An action may be treated as “finality” if it satisfies the following conditions: (1) it has been fully complied with, and (2) the result of the compliance is in hand. [This is “finality”, or “completion”.](1)
We repeat siddha mantra (Bábá náma kevalam) to different tunes.(2) What is the [completion] of it? Let us take an example. I cross the threshold, and as a result of it I enter the room. The utterance, internal or external, of the first syllable of a mantra is like crossing the threshold and entering a new world. The proper accomplishment of work after entering the new [world] culminates in a result which gives a feeling of bliss and perfection. This feeling is an embodiment of pleasure.
In day-to-day life, we first inhale and then exhale. The mantra is repeated according to the syllabic rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. This act of breathing in the mundane sphere has no end in individual life. Breathing is an action, so a living being is always engaged in some sort of action. This constant effort is known as yatamána. This is the first stage of progress. In the second stage, one wants to rise high with the firm determination to achieve one’s goal. And while doing so one is in a position to have control over some or other of his or her mental propensities for some time, but has no control over the other propensities at all. This stage is known as vyatireka. In this stage one achieves concentration for some time and then again loses it.
Then comes ekendriya, which is the third stage of progress in sádhaná. This is the stage when one has control over a particular mental propensity, and that control is more lasting. Due to constant repetition, the mantra is sounding in one’s ear. While sitting in meditation, a sádhaka can see his or her Iśt́a moving around him or her, and the fragrance of sandalwood or rose comes from the body of the Iśt́a. Sometimes one gets it and sometimes one does not get it.
The fourth stage is known as vashiikára. There one is established in the ideation of Parama Puruśa, to satisfy whom one is doing kiirtana. Here one completely surrenders himself or herself before Parama Puruśa, and he or she is under the complete control of Parama Puruśa.
So there are four stages – four stages once at the time of inhalation and four stages again at the time of exhalation.
So in all there are eight facets, and a siddha mantra must necessarily have eight syllables – it must be aśt́ákśarii,(3) [just as] each and every syllable of an Iśt́a mantra has got its own importance. Bábá náma kevalam is a siddha mantra. When the first syllable bá is uttered, the feeling should be, “I am crossing the threshold and entering the new world;” and when the last syllable ma is uttered, the feeling should be, “I have accomplished my duty.” If the kiirtana is done with these feelings, within two or three minutes the effect will come into play.
The whole siddha mantra should be uttered fully in each phrase of the tune – Bábá náma kevalam – and not a part of it – while doing kiirtana. If this is not done, the kiirtana cannot be said to be a perfect kiirtana. Everything must be done in a methodical way. Then you will enjoy and get the [completion] of kiirtana properly.
(1) Sanskrit equivalent of “completion” that was unclear in the typed notes omitted here. –Eds.
(2) When Bábá náma kevalam is sung to a tune, an extra vowel is added to kevalam for the sake of the tune – kevalama. With this addition the mantra has eight syllables, a point that will be discussed below. –Eds.
(3) Eight-syllabled. –Eds.