Introducing Mantras to Beginners and All Seekers
The most valuable Hindu mantras have been chanted since ancient times and that have been found to help attract and realize valuable gifts in one’s life. The ancient sages, who received these divine mantras, after great meditation and prayers, believed in the power of the mind. Each one of us has the ability to attract and create what we want in our life by our self. All help lies within. Through mantras, we can unlock the potential to attract our desires into our life.
Man is a ball of needs and wants. For a complete and fulfilled life, we need many blessings. A balanced life requires a dose of love, luck, money, power, health and so on.
Some individuals may easily have some gifts of life and lack of others. People’s lives come in various permutation and combination of these blessings, and that in turn brings happiness or misery in our lives. By chanting mantras, we can attract more of what we need in our lives.
It is very important to know that we must focus on what we want and not on what we don’t want. The abundant universe is always listening to our deepest thoughts and desires. So stick always with what you want. In time we can balance out all we want in our lives and diminish sufferings.
What is a mantra: Broadly speaking, every speech is a kind of mantra. Its used to communicate and to get something done. A meaning is delivered. Great leaders create mass movement through their inspiring speech. Much emotion, purpose, and time is spent in speaking.
Mantras are also a kind of speech. However, they are small, concentrated, power packed sequence of words, specifically put together to produce a certain result. It is like a super-duper booster dose that hits the target quickly, effectively and surely. When we chant a mantra over and over again, we can expect to attract and get close to our intended goals quickly and make it manifest into our lives easily.
Why chant a mantra: Ancient Indian sages have revealed the power of words as sound vibrations in ancient texts that influence our lives. Scientifically, we also know today that energy exists in the form of sound, motion, light, heat and gravitational magnetic energy. These energy vibrations surround us all the time and all our lives. These are invisible forces that are always impacting the quality of our lives.
It is also well known that energy is interchangeable. One form can change into another. Heat in light, motion in heat and so on. Thoughts also produce energy. The very famous scientist, Stephen Hawkins, uses a synthesizer to speak. The machine records his thought energy and converts it into sound energy or speech. Sound energy can heal and calm or disturb and bring nervousness, depending on its frequency.
What does all this mean? It means that through sound energy, we can change the environment around us. With our thought, we can attract what we want and block what is hampering our welfare and progress. Mantras are magical lines of words that through thought energy and sound energy, attract and bring what we want into our lives, quickly and easily.
When to chant a mantra: Mantras can be chanted at any time of the day, but some specific times have been noted as specifically beneficial. Mornings, called “Brahm Muhurt” between 3am to 6am is said to be very peaceful for this purpose. Dusk time, between 4pm to 6pm is also a good time to do some chanting. It is also a good practice if one decides and fixes a specific time for this purpose, as per convenience, everyday.
What to visualize: You must visualize that what you want. What do you want? What does it look like? To some wealth may mean a car, and to another, it may mean a job. So think about what you want. Get a clear mental picture.
Why do Hindus use images: Hinduism practices image and idol worship. Its just for the purpose of concentration. It has been said that the human mind never stays still. Its always wondering, flitting from one thought to another. To get your thoughts together and quieten the mind, one must look at something and concentrate upon it.
However, you don’t have to look at images if you don’t want to. A burning candle, a flower, a picture of your goals etc. can also be used for this purpose to bring your thoughts together and sharpen your concentration
How do Hindus prepare a place for worship or chanting: Hindus usually designate a place for worship in their homes called the “puja” room or prayer room/place. They keep it clean, burn incense, candles, decorate it with flowers etc and keep a few pictures and idols of the Gods and Goddesses there. Its a small corner where you sit down to pray everyday. Try to find a small corner in your home, clean it, and put a picture or item there for chanting and concentrating upon.
The seating, quiet area, facing east: The seating does not have to be elaborate. Hindus sit on the floor and pray. You can put a mat, cushion, folded bed sheet and sit on that. Sit cross legged and relax. Make sure to keep the room airy, well lit and face east towards the sun, while chanting. All these rules help to align your frequencies with the earth’s beneficial forces.
Covering the head: Hindus cover their head while praying and chanting. This is a mark of respect. It is also believed that one loses energy through the top of the head. Therefore, to retain the energy we produce while chanting, one should cover the head with a scarf or cloth.
Number of chant repetitions: You can begin chanting by repeating each mantra 5 times. However, it is usually suggested that one must chant 11, 25, 51, or 108 times. 108 is said to comprise a full ‘mala’ or course of chanting. 108 is a very significant number in Hinduism and is supposed to be the optimum number of repetitions for a mantra. As one goes deeper into the practice of meditation and chanting, one can chant multiple rounds of the ‘mala’ or 108 times.
Using a mala: A ‘mala’ is a rosary that contains 108 beads. The beads help to track the count as one repeats the mantra. This helps to keep one’s focus on the image, intention, and add energy to one’s thought as one chants. Eyes can be closes or open steadfast on the image to maintain focus and concentration.
Keep mind empty: Relax and empty your mind from the hundreds of thoughts that flit by. Keep yourself glued in to your intentions and goals.
Heart set on God/Universe: A heart set on God is an open heart, ready to believe, receive, and full of faith. This helps to draw in the wonderful beneficial energies and manifest one’s goals. Stay calm, relaxed, with clear purpose and focus on the image. Think and listen as you chant.
Feeling of gratitude: A feeling of gratitude is the most powerful receiving antenna. It is a way of signalling that when something is given to you, you gather it, accept it, and are blessed by it. Feeling of gratitude is the single way to receive amazing good fortune and blessings in your life
‘Japa’ and ‘Ajapa’: ‘Japa’ is chanting loudly with your mouth. ‘Ajapa’ is chanting in your mind silently. Ajapa is harder to do as one loses focus and concentration. However, Ajapa has the advantage that even if you cannot pronounce the Sanskrit mantras properly, you are fine. With japa, one is advised to make sure that their pronunciations are correct. Lastly, one should chant the way one is most comfortable with. If you feel comfortable chanting loudly, go ahead. If chanting silently is what appeals to you, that is fine also.
Sanskrit as the language of the Hindu mantras: You will soon notice that Hindu mantras are formed in the Sanskrit language. The ancient sages believed Sanskrit to be a pure language or the language of the Gods. Most of Hindu scriptures and epics have also been written in Sanskrit. People usually learn these mantras and their meanings. Then they keep chanting till over time, they make it their own. With continuous chanting, these mantras will start looking familiar and will start revealing more and more meanings to you.
Mantras and fasting: Fasting is a clearing or cleansing process. Hinduism believes you are most ready to receive blessings in a fasted state. You are closer to your divine nature. Most Hindu festivals have fasting associated with it. An easy way to chant your mantras in the fasted state is to chant your mantras in the morning before breakfast.
The power of ‘sankalp’/regularity/habit/
What to expect: As you advance in your practice of chanting and meditation, you will notice many changes within. You will start to feel very happy and confident. You will not feel alone in your endeavors. You will have the courage to do what it takes to achieve your goals. You will know that you will get what you want. Certain coincidences, chance meetings with people will open new doors and progressive opportunities for you. You will have clarity of thought, passion, energy and the mental picture of your desires will become clearer and clearer to you.
We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act….
:Swami Vivekananda – Quotes
All the above information was a prelude to the first mantra. It was necessary for you to understand what mantras are, why we should chant them, and what benefits we can expect to come our way. The law of attraction works powerfully with the chanting of mantras and helps you manifest literally anything you want in your life.
Indian Hindu tradition also enlists health benefits associated with the chanting of mantras. Observation lists calm disposition, even breathing, steady heart rate, low stress level etc. The person is full of energy and brimming with enthusiasm.
Today, we will learn a very simple mantra that you may already know and may have heard of. It is the simplest Hindu mantra and yet it generates huge energy and beneficial vibrations within and outside you. The energy you gather as you chant this mantra can be diverted to reap powerful benefits and blessings for almost anything you desire.
The Mantra for today devoted to the universe and the glory of its creator is:
OM is the primordial sound and it always exists in the entire cosmos. It is said that when this ‘brahmand’ or universe was first conceived and created, a sound was heard — OM. The sound of OM generated and created the entire universe and everything in it. In the West we teach that when God said “Let there be light” the Universe was then created. The Big Bang occurred!!! The first instant sound that emanated from God was the sound OM.
All mantras begin with OM. OM goes to the source or to God. It is a linear path, a straight flying arrow that hits the target. Without OM, the other mantras will lose potency and not be able to reach God, or the abundant universe, or the great energy source.
OM simply is a sound that directly touches God. In the Hindu tradition, this mantra takes us home, inside our self, in the God in us. We need to reconnect with ourselves first and foremost. Our needs, our desires, our personalities, our upbringing, our families.. Where do we come from and where are we going? Who are we? Look inside, love all that you are. You are a part of this divine universe. What exists outside, exists inside. It exists for you. Take it, receive it. You can have all that you want and more. OM will quieten your ego, your arrogance and truly let you see your true inner self with great humbleness.
The goal which all the ancient Hindu scriptures like Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is OM. This syllable OM is indeed Brahman. This syllable is the Highest. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.
— Katha Upanishad I, ii, 15-17 ¹
The God we will pray to today is the ‘Brahmand’ or the Universe or Nature. OM is depicted by a single syllable and it signifies the sound vibration of existence. The vibrations of this mantra resonate deep within you and are a direct route to the God and creator above. We are all immersed in this mantra. It exists every where.
The image of the God to focus on today is the symbol OM that exists every where and the dark black universe or our cosmos. Yet think about the beauty and orderliness of the cosmos. The way the planets and stars follow a certain rule of existence, rotation and revolution. Think if day and night did not follow each other. The spinning of our earth in the ocean of darkness. How organized everything is. This is a clear indication of the underlying rules and laws that is followed in nature. There is a law to living and life.
Our mantras tap into these laws of nature to manifest our desires. Nature and its beauty is the first evidence and description of God. We are all part of nature. We have a part to play in the order of this universe. We are aligned to nature and we prosper when in tune to our inner and outer natural self.
When you sit down to chant your mantra, first be grateful for what you already have. Everyone has something to be grateful for. Recognize it today. Send your thankfulness to the universe for what you have. – Maybe its your family, parents, car, education, kind nature, food and clothing, your desires and goals etc.
Now begin your chanting. Relax..breath..When you finish your chants and have looked inside yourself, outside at your life and the intentions for your desires. Be grateful again. Be true to yourself. Believe your desires will soon manifest and you will enjoy what you have longed for. Its coming..
Today, we learned about the simple yet powerful mantra OM. This energy can be directed to all your desires. This mantra aligns you with the natural forces of the universe to receive all you wish for. This mantra also helps you to delve in and get in touch with your real self. It puts you on the best course to reach your goals in life.
The most important aspect of mantra meditation is your unwavering faith. Once started, believe that you are on the right path. Your wish will be fulfilled and you will reach the better place you envision in life. Stick with it. Remember faith moves mountains.
This week try to arrange a place for chanting in your home. Sit there for a few minutes everyday. Face the sun and think about yourself. Your life, goals, wishes, and how you want things to evolve for you. Chant the mantra for today, slowly, deeply. Focus on the image ahead. Clear your mind, visualize your goals.