By Swami Harshananda
Dipana literally means ‘lighting up’.
In ritual and spiritual practices, mantras play a very important part. These mantras have to be received in either in dikṣā or spiritual initiation from a competent guru or teacher.
The tantras proclaim that an effective mantra should pass through a purification process. This process is called as ‘mantra-sanskāra’. It is of ten types, of which ‘dipana’ or ‘dipani’ is also one. There are two views regarding the usage of 'dipana'. They are:
- the bijamantra or seed-letter has to be repeated seven times with the praṇava (Om) preceding and following it. This is ‘dipana’ for that mantra. For instance, ‘Gaṇ’ is the bijamantra for Gaṇapati. In dipana, ‘Om gaṇ Om’ has to be repeated seven times.
- the dipana has to be done with the formula ‘Om hrīm śrī’ the details have to be learned from the guru.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore