Sanskrit is one of the most ancient of all human languages and it forms the base of most Indo-European languages. Sanskrit is also known as Devanagari, meaning ‘language of the gods.’ Sanskrit words are sound manifestations that encapsulate vibrations and energy. When mantras are meditated upon or sung, the repetition builds a pattern of power in both name and form. Whether or not the translation is consciously known the benefits are positive and calming.
Mantra Yoga is a devotional limb of Yoga that heals the ‘Udana Vayu’ or airs of the human vital body that govern will, speech, self-expression, complexion, memory and enthusiasm. Listening to mantras can clear memory energy, loosen stagnant patterns and release trauma. Singing mantras or even humming them vibrates the throat, head, sinuses and ear passages to assist with clearing blockage, dissolving harmful or negative karmas from ill-intended speech and will enhance confident clear speech from an authentic inner source of peace.
Methods of Mantra Yoga include the following approaches: Saguna devotion is performed as an offering to any visual form of a deity or God in the mind or to any physical form of a deity or God; Jesus, Mohammad, Lord Siva, and Buddha are examples. Nirguna devotion is set before the highest formless power unseen and all pervading imaginable. In essence the highest spiritual force is ‘the hidden one’ who is felt through spiritual dedication and evolving awareness. Example of Nirguna mantra devotion is found through the Pranava Mantra OM or AUM. OM is considered the primordial word and form of God. Another example of a Nirguna devotion mantra is SO HAM “I am that I am” meaning I am not just a physical manifestation; I am spirit also. It is a silent breath mantra and is pronounced in the mind upon inhalation as “So” and on exhalation “Hum.”
108 Japa Mala Beads are particularly helpful to unify mind and spirit when one feels life is filled with duality or separateness. A short mantra repeated over each bead offers a solid sense of completion when reaching the final bead. Mala beads provide a useful technique to help let go of a preoccupation with time restraint.
Bija Mantras are one syllable or ‘seed’ mantra sounds. Bija mantras are recommended after a time of cleansing and purifying, when a consistent spiritual focused lifestyle is established. A simple example of Bija Mantra is the 7 Chakra chant “LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM, AUM.” To chant a single Chakra Bija such as “LAM” only enables the aspirant to feel the source and to eventually manage energy being concentrated in the one area and other energetic areas of the self. This is an empowering form of mantra invocation.
It is recommended that a warm bath or shower be taken immediately preceding chanting a mantra. Wear light colored, comfortable clothes. Make an offering or alter with fruit, flowers or a monetary donation to the highest self. This monetary offering is to be used strictly for future training or initiations. If one is unsure where to start, pray for clarity, chant for peace, wellness, safety, understanding and knowledge. Remove clutter of unnecessary things and activities. Remember the greatest teacher is inside your heart. Thank you and good luck in chanting. May all beings be at peace and prosper, Namaste. HFY