The text of Risya Sringa Samhita, edited by Agnihotram Thiru Ramanuja Tatachariar is published under the series of rare and valuable manuscripts of our Library. This work comes under Mantra Sastra. The term Mantra or charm which has often been used and emphasises with reference to the contents or prescriptions of the Vedas, are employed in rites and rituals. It is believed that not only the use of Mantras in rites, but their more reading or recital would be equally productive of desired result. As in Sanskrit, there are Mantras in other languages also. Tirumantram of Thirumular, in Tamil is considered equally to the Vedic Mantras.
But this present work has no source from Veda. It is an independent work on Mantra Sastra. The early orientation of the Vedic Mantras to recitation for every kind of fruit, heavenly or mundane is the forerunner to the stage of creating such new form of Mantras. The advent of a new form may not be acceptable by the traditionalists.
The editor of this work Agnihotram Ramanuja Tatachariar of Kumbakonam is a recipient of the President award for his erudiction and meritorious service to Sanskrit language. He is a member of the Standing body of Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan, New Delhi. This eminent traditional scholar who has got modern purview to his thinking has edited this book with great care and in a commendable manner. His introduction both in Sanskrit and English will be useful to know the subject matter of this book.
It becomes our duty thank the Government of India for their grants, for bringing out this useful work under the publication of valuable manuscripts available in this Library.
The book Rishyasringa Samhita belongs to the branch of the Sanskrit learning called Mantra Sastra, which prescribes Mantra Siddhi based on Japa, and Purascharya' which helps man to acquire occult powers. This book is in the form of a dialogue between Rishyasringa, the celebrated sage of Ramayana and many Rishies including Uddhalaka. Of course the name Mantra is the same as that of the Vedas. But in their structure and contents it totally differs from the Mantra of the Vedas. But as people of our country are not in a mood to accept anything which deviates from the Vedas, Mantrasastras claims that they found out Mantras only after studying all Vedas with all their deep meanings. This book is described as Anuttara Brahma Rahasya Sruthi Sangraha . This Book is the First Part of Rishyasringa Samhita which contains poorva kanda. Getting occult powers is not strange to Vedic religion. Atharwana Veda, which is separately treated on account of its occultism paved the way for the Mantrasastra. In vedic religion, Brahmacharya is one sense helps man to get occult powers. The 'Upanayana' and Vedaramba' equip man to get occult power. Apart from divinities some people claim that they were 'inspired by divinity and they talk in the language of divinity and achieve what divinity can do. From the Philosophical point of view, it is nothing but transcendental power that talks and moves with them. No doubt philosophy accepts transcendental truth but never accepts talk or deeds of it through the human agencies. But from the mystic point of view, people inspired by divinity do or talk in the language of divinity very often. People claim that they are possessed of immense powers by divinity. In that case, according to them there is no need for Japa or Purascharana but it is natural. But Mantrasastra prescribes certain Mantras for Japa, and Purascharana (Homa) to gain influence over particular deity. The conception is an eternal one. It pervades throughout India and has a background of century history. Even today some people claim that they got inspiration by Japa and Purascharna and they can work wonders which only divine power can do, in practice. It is up to the people to believe it and not to believe it. But now it stands on an accomplished fact. Mantras are not Vedic Mantras which are in big verses, containing elaborate ideas of god hood, name, form, shape, qualities etc. But on the other hand Mantra of Mantrasastras are simple in form; where the name of deity only occurs Pranava is added on to them.
Mantras are connected with Siva, Vishnu and their many manifestations and incarnations. They also cover all other subordinate deities connected with them. In the past Vedic period, the Vedas and Veda practices become gradually defunct. So Rishies are forced to see new Mantras and rituals on the basis of Itihasa Puranas. Gradually Vedic deities gave way for Puranic deities namely Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra as Trimurthies. In Puranas Vedic deities become unpopular. So a new era has emerged cut new mantras and rituals.
As Vedic Mantras are decidedly having a divine power for thousands of years to equate with them, Mantrasastra prescribed making Japa Lakhs and Lakhs and also offering in the fire by Ajyahoma and other matters lakhs and lakhs.
Mantras of Mantrasastra are also connected with dhyanasloka which assign beautiful and wonderful forms, besides awful and sympathetic forms. This Samhita bering a scripture of the Vaishnava mantrasastra, we find elaborate specific mantras of Vishnu and his incarnations and manifestations and his consorts etc. Ashtakshara Mantra (Mantra with 8 letters) Dwadasakshara (Mantra with 12 letters) and Shadhakshra (Mantra with 6 letters) are elaborated with their glorifications. Sri Vidya Mantra finds place here which belongs to Sri. The Mantra tradition is kept in secret, even now. One can get it only from one's preceptor who has already attained Siddhi (a stage which can help man to act and talk in the language of divinity). The technique of "Uddharana" which in its essence is collecting certain letters from the Slokas from a Mantra. On account of this in the book there is no direct presentation of Mantras, So the importance of having a preceptor and honouring him and his wife are elaborately emphasised.
This book is very important for those who want occultic power. On behalf of Tanjore Maharaja Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library, this book has been edited. The Library has been doing yeomen service by publishing rare books. So I express my sincere gratitude to the Sarasvati Mahal Library Committee.
Sarasvati Mahal Library contains thousands of illustrious manuscripts of Sanskrit and other languages such as Vedas, the Upanishads, Agamas and different arts including music, various glorious commentaries of Acharyas. This book in their catalogue is numbered B. 6711 a & 6711 b Supl. 29 and I used this manuscript for editing. This Library is visited by celebrated scholars, of India and the Western countries very often. They consult these books and prepare thesis.
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