by Trilia Chen, MA
Telugu makes up some of the mantras in the healing and spiritual practices found in the palm leaf manuscripts of India. The mantras may consist of Telugu and Sanskrit words and sentences. The mantras may also include specific sequences of Telugu letters or even just one letter that does not have any known definition. The Telugu letters in these mantras are also known as “bijaksharas” and when strung in specific formulas, act like a password or PIN code to connect to specific energy channels. By chanting these bijaksharas out loud or silently, one can open up a channel to the cosmic to either pull energy to oneself or release energy back to the source. Through following the manuscript instructions in chanting these mantras in a specific way with an open heart and clear intentions or prayers, one can affect the creation by generating - bringing forth something new, operating - changing something in existence, or destroying – removing something from existence. For example, mantras can be utilized to bring necessary prosperity, into one's life, to switch a negative situation into a positive one, or to remove an illness.
Bijakshara is also defined as a “seed sound.” Sri Kaleshwar (1973 - 2012), a modern day saint, often used the seed as an analogy to describe a bijakshara. A seed, when planted and properly cared for with the right amount of water, sun, nutrients, and air, will begin to sprout and grow into a plant. How amazing that a seed can potentially produce a huge mango tree that will again produce more fruits with more seeds! How does that tree come out of that seed? The bijakshara acts like a seed, when cared for through a dedicated practice that includes utilizing mantras under sometimes very specific conditions, will grow into something amazing that will bear fruit and more seeds with more creative potential. Working with the mantras and energy channels from the palm leaf manuscripts is like planting a seed into a human soul and caring for that seed in a beautiful way. That fledgling human soul can grow into a beautiful mature soul capable of so much magnificence.
Telugu words and bijaksharas are the sounds of nature. The mantra practices from the palm leaf manuscripts are very connected to nature. In the Five Elements practice, one meditates with these mantras while directly connecting with nature's elements of earth, fire, sky, water, and air. The instructions for certain mantra prayers including connecting to nature at specific times of day such as at dawn or dusk or by being under the moon during its new and full moon cycles. The energies available during certain times of day or certain times in the lunar cycle effects nature and humans alike. The mantras can be done in water to integrate the water's capacity to wash not only our physical bodies but also negative energy and therefore helps to relieve stress and pain. Mantras can also be intensified through the burning and transformative energy of fire by looking directly at the fire while chanting. These are some examples of the interconnectedness of the Telugu mantras with nature.
volunteers at the Recovery Cafe in Seattle. She teaches meditation practices to members of the Cafe who are recovering from addiction. She began studying the ancient knowledge in 2000 and traveled regularly to India to study with Sri Kaleshwar for eight years. She holds a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University and has worked extensively in environmental research and education.