Mantra means a sound. Today, modern science sees the whole existence as a vibration. Where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. So that means, the whole existence is a kind of sound, or a complex amalgamation of sounds – the whole existence is an amalgamation of multiple mantras. Of these, a few mantras or a few sounds have been identified, which could be like keys. If you use them in a certain way, they become a key to open up a different dimension of life and experience within you.
There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. Only when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science it is a very powerful dimension, but the way it is being imparted without any necessary basis or without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage.
Mantras always come from a Sanskrit basis, and the basic aspects of Sanskrit language are so sound sensitive. But when different people speak, each one says it in their own way. If the Bengalis say a mantra, they will say it in their own way. If the Tamil people say it, they say it in another way. If the Americans say it, they will say it in a completely different way. Like this, different people who speak different languages, according to what language they have been used to, tend to distort the mantra, unless real training is imparted. Such training is too exhaustive and people do not have that kind of patience or dedication nowadays because it needs an enormous amount of time and involvement.
Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.
(Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally-renowned speaker, Sadhguru’s wit and piercing logic provoke and widen our perception of life. isha.sadhguru.org)