“Karma” is a universal law and it was built on logical thinking based on scientific principles that can be seen “in action” in our day to day life. Its origin can be traced back to the enlightened Vedic period of ancient India.“Karma” is a Sanskrit expression that is derived out of the root word, “Kr” (Kri) to share the knowledge as to how the “basic nature” of human beings results in “actions” that causes an “effect.” Since ‘action’ is the basic nature of man, none can escape from Karma.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, we know that. A bad action done cannot produce good result and vice-versa. The collective actions done by man is said to create what we call, his “Destiny.” Therefore, we cannot escape from our destiny! The wisdom that flows out of Rig Veda where the expression “Karma” appears 40 times, say that man does not do Karma or actions, but it is propelled by the “Self” which is inside the man which knows what is good and bad and right and wrong. Therefore, man has one thing in his control and that is to “consciously” choose and decide which action to perform to “produce” the “desired” results. This effectively means that he has the control to “alter” his destiny. So, even for an atheist who does not believe in God but in the scientific theory of 3rd Law of Motion of Sir Isaac Newton, would see that the load-bearing pillar of Karma actually resides on this principle or truth which Newton discovered in his above mentioned Law after several millennia after the composition of Vedas in India.
What are Mantras?
“Manthras” are made up of decibels stacked differently. It is based on the scientific theory that sound impacts. A mighty thunder could break a glass windowpane and similarly a lullaby could sooth an infant to sleep. So the sound waves affect both the atmosphere outside as well as inside us. “Manthra” a Sanskrit expression has its root in “Man” and Man denotes ‘mind.’ Man came from its root “Manan” which means ‘churning’ because it is the nature of the mind that it churns and churns and churns to ‘draw’ meaningful understanding and then to perform. Since Manthras are sound decibels, they may not always form meaningful texts and Rig Veda has several such Manthras.
Mantra is the instrument of mind
There is man in Karman, Mantra, Human, Manushya, Mandir
Man means mind. Mind+Body = Soul
Kar + Man means the energy of mind which is in motion or Mind in motion.
Mind is energy and energy vibrates at various frequencies. These frequencies are the result of our thoughts. By chanting mantra daily, you can raise your mind’s vibrations to higher frequencies. As we do that, our mind will attract better circumstances and eventually life will be happier.
Our mind decides our actions. Mantra will make your mind sharp and give you strong intuition. Strong intuition will help you avoid low energy people, unfortunate situations and guide you towards greater happiness. Bad luck is the result of bad decisions. Mantra will help you make better decisions.
The time that we are currently living in is a dark age where there are different kind of vibrations coming towards us. Vibrations are thoughts. Our mind is subject to variety of thoughts through news, circumstances, material objects, people around us and culture. Everything has an impact on our mind.
If the mind is not uplifted daily at higher vibrations, it will easily get entangled in low vibrations. One bad thought leads to another and all that eventually leads to low vibrations. Mind is a magnet and creates everything it can think of. A person who chants a mantra is able to create his own vibes and also consistently raise the vibrations if he chants it daily. Such a person gradually has so much power over his mind that nothing can lower his vibrations. Neither planetary placements nor situations or people around him. He has the power to create his own destiny.
What is better Meditation or Chanting Mantras?
Meditation and Mantra are like Yin and Yang. Meditation calms your mind while mantra activates it. Mantra is active energy and meditation is passive. To succeed in your spiritual efforts, you need to have both Yin and Yang. Excess of any will result in problems. Planets in your birth chart also have the same Yin and Yang.
If a person chants just a little bit of mantra daily, he will feel a difference in the pace of his thoughts. If he chants too much the pace of his thoughts might become too fast and he may become insane or aggressive. Hence the Yang energy of mantra can be very well balanced by the Yin energy of meditation.
If you chant mantra for 5 minutes, you must meditate for 5 minutes. That’s how you balance your energies. Otherwise if you only chant mantra regularly, you will accumulate the fiery, creative energies in your psyche and your mind will be in forever creative mode. It will create anything and everything you can think of. Whether you think good or bad thoughts, it won’t matter, mantra will make your thoughts a reality. You will also get bizarre and crazy dreams or nightmares.
Meditating after mantra chanting is the best way to add that calming, passive energy into your psyche. This calming energy of mediation is like Moon (Soma) which will absorb all the heat (Agni) coming out of mantra and keep you sane. While meditating after mantra you just need to close your eyes and sit quietly, don’t focus on anything, don’t control your thoughts, just be quiet.
Mantra gives you fresh energy and wisdom, meditation clears up your mind to absorb this. Mantra increases your power to think and Meditation creates more space in your mind for these thoughts. For overall harmony, it is important to think positive thoughts and not think negative thoughts. If mantra gives you positive thoughts and hope, meditation clears up your mind to welcome these thoughts.
Mantra gives your mind the power to switch ON and silent meditation gives your mind the power to switch OFF. To change your destiny, you need to control your mind. By doing mantra and silent meditation daily, you get the power to control your mind.
Starting the Mantra Chanting
To reach the meditative state, concentration is required first. A scattered, distracted, and inattentive mind cannot truly meditate, even if one sits silently for long periods of time. As the Yoga Sutras teach us, one must first develop the one-pointed mind (ekagra chitta) in order to reach state in which the mind is dissolved into higher awareness (niruddha chitta).
There are numerous tools of concentration taught in Yoga and Vedanta. These can be divided into two groups, first those using light and perception, and second those using sound and mantra.
The first group of concentration methods involves fixing the gaze, what is traditionally called Drishti Yoga or the ‘Yoga of seeing’. One may fix the gaze on external objects in nature like a tree, a flower, or a flowing river, or on colors, lights, and geometrical patterns (including yantras like the Sri Yantra). One may also fix the gaze inwardly at various chakra centers, particularly the third eye, the seat of inner perception, and the heart, the seat of the higher Self. These may be combined with visualization methods. Generally our attention and concentration follows what we are looking at.
The second group of concentration methods emphasizes mantra or Mantra Yoga, particularly the chanting of seed syllables or bija mantras starting with Om. These concentrated sounds project a single consistent sound vibration through which the mind can be easily concentrated. Generally the mantric approach is more important as our minds are engaged inwardly in sounds and words. It is sound in the form of words that serves to store and carry the information and experience that we gain through perception.
One can combine both these methods involving light and sound, which naturally go together. The current of our thoughts and the movement of the eyes both reflect the stream of awareness. Through mantra we can sustain a current not only of sound but one of light.
The best way to start learning about mantras is through a Guru or Seer who can guide you on this subject. But it is rare to find a genuine guru these days and so below are few other ways to explore.
- Books by Thomas Ashley Farrand – titles like True stories of Spiritual Power, Shakti Mantra, Healing Mantras
- Books by David Frawley – Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound ( a very concise, easy to understand book on Mantra)
After going through the above books, If you are looking for a mantra for yourself,
- Analyse your dosha, whether it is pitta, vata or kapha. Chose a mantra that will balance these dosha. If you choose a mantra that aggravates any of your personal dosha then you may not get any happiness from the mantra.
- You can also check your dosha in your personal horoscope
- Add your date of birth to understand your ruling and destiny numbers. For eg : If your DOB is 2.02.2016, (DD/MM/YYYY) then your ruling no 2, your destiny number is the total of your entire date of birth, which is 4 (2+2+2016). Your ruling number tells you the planet which governs your physical body and your destiny number tells you the planet which governs your spiritual body (Prana).
- Now add the ruling number + destiny number from the above example to derive your Soul Number. (2+4 = 6) 6 is the soul number. Our soul is the combination of physical and spiritual body.
- So from the above example , we conclude that numbers 2, 4 and 6 are major influencers of your destiny. Hence Moon (2), Rahu (4), and Venus (6) are your most favorable planets. So if you refer David frawley’s book the way of mantra, he has suggested various deity mantras according to your planetary positions and dosha.
- If you choose a mantra which balances your dosha and favors your planetary positions, then it will surely benefit you. But if you choose a mantra which imbalances your dosha and conflicts the vibrations from your favorable planets, then all your efforts are going to be in vain.
- Hence some knowledge of Astrology and Numerology is very important before undertaking Mantra practise.
- Last but most important is trusting your intuition and your happiness level after doing the mantra. If you feel tired and unhappy after doing a mantra, then it is not for you.
Yes, repeating mantras can remove bad karma.
In fact there is a saying ‘Krishito nasti durbhiksham, Japato nasti Patakam’ “There is nothing that cannot be attained by effort, there is no sin that cannot be removed by Japa”. You can take up Japa of any mantra and repeat it with faith.
All Mantras have equal potency or power. It is incorrect to say that Om Namo Narayanaya is superior to Om Namah Sivaya or Radhesyam or Sri Ram, and so on. You can attain God-realisation by doing Japa of any Mantra. Valmiki attained God-consciousness by repealing even Mara-Mara. Some people think that Om or Soham is superior to Om Namo Narayanaya, or vice versa. This also is wrong. The state gained by doing Japa of Om or Soham can be attained by doing Japa of Sri Ram or Radhesyam also.
You should not doubt the teachings of the scriptures. Flickering faith will lead to downfall. A man of weak will, who has no faith in Japa, cannot expect to have progress in the spiritual path. You must have the Bhava that Atman, Isvara, Devata, Mantra are one. With this Bhava you will have to repeat your Guru Mantra or Ishta Mantra. Then alone you will have Mantra Siddhi or God-realisation quickly.
The Japa of a Mantra can bring to the practitioner realisation of his highest goal though he may not possess knowledge of the meaning of the Mantra. Such a mechanical Japa may take a little more time in realisation than when it is practiced with a knowledge of the meaning. There is an indescribable power or Achintya Sakti in the Mantras. If you repeat the Mantra with concentration on its meaning, you will attain God-consciousness quickly.
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