I hope you all read the first two posts about Siddhars and Supernatural Abilities. This post is going to focus on the use of mantras in Tantra and in what I will call magick and/or sorcery. AFTER I take another detour or so it will seem.
Recall what I wrote about Sri Hanuman and Sun Wukong. Since there is no such thing as a coincidence, while extracting passages about mantras from Lutgendorf’s tome on Hanuman, I saw a pop up ad on Netflix for a new movie called New Gods: Nezha Reborn. I ASSUMED the character that had this ugly mask was Sun Wukong but NO – it’s the EVIL Six eared Macaque or SPOILER ALERT, IS it Sun Wukong afterall?!
And even more synchronicities! As I was typing yesterday an email notification popped up. None other than Jim R. McClanahan had JUST uploaded his latest blog
I posted a comment on his Facebook page and let him know about the Nezha movie and the Six Eared Macaque and he wrote back “That movie has driven a lot of traffic to my site for some reason. My article on the Six-Eared Macaque got 3,265 views in April, which is tenfold the normal monthly views”.
The general consensus from what I see is that this six eared macaque who shape shifts so that he looks EXACTLY like Sun Wukong, may also be a stone monkey and possibly born at the same time and may be a brother or sorts. BUT the six eared macaque is classified as a demon.
So back to mantras. Guanyin created a magical headband to control Sun Wukong and then she gave Tang Sanzang (aka Tripitaka) a mantra (or “spell”) to recite which would “activate” the band and cause unbearable, debilitating pain to Sun Wukong if his demonic nature were to emerge.
You can spend days reading Jim’s blog and I highly recommend doing so, but I must get back to mantras and Siddhars and/or people seeking after supernatural abilities.
Philip Lutgendorf’s incredibly detailed and heavily footnoted academic tome on Sri Hanuman includes material I never expected to find.
“Because tantra is understood to connote a body of esoteric knowledge capable of generating awesome supernatural powers and even immortality, known or suspected tantrics—particularly those of the ‘‘lefthand’’ path who may ritually engage in normally forbidden practices such as extramarital sexual intercourse and the consumption of meat and alcohol— have been both admired and feared. They are believed to have the power to invoke supernatural beings to carry out their will, especially deities in their dangerous wrathful (raudra) aspects, or to practice ‘‘black magic’’ (Hindi mūth, literally a ‘‘ﬁst’’) through fatal curses and spells” (p. 103)
I’m not sure if you need me to “unpack” that paragraph or not. There are many forms of tantra but if you re-read this paragraph you might notice the summoning of the “WRATHFUL” aspects of a deity. In the TV series Vighnaharta Ganesh the infamous asura Durgamasur in Episode 395 prays to a “form” of Mata Adishakti known as Nimavata in front of a puja fire. Durgamasura prays to summon Mata to seek help. In the next episode Durgamasur is hell bent on compelling the goddess to tell him how to defeat Mata Adishakti.
And this is the point, the producers take great pains (pun intended) to depict Durgamasur sitting on a bed of blood red hot coals offering a twisted form of puja to elicit a boon. The actor, Manav Sharma, is to be commended for his wicked performance as he pretends to eat the coals and cut off parts of his body. He screams for Mata Nimavat to give him darshan and to tell him how to how to defeat Mata Adishakti.
Durgamasura says Mata, you are the Ansh of Aadishakti. Her power flows in you so you know her weakness, how do I defeat her? What do I do Mata! Mata Nimavat says Durgamasura, you are anyway going to be killed by Adishakti, so try what you can. I will help you because I am forced! Mata says Durgamasura, just know that no god or goddess can hurt innocent Cobras, go and use Shesh Naag to help you in your process to defeat Adishakti. Durgamasura says yes Mata, you are right. I shall summon my friend Mayasura, he will help me because no one can escape his maya, not even Brahmadev.
An ansh is one of the forms of a deity – not the same as an avatar but a form. It’s very confusing but let’s not get lost in this detail. The point I wish to make is that by using horrific forms of self mutilation, it appears that in Vedic times, it was possible to coerce a deity to do something against his or her will.
Now keep in mind that Sun Wukong acquired his supernatural abilities through arduous study and practice under the tutelage of a “sifu” (guru). His counterpart, the Six Eared Macaque only listened in on the lessons (from afar) which made him vulnerable in the very end. Nonetheless, Sun Wukong did, more often than not, stray towards doing evil prior to receiving the headband.