Mantra (Sacred Chanting)
Mantra (मंत्र )
The word Mantra is composed of two words Man + Tra
Man: means mind, which is conscious and which is dwelling in the material world.
Tra: has three primary meanings:
a) One who protects
b) Bring to some place or to reach somewhere
c) Something contributing as an instrument, tool or devise
So if we combine all the three meanings of the word "Tra" and join it with word "Man" we have following meaning for the word " Mantra".
Mantra is an instrument or devise that can protect the mind and that can lead it somewhere (physically towards something) or can transform it (spiritually). Where somewhere ? in which plain and direction ? It is governed by the types of Mantras one is doing and by the feeling or devotion one has in his heart.
According to Hinduism, the entire manifestation has occurred by using sounds. There are many different root sounds in Sanskrit language that when combined together from different words and create different Mantras.
Vedic scriptures teach that ever thing has originated from word or sound "AUM, ॐ" and everything will submerge in "AUM, ॐ".
The word ॐ, AUM : is composed of following 3 root sounds (A + U + M)
A: Creation, Brahama, root sound (beeja) for creation, rajas.
U: Sustenance, Vishnu, root sound (beeja) for sustenance, satwa.
M: Destruction or Transformation, Maheshwara, root sound (beeja) for final transformation or destruction, tamas.
The creation, sustenance and destruction or transformation is a natural process that is taking place all the time at all the levels.
So everything can be created, sustained and destroyed by using various root sounds and creating words out of these sounds or in other words by Mantras.
Mantra is a logical arrangement of special sounds, composing words, that stimulate the centers of spiritual energies within us and gradually harmonizes them. It can create, sustain or destroy various kinds of energies for our well being. There are all kind of mantras available in scriptures aimed at various goals. A mantra when properly prescribed and then regularly chanted by a native brings about many internal and external changes in him.
It also brings about psychological & biological changes in him to heal himself at physical and/or mental levels.
Mantra empowers native to inculcate internal strength and protection. At first the native himself changes internally and gradually when his thinking, outlook and behavior changes, the world also behaves differently with him. Consequently he can take control of his life and shape his world to his expectations.
For example if one is a selfish, rude person who does not care about the feelings of others, normally he would hurt many and consequently the people around him will not like him, hence he will not get support of others and will suffer in some way or other in life. Now, if that person starts doing the mantras that inculcate in him: good sense of relationship, fair play and compassionate nature, he will behave in more polite, and agreeable manner with others. Consequently, with time, his relationships will improve tremendously. In this way he can minimize his unhappiness in relationships and can start getting good support from others.
From the external side more favorable conditions are created by All Mighty and an individual excels in the field of his pursuit (material and/or spiritual). Hence, mantras, help native fulfill his goals.
Mantras also helps individual to progress in spiritual path and drives him in close contact with Nature/God thereby enabling one attain final transformation or self realization or liberation.
II AUM NAMHA SHIVAY II II ॐ नमः शिवाय II. Is a very powerful and well known mantra.
It means : Salutations to the Auspicious One (Shiva). Repeated chanting of this mantra destroys all the evils and sins.
In Vedic astrology, Muni Parahsara has given 5th house for yantras and mantras. 4th is the house of mind or consciousness which can be sustained or destroyed by 5th house. Hence It is with the power of mantra one can completely protect the mind.
It is a very basic introduction of Mantras. To be continued…