The meaning of the word ‘Bija or Beej’ is seed. They have power to enhance the strength of any Mantra. And these are not just some random group of words.
It is the resonance of the sound is generated while chanting. There are five elements of atmosphere i.e. Ether, Air, Water, Fire, and Earth.
These elements are also present in our body. They are responsible for synchronising these elements in the body and the surroundings respectively.
As mentioned before, Bija means seed. A seed is a container for the particular plant to which it belongs. It determines the characteristics of that plant.
Similarly, they represent the origin of the Mantras of the specific deity to which they are associated with. But the difference here, is that this Bija Mantra determines the aspects of that particular deity to which it belongs; not the Mantras themselves.
Every deity has its own Bija Mantras. And to awaken that deity, a particular sound has to be emitted. These are normally associated with the Mantras of deities which correspond to salutation.
It is either one alphabet or a group of alphabets. The primary Bija Aksharas are as follows-
ॐ - Om
श्रीं - Shreem
ह्रीं - Hreem
क्रीं - Kreem
हुं - Hum
ऐं - Aim
फट् - Phat
क्रों - Krom
स्वाहा - Swaha
क्लीं - Kleem
ह्रुं - Hrum
गं - Gam
भ्रं - Bhram
हुं - Hum
दूं - Doom
दं - Dam
Do you see the pattern here?
All these words are made of singular alphabets or a singular word composed of multiple alphabets joined together, with a vowel in tow. And they all end in ‘M’ sound, which is the Anuswar (the dot on top).
‘M’ is the Rudra Bija. Rudra is another name for Lord Shiv, who can eliminate negative energies like sorrow.
Similarly, there are other Bija chants, which are constructed from the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet with a ‘Anuswar’ on top.
These Bija Mantras are like prefixes. You add them before the actual Mantra. Consider it like a form of preparation.
These Mantras help you concentrate or focus on yourdevotion which then multiplies the effects of your actual prayer. So they kind of act like catalysts.
Similarly, you chant:
OM is a unique Bija Mantra. All other Mantras start with OM. It is the eternal sound of the universe.
If you consider A-U-M as the preferred spelling, the three letters ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’ represent the deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh respectively.
These deities originate from one Supreme Being– Adimaya or Shakti (energy, which cannot be created, or destroyed).
Now if you observe the pattern of all the Bija Mantras, you will notice that atleast one of these three alphabetsis present in all of them.
That is why OM (or AUM) is the ultimate Bija, or the Supreme Bij of all the other Mantras, whether they are other Bij Mantras or not.
They need to be learnt from devoted Gurus only, because they wield immense power. And as with any powerful artefact, they need to be handled with care. Otherwise the adverse effects are disastrous.