Ultimately Shodasi mantra leads one towards Bhrama Vidhya, source of all Spirituality and liberation. It is one of the most difficult Spiritual journeys depending upon his\her karmic chakra.
The following is the great Shodasi mantra. It is a 28 letter mantra and Om is added in the beginning and Namah is added at the end. Without Om and Namah it is called Shodasi and with Om and Namah it is called Mahashodasi. Though it has 28 letters it is called Shodasi or Shodasakshari meaning 16 letters. This is because though the lines lines 4, 5 & 6 have 5, 6 & 4 bijas, they are called 3 Kootas or combined bijas.
ॐ – [Om]
श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं ऐं सौः – [śrīṁ – hrīṁ – klīṁ – aiṁ – sauḥ:]
ॐह्रींश्रीं – [om – hrīṁ – śrīṁ] – (3 bījas)
कएईलह्रीं – [ka – e – ī – la- hrīṁ] – (5 bījas)
हसकहलह्रीं – [ha – sa – ka – ha – la – hrīṁ] – (6 bījas)
सकलह्रीं – [sa – ka – la – hrīṁ] – (4 bījas)
सौःऐंक्लींह्रींश्रीं – [sauḥ – aiṁ – klīṁ – hrīṁ – śrīṁ] – (5 bījas)
नमः [Namah]The meaning of the mantra is –
om – śrīṁ – hrīṁ – klīṁ – aiṁ – sauḥ (ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं ऐं सौः)
ॐ + śrī bīja (श्रीं) + māyā bīja (ह्रीं) + kāma bīja(क्लीं) + vāgbhava bīja (ऐं) + parā bīja (सौः)
ॐ – In spirituality, most mantras always start with ॐ since ॐ represents the creative force of the galactic system. Hence, it is better to show your gratitude towards the galactic creative force by chanting ॐ prior to any spiritual mantras.
श्रीं – In spirituality, śrī bīja represents Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It removes negativity bringing faith in Divinity which with dedication brings devotion which overtime gets converted into Love for Divinity. Love coupled with unlimited devotion and positive deeds (karma) gradually transform into Soul liberation (Faith->Devotion->Love->Liberation). Śrīṁ comprises of three letters śa + ra + ī + nāda(m) + bindu (dot) (श + र + ई and बिन्दु), where śa refers to Mahālakṣmī (Goddess of Wealth), ra refers to agni bīja (God of Fire through which all offerings to Divinity occurs), nāda refers to subtle sound which is the sound produced after closing both the lips (ṁ). And the bindu (dot) has to be coupled with nāda otherwise it will be not vibrant and effective separately. In addition, Nādabindu is refereed to the union of Śiva and Śakti, where Nāda means Śakti and bindu means Śiva, which together are cause of Bliss & Liberation.
ह्रीं – In spirituality, māyā bīja represents Goddess Bhuvaneswari, the goddess of power. This is the combination of three letters ha + ra + ī and nāda and bindu (ह + र + ई + nāda + bindu). Bhuvana refers to the “earth” and Īśvarī means the ruler and hence the ruler of the earth. ra refers to agni bīja (God of Fire through which all offerings to Divinity occurs), nāda refers to subtle sound which is the sound produced after closing both the lips (ṁ). And the bindu (dot) has to be coupled with nāda otherwise it will be not vibrant and effective separately. In addition, Nādabindu is refereed to the union of Śiva and Śakti, where Nāda means Śakti and bindu means Śiva, which together are cause of Bliss & Liberation.
क्लीं – In spirituality, kāma bīja represents Kama (desires). Kāma here does not mean lust, but means the desire to get into the state of Bliss (one among the four puruṣārtha-s). The Four puruṣārtha-s are dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa. It completes the process of desire to attain Divinity. Attaining Her (Divinity) and entering into the state of Bliss go together. It increases the level of devotion. kāma bīja is made up of three parts – ka + la + am. Ka refers to desire to achieve Divine Blessings, la refers to contentment in one’s life, which reduces our desires and attachments and am gives happiness and joy.
ऐं – In spirituality, aiṁ bija is known as vāgbhava bīja, which represents the Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. It also represents one’s Guru (your spiritual guidance provider), the motivator, dispeller of ignorance and giver of Divine spiritual knowledge. It brings mental clarity, sharpness and intellect. It is made up of two parts ai + ṁ. a represents Goddess Saraswati, i represents inner consciousness and ṁ refers to the Nādabindu.
सौः – In spirituality, sauh is known as the parā bīja. This is also known as hṛdayabīja or amṛtabīja. Śiva explains to Śakti about this in Parā-trīśikā-vivāraṇa (verses 9 and 10), a Trika Scripture. He says to Her, “O! Gracious one! It is the third Brahman (sat or sa स) united with the fourteenth vowel औ (au – out of the sixteen vowels), well joined with that which comes at the end of the lord of vowels (visarga or : – two dots one above the other, used in the sixteenth vowel अः – aḥ). Therefore sauḥ is formed out of the combination of sa स + au औ+ ḥ = sauḥ सौः. In Parā-trīśikā-vivāraṇa (verse 26), it is again said, “He, who knows this mantra in its essence, becomes competent for initiation, leading to liberation without any sacrificial rites.” This is known as nirvāṇa dīkṣā or initiation for final liberation, where nirvāṇa means emancipation. The Scripture proceeds to say that the one who elucidates the proper meaning of this bīja is known as Śiva Himself. This bīja is the Cosmic pulsation of the Lord. Thus sa स (sat) referred in this bīja is Śiva Himself, which represents His creative aspect, the pure Consciousness. Next comes His three energies Icchāśakti, Jñānaśakti and Kriyāśakti. During Creation, Cit Śakti of Śiva, after manifesting as Ānanda Śakti (Bliss) becomes the above referred three Śakti-s, before entering into the sphere of Māyā. Ānanda Śakti is known as Śakti, normally referred as Śiva’s Consort or His Svātantraya Śakti, His exclusive and unique Power of Autonomy. These three powers can be explained as subject “I”, object “That”, and subject-object or I and That. These powers of Śiva are also known as Sadāśiva, Iśvara and Suddha Vidyā. Now the fusion between S and AU takes place and सौ (sau) is formed. As a result of this fusion, creation happens, which is represented by visarga – two dots one above the other like the punctuation mark colon : .This is the Spanda or throb or pulsation of the Divine towards creation, causing the emission of His three energies contained in AU. With the addition of visarga ḥ : at the end of सौ (sau) becomes सौः (sauḥ). This parābīja is not meant for recitation or repetition but for the contemplation of Śiva, who alone is capable of offering liberation by removing all differentiations caused by māyā. The one who fully understands the significance of सौः (sauḥ) becomes instantly liberated.
om – hrīṁ – śrīṁ:
(ॐ – ह्रीं – श्रीं)
(क – ए – ई – ल – ह्रीं)
ka – e – ī – la – hrīṁ
(ह – स – क – ह – ल – ह्रीं)
ha – sa – ka – ha – la – hrīṁ
(क – ए – ई – ल – ह्रीं)
sa – ka – la – hrīṁ
It is Pañcadaśī which consists of fifteen bījas. Refer to the Pañcadaśī mantra for detailed explanation of the mantra. In short, Vāgbhava kūṭa (group) consists of five bījas – ka-e-ī-la-hrīṁ (कएईलह्रीं), Madhya kūṭa (group) consists of six bījas – ha-sa-ka-ha-la-hrīṁ (हसकहलह्रीं) and śakti kūṭa (group) consists of four bījas sa-ka-la-hrīṁ (सकलह्रीं).
(सौः – ऐं – क्लीं – ह्रीं – श्रीं)
sauḥ – aiṁ – klīṁ – hrīṁ – śrīṁ
To guard effects of the bījas of the first line are placed in a reverse order. This is known as mantra sampuṭīkaraṇa. This means that three bījas of the second line and Pañcadaśī mantra are encased by the first line and the last line, so that effects of Pañcadaśī mantra and the bījas of the second line do not go out of the aspirant and is sealed within the aspirant.
To show our respect we end the mantra with Namah नमः salutation.