Detailed Clarification on mantra meditation:
There are many
doubts and misconception among people about mantra. Even many knowledgeable
persons says that mantra is nothing but a boring repetition of words
that doesn't affect our consciousness and the only effect it produce is
to take the chanter ( the one who repeats the mantra ) into a state of
sleep. There are many other wrong notions about mantra which, I
think, exist because of the fact that people are not aware of the
full mechanism of mantra. So before you start mantra meditation,
it is essential that you clear all your doubts about mantra:
Mantra will take
you into sleep :
Yes but only if you use it as a lullaby.
The most important thing in mantra meditation is that you should repeat
it with the full awareness of its meaning. However, many people
repeat mantra without having full awareness of its meaning. If you
repeat a mantra in such mechanical way then it will not produce any effect
and will remain an ordinary word. The emotional feeling in which a
mantra is chanted is the most important requisite of mantra meditation.
In its absence a mantra is no more than a lullaby. So always keep in
mind that whenever you repeat a mantra, you should know what is the
meaning of that Mantra. Otherwise you'll not be able to draw any benefit
doubt (2) : Language of most
mantra is strange and difficult to understand.
To some extent it is true but
is a reason for it.
concept of Mantra meditation began in India. That is why most of
the mantras are in Sanskrit Language which is the language of the Vedas
(the oldest written texts of the world). Though the language Sanskrit
may be ancient & alien to you, what is still intact in various mantras written in this
language is their
phonetic significance and their ability to create powerful vibration
of sound . All mantras
were developed after painstaking research and efforts. Therefore, they
are very well written tools for achieving a meditative
state. You should only think about meditating- the process
of achieving a state of choiceless awareness- without thinking about the
language of the mantra that you will be repeating.
Sanskrit is not the sole language of mantra. In almost every religion
there are some specific words related to Sound. The word 'Amen' in
Christianity, 'Allah Hoo' in Islam and 'Om mani Padme Hum' in Buddhist
traditions are some examples. Please keep in mind that of
whichever language's mantra you repeat, you must repeat it
with full awareness of its meaning. In the section Some
mantra to dwell upon,
I have discussed four mantra in details : Om Namah Shivay, Hare Krishna
Mantra, Aum and So'ham. Please make sure to read the basic
before you chant them ]
doubt (3): If Mantra can
create a powerful sound vibration then what is the need to repeat it. We
can record a mantra on tape and can listen to it as and when we want for
achieving a meditative state. easy ! Isn't it ?
seems logical but actually is not that logical.
appears logical that If mantra can produce powerful sound vibration then why
not use a tape recorder and listen to it repeatedly. However, in reality
it is not that easy as it appears. If you record a mantra
and listen to it passively, you will fall asleep as the mantra will act
as a lullaby. All those- who are really interested in mantra
meditation- should keep in mind that there are two basic requirement for
getting any benefit from mantra meditation-
the sound of the mantra;
(2) the repetition of mantra
with faith and full awareness of its meaning
When you play a
mantra on tape, you are just a passive listener. The requirement of sound
is there , but the awareness part is absent. Even if the recorded sound
is of someone who has recorded the mantra with faith and full awareness
of its meaning, the fact remains that you, who is just a passive
listener, will not be able to draw any benefits form this sound as it is
not your faith but that of someone else which is included in the
recorded mantra. So unless you yourself chant the mantra with faith and
full awareness of this meaning, the only thing you will get is a sound sleep.
keep in mind that In order to obtain full fruit of
mantra, we have to repeat it with full awareness of its meaning. Most of
the time, we repeat the mantra with the wrong understanding, thinking
that the syllables of the mantra and the object of the mantra are
different from each other and from ourselves. That is why the mantra
does not bear immediate fruit for us. If you think about this you will
understand that the same thing is true on a mundane level. Suppose that
someone calls you an idiot. If you do not accept the word
"idiot" as referring to you, you will not react to it. But if
you identify with it, you may become so angry that your blood heat up.
If you were to identify yourself with the name of God as easily as you
identify yourself with an abusive term, you would experience its effects
there a difference between repeating a mantra silently and repeating
it loudly ?
is a little difference but not much.
As I have already explained, the main
thing is that you should repeat a mantra with faith, respect and with
full awareness of its meaning. This can be done in both way i.e. by
silently repeating the mantra or by pronouncing it loudly. The basic
difference in repeating a mantra silently and repeating it loudly lies
in the intensity of sound that comes out in both the method. But these
vibrations may differ in their quantity but not in their quality and
both have the same effect on our inner consciousness.
(5): But no
sound is produced when we repeat a mantra silently?
If you can't listen a
sound, don't think it does not exist.
appears to us that no sound is produced, the reality is that every
action and every thought produces a sound. That's a different
thing that our senses can not detect it. Human being are capable of
detecting only sound between 20 to 20,000 decibel. We can't listen sound
below or above that level. However, this does not mean that such sounds
do not exist. They do exists and leave their effect on us. When you
chant a mantra silently, it produces a sound. Though we can't hear the sound, ,
it does exist and produces the vibrations which affects our inner
the above clarifications have removed all your doubts about mantra
to use mantra meditation in a busy and complex life.