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The Mirror Of The Self: [08] Arham

Published: 25.01.2009
Updated: 27.01.2009

The practice of preksha meditation begins with the auspicious recitation of Arham. Arham is a powerful spell-word. It serves to increase our vital power and provides us with intimations of the Supreme Spirit.

An Energy-Producing Mantra

Arham is a spell-word, which augments the existing powers. Through the medium of this spell-word, we experience within ourselves the flow of vital power. We are not poor, feeble, good-for-nothings; we are endowed with energy and we can utilize this energy in any field.

One of the objectives of preksha meditation is to approach the transcendental. Arham helps us to realise the transcendental. We begin the practice of meditation with the recitation of Arham. There is a reason for it. Man is much influenced by outside forces. The most important method of influencing our vital power is-sound-vibrations. Different sounds have different wavelengths; their effects are also dissimilar.

Phonetic Analysis

Every time we open our mouth, we produce different sound vibrations, we do not know where the letters originate from. The philologists of Sanskrit have determined the precise place of articulation for each utterance. There are different places of articulation in our body. Let us analyse the articulation of Arham.


is articulated from the throat;


from the cerebrum,    


again from the larynx


from the throat


from the lips.

When we pronounce “M” our lips are closed.

Giving a morphological analysis of the word 'Rama' in Jain Ramayana, the poet has given it a spiritual turn as follows:

While articulating 'ra', the mouth opens and all one's sins are expelled thereby. Later, while articulating ‘m’, the lips arc closed, the mouth is sealed, and no sin can re-enter the organism. 'm' functions like a valve.

Places Of Articulation

According to morphology and the science of enunciation, there are eight places of articulation in our body:

1. The heart
2. Thi. throat
3. The head
4. The base of the tongue
5. The teeth
6. The nose
7. The lips
8. The palate

Today's students do not pay attention to these. Differences in articulation arise from different locations, and these differences account for changes in meaning.

Three kinds of ‘s’ are recognised in Sanskrit:
  1. palatal ‘s’,
  2. cerebral ‘s’ and
  3. dental ‘s’.

Their articulation originates from the palate, the head and the teeth respectively. The difference in articulation accounts for the difference in meaning. For instance, there are two Sanskrit words - 'shakrit' and 'sakrit'. Both have different meanings and between these meanings there is a world of difference. 'Sakrit' means 'once' and 'Shakrit' means 'filth'. Keeping in view the difference in meaning on account of the use of different words, a father said to his son, "O Son! you may or may not read everything, but you must study grammar." The son wanted to know why. The father said, "Without the study of grammar, you will not be able to differentiate between 'shakal' and 'sakal', between 'shakrit' and 'sakrit'. 'Shakal' means 'a piece' and 'sakal' means 'complete, whole'."

Without word-dif­ferentiation, there can be no distinct articulation, and in the ab­sence of any difference in pronunciation, all distinction of meaning is lost; also lost is the typical vibration of each word. Different kinds of vibrations proceed from different places of articulation. The letter issuing from the lips leaves a different impact upon the mind from that of the letter articulated through the larynx.

Arham: Phonetic Analysis

When we pronounce 'a', our electrical centre is activated. This is the location of the throat, of the thyroid gland. It is responsible for metabolism. The secretions of this gland influence the mind and the body.  It is the abode of the moon, and of the mind.

The articulation of 'rha' affects the frontal lobe of the brain. The Centre of Peace is located there. In physiological terms, it is also the location of the hypothalamus. It is an important psychic centre. It is the abode of feeling, the fountainhead thereof. It is the central point of the subtle body and the gross body. In ancient language, it was considered to be the location of the heart. We talk of bringing about a change of heart. By heart here, we do not mean the heart, which palpitates. The palpitating heart is a mere muscle. To talk of changing this muscle makes no sense. The function of this muscle is to pump the blood. What is required to be changed is the real heart, the medial point of the subtle and the gross bodies. The articulation of 'rha' influences it.

The articulation of ‘m’ affects the lips. They form the centre of udana-prana, one of the five vital powers. It constitutes the power of accomplishment. The awakening of this power leads to the acquisition of many supernatural powers.

The Seed-Spell Of The Enlightened

Arham is our deity. It is the seed-spell of the enlightened. Each person is endowed with unlimited capabilities. The man in whom is awakened the capacity to manifest his capabilities, he who is engaged in awakening this capacity in others, is a perfected soul.

Lord Mahavir was a perfected soul. Arham is the symbol of Lord Mahavir. Anand Kendra (the Centre of Bliss) is the region of the thymus gland. Arham is the spell-word, which awakens it. It is indicative of the stream of immaterial joy flowing within us. By practising Arham meditation on the Centre of Bliss, we can experience eternal joy. When eternal joy manifests itself, there can never be any mental tension.

Arham: The Consummation

A question arises as to what Arham is and what it leads to. Arham is a powerful seed-spell in which are latent:

  1. An awareness of one's existence
  2. An awareness of one's divinity
  3. The secret of the awakening of spontaneous joy
  4. The capacity to obviate mental tension
  5. Protection from psycho-somatic diseases
  6. Freedom from uncertainty
  7. The capacity to awaken the psychic centres on the right and the left.

The Nature Of Arham


signifies kundalini (taijasa-shakti, luminous power);


signifies fire; it destroys all evil conditioning:


signifies space; it increases one's awareness of the supreme and pure, knowledge-oriented spirit:


is a reverberation which activates the sensory nerves.

All the letters constituting 'Arham' are very powerful. Consequently, 'Arham' is a powerful spell-word. Focus your attention on the Centre of Bliss and meditate on ‘Arham’, which is invested with a sun-like brilliance. Let your meditation be deep and continuous. With continuity of practice, the feeling of 'Arham' will develop more and more. Your whole personality will be permeated by full consciousness, bliss and power.

The Secret Of Sadhana

Create for yourself the armour of 'Arham'. Focus your attention on the Centre of bio-electricity (situated in the navel), visualize a golden lotus thereon and meditate on 'Arham'! Visual­ize that its golden rays are permeating your body from all sides, creating an armour around the body. Do so nine times. Suggest to yourself, "No evil spirit can pierce this armour." This spiritual armour is capable of withholding the onslaught of all external evil forces. The secret of success lies in obeisance to 'Arham'.


3rd Edition 1995

Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
Ladnun -341 306 (Rajasthan)

Muni Dhananjay Kumar (Hindi)
Muni Mahendra Kumar (English)

Translated by:
Late Prof. R.K. Seth

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anand
  2. Anand Kendra
  3. Arham
  4. Body
  5. Brain
  6. Centre of Bio-Electricity
  7. Centre of Bliss
  8. Centre of Peace
  9. Cerebrum
  10. Consciousness
  11. Hypothalamus
  12. Kendra
  13. Kundalini
  14. Mahavir
  15. Mantra
  16. Meditation
  17. Preksha
  18. Preksha Meditation
  19. Psychic Centre
  20. Psychic Centres
  21. Ramayana
  22. Sadhana
  23. Sanskrit
  24. Science
  25. Soul
  26. Space
  27. Thymus Gland
  28. Thyroid Gland
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