Many people think that meditation is only various types of silent meditation. However, mantra meditation by Hindus and Buddhists is the most common type of meditation in the East.
When meditating with mantras, they free the mind (from the lower self.) This is the translation of the word mantra. As we chant, the higher vibrations lift us up from our daily concerns and provide various types of mental and physical healing. While concentrating on what we are chanting, we prevent the ‘monkey’ mind from chattering and get to peace.
Choose a simple mantra and chant it out loud until it is ‘seated’ within your physical body and mind. Then you can chant silently while sitting in meditation. If your mind waivers, just chant faster so it cannot chatter.
The most commonly chanted mantra is Om Mani Padme Hum. There are many others that one can choose:
Om Gum Ganapati’yae Namaha
Om Shreem Maha Lakshmi’yae Namaha
Om Shree Rama Jay Rama Jaya Jaya Rama
Om Nama Shiva’ya
Om Namo Narayana Ya Namaha
For more mantras and pronunciation, see SanskritMantra.com
This is a hymn by Adi Shankaracharya:
ATTRIBUTES OF SHIVA, translated by Swami Sivananda, founder of Divine Life Society:
Advaita, Akhanda, Akarta, Abhokta, Asanga, Ashakta,
Nirguna, Nirlipta, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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, Chidanandarupah 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.
You can chant Chid’ananda’rupah Shivoham Shivoham as a mantra with wonderful results.
All Shiva, Ganesha, Kaali, and Durga mantras are normally chanted with the rudraksha beads. The energy of the rudraksha seed enhances the japa/chanting of these mantras.
For more information, see my website: http://www.SanskritMantra.com.
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.”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Looking at the lives of gurus, both sadgurus and junior gurus, it is clear that they are great examples of Emerson’s principles. Namadeva Acharya’s motivations in all his endeavors in life, both spiritual and mundane, were based on these principles.
I was born in the 1940s. We were raised in the Forties and Fifties in a culture that was based on the principles in the Emerson quote. Those principles are are very grounding and were part of our generational impetus to rebel against the obvious abuse of a war with no purpose and an effort to make the USA live up to its claimed purpose in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. This led to our response to injustice and participation in the Civil Rights movement, supporting Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta in the farm workers union, and later the Second Wave of Feminism. During that time, I never heard people question why they were on the planet in the way younger people do. The Sixties and Seventies were also a time of spiritual questing, and many explored different ways of life and beliefs to satisfy the perennial inner spiritual drive of all humans.
One of the major reasons that younger people think differently is that major media, particularly television, deliberately in the late Seventies morphed into All Propaganda All The Time. I was working at WCBS-TV in NYC in 1977 and saw a huge change at that station, which got rid of all the investigative journalists and those who would not read exactly what was on the prompter and also changed their public service programs to be less inclusive of non establishment ideas and people. Later, stations dropped those programs entirely. The principles of advertising were used to persuade viewers that protesting, resisting were useless. Newscasters did not chit-chat but read the prompters, which said literally, “Oh, you can’t fight city hall” and other phrases to discourage protest and create the impression that resisters are wierdos. Shortly afterward in the Reagan era, the intensive propaganda plus advertising urged everyone to find their happiness in stuff. Everyone was urged to become Yuppies. Kids who saw this in nearly every tv show, grew up not with Emerson but with extreme materialism.
I am very happy as an old activist to see the engagement and activity of the Millennials and others more recently to make positive changes in America and the world.
I hope lots of people see this essay and re-think why they are so unhappy, then reject the pop culture all around us.
A good life is a life in balance. If we nurture our souls and have devotion to the Divine, seek knowledge, and serve others, which is Raja Yoga, the highest path to mukti (liberation from the rounds of rebirth) then we will be fulfilled and know we have lived life to the best of our abilities.
“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.
Rev. Satyabhama Ashley-Farrand
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.]