The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit, “mantrana”, meaning
suggestion. Mantras are sacred, potent words, which yield tremendous
results in the physical, mental and spiritual levels, when chanted with concentration and devotion.
Mantra yoga is an exact science where the mantras are signposts to the wandering mind, steering it to an ambient poise for meditation.
Repetition of mantras completely engages the mind, offering a means of getting closer to the divinity within. Chanting of mantras produces positive vibrations, bringing benefits to the one who chants as well as the one who listens.
By constant repetition of the mantra, the aspirant absorbs the power of the presiding deity in the mantra. Chanting of mantras generate potent divine vibrations. They help fill the cells of the aspirant with the divine energy. They destroy the microbes and restore strength to the cells and tissues.
Tradition says that there are 70 million mantras. The ancient text,
Yoga-Yajnavalkya says that a whispered mantra is a thousand times more beneficial than a spoken one, a mental mantra is a thousand times more beneficial than a whispered one and finally meditating on a mantra is a thousand times more beneficial than its silent recitation.
The aspect of ‘Japa’ in mantra yoga
Repetition of mantras is called japa. Every mantra is a symbol of the
supreme divinity and when chanted, helps to gain access to the
transcendental realms of absolute reality.
A mantra has 6 parts:
- Includes a religious teacher or rishi to whom the mantra is
first disclosed. The teacher is instrumental in enabling the mantra to the world.
- The mantra has a metre, which governs the voice, making it
imperative to be recited the way it should be.
- Each mantra has a presiding deity.
- Each mantra has a bija or seed, which accords a special power
to the mantra. Bija is the essence of the mantra.
- Each Mantra is inherent with energy or sakthi. The vibrations
carry the man to the deity that is invoked in the mantra.
- Each Mantra has a kilaka or pillar, pin or plug. By constant
repetition of the mantra, this pin or plug is removed and the devotee
gets a glimpse of the presiding deity.
Chanting of mantras brings the aspirant into blissful union with the
Lord. Mantra repetition evokes god-consciousness in the purified mind
and becomes the direct cause for union with god.