Mantra Yoga: A form of Meditation
Mantra Yoga is a form of meditation in which a word or phrase is chanted until a sense of peace and calm is attained. The word ‘mantra’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘mantrana’ which means suggestion.
Mantras are certain words which are considered to be sacred and are used to attain a higher spiritual level.
Effects of Mantra Yoga
In the practice of mantra yoga, the mantras serve as signposts which help to direct the wandering mind to a state of calm which is necessary for meditation. Repeating the mantras keeps the mind engaged and helps the practitioner to tune in to his or her inner self. Chanting of the mantras also induces positive vibrations which are known to be beneficial to the one who is chanting as well as the one who is listening.
According to tradition, there are numerous different types of mantras which are used in Mantra Yoga. The recitation of mantras is known as ‘japa’. A mantra has the following parts;
- The religious teacher who learns the mantra first and discloses it to the world.
- The metre which indicates how the mantra should be recited.
- The presiding deity of that particular mantra
- The seed or essence of the mantra which gives it its special attributes.
- The energy of the mantra which is the vibrations that helps the individual to reach a higher spiritual level.
- The pin or pillar of the mantra which is removed with constant repetition and gives the individual a glimpse of the presiding deity.
Meditation through Mantra Yoga
In Mantra yoga, meditation begins with chanting aloud of the mantra. This helps to calm the body and creates a serene atmosphere which is conducive to reaching a meditative state. Then the practitioner starts whispering the mantra and starts to focus inwards. This kind of whisper chanting brings about a sense of balance and harmony and paves the way for a deeper level of peace. Whisper chanting eases almost automatically and the practitioner shifts to mental chanting. Whenever a stray thought enters the mind, the mantra is chanted mentally in that particular area of the mind. By inducing peace in the mind, Mantra Yoga enables you to reach a higher level of consciousness. The chanting then becomes effortless and even pleasurable. In time the actual words fall away and only the positive energy of the mantra remains.