orig. a divine saying or decision, hence a secret plan (cp. def. of mant at Dhtp.578 by “gutta-bhāsane”), counsel; hence magic charm, spell. In particular a secret religious code or doctrine, esp. the Brahmanic texts or the Vedas, regarded as such (i.e. as the code of a sect) by the Buddhists.

  1. with ref. to the Vedas usually in the pl. mantā (the Scriptures, Hymns, Incantations) DN.i.96; MN.ii.166 (brahme mante adhiyitvā; mante vāceti); Snp.249 (= devā Snp-a.291), Snp.302 (mante ganthetvā criticised by Bdhgh as brahmanic (: heretic) work in contrast with the ancient Vedas as follows “vede bhinditvā dhammayutte porāṇa-mante nāsetvā adhamma-yutte kūṭa-mante ganthetvā” Snp-a.320), Snp.1000 (with ref. to the 32 signs of a Mahāpurisa), Snp.1018; Dhp.241 (holy studies); Ja.ii.100; Ja.iii.28 (maybe to be classed under 2), Ja.iii.537
    ■ Sometimes in sg.: mantaṃ parivattenti brahma-cintitaṃ Pv.ii.6#13 (= veda Pv-a.97) = Vv.63#16 (= veda Vv-a.265)
    ■ n. pl. also mantāni meaning “Vedas”: Mil.10.
  2. (doubtful, perhaps as sub group to No. 3) holy scriptures in general, sacred text, secret doctrine SN.i.57 (mantā dhīra “firm in doctrine” K.S. thus taking mantā as instr.; it may better be taken as mantar); Snp.1042 (where Cnd.497 explains as paññā etc.); Mhvs.5, Mhvs.109 (Buddha˚ the “mantra” of the B.), Mhvs.147 (id.).
  3. divine utterance, a word with supernatural power, a charm, spell, magic art, witchcraft Mil.11 (see about manta in the Jātakas: Fick, Sociale Gliederung 152, 153). At Pv-a.117 m. is combined with yoga and ascribed to the devas while y. is referred to men
    ■ Ja.i.200 (+ paritta), Ja.iii.511 (˚ṃ karoti to utter a charm, cast a spell); Dhp-a.iv.227. There are several special charms mentioned at var. places of the Jātakas, e.g. one called Vedabbha by means of which under a certain constellation one is able to produce a shower of gems from the air Ja.i.253 (nakkhatta-yoge laddhe taṃ mantaṃ parivattetvā ākāse ulloki, tato ākāsato satta-ratana-vassaṃ vassati) Others are: paṭhavī-jaya m. (by means of which one conquers the earth) Ja.ii.243; sabba-rāva-jānana˚ (of knowing all sounds, of animals), Ja.iii.415; nidhi-uddharana˚ (of finding secret treasures), Ja.iii.116; catukaṇṇa (four-cornered),, etc.
  4. advice, counsel, plan, design Vin.iv.308 (˚ṃ saṃharati to foil a plan);
  5. (adj.) (-˚) parivattana˚; a charm that can be said an effective charm Ja.i.200; bahu˚; knowing many charms very tricky Dhp-a.ii.4; bhinna˚; one who has neglected an advice,
  • -ajjhāyaka one who studies the Mantras or Holy Scriptures (of the Brahmins) Ja.i.167; Dhp-a.iii.361 (tinnaṃ vedānaṃ pāragū m- a. brāhmaṇo).
  • -ajjhena study of the Vedas Snp-a.314.
  • -pada = manta 1. DN.i.104 (= veda-sankhāta m. DN-a.i.273.
  • -pāraga one who masters the Vedas; in buddh. sense: one who excels in wisdom Snp.997. manta in this sense is by the Cys always explained by paññā, e.g. , Cnd.497 (as mantā f.) Dhp-a.iv.93 (id.), Snp-a.549 (mantāya pariggahetvā)
  • -pāragū one who is accomplished in the Vedas Snp.251 (= vedapāragū Snp-a.293), Snp.690 (= vedānaṃ pāragata Snp-a.488), Snp.976.
  • -bandhava one acquainted with the Mantras Snp.140 (= vedabandhū Snp-a.192); Mnd.11 (where Cnd.455 in same connection reads mitta˚ for manta˚: see under bandhu).
  • -bhāṇin reciter of the Holy Texts (or charms) Thig.281; fig. a clever speaker Snp.850 (but Mnd.219 reads manta˚; see mantar) Dhp.363 (cp. Dhp-a.iv.93; paññāya bhaṇana-sīla) Thag.2
  • -yuddha a weird fight, a bewitched battle Mhvs.25, Mhvs.49 (“cunningly planned b.” trsl. Geiger; “diplomatic stratagem,” Turnour).

cp. Vedic mantra, fr. mantray