Usually most (or all) rig veda samhita mantras have a Rishi, Chanda and Devata. When it comes to Upanishads, I find some mantras to also have Beejam, Shakti and Keelakam.

Can someone explain me what keelakam is in context of Mantra Nyasa. Scriptural source will be very helpful. Thanks.


Kilakam literally means the "lock" or the "pin".. So, before chanting one needs to un-lock the Mantra by performing the NyAsa ritual as prescribed. This is said to release the full potential of the Mantra.

We have the following verse in KulArnava Tantram's 4th chapter:

Rishirashya parah shambushcha chandah avyAtkapurvikA |
GAyAtri devatA chAtra sarvamantreswari parA ||
Dirghatraya.. shaktishcha kilakam |
... shadangAni cha pArvati ||

The commentator elaborates on the word "ShadangAni" as follows:

ShadangAni -- All Tantrik Mantras have 6 limbs (Shad+Anga) -- Rishi (seer), Chandah (metre), DevatA (Deity), Bijam (seed), Shakti (energy) and Kilakam (pin) --- and their respective NyAsa places are --- the top of the head (Shirah), face (Mukham), heart (Hridaya), anus (Guhyadesha), feet (Padadvaya) and all body (SarvAnga).

So, as per this commentary, the Kilaka NyAsa is to be done in the anus. But this is not universally followed.

Kilaka NyAsa is more widely done in the navel for example.

So, it depends on the SampradAya, the particular Mantra etc. When, the Guru gives you the Mantra he will tell you where exactly to do these ShodAnga NyAsas on.

We do this NyAsa, with the right hand in a particular Mudra, while chanting the corresponding Viniyogah of the Mantra.

  • 2
    You should cite sources for the notion that Kilakam is about unlocking the Mantra. Jan 30 '18 at 12:29
  • @Rickross: Thank you. That was informative indeed (but something i am fairly, though not fully, familiar with). One clarification i seek is - a few mantras have something called the utkeelam procedure and then a few have the keelakam in Nyasa. Are the two different? Jan 30 '18 at 16:39
  • Also, in the Nyasa you gave, Shakti is the keelam, does thaat mean that shakti is locking it? Lets say some stotras for ex: vishnu sahasranama has Shangabrinnandaki chakri iti keelakam. So, does it imply that these weapons lock the power of the stotra. And is an utkeelanam procedure necessary to unlock it? Jan 30 '18 at 16:42
  • @VishwanathN The Kilaka in the Mantra i gave is not Shakti but it's something else.. It's given in a code.. So, even if u know Sanskrit u may not know what it is.. I am not sure about Utkilam.. Kilaka is there in every Mantra that are part of the Agamas.. And u need to do the Nyasa in the navel (or as told by the Guru) while saying the Kilaka part of the Viniyogah..
    – Rickross
    Jan 31 '18 at 5:42
  • @Rickross: Thanks. Yes i do it in the navel. THe reason i posed this question is that many translate Keelakam as Linchpin, the point about which the energy of the mantra is preserved. I wanted to know if anyone elaborates what this linchpin is about. Jan 31 '18 at 6:07

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