Chanting mantras with utmost concentration and purity of thought enables the mind regain vigour and robustness, writes RAVI VALLURI
Power of Mantras
Truly, the Almighty is all-pervasive and omniscient. Let us take the case of devout Hindus. Each day is dedicated to a deity and a Mantra is chanted to invoke divine benediction.
Chanting ‘Om Namah Narayana’ on Sundays, the faithful beseech Lord Vishnu for love, opulence, strength, power and glory. Mondays are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ helps to banish all attachments and material consciousness. ‘Om Sri Subramunyaya Namaha’ chanted on Tuesdays is a potent mantra to expatriate evil influences from the human mind. This mantra assists in seeking spiritual victory in all combats. In the Hindu pantheon of Gods, Lord Krishna is all pervasive, with humungous authority. Chanting the mantra ‘Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ on Wednesdays bestows the munificence of Lord Krishna.
Indisputably, parents are our first teachers. One can continue to receive the grace of the Guru/teacher by chanting ‘Om Namoh Bhagavate Shivanandaya’ on Thursdays.
The shakti which fuels and propels energy in humans is only through the divine orison of Devi shakti. Goddess Lakshmi provides humans with prosperity, truthfulness, sagacity and perspicacity to strive for the quintessential truth and by chanting ‘Om Sri Mahalakshmiyai Namaha’ on Fridays the seeker traverses an error-free path.
Lord Hanuman makes the mind brawny and provides strength, unparalleled success in devotional activities and helps the human mind attain elevated realisation. Chanting ‘Om Sri Hanumate Namaha’ on Saturdays unflinchingly assuages frayed nerves and a distraught mind.
Enveloping the mind and body with the divine tattva
By way of our actions and non-actions, the human body, mind and soul become fragile, enfeebled. Chanting mantras with utmost concentration and purity of thought enables the mind regain vigour and robustness resulting in an alchemical transmutation. Consequently we are able to enhance the Shiva Tattva, Narayana Tattva and Guru Tattva in our selves. This is further buttressed with orison to the Goddess, making the mind aerobicized.
Mantra – the bedrock of all organised religious groups
The above narrative was regarding Hinduism. However, all religious orders and spiritual organisations endorse chanting of words and syllables. The intent of these words is to silence the mind, helping it move from cacophony to symphony. Among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs it is the cantillation of ‘OM’. Those professing Islam undertake incantations of Qur’anic passages, or the Names of Allah. Christians offer praise to the Lord by chanting scriptural texts, especially the Psalms. Jews too chant from the biblical texts (Old Testament). Practitioners of Sudarshan Kriya, a rhythmic breathing technique, inhale and exhale to the syllables SO-HAM.
The entire exercise is to expatriate negativity. The mantra acts at the subconscious level of the mind and amortises turbulence.
Mystery behind the Mantra
Aeons ago lived a Zen Master who specialised in teaching mantras. The foundation of his teachings was absolute faith in the mantra being chanted. Two young tutees once approached him and expressed a desire to learn a mantra that would help them fly in the sky. The wise Master wanted to know if they were sure that they would carry out his instructions in toto and with absolute faith. The mentees eagerly agreed to do so and regularly practise the mantra. Very soon they began to levitate and over a period of time began to fly like majestic birds and gain momentous heights.
Somewhere in the stratosphere one day, the two postulants met and exchanged notes. Said the first novitiate, “Brother, what is the syllable imparted to you by the Holy Master?” “La,” replied the second freshman. “Oh! I was given the mantra “Ba,” remarked the first greenhorn. They surmised that if they were to combine the two mantras, surely their powers would get magnified and they could then circumnavigate the universe. In their minds they thought it extremely unfair on part of the Master to impart only one half of the mantra to each of them.
Their energy and enthusiasm doubled, but faith punctured, they chanted the mantra “Ba-La”. Much to their surprise they came hurtling down and landed with a big thud. The enlightened master in his percipience had disseminated the sacred words his students. The power of the mantra lay in selfless and unswerving chanting. However, avarice and doubts deflated their faith and led them to make the first wrong move. They were consumed by venomous vipers like in a game of snakes and ladders and their virtuosity dissipated in the sands of time.
Upend the pyramid
Meanwhile there lived a young boy, whose mother appeared to be on the last leg of her life. His father and the entire family were traumatized and overwrought. The young boy overheard the doctor tell his father that only a miracle could save the patient.
In all innocence he rushed to the chemist housed in the hospital and placed all his savings, adding to a few paltry rupees, on the counter. He wanted the magic drug called ‘miracle’ to treat his dying mother. Taking pity on the child, the chemist gave a few vitamin tablets. The child prayed to almighty God and handed over the ‘miracle’ medicine to his father, certain that his mother would now be saved.
Much to the amazement of the medical fraternity and the family, the lady of the house regained consciousness and slowly recovered. The ‘wonder drug’ had a placebo effect in the mind of the child and the entire family was subsumed with positivity, which resulted in the startling recovery of the mother, much to the amazement of the medical fraternity. This was the power of the Mantra – Miracle Drug.
Buddha once famously said, “We are shaped by our thoughts.” Thus, the efficacy of a Mantra is not in merely parroting it but imbibing its intrinsic pristine quality.