Mantras

This article is about another aspect of healing through sounds and vibrations. It is a proven fact in today’s scientific world. Originally published in Speaking Tree by Bhanumati Narsimhan.

Mantras – Sound vibrations that permeate every cell of your being and allow your mind to dissolve and repose. But what are they? What do they mean? Where did they come from? There are so many questions surrounding these ancient syllables. Speaking about Mantras is the revelation of ancient secrets that have been kept sacred from several ages, secrets that continue to benefit humanity irrespective of its circumstances.
Mantras are impulses or rhythms of the consciousness. They create vibrations in the spirit. Their effects, influence, method and mode of working are all a mystery.
In Sanskrit, it is said, Manana trayate iti mantra. Mantra is that which saves you from repetitiveness. A repetitive thought is a worry. Mantras help to free you from your worries. Often we wonder why we chant some sounds without understanding their meanings? Can something beyond our understanding help us?
The meaning of every mantra is infinity. It is a sound vibration beyond the cognition of the mind. When the mind is unable to cognize, it simply dissolves and moves into a meditative space.
The mantra is like a seed. Every seed has the potential to become a tree. Similarly, these sound vibrations contain all the possibilities of creation. Some mantras are in the seed form, called the bija mantras. Others are fully expressed, i.e, the fruit of the mantra is also expressed, like the Gayatri mantra.
Mantras are a secret. That which is kept a secret alerts the sub-conscious mind. The mantras work at the level of the consciousness. When we want a seed to sprout, it needs to be sown into the soil, hidden, a secret. If it is simply thrown around, birds may eat them up. We can read and learn about mantras and their uses from books and the internet but that will only satisfy the intellect and not translate into experience.
When we chant the mantras, or listen to them, we get purity of mind and word. This prepares us for meditation. As a result of the sound vibrations, different patterns of the mind re-arrange themselves to become tranquil. Agitation is reduced, helping us to turn inward. For instance, when we laugh, our happiness increases. When we cry, the heaviness of our sorrow is released. Just the sounds of laughter and crying have helped. Mantras act in a similar manner. Repetition of the Mantras creates a psychological or mental response that is very deep and beyond the realm of words or expression. It can only be experienced. Speech falls short as it cannot go beyond the expression level into the experiential level.
When the mind is calm and centered, it can turn inward. Only a mind turned inward can experience the vastness and beauty of the Divine consciousness. When our focus is outward on the objects of the senses, our mind is scattered and racing behind one craving or another. Physical senses seek to know all about the external universe. Meditation is the tool for inner exploration. Antarmukhi Sada Sukhi – one whose mind is turned inward is ever in bliss. Mantras are the tools which allow the mind to dissolve and repose in the Self.
Why should we repose in the Self? How is this going to help in our day-today life?
When the river is calm, the reflection is clearer. When the mind is calm, there is greater clarity in the field of expression. Our sense of observation, perception and expression improve. As a result we are able to communicate effectively and clearly.
Most of our problems or misunderstandings arise because of a lack of proper communication. When our mind is free from agitation, the way we interact and communicate is so much more pleasant and effective. Our efforts are not hindered by rifts caused due to communication gaps. This leads to a lot of positivity in our outlook and progress in life.
Mantras are as subtle as the air which creates ripples in the water as it gently moves over it. Air is all-pervading and at the same time affects specific regions. The field of the mantras is also such. It is all –pervading and also creates an impact on the one who is practicing.

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Does the spoon taste the soup?

“A fool may live all his life in the company of a master and still miss the way.”

~ Buddha

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“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~ Dalai Lama

Compassion

You have known Empathy.

How can you empathise with a person whose actions and words are harming himself or his loved ones? How can you stand in his or her shoes and understand such feelings?

When you can not have empathy, you can still be compassionate. You can feel compassion for someone or even an insect or animal even if you don’t recognise the other’s feelings in yourself.

Everyone will learn their lesson, some choose the hard way; they will come around, just know that they are ignorant; but you be aware, be compassionate.

Compassion comes from the heart, and it is a reflection of your kind and benevolent nature to all living beings.

The “random acts of kindness” – letting one go ahead of you in a line, giving your seat to an elderly, helping homeless; all are acts of compassion, but only if they are coming from a genuine impulse to do something good and not because you are “doing the right thing”. Always reflect inward with your acts – Is that act giving you happiness, joy & contentment? Or is it making you feel proud or feeding your ego?

You know whats inside you.

Be Aware, be the witness.

Be compassionate towards every living being, including yourself.

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“येन केना प्रकरेणा यस्या कसी आपी जन्तुनह संतोषाम जनाएद धिमन्स्तद ईश्वरा पूजनां”

The light of consciousness is in all beings, therefore to give joy to someone is the best worship of divinity.

Acts of Kindness

How do you feel when a stranger come forward to help you in your need?

Does your heart goes out to bless that soul?

Would you like your own life to be over-flowing with such blessings?

What act of kindness have you done today?

Did you spread your smile today?

In such acts of giving and receiving have you ever stopped and thought whether another person is of the same religion or have same ideas as yours?

Your spiritual being is much higher than your religion and idea. You do not need religion to be kind and compassionate. You can be atheist and still have empathy and kindness.

You do volunteer work, acts of kindness, not because it is commanded by any God or religion, but doing it makes you feel good and you think this is the way human beings should act towards one another.

Here, it does not mean that you start commanding the acts of kindness from others but reflect on yourself and start contributing. You become the giver. The selfless giver who is beyond any materialistic or selfish gain. Start contributing and you will be amazed the goodness you’ll start attracting in your own life.

Spread goodness, it is infectious.

This will progress you to the higher realm of Happiness.

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Contemplation and meditation aren’t easy, for further inward you go, the more deeply felt will be your understanding, and going deep requires digging through layers of defenses. We are so disciplined to think and analyze that attempts to clear or empty the mind defy our training.

~ Brian L. Weiss

 

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the art or technique of quieting the mind so that the endless chatter that normally fills our mind is stilled. Gradually in the silent mind, the meditator begins to observe without judgement, to reach a level of detachment, and eventually, to become aware of a higher state of consciousness.
The practice of meditation helps us clear our minds. It rids us of stresses, intrusive thoughts, and fragments and echoes of the outside world – all of which engulfs our conscious minds. Meditation makes our minds more unclutter and open to what’s truly important. And the benefits extend well beyond the meditative state itself. The deeper that meditation takes us, the further we move away from the level of everyday consciousness (encompassing frustration, stress, anxiety, and worry), and the closer we draw to the higher self, we open more and more with the capacity to love.
Consequently, as we gain a higher perspective about life and our place in the world, we start appreciating the love that lies within us. We discover that we already possess this precious gift that’s so full of beauty, we find ourselves filled with self-love and are able to achieve happiness and joy.
Meditation demands practice and patience, but the act of meditating itself continues to generate more and more patience. After all, what’s important is that we’re getting to discover and know more and more about our own core which is the most beautiful, receptive, and productive part of ourself. There are many ways to tap into this higher self of ours, and the more we progress along this path, the easier it becomes to achieve increasingly higher levels of spirituality.

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

Method:

Surya Namaskara, like most yogasanas must be performed only on an empty stomach. Therefore there must be a gap of at least two hours after eating and before performing the namaskara.

The physical base of the practice links together twelve asanas in a dynamically performed series. These asanas are ordered so that they alternately stretch the spine backwards and forwards. When performed in the usual way, each asana is moved into with alternate inhalation and exhalation (except for the sixth asana where the breath is held in external suspension). A full round of Surya namaskara is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses with a change in the second set to moving the opposite leg first through the series.

 

Specialty:

It is a full body and mind workout. It improves posture, flexibility, also balance and stabilise the mind. Enhances concentration and intuition. Burns excess calories and tones the body. Regulates endocrinal system leading to better metabolism and absorption of nutrition. Helps look young through better cell rejuvenation. Excellent alternative to caffeine and other stimulants. Calms the mind and helps get better sleep. Enhances concentration and intuition.

 

Duration:

Ideally 12 Surya Namaskaras are performed at one practice. If starting this practice for the first time, it is generally started with fewer (3 to 6) Namaskaras per day, and then gradually increased to 12 Namaskaras per session by the time a week is over.

 

Yoga Vashishtha: Part X

Gyan Bhoomika (The Steps of Knowledge)

One who knows the deathless nature of the self is not afraid of death nor is he affected by separation from friends and relations. The feelings – this is “I” and this is “Mine” are the mind, when they are removed the mind ceases to be and then one becomes fearless. Weapons like sword generates fear; and the weapon called wisdom which destroys ignorance and creates fearlessness towards whichever object the mind flows with intensity, in that it sees fulfillment of craving. Of course there is no mind without restlessness. Restlessness is the very nature of the mind. It is the work of the restlessness of mind based on this infinite consciousness that appears as this World. This indeed is the power of the mind. When the mind is deprived of its restlessness it is known as dead mind. That alone is penance. The mind constantly swings like a pendulum between the reality and appearance. Between consciousness and inertness. When the mind contemplates inert objects for a considerable time it assumes characteristics of such inertness.  When the same mind is devoted to inquiry and wisdom it shakes of all conditioning and returns to original nature as pure consciousness. The impure mind is the cause for delusions. One should strive to discard them. If the mind is elsewhere the taste of food, the food that is been eaten is not really experienced. If the mind is elsewhere one does not see what is there in front of oneself. The senses are born of the mind and not the other way around. It is only from the point of view of fools that the body and the mind are said to be quite different. In fact they are non-different being mind alone. Salutations to those sages who have realized this truth. The sage who has realized this is not disturbed. Even if his arms are cutoff he doesn’t experience it. He is able to convert all sorrow into bliss just as an actor is able to portray in himself the character of different personalities. The mind is nothing but what is been put together by thought. He who does not allow his mind to roam into objects of pleasure is able to master it. He alone is human beings others are worms. He attains to Supreme Being by constant meditation. Victory over mind is gained when one attains self-knowledge and discarding the cravings for what mind desires as pleasure. This can be achieved without any effort at all by cultivation of proper attitude. By intense self effort it is possible to gain victory over the mind. They who are unable to do this are indeed vultures in human form. Let the infinite consciousness swallow the finite mind. Do not remain ignorant. Strive to be wise by renouncing mental conditioning. You are not the doer for any action you do here so why do you assume doer ship?  Do not become inactive either for – what is gained by doing nothing. What is to be done has to be done therefore rest in the self. Even while doing all the actions natural to you if you are unattached to those actions then you are truly the non-doer. If you are doing nothing and attach to that non-doership then you become the doer. From Brahma – the creator, down to blade of grass all these are nothing but SELF. Ignorance is the non-existent in the reality. There is no second thing here known as the mind. The infinite consciousness then itself is known as mind. Mind is born of this thought and idea and mind has to vanish with the help of an idea, that is by coming to an end of idea and thought. The mind is liberated by firm conviction that everything is absolute consciousness. Ideas and thoughts are bondage and their coming to an end is liberation. Thus do whatever has to be done spontaneously.

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