Mantras work. They work because they utilize several aspects of the physical and metaphysical world. These aspects have been used within the Hindu structure (though this is not what they call themselves) , for well over 3000 years. As always when East meets West, there have been scoffers, disbelievers, and outrage from traditional western medical, ethical, and religious sources.
On the other hand, many individuals who classify themselves as, esoteric, metaphysical, Wiccan, and eclectic find that mantras work well for them as tools to become more centered, balanced, and to reach the altered state of consciousness that is indicative of connection with Higher Power, Inner Power, Nature, or Deity.
This article examines the how and why. At the end of this article are several mantras that you can try for yourself.
According to Webster-Merriam Dictionary, the most basic one is Aum, which in Hinduism is known as the “pranava mantra, ” the source of all mantras. The Hindu philosophy behind this is the idea of nama-rupa (name-form) , which supposes that all things, ideas or entities in existence, within the phenomenological cosmos, have name and form of some sort. The most basic name and form is the primordial vibration of Aum, as it is the first manifested nama-rupa of Brahman, the unmanifest reality/unreality. Essentially, before existence and beyond existence is only One reality, Brahman, and the first manifestation of Brahman in existence is Aum. For this reason, Aum is considered to be the most fundamental and powerful word, and thus is prefixed and suffixed to all Hindu prayers. While some may invoke individual Gods or principles, the most fundamental, like ‘Aum, ‘ the ‘Shanti, ‘ the ‘Gayatri’ and others all ultimately focus on the One reality.
According to this tradition, the highest source (para) brought the world into being through the Word (Shabda) . This is the same concept in the Judeo-Christian Bible, which states that the creator breathed the WORD, and the universe came into being. Hinduism states that the word is ongoing and that the entire universe consists of vibrations at various frequencies and amplitudes giving rise to the phenomena of the world. The purest vibrations are the var.na, the imperishable letters that are revealed to us, imperfectly as the audible sounds and visible forms.
Again from the above cited article:
Varnas are the atoms of sound. A complex symbolic association was built up between letters and the elements, gods, signs of the zodiac, parts of the body — letters became rich in these associations. For example in the Aitrareya-aranya-Upanishad we find:
“The mute consonants represent the earth, the sibilants the sky, the vowels heaven. The mute consonants represent fire, the sibilants air, the vowels the sun? The mute consonants represent the eye, the sibilants the ear, the vowels the mind”
In the Judeo-Christian structure, the “Loshon HaKodesh”, or language of God, Ancient Hebrew, each letter represents energy intelligence. These energy intelligences can be utilized and drawn down by the appropriate mind set, intonation, and connection with the divine, or God. Each letter represents, an element, aspect of God, and part of the body, just like the Var.nas.
There are three types of Mantras:
* Prayer. A way of communing with the Highest Source.
* Guru. Represents the essence of prayer, and anchors us in Highest Source, the Atma and the Supreme Self.
* Bija. Represents the essence of the Guru Mantra. It is the vibration and the “call” of the soul. Its effects develop more readily in deep meditation.
They always include the following components:
* The word Aum; this is the first sound of creation.
* They are written in Sanskrit, one of the earliest languages.
* They awaken the Chakras.
Choose carefully. Know what you desire and find one that works for this desire. There is one that I suggest that will assist with all of your deepest desires. This is the Gayatri. This mantra is called the “mother of mantras” because it speaks to the unification of the person with the divine. Here is the (short) text.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah, Tat Savitur Varenyam.Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
O Supreme Creator, Thou art the giver of life, the remover of pain and sorrow and the bestower of happiness; O Creator of the Universe, may we receive Thy supreme disconnection-destroying light; may Thou guide our intellect in the direction of enlightenment.
Gayatri is the mother of the universe, the Shakti itself. There is nothing She cannot do. Her mantra purifies the mind, destroys pain, sin and ignorance, brings liberation, and bestows health, beauty, strength, vitality, power intelligence and magnetic aura. Mahatma Gandhi believed that It protects both your body as well as soul.
In order for a mantra to work, one needs to internalize the mantra. According to Hinduism there are five stages to this internalization. They are:
* Likhita – through writing
* Vaikhari – through speaking
* Upamshu – through whispering
* Manasa – through thinking
* Ajapa – through uninterrupted inner repetition
Notice that just saying it over and over again, (Ajapa) is not sufficient. I have found that for individuals who I have worked with, and who do not wish to take the time to learn Sanskrit, that stages 2 through 5 are sufficient to obtain the desired results.
Once you have chosen, say it (Ajapa) at least 27 times a day. Many people, (myself included) have a circle of prayer beads, (Yes, this is like the rosary that our Catholic brothers and sisters use) to help keep count. This way one is not consciously counting and upon reaching the first bead again, one knows one is finished.
Each individual in the creation, whether 2-footed, 4-footed, scaly, crawly, furred, or finned has some ability to make sound, and as stated above sound is the essence of the creation. The continuous practice of mantra purifies the Consciousness and the mind.
According to Metaphysics, the God/Buddha/Christ/Goddess/Universal consciousness resides in part within each of us. Therefore, our affinity for SOUND as a tool for relaxation, meditation, and connection with everything is part of our essence.
Sounds, or mantras, play an important role in establishing the positive vibrations within oneself in order to manifest and attract that which we desire. While I do not prescribe to the western prevalence of “money” spells or incantations, I do prescribe to the essential character of vibrating positively one’s desires to obtain peace, prosperity, relationships, and connection to divine in all its manifestations.
A further word about “money” or “love” spells or manifestations: These are very small and self-serving desires. One must be careful on the intent of what one is doing. Think about the “used car salesperson” who exudes an energy/vibration of ‘buy now’. It is not a pleasant experience. The same goes for “love”. Just be a good-looking person in a bar one night and someone with an uncomfortable energy will approach. See how that feels.
However, prosperity and connection manifestation work WITH the essence of the Universal Consciousness and brings about the desired results while taking into account the desires of the other individual.
The mantra is a prayer; it is a way to connect our desires to the Universe in an appropriate way utilizing the essential Agape, (Unconditional Love) , that was used to create the Universe. It is our highest, most deeply rooted desire: to be one with all of creation.
Listen to mantras. You can find them on the net easily. See which one resonates the most with you and choose that one. Once you have chosen, find a good translation and say it in the original language several times (preferably 27 x) a day. That’s empowerment to you. I recommend that you start with the ‘Gayatri’ mantra.
And have FUN! Why do anything if you aren’t enjoying yourself?