February 7, 2013
Love and blessings (why wait until the end for this...).
Good morning. I'd like to share about mantra japa today. And, of course, welcome any questions or sharing from you.
Yogis and sages for ages have told us that everything takes form through sound. Even the physicists now say that all is made up of waves... sound. Scriptures express that OM, or AUM, is the primal sound, the basis of all being and form. So when we are working with sound we are dealing with the primal source and substance of our being.
Choosing a mantra... It is important to note that if you are using a mantra to get the mind one-pointed and to come to an enlightened state of consciousness, every mantra works. And there is not one better or more powerful than any other. Some are short. Some are long. The important thing is to find one you are comfortable with, mostly with the way it feels, but you should also enjoy its "meaning." The meaning is not as important as how it feels when you are repeating it. Do you resonate with it? Can you find a way to do it so that it just rolls? Is it comfortable and pleasant. These things are more important than the "meaning." Since this is something you want o be doing a lot throughout the day and in a whole variety of settings and circumstances, it is useful if you enjoy how you feel doing it. And it is good if you like the "meaning" of it, so that you are comfortable using it. For a moment let me explain why I keep putting "meaning" in parentheses. The meaning of a mantra is much more than a translation... in fact most mantras do not actually have translations, only a sense of what their energy is and does. But even here you should be careful not to give that too much attention. It is best not to select a mantra to try and shape the world and your life in any specific way. For instance, if you are struggling with financial issues you might be told that a Lakshi mantra is what you should repeat to bring abundance in your life.
It is true that Lakshmi is the essence of wealth and abundance and prosperity and sustenance. But note that I had a typing error and wrote her name without the "m" above. Some would say that by mispronouncing a mantra you risk great problems. That can be true IF you are trying to manipulate the world to your will and trying to use the power of sound in such a way. But Master Sivananda explained that as long as we are using our mantra for Self-realization, doing it to come into an enlightened consciousness, then there is no issue about pronunciation. Just chant it as you do and put your heart into it.
Hopefully, this helps with the second issue as to why to repeat a mantra. Do it to come into the fullness of you being. By the way, if financial issues are a concern, repeating any mantra will move you into a sense of fullness and then abundance will naturally take shape in your life. Any mantra will work. Sometimes, if you have found a teacher inspiring you and guiding you on your spiritual walk to enlightenment, you can ask him or her to give you a mantra to use. If that is the case, use the one you are given. With the teacher's blessing you will move even faster using that mantra and it will keep and enhance your connection with your teacher.
One nice thing about mantra japa is that it can be done in almost any setting. You can repeat your mantra in bed when you first wake up. You can repeat it in the shower, while dancing, while jogging, while waiting for something to download on the computer, while taking a walk, while chewing your food, while driving... almost anytime. How wonderful is that... one of the most effective spiritual practices, and you can be doing it in almost every part of you life. It is easy to do. There is much more to share as far as techniques and ways to focus the mind and games to play with mantra japa, and I will try to go over those with you in our future sessions.