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.
Advertisements

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.

 

The ultimate and the inexpressible

The state of no-mind is the state of the divine. God is not a thought but the experience of thoughtlessness. It is not a content in the mind; it is the explosion when the mind is content-less. It is not an object that you can see; it is the very capacity to see. It is not the seen but the seer. It is not like the clouds that gather in the sky, but the sky when there are no clouds. It is that empty sky.

When the consciousness is not going out to any object, when there is nothing to see, nothing to think, just emptiness all around, then one falls upon oneself. There is nowhere to go–one relaxes into one’s source, and that source is God.

Your inner being is nothing but the inner sky. The sky is empty, but it is the empty sky that holds all, the whole existence, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the planets. It is the empty sky that gives space to all that is. It is the empty sky that is the background of all that exists. Things come and go and the sky remains the same.

In exactly the same way, you have an inner sky; it is also empty. Clouds come and go, planets are born and disappear, stars arise and die, and the inner sky remains the same, untouched, untarnished, unscarred. We call that inner sky sakshin, the witness–and that is the whole goal of meditation.

Go in, enjoy the inner sky. Remember, whatsoever you can see, you are not it. You can see thoughts, then you are not thoughts; you can see your feelings, then you are not your feelings; you can see your dreams, desires, memories, imaginations, projections, then you are not them. Go on eliminating all that you can see. Then one day the tremendous moment arrives, the most significant moment of one’s life, when there is nothing left to be rejected. All the seen has disappeared and only the seer is there. That seer is the empty sky.

To know it is to be fearless, and to know it is to be full of love. To know it is to be God, is to be immortal.

Linga Mudra (Mudra of Heat)

Method:

Interlock the fingers of both the hands and keep the thumb of the left hand vertically straight and encircle it with the thumb and the index finger of the right hand.

Specialty:

It generates heat in our body. Supplement milk, ghee, more water and fruit juices to your diet, in addition to practice of this mudra for adding benefits.

Time Duration:

Practice it any time you want. But don’t practice it a lot as it produces heat in the body. It can cause sweating even in winter if you practice it longer.

Benefits:

It stops production of phlegm and gives power to lungs.

It cures severe cold and bronchial infection.

It invigorates the body.

Apana Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Heart)

Method:

The tips of the middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb, while the index finger touches the base of thumb and little finger stretched out.

 

Specialty:

It benefits the heart. It relieves even at the time of heart attack. It is as powerful as sorbitrate tablet. It reduces the gas content in the body.

 

Time Duration:

Practice it as many times as you can. Heart patients and BP patients can practice it for 15 minutes daily twice for better results.

 

Benefits:

It strengthens the heart and regularize palpitation.

It regulates excretory system.

It helps in reducing gastric trouble.

Prana Mudra (Mudra of Life)

Method:

Bend ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of thumb with their tips keeping the remaining two fingers stretched.

 

Specialty:

As it is the mudra of life, it improves the power of life. Weak people become strong. It reduces the clamps in blood vessels. If you practice it regularly, you will become active.

 

Time Duration:

No specific time duration. One can practice it any time.

 

Benefits:

It improves immunity.

It improves the power of eyes and reduces eye related diseases.

It balances the vitamin deficiency and helps reduce fatigue.

Surya Mudra (Mudra of Sun)

Method:

Bend the ring finger and press it with thumb.

 

Specialty:

It sharpens the center in thyroid gland.

 

Time Duration:

Practice it daily twice for 5 to 15 minutes.

 

Benefits:

It reduces cholesterol in body and helps in reducing weight.

It reduces anxiety.

It helps balancing indigestion problems.

Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air)

Method:

Keep the index finger on the base of the thumb and press with thumb keeping the other three fingers straight.

Specialty:

It prevents all the diseases that occur due to the imbalance of the air.

Time Duration:

The practice of this mudra for 45 minutes reduces the severity of the disease in 12 to 24 hours. For better results practice it for two months.

Benefits:

It reduces symptoms of Rheumatism, Arthritis, Gout, Parkinson’s disease and paralysis without any medicine.

It is useful for Cervical Spondylitis, paralysis to face and catching of nerve in neck.

It corrects the disorder of gas in the stomach.

Varuna Mudra (Mudra of Water)

Method:

Tip of little finger touches the tip of thumb, with the other three fingers stretched out.

 

Specialty:

It balances the water content and prevents all diseases which come due to lack of water.

 

Time Duration:

It has no specific time duration and one can practice it according to their time.

 

Benefits:

It retains clarity in blood by balancing water content in the body.

Prevents the pains of Gastroenteritis and Muscle Shrinkage.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: