Mantra Raja

Article by Sundernath (Shandor Remete)


Invocation is the most misunderstood part of the yogic path.

The frequent assertion that mantra yoga is an activity for the lowest level of seeker is a gross misrepresentation of the place of mantra in the yogic sadhana since the entire journey is interwoven with and dependent on the use of mantra. ‘Mantra’ can be broken down into two parts; man refers to mind (manas) and tra refers to protection. This role is exemplified in the opening prayers made before practice that invoke guidance and protection from the lineage of gurus.

If the initiated student follows the prescribed sequence of activities they come to realise that each layer of practice is nothing but the invocation of a particular power whose door can only be opened by the appropriate mantra. Invocations through mantras are of many kinds, prayers for protection and guidance, instructional prayers, the seed mantras (bijam) used in the building of the power principle, prayers of veneration, and prayers of conclusion and offerings.

Before delving into the deeper layers of mantra yoga it is worth reflecting on the hidden caution given in the introduction to the Amrutavakyam of Gorakshanath.

The meaning of the word nath is lord or master and implies that everything in this world has been moulded by him, the creator. The meaning of Goraksha is that everything is a mystery.

Goraksha can be further broken down into go, which means cow but also tongue and raksha, which refers to protection. Drawing all these together the meaning of Gorakshanath becomes the Lord who is master over the mysteries of the tongue that lead the cows (ignorant people) out of darkness and into light.

Gorakshanath implies that one must uncover the hidden aspect of words rather than dwelling on or debating superficial meaning. Words by themselves are devoid of life and those who first chanted them long dead. Mere chanting of words will bear no results until the hidden depths of meaning within the mantra have been understood. Although reference  is often made to the chakras and their sound systems in present day schools of yoga. Unfortunately most are ignorant of the knowledge of mantra yoga that allows access to them.

Matsyendranath in his Samhita outlines the yogic journey from initiation to the crowning process of Samadhi in seven chapters. These seven chapters describe Deha Shuddhi (purification of the body), Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. In all these processes mantra and its applications are utilised for purifying, healing or to invoke the energetic systems within the body. The eighth chapter is titled Antararchanam  or inner worship. It is critical to take note here that guidance for inner worship is only given after the state of samadhi has been achieved. This is only possible when the entire practice can be performed during one round of pranayama in that state described by Patanjali as Samprajnata Samadhi (transcendental state induced through the mind) or as Goraknath terms it Samanaskayoga.

The ninth chapter is titled Mantraraja and its Mantroddhara (The King of Mantras and Mantra Support System). It is here that all the layers beginning with deha suddhi are gathered into a single pillar of intelligence. The Mantra Raja draws and rests upon what is termed nyasa-viddhim, the science of placement through touch. One must know that this entire physical appearance is a manifestation of sound. There are 52 bija mantras (seed syllables) that are evenly spread over the periphery of the body that are in correspondence with the central chakra systems of the body, from the muladhara to the sahasrara (crown chakra). Mantra raja is a power system that is developed through repeated practice and can be viewed as a hologram formed from the energies of the sun and moon, through the science of touching and placement and brought into play through the innate qualities of the mind. It is this mantra raja that helps to pierce through the chakras and gather their energies into a single point – bindu.

To be able to establish this pillar of the heart fire one must know all the peripheral sites and their correspondences to the chakra system. All of this is hidden within the sapta-varga-aksharas, the system of seven groups of sound variations that reside in the seven chakras. These sounds correspond to the various parts of the peripheral body. Through them one is able to gain direct control over the face, the senses, right arm, lips and teeth, mouth, ears, soft tissue and bone, left arm, right leg, throat, left leg and the whole body-mind complex. This control cannot be achieved with an unprepared or superficial mindset.

In conclusion one must understand that without the science of invocation there can be no progress on the path of yoga. One must know what is to be invoked and from whom; in the moment of invocation one must recognise what was been invoked and know how to respond to the power that presents itself. Without the science of mantra raja and its mantrodhara the khechari mudra will remain forever a dream never lived.

© Sundernath (Shandor Remete)

Shadow Yoga is concerned with the social and environmental impacts of industry and the marginalisation of various groups. We have pledged 1% of sales to help fund diverse grassroots organizations and appreciate the support of our community.

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Important Information


  • Accommodation for the specified nights. We will do our best to provide your choice of accommodation
  • Vegetarian meals catered by local chef with local produce.

If you are flying to Auckland, when your flights are confirmed, please pass the info to Jaymin Gansell who will co-ordinate transport to the retreat on the Tuesday. This will be an additional shared cost. If you are already in Auckland you are welcome to contact her too.


  • 5% For EarlyBird booking and full payment received before 15 July will be applied at checkout.
  • We regret that Teacher’s Discount is not available for this retreat.

Cancellation Policy

  • After 15 August: Cancellation fee of 20%
  • After 15 September: Cancellation fee of 40%
  • After 15 October: Cancellation fee of 100%
  • We will do our best to replace your booking in which case the fee will be halved.

Limited to 20 participants. We expect places to fill quickly.

Important Information

August is the time of the monsoon in India. Ancient writings outline that this season is the best season for Panchakarma treatments (Ayurvedic cleansings) which are enhanced at this time. Alongside this, the yoga will be offered with the treatments.


  • Accommodation for the specified nights. We will do our best to provide your choice of accommodation
  • One consultation with the Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor)
  • Treatments as specified
  • Three vegetarian meals a day with two beverages (ideally herbal tea if not, tea/ coffee) and fruit bowl
  • One group session on Diet and Ayurveda


  • Extra meals/fruits/tea/coffee & juices


  • Airport taxi pickup and drop are available (see below)
  • Additional specific treatments are available
  • Astrology Session: INR4,000


  • 5% For EarlyBird booking and full payment received before 31 March (will be applied at checkout)
  • If you are registering for more than one course at Poonthottam an additional 5% discount is available. We will also include the night between the courses. In this case, please email Danny May with your course selection and room type.
  • We regret that Teacher’s Discount is not available for these retreats.

Venue information
The closest domestic airports in order are Kozhikode, Cochin, Coimbatore. Cochin takes longer because of very heavy traffic. The ashram will help organise a taxi for you – see contact details below.


For taxi bookings and information about additional treatments or extending your stay, please contact Jishnu Ravendranath
WhatsApp is prefered +918075435242

Cancellation Policy

(based on Ayurvedasram policy)
After 30 April – Cancellation fee of 25%
After 28 May – 100%

Limited to 25 participants. We expect places to fill quickly.

Meditations of the Thunder Dragon (Taranyali Dhyanam)

with Sundernath

Over the past twenty years, we have introduced and taught all the preparatory practices required to cultivate the subtle energy and initiate the gathering of vital power that leads to the spontaneous or natural state of Sahajavasta which is the highest peak of meditation.

These practices and technical tools were laid out in Sundernath’s book Taranyali Tridha Dhyanam in the chapters on Krantam and Kriya. In the last chapter, he introduces the principles and characteristics of the final phase to which they lead – the acquisition of Shambhavi Mudra. These properties can be summed up in the term prasādājñā which implies that this mudra has a double nature – Rudra Shakti, the command of authority for the removal of impurities and Kundalini Shakti, the command of grace. When these two energies are drawn together into a single point the portal of transmission is opened. In this explanation I gave enough for genuine seekers to gain some sense of the path ahead and the demands that it would make.

The time has come to teach those individuals who are suitably prepared and open, by practical steps and in a systematic manner, the complete process through to this final stage.

This will be undertaken in four stages as follows:

  1. The Sheathing of Thunder and Lightning
  2. Stabilising the Thunder and Lightning
  3. Opening the Sky and Flooding
  4. The Arousal of Hamsah – the Anahata Nad, (the unstruck sound of the heart).
    Shambhavi Mudra

Each stage will consist of three-weekend workshops, each weekend consisting of three sessions. Between these stages, the students will be given suitable time to practice and absorb what they have learned before proceeding further.

Copyright © Shadow Yoga. All rights reserved. No part of these teachings may be reproduced, distributed, recorded or transmitted in any form or by any means, including, recording, or other electronic or mechanical means, without the prior written permission of Shadow Yoga. All advice given is strictly in confidence.


About the region

Tourism center information

Close by: Remember to call ahead for visit conditions

Roche de Solutré: Not to miss, on the Great Site of France Solutré Pouilly Vergisson

Musée de préhistoire: Jardin archeological and botanical garden, the Maison du Grand Site to complete the tour.

Château De Pierreclos: In the midst of organic vineyards.

Chateau De Berze-Le-Chatel: Historical monument, one of the most well-preserved medieval fortified castles of Burgundy (where Ridley Scott shot ‘The Last Duel’!)

Chapelle Des Moines: In Berzé-la-Ville (the next village!)  – not to be missed.

Château De Cormatin: (only possible to visit its magnificent garden) Between Tournus et Cluny.

Les Communs: Local ceramists.

Chapaize – L’église Saint Martin & L’église De Lancharre: The village offers bed and breakfasts, 3 restaurants a Sunday organic market, an art gallery, and artists’ ateliers.

Grottes D’azé: Earth under life: in -350 000, a primal man appeared in the cave, then rhinos and antique elephants…the prehistorical cave and the underground river hide one of the largest European cave bears fields.

Grottes De Blanot

Château De Saint-Point-Lamartine: If one appreciates the writer

Solornay sur Guye: The neighbouring town – includes a restaurant, small food store, salon de thé – pâtisserie 

Cité- Abbaye De Cluny: The Benedictin Abbaye Of Cluny Shined On The Whole Middle Age Europe, Being The Widest Of Western Christianity Before The Building Of Saint-Peters In Rome.

Communauté De Taizé: Christian Ecumenical Community Founded In 1940 By Brother Roger.

Abbaye Saint Philibert – Tournus: One Of The Largest French Monastic Cities.