Rithambra Pragna: Mantra & Yantra Demystified

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Yogic Science


Pragna means 'perception'. For every sound there is a form. Sadhguru explains the relationship between Mantra (arrangement of sounds), and Yantra (the associated form).


Duration: 10 min


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6 min read

Rithambra Pragna: Mantra & Yantra Demystified

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

There is a certain dimension of perception which is referred to as Ritambhara Pragna. Ritambhara Pragna – Pragna means perception. Ritambhara Pragna means you are able to see the relationship between the sound and form.

Ritambhara Pragna means you are able to see the relationship between the sound and form

We’ve gone through this many times probably for many of you – if you feed any sound into a sound measuring instrument like an oscilloscope, every sound gives out a form or a pattern. Today it’s a well-known thing that for every sound there is a distinct pattern. There’re pretty fantastic experiments which have happened. But the more simple one is, if you just take a metal sheet and let’s say keep a speaker under it and play a certain kind of sound, you will see if you put some light granules on it like sand or whatever, it all arranges itself in a particular way. Or if you have a proper Tonometer where you can control the hertz – distinct patterns. Otherwise, you don’t have to do it. I think if you look up on the Internet, I’m sure there are experiments like this where you can see, where for every kind of sound a distinct pattern comes out.

For every sound there is a form attached to it. Similarly for every form there is a sound attached to it

So, for every sound there is a form attached to it. Similarly for every form there is a sound attached to it. Now how to know this, that’s a question. How to know which form attracts a certain kind of sound, or represents a certain kind of sound? This dimension of perception is referred to as Ritambhara Pragna. Without any background, talking about this may make it little, It may make it little ridiculous because without the necessary background of understanding, suddenly I speak about something else, it doesn’t make sense.

Let’s put it this way, if you listen to music, not the music with words, let’s say you simply listen to voice or instrumentals, have you noticed different sounds create different kinds of impact upon you? Hmm? A certain sound brings an emotion of love in you, a certain sound makes you peaceful, certain sounds wants you to jive – different things do different kind of impacts on the system. Even if you’re not a conscious listener, it can still happen. Somewhere, somebody is playing a rhythmic music, either a folk kind of thing or let’s say rock music is going on, you’re not really listening, you are sitting and reading a newspaper or doing something else, the body wants to move, this is the first indication it wants to dance.

In Indian classical music, they’ve explored this sound thing to such an extent, they can create any mood they want. To have some experience of this – music is simpler, easier, no-risk exploration. You must listen to music which doesn’t have words, that doesn’t mean you listen to the elevator music, not that kind. Somewhere people are exploring various levels of sounds, various ways of expressing things, but still not much words, there may be a few words. The Indian classical music goes with this, or the Western classical to some extent, but Western classical largely is instrumental, isn’t it? There are no voices, not much voice at least. If you listen to voice-based music which doesn’t have much words, your ability to have a grasp over this to some extent can happen.

A better way of doing it would be there are specific mantras, but this has to be technically correct. Music also has to be technically correct but that’s not your problem, that’s the musician’s problem, you just listen. To be technically correct in classical music, it will take years and years of application. But mantra will come so much more easily because it’s just technical, you’re not looking at the aesthetics of the sound. Because you cut out the aesthetics and just looking at the technicalities, you’re just looking at the mathematic of the sound, it is easier in that sense, if you want to do it. But even that will take a certain level of attention.

If you can simply sit, Ritambhara Pragna will come

Otherwise, the best way is if you just learn to sit still, really still, everything still within you. If you know how to simply sit here, not trying to do anything, not trying to listen, not trying to mediate, not trying to chant, not trying to think of God or devil or whatever – simply. If you can simply sit, Ritambhara Pragna will come. Another way of becoming perceptive to sounds and the nature of sounds is, if you can find a place where there are no sounds of machines, and your cell phone will not tink-tink. Quietly if you can listen to the sound of the trees, the breeze, the water, just the natural sounds, if you pay enough attention, tremendous things will happen to you.

If you – I don’t know if there are – very little of that is probably left because even the forests are cultured. Many times, I’ve been in the South Indian, you know, they’re kind of tropical rain forests. The longest I’ve been there, it was about twenty-three days, I walked through the jungle for about twenty-three days alone. No any kind of support, no cell phone for sure those days and not even a torch light. And fourth day I ran out of the food that I was carrying, so I lived off the forest. By about eighth day, I lost my jacket and one half of my shirt, because I was chased by some animals and by… in that whole thing. I had half a shirt and pants, and I walked through.

This is elephant country, tiger country. I saw tigers, panthers, elephants, all kinds of… the wild buffalo, various kinds of animals, very close quarters. But at the end of it when you look back, what is the biggest impact on you – it’s the insects. No, no, no they are not like the ticks in America, they don’t bite us. It’s in the nights the orchestra that goes on in the rain forest – Oh my god! It’s unbelievable and the timing, every day, night 2:15 means one group will stop, and the other group will start. Really, their sense of time, every day exactly by the second, one group will start, another group will start, and you don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re definitely talking something that you don’t know for sure, they’re not just making dumb noises.

So, if you just sit there and listen and listen and listen and listen, slowly you start noticing there is a pattern and an organization to this which is far bigger than any human symphonies that you can achieve – far more complex and far more intense. So, if you listen, simply learn to listen, listen, listen, listen to everything, that means you shouldn’t be talking you know, simply listen, you will have some sense of how sound and forms are related. But if you want to make a study out of it, then it will take a different kind of involvement, but just having a ear for everything. Do not consider what is important, what is not important, whatever comes you must listen, it’s very important.

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