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Mantras in Hinduism are sacrosanct and must not be uttered/chanted injudiciously nor should they be heard or given outside proper procedure. There is rampant disregard for this rule on this forum and people indiscriminately provide all mantras including the gayatri in their answers. I think questions seeking mantras must be deleted as should answers containing them. For this purpose, the definition of mantra should be

  1. Anything that contains a beejakshara

  2. Any portion of scripture that requires a certain procedural chanting and initiation (like the devi bhagavatam/chandi saptasati or sundarakanda)

This rule must be enforced if the purpose of this SE is indeed upholding and propagating Hinduism in its true form.

Kamakoti peetham offers some advice on mantrAdhikAra and dIkSAdhikAra.

http://www.kamakotimandali.com/blog/index.php?p=112&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

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    From the tour page: "Hinduism Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for followers of the Hindu religion and those interested in learning more about Hinduism.", I don't think the objective is to "uphold" and "propagate" Hinduism. – sv. Dec 4 '15 at 6:14
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    @sv. Understood. However, learning about and teaching Hinduism include specific methods of pedagogy , no? Also, followers of the religion must adhere to its rules and disseminate knowledge pertaining to these rules. On both counts, it is necessary to be extremely circumspect regarding Q&A on mantras. – user1195 Dec 4 '15 at 11:32
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    I totally agree with you we are committing sin by posting nigama mantras openly btw what do you think about women learning those mantras. I think only nigama shastras have restriction for chanting/learning everything else is open. – Yogi Jan 15 '17 at 16:54
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    @sv. What is the point of "learning more" if it doesn't lead to upholding or propagating Hinduism? – Sarvabhouma Jan 16 '17 at 3:19
  • @SreeCharan An atheist, a Christian, a pure scholar, critic etc. can all ask questions on Hinduism.SE .. so in that sense this site is for clarifications, there's no motto, no agenda etc. See Keshav's answer. – sv. Jan 16 '17 at 5:27
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    @sv. I agree that answer in case of a non-hindu. Because they don't care much about these things. But as Hindus, we should follow some rules. Simply learning doesn't give results but implementing what you learn counts. Don't you agree. – Sarvabhouma Jan 16 '17 at 5:31
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    @moonstar2001 What about eminent HIndu websites like Kamakoti, Astrojyoti,and a host of others ?They have provided so many Mantras and Veda Suktas for everyone to read..They obviously have no control on who's gonna download those PDFs..Then why they are doing so?Aren't they aware of Scriptures?Or is their intent not upholding or promoting Dharma? In any case have u ever tried complaining to any of those websites?Because they are the original sources from which users just copy paste here.. – Rickross Jan 16 '17 at 5:54
  • @Yogi Do you really think women are not allowed to vedas? What about Gargi? Refer this question. – The Destroyer Jan 16 '17 at 6:20
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    @TheDestroyer I think only bramhavadinis are allowed to learn vedas. – Yogi Jan 16 '17 at 7:04
  • I agree. If people have curiosity to learn about mantra, we may give its context, but then refer them to a guru to learn them. Simply giving a mantra without also giving the niyamas needed to chant them, is neither useful nor a complete answer. – ram Jun 12 '17 at 18:53
  • @TheDestroyer, which yuga did Gargi live in? Rules change across yugas.. It is prohibited to beget children upon brother's wife.. in Kali Yuga. But allowed in previous yugas. Also, Maiteryi and Gargi were probably exceptions, out of a trillion women in history. They cannot be guidelines for today's humanity. – ram Jun 12 '17 at 18:56
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We should allow the posting of mantras. It's important to note that Hinduism Stackexchange is a website about Hinduism, not a Hindu website as such. This is a website where anyone, Hindu and non-Hindu alike, can ask and answer questions about Hinduism. So this site doesn't enforce the rules of Hinduism on its members. If a student of Indology wants to know what mantras to Kali are found in the Kaula Tantras, and a professor of Indology wants to answer that, Hinduism Stackexchange can facilitate that.

Now having said that, as a Hindu I would definitely tell my fellow Hindus not to violate any Hindu rules about revealing mantras which you've received Diksha (initiation) for and which you've promised not to reveal. But that's your obligation as a Hindu, not your obligation as a member of this site. This site's policies don't revolve around such things.

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    The study of Hinduism encompasses its pedagogy as well and therefore, the professor of Indology is doing his own subject a huge disservice. Therefore the example does not hold and by extension, the contention too. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 3:52
  • @moonstar2001 Well, Hinduism certainly has rules on pedagogy, but obviously an outsider studying Hinduism sees no obligation to follow those rules. Again, this is not a Hindu website, this is a website about Hinduism. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '16 at 4:01
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    Mantra , scripture related to mantra, as well as pedagogy are an integral part of Hinduism. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 7:28
  • @moonstar2001 Yea, of course they're an integral part of Hinduism, it's just tha outsiders studying Hinduism see no reason to obey Hindu rules on pedagogy. And the policies of this site are not intended to enforce the rules of Hinduism. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '16 at 8:06
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    Then such outsiders do not have authority to expound on anything Hindu. Will it be accepted by the legal or medical community if I get on my soapbox w.r.t. law and medicine without having formally studied the subjects, where such formal study necessarily includes cadaver dissection, mock court etc. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 10:53
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    I don't know how Hindu can be removed from Hinduism. Both the theory and praxis are inextricably linked in this faith/religion. We do not have to ape others. Buddhism may be more tolerant of revealing mantras but Hinduism's mantra sastra and rishis' mandate for the mantras they have divined is not up for interpretation or re-organisation by us. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 14:34
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    @moonstar2001 But atheists, for instance, do not see any reason to follow Hindu rules on learning and teaching about Hinduism, any more than they see a reason to follow Jewish rules on Kosher food. They just think of it as a false religion whose ideas they're studying intellectually, so obviously what the religions says about how those ideas ought to be studied don't faze them. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '16 at 15:01
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    You may not like the academic study of Hinduism by outsiders who see no reason to follow our rules, but it's what the site is about. But I would of course encourage the site's Hindu members to follow the rules of Hinduism. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '16 at 15:06
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    I have no problem with the academic study of Hinduism by outsiders. Even those who study Hinduism know the importance of mantras and rules surrounding them. For this and your comment on atheists, again I go back to my analogy. Will it be accepted if I , without a medical degree, prescribe medicine? Or dispense legal advice without having passed the bar? Every subject has rules surrounding it. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 15:40
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    @moonstar2001 Well, practicing medicine or teaching medicine in a medical school is one thing, but this website isn't mean to be the analogue of that. This isn't an ashram. This website is more like the analogue of a forum where someone asks whether antibiotics have an effect on digestion, and someone else does research on the Internet and answers them. This website isn't meant to play the same role as a guru-shishya relationship. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '16 at 16:25
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    "This website isn't meant to play the same role as a guru-shishya relationship" - if so, why are questions seeking mantras (which is typically done by sishyas) not just discouraged but rather the actual mantras are provided (which is the exact job of a guru)? – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 16:44
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    And the example of antibiotic you give is unsuitable. Seeking info about an antibiotic is equivalent to asking for results of a particular mantra. It is not the same as "give me a mantra for this and that". The latter is actually seeking a prescription for medicine which you seem to be okay with. Just as medicines should not be prescribed over the internet - even licensed medication practitioners refrain from this- so also mantras should not be given on websites- this or others. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 16:46
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    I also think this site does a great disservice and will die a painful death if all it does is google information for others. Knowledge must be held superior to information. – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 16:56
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    Well if this site hurts the basic laws for Righteousness mentioned in hindu scriptures why should we post vedic mantras here and let it continue to be posted openly. – Yogi Jan 15 '17 at 16:52
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    This is clear violation of Dharma shastras, Teaching hinduism without Nigamas is possible. – Yogi Jan 15 '17 at 16:56
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We should not be overly restrictive on Hinduism.SE; people will find other avenues where they can ask/answer questions that you delete from here.

From A Soldier's Dialogue with Swami Chinmayananda:

When you say "Don't", his intellect asks the question, "why not?"

It is natural, in schools and colleges. You say that "Don't"

In the lawns write there a board "Don't walk on the lawns."

Within three days you will find a footpath there.

When you give an order, and all army people know it,
the orders must be positive not negative language.

Don't tell "Don't do it!"

Tell them, what to do.

Please walk on the cemented walk path, walk way. They will walk.

But if you say don't walk on the grass everybody will start walking.

Now the moralists have been going on..."Thou shalt not, thou shalt not" and everybody thinks, "why not?"

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    If people find other avenues, that is on them and the other avenues. Just because a child may steal no matter where, parents don't encourage and train them to steal at home, do they? – user1195 Jan 24 '16 at 3:53
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    @moonstar2001, I would agree with sv's answer. Though it might be true that mantra should be given by Guru to Shishya in certain way, such custom might have been created during certain circumstances and today the circumstances have changed. In Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna at multiple occasions that what he preaches is "something worthy of secrecy". But today, Gita is printed in bulk and even Indian PM is gifting it around the world. The time has changed. BTW, someone has suggested your name for moderator in meta. If you really become one, then being broadminded will help the whole community. – iammilind Jan 28 '16 at 8:39
  • @iammilind You are probably thinking of the word "rahasya". It does not mean secret. The Sanskrit word rahasya means, esoteric, many-layered, upanshadic, deeply mysterious/mystical, culmination of various pieces of knowledge and highly subtle when used in the context of mantras and vidyas. To your 2nd point, not to worry-just because someone mentions a name does not mean the suggested name will become a moderator. I believe the process is more nuanced. Regardless, a moderator's job does not demand being lax about scripture and ancient wisdom. – user1195 Jan 28 '16 at 10:05
  • @moonstar2001, Refer BG 18.67, where Krishna asks not to impart the knowledge to certain many kinds of people. This sloka might be an interpolation or may not be in original conversation. But in any case, the Gita is freely available and we cite its references so freely in this website. If we strictly follow this sloka then, Gita can't be referred this website. Because one never knows the person who read the sloka is really worthy according to Krishna's standard or not. But we don't do it in today's changed time. Many such counter arguments may pop up. – iammilind Jan 28 '16 at 10:23
  • @iammilind There is a difference between how upasana and jnana are to be handled. Gita belongs to the latter category whereas mantras and vidyas to the former. I rest my case. – user1195 Jan 28 '16 at 10:32
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Then printing of books should also be stopped because it is also open for open purchase.

If quoting mantras is not allowed then it will defeat the whole purpose of this forum. Because we have to quote references from Vedas. The samhitas are mantras themselves.

Just giving the mantra is not harmful. There are many practical aspects which are related to it. We are no one to judge for others if they are wishing to try out mantra they then will.

When new age is progressive towards digitalization, this idea can drag us back to nomadic age. Because of improper preservation several texts are lost.

It was some foreigners and broad minded Indians who tried to preserve the manuscripts by preserving it and publishing it.

Isn't it good if more people become aware of special mantras like "balatibala". Isn't it good if more mantras get more visibility?

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  • 1.Printing of books with mantras is wrong. 2.Anyone who offers a mantra has a dharma towards the mantra, the mantra rishi as well as the receiver.Indiscriminate distribution of mantra is harmful to the giver also3.Digitalization is not a panacea nor are ancient Hindu mantra rules in need of a cure.4.No.The number of practitioners is not a measuring rod of a mantra.Specific mantras such as bala atibala etc. are to be given by a guru who has practised it themselves & can transfer the energy to a worthy disciple with the right adhikara & one respectful of the rules surrounding its practice. – user1195 Mar 25 '17 at 6:58
  • @moonstar2001 it is out of fear and insecurity many people think this way. I have appropriate reasons which I will give when needed. – Rakesh Joshi Mar 25 '17 at 7:02
  • @moonstar2001 what lineage do you belong to ? – Rakesh Joshi Mar 25 '17 at 7:06
  • Re: "fear and insecurity" Krishna said those who flout dharma do so in the guise of hetu vaada :-) – user1195 Mar 26 '17 at 3:09
  • @moonstar2001 How can you counter the direct statements of atharva veda , Grihya sutras and harita smriti etc with parashara smriti? – Rakesh Joshi Mar 26 '17 at 3:22
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I have already used that Kamakoti article in one of my answers that emphasized the purpose and role of a Guru.

But you need also have to check which are the Scriptures that the article is quoting from.

To name a few among them :

Rudra Yamala, Kularnava Tantram, Shakti Yamala, Meru Tantram, Yogini Tantram, Hamsa Maheswara, Dattatreya Yamala etc.

Now these are all Agama Texts.

And, the same Agama Texts also claim that Vedas, Puranas and other Shastras should be ( or can be ) revealed. In case of the Agamas however, the clear instruction is that they should be kept as secret.

For example, see the following verses from Kularnava Tantram , a Text that the Kamakoti article have used as a reference :

VedaShastra PurAnani PrakasyAni Kulesvari| ShaivashAktAgamAha Sarve RahasyAh Parikirthitha||

Meaning

Kulesvari, Vedas, Puranas, other Shastras can be revealed. But all Shaiva & Shakta Agamas are famous as being secret .

Kularnava Tantram 3.4.

So, my point is, there is no need to edit Veda Mantras out of posts. Same goes for the Pouranic Mantras as well.

As long as someone is not revealing the secret Mantras from the Agamas there is nothing to be too concerned about.

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