From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Bīja literally means ‘the seed’.

  • Though the word means the seed of any plant or a tree, it is also widely been used in a more fundamental sense as the origin or the cause of anything.
  • As the cause of life it means the semen of living beings.
  • As the cause of samsāra or transmigratory existence, it represents avidyā or ajñāna (nescience).
  • In dramaturgy it stands for a root-cause out of which the whole play ultimately evolves.
  • In Haṭhayoga, it is a kind of mudrā or pose of hand and figures with a mystic significance (Bījamudrā).
  • As part of mantras it is the most important letter or letters, the recitation of which leads to desired results.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore