I offer this from my teaching perspective of the last 12 years.
According to Sri GoSwami Kriyananda (*) “A Mantra is a vibrational sound that affects your biology, psychology, aura and people around you. It is Positive energy fields.” A mantra is also a formula pasted down from the sages.
A little history:
According to Sri Swami Kaleshwar, Mantras are prayers of Divine vibration. (**) The history is recorded on sheets of copper, gold and ancient palm leaves. I am briefly summarizing a deep and rich history. It is said the first Mantras were learned by the Vadas while in deep meditation for all of their lives. It was in a time when the earth was in a much higher vibration and many practiced. The tradition of sharing Mantra began by the passage from teacher to student, as in from mouth to ear. It was often the Royalty that learned it and then shared it with their people. Over the millennia mans attention shifted to war and the Mantras were hidden away to preserve and protect them, some were lost. Slowly we are returning to an openness and the Mantras are flowing again.
There are volumes and volumes of Mantras and they very from one tradition to another. The focus of each has a specific vibration and intension. There are many taught to what has been referred to as “house holders” non clergy but there are Mantras that have only been revealed to the devout. More recently in the last 20 years some of these have been shared with the world at large.
You will hear chanting done in most spiritual tradition though out the world. Mantra is a tool used in Yoga and other traditions to settle the mind. It has the ability to quiet the mind and the body follows. From this place we may move deeper into a meditation practice. To allow thought to drift through as clouds across the sky. There is no attachment but often there is deeper clarity.
In the western world the practice of Mantra is often shunned or scoffed at. Hearing people make fun of Ahum (Om) is common. People often make fun of things they fear. How will I sound? What will people say? Do I really have to do this out loud ? I might suggest you begin by allowing yourself to be present when a Mantra is offered. Sit comfortably and allow yourself to really listen with an open heart, without judgement. Just listen and breathe. I know when I gave myself permission to do this, I realized how deeply the sound resonated within me. I was touched by the vibration in a deep place and I knew I wanted more.
It begins by altering the focus or attention of the mind. It clears away the clutter that all to often occupies our thoughts. It is in the repeating of the Mantra, that we are able to let go of the ego and/or controlling thoughts.
I would suggest here an over simplification to demonstrate this shift. Think about your favorite piece of music or song, after you have hummed or song along ..... how do you feel? Is there a change in your attitude. Do you feel more peaceful, energized, maybe even joyful? This is a sound vibration shift.
Now aware of how vibration can affect us, we move to other vibrations most of us have felt,
as in: when something heavy drops, or a ball bounces on hard surface, when a door slams, or thunder cracks or the vibration of an earthquake. These are more overt in nature. In Mantra the vibration is deeper, we may notice a subtle shift or a different presences within or around you. Each vibration is received differently and we are grateful for new small gifts.
It purifies negativity and cleanses the chakras. With a dedicated practice and attention, Mantras have the ability to bring awareness to our true nature and our souls purpose.
It is a sound vibration that has the potential to create a foundational shift within us.
I could go on and on regarding Mantra but what good would it do? You are not able to know it this way. You must experience it for yourself! So, the next time you are present when a Mantra is offered, I invite you to give yourself permission to be still, open your heart, listen, breathe and allow the vibration to wash over you.
Wishing you blessing and good vibrations.
Kitty Downey, ERYT,CMT
©️July 2019 all rights reserved
* The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga- by Sri GoSwami Kriyananda
** The Spiritual Seed Stared in India by Sri Swami Kaleshwar