What exactly is a mantra? A mantra is the literal creation of form from energy. According to Vedic lore, the ancient sages, (Rishi) could hear the sounds of every being in nature. By way of deep meditation, they heard the subtle sounds of vibration. They then took these sounds and made them into words and phrases known as mantras.
Consequently, these mantras have great power.
SEE ALSO: The Meaning Of Om Mani Padme Hum
Why Should We Do Utter Mantras?
Mantras have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits. Speaking the vibration restores balance, re-aligns energy, heals, releases karma, transforms consciousness, and provides illumination. Mantras can also be invoked to create a specific outcome (remove obstacles, bring peace, or fulfill a wish or desire.) Continued use of this tool will also help you train your mind, and give you more clarity and focus. Ultimately, the mantra moves the seeker out of an ego-centric self and connects it to the higher aspect of Self and one-ness.
How To Use Mantras
Reciting a mantra is an easy way to begin a meditation practice. It provides a focal point to keep your mind occupied. This is what Transcendental Meditation practitioners do. This is done by choosing a word or phrase and repeating it. This is called Japa, because japa in Sanskrit means to repeat. To do this, a practitioner usually uses a Japa mala, the Hindu equivalent of a rosary.
A mala is a garland, but japa mala are specifically designed for chanting. They are made with either 27, 54 or 108 beads. It is customary to count mantra in sets of 108.* Japa mala has a guru bead or meru (mountain) bead which is a slightly larger shaped bead, to help you know where to begin and end. This particular garland is made from a wide variety of materials. Spend some time researching the powers of the semi-precious stones and beads to find the right one for you.
When you’re ready, place the mala in your right hand and count each bead with your thumb as it slides over your index finger. The larger guru bead or meru (mountain) bead is where you begin (but don’t count it!) When you hit it again, you know you’ve done one round.
Ready For A Mantra?
A mantra can be given by a teacher and/or it can be chosen by a student. Think about what you would like in your life right now: strength, peace, clarity, insight. Use your intuition to guide you to sources that might have a good selection. Read through each mantra and it’s meaning before making a choice. Then try it for a few days and see how it feels. The goal is to repeat the mantra for forty consecutive days. The mantra is said to gain power the more it is repeated.
When you’re ready, find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes. Have your japa mala in your right hand. Focus on correctly pronouncing the sound, word or phrase of your mantra silently or aloud. Enjoy!
Here is a short list to get you started:
- Om: (vibration of the universe, the word that means God, it has also been translated to mean: Everything; it is, will be, will become.
- Shanti: Peace
- Om Tat Sat: – I am that; what is everlasting and unchanging is God.
- Sat Nam: – Truth is my name; I recognize the divinity within you.
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