What is a Mantra? What is its purpose?
María González Santos, author of the blog YogayTé and certified in Bach Flower Therapy and holistic nutrition, explains us and takes away any doubt about the deep meaning of a Mantra.
THE POWER OF A MANTRA
The mantra is a sound vibration. Through it, the person tries to connect his being with the same spiritual condition of a guru, God, or someone who got enlightenment. It awakes and stimulates certain latent potentials.
The mantra is composed of sacred phonemes, which are repeated following a certain pattern (japa), getting calm in our mind and moving our energy.
It is usual that the mantra repetition practice goes together with the practice of pranayama, especially in Kundalini yoga.
For a mantra work, it must be repeated with an attitude of surrender and intent of form. The disciple or practitioner usually receives the teaching from a guru. It is said that the practice of mantra yoga makes the contact with the cosmic energy.
How and when to practice?
Japa (repetition of a mantra) can be carried out in a state of meditation, but also in a moving state, reciting verball, semiverbal or mental mantras, being this last one the most effective but the most difficult, as the mind has to soak in the essence of the mantra without dispersing.
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We have also to remember the original purpose of the Mala Beads or “Japa” Malas (repetition necklaces) in Japa Meditation: The recitation of mantras or words of power which are repeated 108 times (bead to bead) to achieve a state of balance and harmony.
What is the goal or purpose?
The purpose of mantra-yoga is connected with the higher, the divine, although each person can give a particular meaning or devote to a particular teacher, the ultimate purpose becomes similar.
Although there are many mantras, OM is the representation of the universal, the seed mantra of the divine. When starting or ending a session of asanas it is usual to repeat it three times, as an offering and delivery in our practice.
Another commonly used mantras is OM MANI PADME HUM, its meaning is “salutation to whom is the jewel of the lotus”.
HAM-SA is the sound produced by breathing, HAM with inspiration and SA with exhalation. We recite it at least twenty thousand times a day without being aware of it.
A mantra is powerful in proportion to the faith and dedication of those who practice it, and like any yogic practice, with its repetition we are seeking concentration of mind, and enriching our inner world.