manifested sound, it is the life-energy principle (prana) which creates and operates in what has been created. This living sound-power is the causal sound and is called para-sound. Supreme Brahman appears as Shabdabrahman when Supreme Power, which is one and the same with Brahman as Mahakundalini, ‘wills’ to express the kinetic counterpart of the static quiescent eternal reality. This aspect of Brahman is called Shabdabrahman, because the power which is going to be expressed is in the nature of nada—a phenomenon in which willing is imbued with effectivity in the form of pre-sound which becomes Supreme Bindu—the supremely concentrated power. The concentration is such as is fully ready to actualize the ‘willing’ of Supreme Power in her purely power aspect. This concentrated power is Bindu, because it is non-magnitudinous and non-positional power, which, when magnified, appears as splendorous and permeated with sonority without manifested sound.
This power is Kundalini; as Shabdabrahman.
Here lies the principle of sound—sound unmanifested and undifferentiated but power in maximum concentration and in the nature of sound-substance. This power-sound is pars-sound. In Shabdabrahman there is an arrangement in a latent phase, termed kamakala —the principle of the actualization of the power as sound. Supreme Bindu (supreme power-concentration) before the manifestation of creative power assumes a threefold character—the three specific power-points (bindus), termed bindu (second) (consciousness-point), nada (sound-radiating energy-point), and bija (sound-specificality-point), which constitute a triangular process. Each power-point emits a number of sound-potentials–the would-be sound units—arranged in a line, and the three lines form the triangle. All these are in a latent phase and unmanifest. This triangular process is kamakala (triangular process of power-points).
At a certain point of concentration of energy, Supreme Bindu bursts, as it were, and a great concentrated power in the form of sound emanates. This power-sound is Pranawa Nada and is ‘heard’ by the yogis in concentration. The power aspect is concentrated prana-energy from which the name pranawa is derived.
The prana-energy in motion creates a series of force-motion-lines, consisting of four phases.
On its first emergence from Supreme Bindu it creates ‘A’ line—the A-phase—which is transformed into ‘U’ line, called U-phase. It is then changed into ‘M’ line—the M-phase. Finally, it assumes ‘0’ (Tantrika letter 0)-shaped line in which ‘M’ is changed into nadabindu and ‘0’ becomes the bija to form ong, as it is ‘seen’ by the yogis in concentration. In this power-form the sound factor is inseparable. The power is sound and the sound is power. This is the first manifested power-sound phenomenon—pranawa.
This is called pashyanti-sound —the first manifested radiant sound. Pranawa is the first manifestation of pars-sound : Para-sound is the source of pranawa. So, pranawa is the first manifested sound. From this arise all forms of sounds mantras, Weda, language and all other sounds. All sounds are finally absorbed in pranawa and pranawa into pare-sound. Para-sound is Shabdabrahman. Pranawa is a complex organization of powers in which a basic power supports varinisc powers. The prana-fnrre, which is in mntinn in Pranawa, makes the three bindus (power-points), which are in a latent form in kamakala, operate, and the sound-potentials begin to be actualized as matrika-wama (soundunits). In Supreme Bindu, which is consciousness-power reality, there are concidynamism potentials in a massive concentrated state, that now begin to develop. The consciousness factor arises from Kundalini and power from Prana.
Of the three bindus (power-points), nada is the centre of pranic force, which is the fundamental sound-factor and from which occurs an emission of a super-refined ray (rashmi) of red colour. This is termed Rajasguna (primary energy-principle). The red-power at the bindu becomes yellow radiant conscidynamism, termed Sattwaguna (primary sentience-principle). The sound factor of the redray becomes a specific sound at the bija. The red-power is changed here into black-power which is termed Tamas-guna (primary inertia-principle). The red-ray emission creates a red-line—rajas-line, which releases sixteen soundunits.
In a similar manner, yellow and black-lines are created, and are called sattwa-and tamaslines respectively. From each of them sixteen soundunits are released. These three lines form and equilateral triangle standing on its apex. The left side of the triangle is the red-line, the base is the yellow-line, and the right side is the black-line. These three lines are the three forms of power, termed Wama, Jyeshtha and Roudri. Wama is the red-line and consists of sixteen soundunits from a to ah; Jyeshtha is the yellow-line, consisting of sixteen soundunits from Ka to Ta; and Roudri is the black-line, consisting of sixteen soundunits, from Tha to Sa. In the three angles of the triangle are three soundunits, named Ha, between the red-line and the yellow line, Ksha, between yellow-line and black-line, and La (Rhha) at the apex within the triangle between the black-line and red-line. Ha is the moon-point, Ksha is the sun-point, and La is the fire-point Wama-power is associated with the Brahma-Consciousness; Jyeshtha with Wishnu, and Roudri with Rudra. The red-energy in the yellow field creates mind and senses, and in the black field it creates tanmauas and mahabhutas. Soundunits operate in Madhyama-sound.
The emerged prana-force begins to throb in pranawa in its characteristic manner, causing to be emitted what is called pranawa sound. The sound-motion is in the nature of what has been termed samanya spanda—basic infinitesimal motion almost uniform in character, which shows insignificant change in form. It is more quiescent than motional. It is the motional totality without having any specificality. The prana-throbbing and sound-motion are the same thing, or two aspects of the same thing. Sound is the exact nature of throbbing prana. The manifestation of prana-force is in the nature of sound. Sound is the mode of apprehension of power which is in motion. The sound pattern of the motion is Ong—the pashyanti-sound. Ong is the whole sound. Sound is also the mode—the only mode—of the uncoiling of the coiled power.
The pranawa power-sound-motion changes from its vast and vague character to a dearly defined specific pattern in which limitedness and changeableness are more and more marked. The one pranawa-sound now becomes many particularized sounds. Hence, they have been termed wishesha spanda—particularized motion. The singularity of sounds arises from the bija which is ‘0’, as there is only one sound which is Ong. Now the plurality of the bija develops. But the nadabindu factor of pranawa is retained, which becomes an intrinsic part of the newly developed bijas.
This manifold specialized sound phenomenon is madhyama-sound developed from pranawa. Pashyanti-sound becomes madhyama-sound. Pranawa is the original sound which is one and without parts and represents the manifested power as a whole. In detailed manifestation of power which occurs at the madhyama level, there is an expression of specialization and plurality. The original sound homogeneity existing in pranawa begins to change into sound heterogeneity existing in madhyama. Here matrika-wamas or matrika-amas (primary soundunits) come into being.
The word ‘matrika’ usually means mother, but here it is used in a technical sense. It stands for the wamas (particularized sound-forms) as a whole. Wama is usually translated as a letter of the alphabet But the technical meaning of it is a particular sound-form. There are fifty wamas or sound-forms.
Collectively, all fifty sound-forms are called matrika. So it is called a garland of fifty (male pafichashika). The fifty sound-forms are from a to Ksha The sound-forms from a to Ksha are collectively named Matrika. As there are fifty matrika letters from a to Ksha, matrika is also called fifty-matrikas (paiichashanmatrikah). These sound-forms (from a to Ksha) are the bijas, that is, specialized sounds. So it is stated: ‘a to Ksha sounds which are matrika are in the nature of bija’ (—Kamadhenutantra, ch. 1, p. 1).
These sound-forms are not lifeless letters; they are in the nature of consciousness and power. It is stated: ‘The wamas (letters) from a to Ksha are Shiwa (Consciousness) and Shakti (Power); these wamas are (Shabda-) Brahman and exist always’ (—Kankalamalinitantra, ch. 1, p. 1).
Matrika is living power and forms mantra. It has been stated: ‘Matrika is living power and in the form of mantra’ (—Kamadhenutantra, ch. 10, p. 12). Matrika is that power which leads to yoga. So it is stated: ‘These are matrika-wamas (letters) which are within the sushumna and are in the nature of yoga; without the help of akshara (letter) spiritual yoga is not attained’ (— Kamadhenutantra, ch. 12, p. 14). The matrika sound-forms are the detailed manifestation of pranawa-sound. It has been stated: ‘Fifty-matrikas arise from nada (here pranawa-sound) in a regular order’ (—Wishwasaratantra, ch. 1, p. 4). Matrika-power is Kundalini. It is stated: ‘The sound Ka is Kundali herself; Kundali is in the form of fifty-sounds matrika’ (—Gayatritantra, 3.148). Further, ‘Kundali is in the form of 50 sounds; she is nada and bindu; she is in the nature of consciousness; she is prakriti (primus)’ (—Gayatritantra, 3,132), and ‘Kundali who is in the form of fifty-sounds is eternal and the embodiment of highest spiritual knowledge.
The attainment of Supreme Brahman is only possible through her; she is Supreme Kundali’ (—Gayatritantra, 3.130). It has been stated: ‘The thread of what has been called a garland of fifty is in the nature of Power and Consciousness; Kundali-power (that is, the power in sound-forms) has (in this manner) been strung’ (—Shaktanandatarangini, 8.8). This matrika-garland is also called the garland of spiritual knowledge. So it is stated: ‘Fifty-matrika-power has been termed jiianarnala (a garland of spiritual knowledge)’ (—Gayatritantra, 3.149). Kundalini has two aspects: one is subtle which is beyond sound, and the other is the sound-form. There are fifty sounds and they are collectively called matrika. Sound is power. This power is in the nature of life-energy principle and manifest as sound. The sound-power is an aspect of Kundalini. Kundalini in her sound aspect is the principal Dewata (embodied divine consciousness) arising from appropriate mantra. The matrika-wamas are primary sound units. Matrika-sounds arise from Kundalini and are embedded in her. So, Kundalini is the root of matrika and in whom again matrika dissolves. After the dissolution of matrika into Kundalini, she remains in her subtle form.
Matrika-sounds are primary soundunits, and each unit exhibits a specific form of sound. A soundunit is composed of three fundamental parts: bija, nada and bindu. The bija part represents a specific sound of one kind, without being mixed with other sounds. Through the instrumentation of nada the bija-sound is rarefied, concentrated and conducted to bindu where the sound is transformed into spiritual consciousness. So a bija is always with nadabindu.
The bijas of matrika are fifty and therefore there are fifty forms of specialized sound. So, we have fifty primary soundunits. Matrika-sound can be classified into two groups : principal and subordinate. The principal sound-forms are endowed with powers to activate or inhibit the powers of the subordinate sound-forms and to make the subordinate forms operate and cooperate with them or other subordinate forms.
The subordinate matrika-sounds uncoil their powers with the help of the principal forms. The subordinate forms are able to exhibit great power when combined with appropriate principal matrika-sounds. The controlling mechanism lies mostly in principal forms. The subordinate forms cannot be successfully combined with each other without the help of the principal forms.
Principle soundunits are of two kinds—short and long. Short-power units inhibit the specific power of a subordinate soundunit at short intervals in order to activate the specific power of another subordinate unit. Long-power matrikaunits are able to activate a subordinate unit to its limit.
The combination of matrika units may be of the short-power type, the long-power type, or both types. In the short-power type, different units operate with short intervals between, and in the long-power type, the units operate at longer intervals. The nature of the combination of matrikaunits determines the nature of the specific sound-motion.