Mantra Meditation: In my efforts to help you practicing meditation, I wish to tell you about mantra meditation. It is also known as Japa meditation. Japa means repeated chanting of a mantra. It is performed with the help of a mantra, which is either a word or a phrase. You chant mantra again and again to you, in audible voice or internally. As a result of continuous repetition of a mantra there is a specific effect on your being.

Mantra is considered as mystical energy. This energy is in the form of a particular sound. Each mantra is loaded with vibration of certain positive power. When you repeat this mantra time and again; its power is manifested in your life. These mantras are needed to be repeated hundreds thousand times or sometimes millions times to bring desired results.

Replacing Mantra with a positive affirmation:

In this meditation, you can replace mantra with a positive affirmation of your choice based on your need and requirement. Mantra or positive affirmation is the object of your meditation. Continuous repetition of mantra or a positive affirmation over a period of time is absorbed in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is extremely powerful and acts like a faithful servant. Degree of absorption varies from person to person, based on his concentration and blending of emotions with mantra.

It is extremely necessary while repeating a mantra or positive affirmation, your mindset should be in tune with the words you are repeating. Sometimes, people although repeating a mantra or a positive affirmation but are continuously thinking in a negative or any other direction. This contradicts your actions and consequently fails to bring positive outcome of repeating mantra, even for a long period. As a result, practitioner of meditation losses faith in efficacy of mantra and positive affirmations and sometimes discontinues practicing meditation.

Creating your own mantra or positive affirmation:

You can practice age old popular mantras, which have been practiced for thousands years by followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Else, you can also create your own mantra or a positive affirmation tailored to meet your specific requirements. While creating your affirmation make sure it is in present tense. And repeat the same with total faith in its efficacy. During the course of practice, make sure not to bring negative thought in your mind on the outcome. Believe as if this affirmation has manifested in your life.

Some popular mantras are given here.

Om or Aum:

Om is the root mantra of all those mantras of Hindu philosophy. They believe Om is the elemental sound. It is not a word but a sound. This world is created from the sound of Om. It is the sound of existence.

Chanting of Om or Aum starts with a sound “aa”, followed by long “oooooo” and ending at “mm”. Duration of “o” is almost three times to that of ‘m”, Om is considered the purest form of sound depicting the name of God. Therefore chanting Om is considered repeating name of Almighty God in its purest form. It has nothing to do with any religion or faith. This is how you can chant Om.

So’ham:

So’ham is the sound of pulsating energy. It is a natural mantra being a part of one’s nature. While inhaling, there is a natural sound of “sooo” and during exhalation you hear “hammm”. Its vibration is a part of breathe. And breathe of every individual living on this earth creates same sound irrespective of caste, color, creed, gender, religion and nationality of the person associated with it. Because of its association with everyone’s breathe, So’ham is called universal mantra.   On chanting “So’ham”, it aligns mind and body thus providing inner balance.

Om Namah Shivaya:

This mantra is pronounced as “Aum Numah Shiwaaye”. This mantra is called as a panchakshara mantra, means it is a five syllable mantra. These represent five basic elements from which human body is created. These elements are earth, water, fire, air and ether. Chant Om Namah Shivaya.

Om Namah Shivaya means I bow to Shiva. And Shiva is the supreme reality. It is the true inner self. Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most powerful and effective mantras. There is a belief that this mantra when continuously repeated in the mind, silently or in audible voice, you do not require necessity to perform austerity or rituals. There is no restriction of particular time or place of practicing this mantra. And also that of age, gender, financial status, religion, nationality or any such restriction are also not associated with this mantra. Anyone can repeat this mantra at any time and place, with a faith and belief in efficacy of this mantra.

Gayatri Mantra:

Gayatri Mantra is the foremost important and popular mantra of Hindu belief system. It is pronounced as,

Aum Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha,Tat Savitur Varenyam, 

Bhargo Devasaya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat.” 

Meaning of Gayatri mantra is,

“Oh God, Thou art the giver of life, remover of pain and sorrow, the bestower of happiness. Oh creator of the universe, May we receive supreme sin destroying light. May thou guide our intellect in the right direction.”

Gayatri mantra is unique in a sense that it has both the power of a mantra and at the same time a prayer to the supreme God. By chanting this mantra Divine spiritual light and power is infused in each of our seven chakras and connect them to these seven great spiritual realms of existence.

Gayatri Mantra is one of the oldest mantras and is considered as being among the highest and most powerful mantras of all. It has been chronicled in the Rig-Veda, one of the four Vedas. Vedas are the basics of Hindu belief system, written thousands years ago. And this mantra was created many centuries before. This is how you can chant Gayatri Mantra.

Ideal time for chanting Gayatri mantra is thrice a day, at dawn, mid-day and at dusk. It is believed that to get maximum benefits one must chant it 108 times or in multiple of 108 times. There are rosary beads called, mala, available for counting 108 chants. It is suggested to chant mantra for three, nine or eighteen ‘malas’. In case you are hard pressed for time, you may chant this mantra for nine, eighteen or twenty seven times. Some people chant this mantra during commuting to their work place.

The syllables of Gayatri mantra are said to positively affect all the chakras or energy centers of human body. For getting maximum benefits, it is necessary to pronounce and enunciate this mantra properly. Continuous repetition of Gayatri mantra brings several positive physical and mental developments in body and mind. It helps mind being sharper, immune system stronger and makes your attitude positive. All chakra of body are activated. Inner wisdom starts awakening with regular chanting of this mantra. In addition, several other benefits are reported for regularly chanting Gayatri mantra.

Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo:

This mantra has been taken from Lotus sutra teachings of Gautam Buddha (500 BC). Meaning of this mantra is,

“I devote myself to the Lotus sutra”.

This mantra was first given to this world by Nichiren (1222-1282), a Japanese priest. He established that by chanting this mantra one can awaken his Buddha nature and tap his deepest levels of existence and true self. Nichiren regarded Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo as the mystic law, the natural principle governing the working of life in the universe.

Regularly chanting Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo helps improving health, happiness, wisdom and increases compassion. But the higher and better goal of chanting this mantra leads to manifest the enlightenment of Buddha within you. For chanting this mantra, sit in a place where there is no distraction. Keep you eyes open and sit on a chair with straight back. Hold your hands together and keep them still. Before sitting for chanting mantra set fix duration of time you will chant. It is your choice and largely depends on your comfort level. Once decided, you must stick to keep chanting till this time limit is up. Chanting for ten to fifteen minutes, morning and evening shall be ideal in the beginning. Later you can increase this duration of meditation.

This mantra has helped people improving their financial, physical, mental and emotional health and they get good health, more wealth, happiness, success and wisdom. In case, you wish to possess and achieve something special in your life, commence regularly chanting this mantra. In the beginning set a specific goal for you. It could be anything material, social, mental or a spiritual goal. Decide what is important to you. With this goal in mind, commence chanting regularly with a deep faith that you will receive the same. Chanting of mantra must be regular and rhythmic for a predestined time.

Do not expect miracles overnight. It takes time to change situations built around for several years and bring positive results. Do not allow any negative thought to enter your mind about the outcome. Keep chanting with full faith. All your emotions and intellect should believe that process of realization of dreams is commenced. You will see positive changes occurring in your life.

Om Mani Padme Hum:

This mantra is popularly known as ‘Mani’ mantra. This is a mantra of compassion. It is pronounced as “Aum Mani Peme Hung”.

This mantra is a six syllable Tibetan Buddhist mantra and is easy to recite. This is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras. And anyone can recite this mantra, without seeking permission from priests or Lamas. It is believed that all those teachings of Buddha are contained within this mantra. Meaning of this mantra cannot be described into a simple phrase. But it is translated as

‘The jewel in the heart of lotus”.

It says, ‘May all beings enjoy the spirit of enlightenment.’ However, this mantra has been defined by Dalai Lama that ‘by the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha’.

This mantra can be chanted loud or silently to oneself. This mantra can also be viewed in written form.

It has the same effect as that of chanting. It is also believed that written form of mantra on spinning a Mani wheel, also called a prayer wheel, gives the same benefits as saying the mantra. Large Mani wheels found in Tibetan Buddhist temples contain millions of copies of mantra inside. On spinning these Mani wheels release tremendous beneficial energy of this mantra.

Mani mantra is popular in all Buddhist faith countries includingIndia,Japan,Korea,Sri Lanka,ThailandandVietnam. This mantra emphasizes strengthening of following six aspects of life, Generosity, Tolerance, Patience, Perseverance, Concentration and Wisdom. This is the mantra of compassion. Chanting this mantra protects you from worldly sufferings, ill health and all sorts of harms and negativities. It is believed this mantra not only saves you during your life on earth and will continue to protect you after life from various ill effects and hell regions.

Namokar Mantra:

Namokar mantra is the most important mantra in Jain religious faith fromIndia. This mantra is also known as Navkar mantra. In fact, they call it Maha-mantra. ‘Maha’ means huge. Hence this mantra is considered a bigger mantra in terms of its importance and usefulness. This mantra is a universal prayer of Jainism. Namokar mantra is recited as  follows,

Namo Arihantanam
Namo Siddhhanam
Namo Ayariyanam
Namo Uvjhayanam
Namo Loye Savva Saahunam
Aiso Panch Namokkaro, Savva Paav Panasano
Manglanancha Savvesim, Padhmam Havei Mangalam

Its meaning is

I bow to the Arahants, the perfected human beings.
I bow to the Siddhas, liberated bodiless souls.
I bow to the Acharyas, the masters and heads of congregations.
I bow to the Upadhyayas, the spiritual teachers.
I bow to the spiritual practitioners in the universe, Sadhus.
This fivefold obeisance mantra,
Destroys all sins and obstacles,
And of all auspicious repetitions,
Is the first and foremost”.  

Arihants, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadhyayas and Sadhus are those, they have acquired high level of spiritual excellence and special knowledge of religion and are liberated souls. As I told you earlier, this mantra is a prayer. And this prayer is with a deep respect to all those spiritually evolved beings. Main mantra lies in first five lines and the last two lines are explanation about importance and efficacy of this mantra.

This mantra can be recited by any one, at any given time, anywhere and any number of times. Some recite it nine times, eighteen times, 108 times or multiple of 108 times.

Sikh Moolmantra:

“Ek onkar satnam karta purakh nirbhau nirwair akaal murat ajuni saibhang gur prasad. Jap aad sach jugaad sach hai bhee sach Nanak hose bhee sach.

Correct pronunciation of this mantra can be learnt from following youtube.com video/audio file. Mool Mantra

Meaning of this mantra is

“The creator of all i.e. is God is one. Truth is his name. He is the doer of everything. He is fearless without anger. He is undying, unborn and self illumined. This is revealed through the true guru’s grace. Meditate. He was true in the beginning. He is true through all the ages. He is true even now. O Nanak, He shall ever be true.”

This mantra can be chanted 108 times or in multiple of 108 times once a day. You can chant this mantra in the morning or in evening depending on your convenience. It is preferable to sit east facing for reciting this mantra. In Sikh religion, it is mandatory to cover your head with a cloth, cap, hat or turban, while reciting this mantra. This mantra can be chanted by anyone. However, it is mandatory to stop taking all kinds of intoxicants including wine, tobacco, drugs, narcotics etc. during this period of recitation of mantra. If you wish to regularly practice this mantra, you will have to stop taking above intoxicants.

It is said that by continuously reciting this mantra for forty days, you can proceed in direction of fulfillment of your desires and achieve what you wish to get.

Christian Mantra:

History of practicing meditation in Christian faith dates back to beginning of fourth century. It is believed Abba Isaac was the first teacher who taught meditation to John Cassian in Egyptian deserts. Cassian later made meditation popular. He said that during meditation the mantra must always be in your heart. This mantra could be a word or a phrase. You must always repeat this mantra in your mind, so that is continuously resonates in your heart. It will require regular practice of mantra.

In a manual of Christian meditation it is suggested to first choose a word. This word is your mantra. Regularly chant this word. Do not try to indulge in its meaning. Repeat the same till you soak your heart in the sound of this mantra. Repetition of mantra must always be with total faith, love and full attention. Some common mantras used for meditation in Christian religion are given hereunder.

A-men –  the Word,

Am-ma – the divine Mother,

Ab-ba –   heavenly Father,

Hum-sa – name of God in ancient language Sanskrit, and means, I AM THAT or I AM,

Ma-Ra-Na-Tha –  Come Lord; in ancient Aramaic.

Here is an important mantra “Maranatha.”  This is an ancient mantra but there is little knowledge in public about this mantra. This is considered as final instruction ofSt. Paul’s teachings to Corinthians and alsoSt. John’s final instructions in the book of Revelations.

Maranatha has two different meanings. In the first, it is pronounced as Mara-natha. It means Come Lord or Lord Come. Second one is pronounced as Maran-atha. It has a meaning, Lord is here or Lord has come.

This mantra is pronounced as Maa-Raa-Naa-Thaa. While chanting this mantra, you can repeat the same in audible voice or in silence, repeating the mantra in mind. While meditating on Maranatha, you must allow your mind to gently rest in one physical location rather than allowing it to wander. You can concentrate on your third eye, which is space between your eyebrows.

This mantra can also be repeated by concentrating on breathe, similar to that you have practiced with So’ham. During inhalation repeat Ma, while exhale with Ra. Again inhale with Na and while exhaling repeat Tha, In this way one frequency of mantra is repeated with two breaths. Do it silently, smoothly and gently. Let your breathe be natural. While reciting mantra, make sure that your awareness and sense of belonging is there with the mantra. It should not be a mere repetition. Chant Ma-Ra-Na-Tha.

Develop your own Positive affirmation:

You can frame your mantra or a positive affirmation that suits your needs and requirements. Make sure, it is short, positive and is in present tense. And it should be easy to recite. Try to make it specific looking into your priorities. You can repeat this affirmation in a similar way you recite other mantras. Make it a practice to recite this affirmation during meditation and also at other times when your mind is free to recite. You can repeat this affirmation while commuting and on other appropriate moments. While chanting this affirmation, you must have faith in its manifestation and must associate your feelings and emotions with the same. Some affirmations are given hereunder for your reference.

“I am wealthy and Prosperous.”

“I live in Abundance.”

“Money flows to me in many ways.”

“I am successful in all that I do.”

“I am kind and patient.”

“I am proud of myself.”

“I am very peaceful.”

“I am fit and energetic.”

“I am perfectly healthy.”

“I have good health in every cell.”

“I accept and give love freely.”

“I expect less, give more.”

“I love everyone unconditionally.”

“I lovingly forgive and forget, who has ever offended/hurt me.”

“God guides me in all that I do.”

“I put all my affairs in the hands of God and God dissolves all my problems.”

“God is now filling my mind with peace, with courage and with calm assurance.”

“Only that which is true of God is true of me, for I and the father are one.”

“I expect the Best and with God’s help will attain the best.”

To get better results from mantra meditation there are certain suggestions and norms to be followed. These are given here.

Place of meditation:

You must select a suitable space for practicing meditation. It could be a dedicated room or a corner in a room for meditation. You can also practice in your prayer room or near altar. Dedicate this space for practicing mantra meditation. Avoid any other activity in this area. Make sure that there is no distraction or interruption to you during meditation. There must be calmness, peace and tranquility in atmosphere of the room. This space must be clean and free from clutter. You must switch off TV, radio, mobile and other gadgets which may distract your mind. You must also ensure no one disturbs you during practice of meditation. Inform your family members not to disturb you nor create any distraction.

Use incense or a candle:

Some people prefer to light candles, incense or keep some fragrance or essential oils of their choice to create an atmosphere congenial for meditation. Some of them keep certain objects like fresh flowers, pyramid or any other yantra before commencing meditation. It is not mandatory. If you want to use any such object of your choice, you can do so.

Direction:

While sitting for meditation, it is advisable to sit facing east, towards rising Sun, as the Sun is the most important source of energy for our planet earth. You also gain energy facing east. In case of any inconvenience to sit facing east, you can sit facing towardsHimalaya Mountains. These have been a source of inspiration and a land of mystic energy for ages. Sages have been going toHimalayas for meditation and gaining knowledge.

You could be meditating from any part of this world, make sure to sit facing towards Himalayas. In Islam faith, meditation you must sit facing towards Holy city of Mecca.

Posture:

It has always been suggested to sit in a meditative posture for success in meditation. Padamasana (Lotus posture) is considered the best for meditation. But those they have never practiced yoga, for them it is difficult to sit in this posture. In that situation, you can sit in Ardha-padamasana (Half lotus posture),

Siddhasana or Sukhasana, which are comparatively easy and convenient postures. You body shouldn’t touch the earth directly hence it is suggested to sit on a rug to conserve body’s electricity. Some people cannot sit on the earth cross legged due to physical ailments, for them it is suggested to sit on a chair. During meditation, your back must be straight and head erect.

Mudra:

Mudras play an important role in facilitating mantra meditation. For meditation, gyan mudra is considered ideal. In this mudra, put both hands on your knees. Tips of your thumb and index finger join together. This mudra helps you to concentrate more and your meditation is effective.

Rosary (Mala):

A string of beads in the form of a mala having 109 beads is used for counting. Out of this 108 beads are used for counting mantra and one bead is used as a head to distinguish that chanting of 108 mantras is completed. This head is known as ‘meru’.

During meditation, you may chant mantra 108 times or in multiple of 108. Thus you can chant one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty malas depending on availability of time and your convenience. During chanting it is mandatory not to cross ‘meru’ while moving from one mala to another. Rather, start chanting from reverse direction of mala.

Rosary is made of different objects. Some use Tulsi (Holy basil) beads, while most people prefer Rudraksha rosary. There are several other objects also for using rosary but these two are widely used. While chanting mantra, hold rosary in your right hand between thumb and ring finger and roll beads one by one, inside with middle finger. Use of index finger for rolling beads is prohibited. With every chant of mantra, roll one bead.

Chanting of mantra:

You must correctly pronounce mantra. You can learn proper chanting from the one who knows else hear online and learn to pronounce correctly. For chanting mantra, you can do it in audible voice or chant it silently, repeating it in your heart. But you must have total faith in efficacy of this mantra. Chanting mantra with emotions and feelings attached to it brings desired results faster and easier.

Do not chant mantra in a hurry. Rather do it slowly in a rhythmic voice and with total devotion and faith. Feel the energy of mantra with every chant. In case your mind is wandering during chanting of mantra, gently bring back to the sound of mantra. This mantra can also be chanted while commuting, driving, walking or any other time when your mind is free to think for the same.

Now you have a weapon of various mantras and procedure to recite those mantras is with you. Select a suitable mantra for you and commence reciting. If you have any objective for fulfillment, commence reciting mantra with total faith and strong desire to receive that object. You will certainly get the same. During the course of chanting mantra, do not allow any negative thought enter your mind. Don’t be anxious for the results. Do not hurry and do not worry. Your word and your thoughts will bear fruits. Incubation takes its time. Keep on chanting.

In case you experience any difficulty in selecting a mantra, chanting or any other, feel free to write to me. I shall try to help you to the best of my abilities.

Give your opinion about this article and also if you wish to get information on any other subject.

Wishing you success in all that you do. God bless you always.


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