THE GREATNESS OF "ARHAM"
Let the sound of 'Arham’ vibrate day and night
In the mind---in speech, in action and in thought!
The ‘A’ of Arham stands for Amrit—the water of life;
‘R’ represents the fire element; the aspirate.
Doth awake the vital force within; the nasal sound
With whatever it combines, raises its power!
Mere repetition of words, however profound,
Brings no lasting joy—a meaningless ritual!
Charged with passion and mindfulness
‘Arham’ sets right everything!
Q. In your book Preksha-Sangan, you started with the sound of 'Arham'. A preksha
dhyana sadhak also starts his practice with the recitation of 'Arham'. Do you
lay stress on the practice of japa along with meditation? What do you think of
Ans. There are two ways of achieving concentration of mind-japa (reiteration of
the deity's name) and dhyana (meditation). Man's mind is fickle. It does not
stay at any one point for long. Japa is used for concentrating the mind on one
object, which. otherwise is confounded by many objects. Japa is simpler and
easier than meditation. There is no special technique or practice required for
doing japa. Any man can control the mind's wanderings by means of recitation of
the deity's name. Many seed letters and incantatory terms are available for japa.
Among these, ‘Aum’, ‘harin’, ‘shrin’, ‘klin’, etc. are seed letters (special
vowels) and Arham, ‘ai’., ‘si’: ‘a’, ‘u’, ‘sa’ etc. are spell words. In the
Tantra-Shastra, the repetition of these has been portrayed in the form of verse
That the seed letters and spell words are invested with great power, is not
disputed. Because special kinds of sound-waves are produced by the articulation
of a word. These sound vibrations have a great impact upon the mind. This impact
can be good or bad. If an abusive word is hurled at an individual, he suddenly
gets excited. Similarly, the use of gentle words can turn an enemy into a
friend. Such incidents continually occur in a man's life. Being sensible of the
power of certain words, some people use. them deliberately to gain a particular
end. This leads to the conclusion that the sound vibrations have a direct impact
upon a man’s mind and conduct. In view of this, the question of denying the
importance of japa does not arise.
Among the incantations employed for japa, 'Arham' has a powerful spell. It is
made up of 'A', 'r', 'h' and the nasal 'um'. 'A' occupies an important position
in the alphabet at the head; the alphabet begins with 'A'. 'Aum' is a prominent
incantatory term, and the first letter of it is 'A'. In the Vedic literature 'A'
signifies Brahma, the Creator. Among creative elements, 'A' reigns supreme--its
addition increases the power of the spell.
The second letter of 'Arham’ is 'r', which signifies the fire element. It plays
an outstanding role in awakening the power of bio-electticity. With the
awakening of this power, all torpor ceases and the body throbs with a newfound
The third letter of 'Arham’ is the aspirate---‘h'; it awakens the life-force.
The incantation containing this letter grows very potent. In the Buddhist method
of meditation, the recitation of the seed letter, 'hun' is much prevalent. In
order to awaken the life-force this spell word is abundantly used—‘Hran’, ‘Hrin’,
‘Hru’, ‘Hron’, ‘Hram’, etc. are all made of the letters ‘h’ and ‘r’. Their
recitation produces a typical kind of sound vibrations. The importance of 'arham'
from the phonetic point of view is even greater than its structural importance.
The fourth letter of 'Arham' is the nasal dot. It has no independent existence,
but it increases the power of the letter with which it combines. The
pronunciation of 'Arha' lacks the harmonious rhythm which emanates from the
"Arham". The vibrations issuing from rhythmic harmony are more powerful; they
serve to awaken many centres of consciousness and kindle the life-force. In the
ancient literature dealing with incantation, there is detailed information
available about various incantatory spell words and their uses.
Q. Some people practise the recitation of ‘Arham’ with colours. Is this
experiment meant for achieving concentration or is some other result possible?
Ans. Colours are more related to meditation than to japa. In the perception of
psychic colours (leshya dhyana), colour forms the fundamental basis of
meditation. We shall talk about it at length when we come to discuss leshya
dhyana. In the present context, it is worth noting that ‘Arham’ meditation is
chiefly done with three colours-white, red and yellow. The recitation of ‘Arham’
with white colour ensures health and imparts tranquillity. The white coldur is
capable of driving away disease. A disease-free individual achieves mental
health along with physical health. Mental health is the starting point of mental
The red colour is helpful in increasing one's vitality. The colour of the early
rising sun is red. He who regularly and properly practises meditation or japa at
that time, is successful in arousing his dormant powers.
The yellow colour is the symbol of good fortune, intelligence and splendour. The
use of this colour yields wonderful results. Ill fortune is changed into good
fortune, there is development of intellectual capacity and one's aura becomes
brighter. Of course, the practice of japa, undertaken with any colour, is
beneficial. Benefits derived from one colour may also be transmitted to other
colours. Still in the science of colours, particular colours, along with the
method of their use, are prescribed. chiefly on the basis of a factual analysis.
Q. You just said that the recitation of incantatory - words like ‘Arham’
produces special kinds of sound vibrations, beneficial for the sadhak. Can this
benefit be derived from sound vibrations alone, or is it necessary to combine
with these vibrations mental concentration and deep feehng?
Ans. The sound vibrations have a virtue of their own; so has deep feeling. Sound
vibrations, without feeling have a beneficial effect, but the results are not
adequate. To derive full benefit, japa should be accompanied by both feeling and
concentration of mind. It is a fact that a spell word has great power, but the
explosion of this energy takes place only when the practitioner's recitation of
the mantra is charged with feeling. Feelingless verbal repetition may fall in
the sphere of ritual, but it cannot yield lasting joy, peace or health.
Every medicine has a virtue of its own. But in order to increase its potency, it
is treated and infused with various kinds of more potent medicines. This is the
typical Ayurvedic technique. By using this technique, one and the same drug can
be made to yield several kinds of medicines and their efficacy much improved.
Just as a drug is charged with power, a man's mind, too, can be charged with
bhavana. A perfunctory recitation of a spell may be beneficial to some extent.
But in the end it turns into a mere ritual. In view of this, the contribution of
bhavana is very important.
A muni undertakes great vows. It is necessary for him to. observe five vows,
which form the chief basis of his sadhana. And without the infusion of
spirituality, these cannot be fulfilled. In view of this, every great vow has
been assigned five principles to be practised again and again (five bhavanas).
Without assimilating these 25 principles associated with five great vows, no
sadhak can reach the highpoint of sadhana.
A slight infusion enhances the efficacy of a medicine, and through bhavana great
vows are fulfilled. Similarly, only japa mixed with bhavana, can yield
appropriate results. Expressions such as, ‘with the whole mind’, ‘heart and
soul’, ‘charged with devotion’, etc. underline the fact that the practice of
japa and meditation is incomplete without concentration. If, while iterating a
seed letter or a spell word, a person.is completely identified with it, he, at
that time, becomes.inseparable from the activity he is engaged in, and no
different from it. The whole of this process constitutes the consummation of
feeling. In this, the recitation and the reciter, the practice of japa and the
practitioner, are not two separate things but together constitute a single
activity. One may practise the recitation of 'Arham' or some other spell word,
but the full measure of its power manifests itself only in combination with
bhavana and single-mindedness.