A mantra is a powerful sound formula that works directly with the chakras to process energy in a very specific way. The word "mantra" is derived from two Sanskrit words. The first is "manas" or “mind,” which provides the "man" syllable. The second syllable is drawn from the Sanskrit word "trai," meaning to "protect" or "free from." So the word mantra in its most literal sense means "to free from the mind."
Mantras can be chanted out loud or internally. They have been used throughout the centuries and it is believed that the sacred power of words and the accompanying sounds in mantra aid in spiritual progression (transcending into higher states of consciousness) and to effect healing in the physical and energetic bodies. Mantras are Sanskrit words, sounds or phrases which are repeated in meditation as an object of concentration. The vibrational quality of the mantra sound currents are thought to help attune the mind and body leaving one feeling refreshed, cleansed and purified. There are 108 major nadis (energy channels) that meet in the ‘sacred heart’ (hrit padma). By chanting a mantra 108 times, the energy permeates the entire body and energy body.
“Chanting is a significant and mysterious practice. It is the highest nectar, a tonic that fully nourishes our inner being. Chanting opens the heart and makes love flow within us. It releases such intoxicating inner bliss and enthusiastic splendour, that simply through the nectar it generates, we can enter the abode of the Self.” (Swami Muktananda)
Mantra is like a powerful formula to transform our energy to a higher frequency. There are thousands of Mantra formulas for every challenge under the sun. Here is a sample mantra from ‘Chakra Mantras’ CD by Jana Runnalls
“Salutations to Ganesha, He who removes all obstacles”
This is a Ganesha mantra. Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God of the Hindus and Ganesha is considered to be bountiful and eternal. He is the endower of joy, the God of knowledge, wisdom and success. This mantra has proved invaluable in removing unseen obstacles, which seem to be standing in the way of progress or achievement, either specifically or generally. Many people have had success in turning things around in their life by using this mantra.
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LET THE SOUND OF THE CHANT STRIKE YOU LIKE LIGHTNING.
LET IT FLOW THROUGH YOUR BODY.
THEN YOU WILL BE THE CHANT.
GRATITUDE WILL ARISE SPONTANEOUSLY
AND YOU WILL SWIM
IN THE OCEAN OF NECTAR...
Our true nature is that of perfection. In Buddhism it is called Buddha Nature – the primordial basis for everything. But as human beings most of us suffer from dualistic views of our experiences. Our ego twists and warps the energy of our life until it is a barely recognizable form of the reality of things.
Our job on the spiritual path is to dismantle all this debris. These outmoded thought concepts, the faulty thinking, these facades that shroud our true nature – the masks we wear. But how do we go about it? How can we dismantle something we can’t even see? How do we uncover what we don’t understand or even acknowledge is there?
We practice. We practice meditation to cultivate attention – so we can notice what is happening in the moment. We practice compassion and selflessness – so we can pick away at the ropes that bind us to our ego. We practice Sanskrit Mantra – to dissolve and purify our energy so we can reveal our true nature.