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How Mantras Work


By George A. Boyd © 2003

Certain languages have become sacred languages because they have been used to write scriptures and to chronicle events of kings and nations. These are shown below.

Sacred Languages

Religious Group or Sect



Ancient Greek


Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Mystery Religions


Roman Catholicism






Tibetan Buddhism

Aztec/Mayan Hieroglyphs

Mesoamerican Tribal Religions





When we examine how language is used, we find exoteric and esoteric uses. These are detailed in the table below.




Street Language, Vulgar or Coarse Usage

Secular Usage, Everyday Speech

Polite Respectful Usage

Solemn Pronouncement, Legal Usage

Religious, Invocational or Prayerful Usage

Variations of Common Word-Sound Roots: Etymological Change Over Time


Mantramic-Vibrational Core of Language, Evoking Forms in the Astral Plenum

Angelic Proto-language Evoking the Mantramic-Vibrational Core of Language (Glossolalia, Senzar)

Unspoken, Silent Nada Arising into Vibrational Form as Revealed Teaching (Shruti) – in Human Language, Scriptures, Sacred Writing, Revealed Teaching, etc., arise from this Source

Seed Sounds (Bija) Activating the Spirit

People sometimes ask us, how can a mere word have a transformative effect when it is used as a mantra? These same people will point to the fact that words that are common in religious, invocational or prayerful use of language are also mantras. These same words are read in text, spoken aloud in lectures, sermons or satsang – yet in these contexts, no transformation appears to take place. To understand how a mantra works, we must look at the esoteric aspects of language.

First of all, we can show that every spoken word has a vibratory pattern. When sand grains are placed on an amplifying tray, actual wave patterns show up in the sand. The same thing can be demonstrated on an oscilloscope, which shows that each spoken word has a distinct amplitude and frequency.

Those that are clairvoyant (i.e., those who can see on the Astral Plane) tell us that every word creates a distinct form. You can get a sense of this when you close your eyes and pay attention to the image that forms when you say different words (e.g., love, freedom, enemy, anger or happiness).

You will see this same effect of images being formed when you use a sacred name, a name used to describe a Great Master or the Divine. Try this with: Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Father God – what images come to mind?

Researchers have found that, when an infant babbles, the child makes sounds from many different languages. As the child learns the native tongue of the parents, however, the ability to make many of these sounds goes away.

People in evangelical Christian churches experience a phenomenon called glossolalia, or speaking in an unknown tongue. Other people in different spiritual groups also experience this phenomenon, a spontaneous speaking of syllables that resembles no human language. Oddly, this language often contains sounds from languages not in the person’s native tongue.

An example of glossolalia may phonetically appear like this: "Umtari amatai, om shanti eem are ah bo ki ya santai eem keedio em ah la tai, om santie kam rah to mo ki rai oom santo ray mo ki." When your own experience of glossolalia begins, it will be different, unique and strangely wonderful.

Some people say that it is a language of the stars. Some say it comes from the angels. Some say it is Senzar, the native, eternal language of the Soul. Some say it is a gift from God, evidence of the infallibility of the Holy Ghost. Wherever it comes from, many aspirants and disciples of many traditions experience it arising spontaneously.

When God answers a prayer, He/She/It/They answer(s) the prayer in the person’s native tongue. In whatever language the person prays, the prayer is answered in that language. Apparently, the Spirit speaks all languages.

When people go deep inside in meditation, they may hear a blissful three-part rhythm that Christians call AMEN, the Hindus call AUM and the Muslims call AMIN. If you contemplate this rhythm, you may find that it begins to quietly whisper to you words of guidance, comfort or encouragement. Sometimes it will reveal truths about the Cosmos, about relationships or about spiritual realities. Hindu seers called this Shruti: the inner revelation that comes from the ineffable vibration of God.

When we go one step further, we pass into the world of mantras. These essence sounds exist on their own Plane. When your mantra is activated, it has three effects:

  1. The mantra will spin seven times clockwise, seven times counterclockwise.

  2. It transmits its energy through the Spirit, which sends down a ray of Divine Light to transform your Soul, unfolding it to a new station on the Path (this is the clockwise current).

  3. It will transmit its energy through the AUM, resulting in the processing and transmutation of karma (this is the counterclockwise current).

Each person has his/her own unique mantra. But how do you know it and how do you activate it? If you can go up to this Plane where your mantra is, then you can discover it for yourself. If not, then you will need to be helped by someone who has the ability to go up to that Plane and find your mantra for you (we teach you this mantra in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation).

How do you activate it? The mantra has the subtlest vibration. If you write it, speak it, whisper it, imagine it, breathe it or even think it, then it’s too gross – you cannot activate it. So how do you make it work?

If mantras are atoms of pure spiritual energy, then what can access them? Only pure consciousness. We call this the attentional principle, which, at its core, is a wave of pure consciousness. And what is the product of pure consciousness? Intention. You activate these seed mantras by intention.

Thus, somewhere, at the deepest, profoundest, core of language, is the key to transformation: the bija mantra.


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