We understood the meaning of mantra and its power in the last post. Let us continue learning on the mantras further.
Mantra is the sound form of the Absolute
Just like physical forms such as idols, mantras are sound form of the Ultimate Reality. The deity to which the mantra is addressed is the devatha(deity) of that mantra. Mantras were revealed to our great masters in deep meditation. For example, all the mantras of the Vedas were not written, but revealed to rishis(sages). So, they are called Shrutis meaning “heard”. The sage or the master to whom a particular mantra was revealed is known as rishi(sage) of that mantra. Majority of mantras are set in a particular chandas(metre).
The most celebrated Vedic mantra, Gayathri Mantra is addressed to Surya(Sun God). Its rishi is Mahrishi Vishwamitra and the metre is Gayathri. It is customary to mention these three attributes (seer, metre and the deity) of the mantra with reverence in the beginning of the practice.
How do we achieve the yoga by mantra?
In mantra yoga, chosen mantra of a particular deity is chanted continuously with full devotion. Whenever our mind drifts, we need to bring back our attention to the mantra. After some time, we go beyond our thoughts, mind and merge with the mantra itself. Let us recall that the mantra is just the sound form of the deity. So, the moment we merge with the mantra, we go into a deep meditation dwelling in the Universal Self. Amazing! This is how the yoga happens via mantra. Mantra is both tool and the goal in mantra yoga.
Which mantra should we to choose for mantra yoga?
It entirely depends on us. We can start praying any deity that we like depending on our nature e.g. Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Narayana, etc. with fixed number of repetitions like 9, 11, 21, 27, 54, 108 as directed by the master (Guru). Repetition of mantra is called Japa(chanting). We should never undertake Japa of any mantra with large number of repetitions (e.g. running into thousands) without guidance.
Next post: Mantra Yoga – Part 3: Practice. Stay tuned!
Swasti pantham anucharema |
Let us take the best path(as shown by the Vedas) |
Om Namah Shivaya ||