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Mantra Practice: Divine Resonance
By Krishna Das Brahmacharini
What is a Mantra?
Reciting mantras is a frequently quoted spiritual practice, and a fundamental component of Sai Maa’s teachings. With understanding, mantras can become so much more than words repeated to invoke a deity’s presence in our life. When understood and used with intent, mantras can become an extremely powerful tool for personal transformation.
Mantras are sacred words, or sacred phrases. For example, the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ translates to ‘I bow to Shiva’ with Shiva being a Hindu god representing pure space, that unchanging divine self within us. So when we are reciting the mantra ‘’Om Namah Shivaya’ we are bowing to our own inner Light. We are enhancing our reverence towards our own divinity, our own divine self, and so to all life.
When the mantra is in an ancient language such as Sanskrit, not only do the words or phrases speak of the divine, but also the sound vibration produced by articulating the words is a divine resonance. In this way when a mantra is repeated over and over again, we hear the divine words and activate the vibration of the divine throughout our body. We immerse our senses in this high vibration, generating a shift in our way of being, purifying our energy and lifting any heaviness or negative thinking.
How to Recite a Mantra
To gain maximum benefit from mantras, we must concentrate all our attention into reciting the mantra. This means our thoughts and feelings are solely with the mantra we are reciting. We are not thinking of our shopping list or how stressed we feel at the same time as reciting the mantra. We are focused only on the mantra. The other important ingredients are love and faith. When we repeat a mantra with total faith and love, we activate the huge energy and power of the divine to assist in our transformation.
Japa is a particularly absorbing way to repetitively recite a mantra. Japa is usually done with a string of beads called a mala. In the Hindu tradition there are usually 108 beads on a mala. The mala beads assist us to continue our repetitions without focusing on the count. Each round is 108 repetitions. Mala beads can be of many different materials including rudraksha seeds, tulsi wood, and gemstones such as rose quartz or lapis lazuli. The vibration of the bead material works with the energy of the mantra itself. For example, tulsi wood is associated with Lord Vishnu, and so enhances mantras to the many forms of Vishnu, including Lord Krishna.
Mantras can be used at any time, and can also be an effective inclusion in a regular spiritual practice. The same mantras can be repeated each day, or the mantras can be varied. Choosing a mantra that is being practiced by many others at the same time enhances magnitude of the vibration that is created. So, for example, you may find a group to recite mantras with or choose mantras that correlate to large celebrations. For example, choosing ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ during Shivaratri, or mantras to the Divine Mother during Navaratri.
There are endless ways to incorporate mantras into your day. One common practice is to repeat the chosen mantra out loud on rising in the morning, and before bed at night. When using a mala for japa, it is common to repeat a mantra for 3 rounds of 108 repetitions. Repeating a mantra silently to yourself throughout the day will maintain that vibration within your energy and open your heart and mind the vibration of the mantra. It is the focus, love and faith that drives the impact of the mantra rather than the form.
Simple Mantras Offered by Sai Maa
- Om Namah Shivaya
I bow to Lord Shiva – pure space.
- Om Klim Kalika-yei Namaha
I bow to the Divine Mother in the form of Kali – destroyer of ego.
- Om Shrim Maha Lakshmi-yei Namaha
I bow to the Divine Mother in the form of Lakshmi – abundance and prosperity.
- Om A-im Saraswati-yei Namaha
I bow to the Divine Mother in the form of Saraswati – wisdom, knowledge and art.
- Om Dum Maha Durga-yei Namaha
I bow to the Divine Mother in the form of Durga – warrior and creative feminine.