Category Archives: Mantras

The Night of Shiva


Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at the night of no moon, two nights before the new moon and before it is full in Pisces.  In India, it is celebrated all night long, singing songs in praise of Shiva and his Shakti and pouring milk, panchamrita, and water over the yoni-lingam. Turmeric is offered for prosperity, kumkum and flowers for blessings of the Mother.  This year it is on February 13-14, 2018.


Everything you offer in worship is for your own purification, cleansing yourself of your emotions, all your negativities in body, mind, spirit, and karma.

ATTRIBUTES OF SHIVA, translated by Swami Sivananda Saraswati, founder of Divine Life Society:

Advaita, Akhanda, Akarta, Abhokta, Asanga, Ashakta, Nirguna, Nirlipta, Chidananda’rupah Sivoham Sivoham.

Non-dual, indivisible, non-doer, non-enjoyer, Unattached, without qualities, I am Shiva (auspiciousness), I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

 Avyakta, Ananta, Amrita, Ananda, Achala, Amala, Akshara, Avyaya, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Unmanifested, endless, immortal, bliss, Immovable, without impurities, imperishable,inexhaustible, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Ashabda, Asparsha, Arupa, Agandha, Aprana, Amana, Atindriya, Adrishya, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Soundless, touchless, smell-less, formless,without Prana, without mind, without senses, unseen, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.


Satyam, Shivam, Shubham, Sundaram, Kantam, Sat-chit-ananda, Sampurna, Sukha, Santam, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.
Truth, auspiciousness, good, beautiful, resplendent, existence-knowledge-bliss, all-full, pure
happiness, peaceful. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.
Chetana, Chaitanya, Chid’ghana, Chinmaya, Chidakasa, Chinmatra, Sanmantra, Tanmaya, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.
Consciousness, mass of knowledge, full of knowledge, All-pervading like ether, consciousness alone, full of That, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.
Amala, Vimala, Nirmala, Achala, Avang’manogochara, Akshara, Nischala, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Pure, stainless, immovable, Beyond the reach of mind and speech, imperishable, steady, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Nitya, Niru’padhika, Niratisaya Ananda, Nirakara, Hrimkara, Omkara, Kutastha, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Eternal, without attributes, supreme bliss, Without form, Hrim and Om (Pranava), rock-seated Self, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Purna, Para Brahma, Prajnana Ananda, Sakshi, Drashta, Turiya, Vijnana Ananda, Chidanandarupah Sivoham Sivoham.
All-full, Paramatman, knowledge and bliss, Witness; Seer, the fourth state, self-knowledge, bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.
Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam, Anandam, Sat-chit-ananda, Svayam Jyoti Prakasam, Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Truth, knowledge, endless, bliss, Existence-knowledge-bliss, self-luminous, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.


Kaivalya, Kevala, Kutastha, Brahma, Shuddha, Siddha, Buddha, Sat-chit-ananda, Chidananda’rupah Sivoham Sivoham.

Immortality, alone, changeless, Self Pure, perfect, illumined, existence-knowledge-bliss, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

Nirdosha, Nirmala, Vimala, Niranjana, Nitya, Nirakara, Nirguna, Nirvikalpa, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.

Without defects, pure, spotless, eternal, formless,

without qualities, superconsciousness, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.


Atman, Brahma Svarupa, Chaitanya-Purusha, Tejomaya, Ananda, ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi’ Lakshya, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.
Self, Supreme Self, consciousness, Full of light, bliss, that which is indicated by ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi -Thou art That’. I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.

‘Soham’, ‘Shivoham’, ‘Aham-Brahma-Asmi’ Mahavakya, Shuddha, Sat-chit-ananda, Purna Para Brahma, Chidananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham.

‘I am He’, ‘I am Shiva’, ‘I am Brahman*’, Pure, existence-knowledge-bliss, all-full Self, I am Shiva, I am Shiva of the form of knowledge and bliss.


*Brahman is not Brahma but the entire Divine Energy that is 100% of the universe.

Mantras of the month:

Om Namah Shiva’ya

*Shiva’s Moola Mantra

Om Shrim Klim Namah Shiva’ya*

This mantra joining Shakti with Shiva makes you a siddha (perfected being.)

Om Pashupati’yae Namaha

Shiva is lord of all creatures, earth, plants, animals, fish
This mantra is excellent for issues with your pets or other animals that need good energy sent.

*Not pronounced ‘aya.’


What is karma all about?


Karma The word means Action. The Law of Cause and Effect. The sum total of actions and thoughts from a person that cause a reaction or return of like energy to the source that generated it. Reincarnation or re-birth continues until all karma is balanced or neutralized.

Sanchita Karma: The total of all karma from all lifetimes.

Prarabdha Karma: Karma for one life, including Planetary karma represented by the natal birth chart in a particular incarnation.

Kriyamana Karma: Results of our free will actions and decisions in this life, which may be dealt with in future lives.

Agami Karma: Immediate results from present actions.

Sadguru Rama Mata, our lineage-holder, calls papas (negative karmas) mistakes. The suffering that we experience as our karma plays out in any given life is related to the scenario that we came in with to teach ourselves to act better for our own self and others. In other words, the working out of our karma life to life is school not punishment.


The Route to Enlightenment

The Route to Enlightenment

Traditional Hindu practices are one very effective path to enlightenment.

Yoga means union (with the Divine.) Raja Yoga, the highest form for seeking enlightenment, is a threefold path: Jnana Yoga (seeking knowledge,) Bhakti Yoga (devotion to the Divine from the heart,) and Seva (service to the guru, service to others in the way Mother Theresa served God by serving others.)

Knowledge/jnana can be sought by reading, going to talks, and also by meditation. Relying on the left brain is not helpful, because rationalizing gets in the way. If you can sit and listen in meditation with your creative right brain you will gain knowledge. Paying attention to your intuition is also very important.

Devotion/bhakti is seeking the Divine through love.  Your devotion to the Divine and feeling the love and goodness of the Divine towards you (and all others.) is the path. If you can seek unity in understanding with your heart that all of creation is made up of the Divine energy, so all of your being is made up of the Divine loving energy, as are all other creatures, plants, etc., then you truly understand the nature of the Divine and our relationship with it.

Seva/service to others is not only good for the others but good for us, because it makes us think not only of ourselves. In the realm of ameliorating our negative karma, the good we do does put out good energy in the world, thus ameliorating the karma. When we serve God by serving others like Mother Theresa, our seva is also a form of Bhakti.

In terms of methodology, pranayama (breathing techniques) is good for both body and mind. Deep breathing helps with physical health. It is clearing and assists with meditation. Chanting mantras works to improve our lives and reduce our karma. Mantra meditation is easier than silent meditation, because concentrating on the mantra and its purpose keeps the mind from wandering.

Satsang (chanting and discussion with other spiritual people) is very helpful on several levels. On the most basic level, hanging out with other spiritual people leads us in the right direction rather than with those who are not spiritual, not interested or even hostile to spiritual pursuits. Chanting with others, whether spoken or in song, enhances the energy of the mantras chanted. Our progress helps others and vice versa through the vibrations of the Sanskrit mantras being chanted.

Enlightenment is a quest for a lifetime or many lifetimes. If we make progress internally, if we have more satisfaction in life, if we have more peace, then the quest is worth the effort.

How To Reduce Our Karma For A Happier Life and Better Future Life


We acquire karma by our actions, therefore we must perform good actions towards others in every possible way, including service to others, to reduce it. Mother Teresa is a great role model for devoting a whole life to service to the Divine by serving other people. In our own lives, the small actions of loving kindness by smiling at others genuinely, encouraging others, helping strangers in small ways help both us and the strangers. One of those ways more thought related is to pray for others.

It is an odd habit in humanity that so often the people we are meanest to are our family members, whom we purport to love. Loving kindness definitely begins at home.

Karma is like a clump of negative matter in us. The great sages and seers have given us mantras to chant. Mantras work to ameliorate our karma by breaking up those clumps of negative karma within our Chakras 1–6. Each of the 50 sounds in the Sanskrit alphabet, the Matrika, stimulates a coordinating petal on a particular chakra, thus sanding off a minute bit of karma. A lot of chanting = a lot of sanding, so to speak.

Different mantras work differently in their sound vibration pattern to help us. Some, especially Rama mantras, work to heal us in body and mind. Some mantras are liberation mantras, meaning they are so potent that they reduce our negative karma quickly. Mantras for each of the 9 Planets of Jyotish astrology work to reduce our parabdha karma, that which we are born to work out as expressed in our natal chart. Each planet has different parts of the body that it rules, so if there is illness or planetary conflicts in our natal chart and progressed chart, chanting the planetary mantra to alleviate those conditions is very beneficial.

The Gayatri Mantra is the master mantra, the one that contains all the vibrations of the entire universe.

“Of all mantras, the supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri mantra. It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be s/he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. Gayatri is an impregnable spiritual armor, a veritable fortress, that guards and protects her votary, that transforms one into the divine and blesses one with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.” Sadguru Sant Keshavadas writes in his book, Gayatri, The Highest Meditation.

What are mantras and how do they work?


The nature of all creation is sound vibrations. “And God said let there be light” in Genesis. Thus the smallest units of our own body-mind-spirit are sound vibrations. When we chant mantras (which are scientifically designed patterns of vibrations by great sages who knew their effects,) we attune our whole being to the divine vibrations.

Mantras are based on the Matrika, the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, each of which has a different sound. There are fifty petals/spokes on Chakras one through six. The pattern of the sounds made by chanting the mantras stimulate the different petals in different ways to ameliorate the karma of the chanter.

The mantras taught by true gurus and passed down over the millennia were first seen by ancient sages, those who had the ability to see how the patterns of energy going from one petal/spoke to another on the same or different chakras and if/how it was beneficial.

Just changing the order of the bijas on mantras can change the energy enough to become ill rather than benefited. Making up one’s own mantras is quite dangerous. As Thomas Ashley-Farrand/Namadeva Acharya often said, “Mantras are like fire. They can cook your lunch or burn down the forest.”

Sound – Below 20Hz and Above 20,000 Hz


“Sound, generally speaking, is an air event that produces a wave; frequencies audible to humans are usually between about 20 Hz to about 20,000 Hz. Low frequency sound, below 20 Hz, is infrasound. In theory, these low frequencies resonate not with our ears, but with our bodies. Infrasound can activate our sympathetic nervous system, which regulates things like skin temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, or resonate with our eyeballs to produce visual disruptions — a “smearing,” weird lights, and afterimages, kind of like the splotches of color produced when you press your fingers to your closed eyes. Depending on how you and your cultural context interpret odd experiences, it can make you see ghosts or aliens or psychedelic lights, feel as if you’ve been touched by the divine, or just a bit unsettled. [This article is about exposing people to the sounds below 20 Hz.]

The link between infrasound and anomalous experiences first emerged in a 1998 paper published by Vic Tandy and Tony Lawrence in the Journal for the Society of Psychical Research.” The Boston Globe, INFRASOUND By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, October 28, 2016.

One of the ways to create infrasound is the throat singing of Tibet and Nepal. At the other end of the spectrum is the sound above human range that is made by sitar and other instruments. Because we humans are made up of units of vibration, sound, we react to it in our bodies and minds, even when it is below or above the range we can hear with our ears.

Likewise, our subtle bodies, the chakras, react to the sound vibrations of the mantras we chant out loud, whisper, or silently at the highest vibration.i

The above article is a great reminder of the huge power of our mantra practice to heal our bodies and minds and change our lives.  The Gayatri Mantra can take you all the way to enlightenment.

Happy Chanting,

Rev. Satyabhama Ashley-Farrand






Is Mantra Effective? How Does It Work?



The nature of all creation is sound vibrations. “And God said let there be light” in Genesis. Thus the smallest units of our own body-mind-spirit are sound vibrations. When we chant mantras (which are scientifically designed patterns of vibrations by great sages who knew their effects,) we attune our whole being to the divine vibrations. Different mantras assist us to remove our accumulated karma in different ways.

The highest, most effective mantra is the Gayatri mantra, particularly the long version: Om Bhu Om Bhuvaha Om Swaha Om Maha Om Janaha Om Tapaha Om Satyam Om Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhi’mahi Dhiyo Yona’ha Prachoda’yat. This is the mantra recommended to all, whether Vishnu or Shiva or Devi worshippers. Children are initiated into it at 8 years old, the age that the ancient sages determined as being mature enough to be responsible for one’s own acts, karma. It is recommended to chant it first thing in the mornings, predawn and also at dusk, if possible. It is the only mantra to take the vibrations through the brain, keeping it healthy.

In chanting this mantra, one spiritualizes every phrase by beginning with Om. Each of the Seven Luminous Lokas are named, starting with Bhu/Earth, and simultaneously one should visualize taking our own energies (both prana and kundalini) through each chakra, including the 7th chakra, just above the head. The rest of the mantra takes us through our sun (Savitur) to Devasya, the dwelling place of the Devas/Devis (the Shining Ones,) then making our request to them to enlighten us: body, mind and spirit.

The Maha Mantra is correctly Rama first, then the line for Krishna, following their chronological appearances in the Earth plane. This is the mantra considered to be best for regular use in this Dark Age: Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

For healing, all Rama mantras are the best. Just chanting Rama Rama Rama . . . repeatedly will balance the currents (Ida and Pingala) in the body. Om Sri Rama Jai Rama Jaya Jaya Rama is called the Taraka Mantra, because like the Devi Tara, it takes you across the Ocean of Samsaras. This means it sands away a bit of your karma with every repetition.

The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra of Shiva defeats death and avoids accidents. It is often chanted by and for people with serious diseases. We also chant it before driving/riding in a car. It is Om Tray’ambakam Yaja Mahae Sugan’dhim Pushti Varda’nam Uvaru’kamiva Bhanda’nan Mrityor Muksheeya Mamri’tat.

There are many others for different purposes/attraction of certain energies. Lakshmi for abundance of all kinds, Saraswati for true knowledge, the arts, spiritual discipline, and Durga for protection from negativity, inner and outer. There are many Ganesha mantras for various purposes both esoteric and mundane.

All mantras ameliorate our karma. Chanting aloud is best for something you desire to manifest on Earth, including healing. Chanting silently is the most effective otherwise, because it is at the highest vibration.

[Sanskrit is pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, unlike English.]