A mantra is an empowered word. An empowered word is a word that has great psychological or spiritual efficacy to powerfully focus our attention on an inner vehicle, on our spirit or our Soul.
Some mantras even have a transformational effect, because they draw down the Light of Spirit to inwardly purify our vehicles and dissolve karma layered behind the Soul.
We can’t use just any word as a mantra. “O Charles,” “Coca Cola” or “mudslinger” are not mantras. We need to find words that:
- Articulate primal vibrations that exist within us, like AUM, SOHUM or HU
- Are names of God (like Allah, Ram, Wahi Guru, Brahma, etc.) that are anchored very deep in the inner Continuum of Consciousness, that draw us very deeply
- Transformational seed sounds (bija mantras) that draw down the Spirit and unfold our inner potentials of consciousness
- Are vibrational sounds that help us focus on the spirit
- Are the mantras anchored in particular vehicles of consciousness
- Help us remember the name and nature of God of our faith, so that we can worship and pray to the God of our faith, draw into the presence of God, meditate upon the Divine Being, and develop devotion and love for this Being
- Can awaken the Kundalini Shakti.
How we repeat a mantra is also important.
- We can write a mantra over and over and over, which fixes it as a powerful impression in our Subconscious mind.
- We can speak a mantra aloud (chanting) or sing it (bhajan).
- We can whisper a mantra.
- We can breathe a mantra.
- We can repeat the mantra in our spirit.
- We can repeat the mantra with our attention by thinking it (simran).
- We can repeat the mantra by intention from our attentional principle.
- We can sense the mantra is already resonating within us, focus our attention upon it and follow the mantra down to profound depths (thought bubble technique).
What Mantras Do
Each mantra has a different effect.
Written mantras impress the mantra on your Subconscious mind and imbue qualities of the mantra in your mind and character. So if your mantra invokes a God of Love, qualities of love and forgiveness will be put into your Subconscious mind.
Mantras that are sung or chanted usually have a particular rhythm or melody. They create a vibration in your inner vehicles and awaken your awareness.
Whispering a mantra very powerfully concentrates your attention.
Breathing a mantra is used in techniques that awaken the Kundalini Shakti, and appears in deep absorption methods (laya). In some traditions, breathing a mantra may be used to activate their transformational mantra.
When you repeat a mantra in your spirit, it pulls your attention into union with the spirit.
Thinking a mantra pulls your attention within, into the corresponding levels of resonance corresponding to your mantras. For example, if you are saying a Krishna mantra, your attention will be focused on different forms of Krishna.
When you intend a mantra, you send the power of light, life and thought into it and activate it. This is used in transformational or bija mantra techniques.
The thought bubble technique, popularized by Transcendental Meditation™, uses a selected mantra, which you locate inside yourself. As you follow this mantra with your attention, it unfolds and it takes you very deeply within. When you do this mantra, you become very relaxed and calm. In TM, you aren’t repeating the mantra: it repeats itself.
Correctly Using Mantras
If you plan to meditate, it is important that you understand the use of mantras correctly and effectively.
If you use mantras in the wrong way, you can bring imbalance to your vehicles and become anchored in an altered state of consciousness, like individuals in religious cults.
If you use them correctly, they can powerfully enhance your ability to access the bands of your mind, the Superconscious principles of spirit, attentional principle and Soul, and to transform your spiritual potentials.
We use and teach individuals how to use mantras in the Mudrashram® system of Integral Meditation.
For those of you who wish to learn these fundamentals of Mantra Yoga, you may wish to take the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the Accelerated Meditation Program.
This will give you a good foundation on which to build a coherent and resonant meditation practice to enhance your personal functioning and spiritual growth.