For almost ten years now, I’ve been reciting the Mangala mantra, during self-practice and with the collective during a led primary Ashtanga class. It wasn’t until I downloaded renowned Sanskrit teacher’s, Manorama’s Ashtanga closing prayer, that I discovered a new verse. I remember going to her Sanskrit workshop back in 2009, and describing mantra or Sanskrit, as vinyasa for the tongue. After that, I was prompted to go on a quest to discover the meaning behind the internal tapestry of this beautifully woven garland of noble words also known as the great Mangala Mantra.
Why called Vinyasa for the tongue?
Once the mouth movements were identified as guttural, labial, cerebral, palatal, dental and labial, I listened to Thomas Ashley-Ferrand’s cd and with the assistance of Nicolai Bachman’s flashcards.
Here is what I learned:
1) All consonants have a built-in A.
2) There are Bija mantras, or seed sounds to begin learning to chant.
3) The sound is combined with breath. There is a technique, just as there is an asana class. Additionally, there is meaning behind the words, just as there is in a yoga philosophy class.
4) Aspiration is added to letters as the letter is pronounced, not after it is pronounced.
5) Mantras have been used for physical and emotional ailments since they were taught 3,500 years ago. There is a Bija mantra for each chakra.
6) After the age of 28, the end of a mantra should change from Namah to Svaha (Swaha).
7) In conclusion, Mantra practice is a methodology, such as a breath count, a higher meaning, and with practice or repetition, we reap the fruits, just as we would in a Vinyasa class.
Mangala Mantra meaning
Mangala is defined as Auspicious in Sanskrit. A mantra or mantram is an affirmation of divine truth. Ma means to think and tram means protection from incorrect thinking.
OM Swasthi prajabhyah paripalayantam Nyayena margena mahi mahishaha gobrahmanebhyaha shubhamastu nityam Loka Samastha sukhino bhavanthu OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
May all be harmonious with mankind.
May the leaders of the earth protect us in every way.
May there be goodness for those who know the earth to be sacred.
May all the realms be at peace and be happy.
Om=Cosmic cound Peace Peace Peace
Extra verse unlocked
Kale varsatu parjanyah prthivi sasyasalini
Desoyam ksobharahito brahmana santu nibhaya
May the rains fall on time, and may the earth yield its produce in abundance.
May our country be from disturbances, and may the knowers of truth be free from fear.
Mantra as a Spiritual Practice
On the days one has a fever, a cold or flu, or allergies that consume one’s physical energy, a mantra is an excellent way to raise your vibration. After all, it is vinyasa in another sequence for the tongue. In a traditional led Ashtanga class, we chant the opening prayer to uplift ourselves and pay respect to Patanjali, the founder, and codifier of the Yoga Sutras. Mantra and chanting are a gateway to opening us up to our highest potential. In the closing chant, our intent is more altruistic, we spread the energy cultivated from the practice, to explore the interconnectedness of humanity. In closing, Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. Hope you heard that and happy chanting!
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