16 May 2011

arapacana alphabet in Siddhaṃ script


  1. jayarava-

    if you dont mind, i have a question about the sunyata mantra (http://www.visiblemantra.org/sunyata.html). can the siddham letters be separated into different words like you did with the four noble truths? if so, how would that be done? would it still make sense if it were divided after the first seven symbols and put on a new line? or does it have to stay on a single line to make sense? if one were to divide it into half, or as close to half as one could, after which letter would that be? i know it's a strange question, but i am fascinated with the form of this mantra.

    also, where does this mantra come from? any information would be great.


  2. Hi Benjamin

    Everything I know about the mantra is on the website.

    Why write it on two lines? It's a single phrase, unlike the noble truths which is a list of words. Let me guess... you want to get a tattoo and it won't fit?


  3. haha you guessed it. i know where you stand on the matter, but i have different sentiments. it's not that i don't appreciate where you stand, its just that this particular subject means a lot to me, and if there is a way to split it up, i would rather do it correctly than to be wrong about the form. anyway, any incite would be very much appreciated. if i split it down the middle, would it still make sense? or would it cut a word in half?


  4. Busted! :-)

    In the culture in which this was originally written each syllable was standalone, they did not put extra spaces between words, seldom used punctuation (almost never for mantras), and broke lines when they ran out of space.

    If I was going to do it, being a native English speaker, I'd go for a break at the end of a word because it would make it more readable.

    However given that you can neither read this script nor understand the language it encodes, readability is hardly an issue, is it?

    You ask "will it still make sense", and I ask "to whom?".

    You'd better check the spelling as well - I'm afraid errors creep in. For the book I had them all looked at by someone who can read them, and I haven't had time to check all of the website. I did notice some errors in romanisation on that page however! Now fixed.

    The page has both syllables and word groupings. I think if you look at it you can figure out where the word breaks are.

    There's a paypal donation button on the front page of the website. I leave it to your conscience to decide what you owe me for using my calligraphy for this purpose.

    Best Wishes

  5. haha totally busted. that all sounds interesting. i don't have a paypal account for donations, but i just bought a copy of your book after reading that last post. you're a great salesman! i should have it within a week. as far as the mantra being accurate, i am just someone who pays close attention to detail is all, so i like to rest assured that everything is in correct form. thanks or the incite though.

    my one other question is, is the sunyata mantra practiced and recited today? it certainly will be in my meditations from here on out!

    thanks, ben

  6. Hi Ben

    Yes. The śūnyatā mantra is an essential element of some Tantric practices, especially in the preliminaries where one is getting the mind into the right space - the view of śūnyatā underlies everything. Chanting the mantra helps to cement the view, although I imagine that a Tibetan Buddhist would go further than that it invokes śūnyatā in the mind of the chanter. You might visualise a clear blue sky while chanting it - extending in all directions with no features. In a visualisation the buddha appears out of that empty blue sky, and dissolves back into it at the end.

    If you've bought the book I'll let you off. ;-) But you don't need a paypal account, you just need a credit card.

    Hope you enjoy the book, and best of luck with your tattoo...