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Why Affirmations Don't Always Work, But Mantras Do

Updated on August 29, 2017

Affirmations v. Mantras

"I Am A Money Magnet" or "SHREEM BRZEE!" Which is a more powerful tool for change? Are affirmations as effective as spiritual mantras?

Affirmations and mantras are usually used interchangeably as transformational tools. But, they truly are not the same. Affirmations are basically declarations, whereas mantras are a form of non-directional prayer. Affirmations were developed from the early practice of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) in the 1970s. Mantras come out of the meditations of the ancient and modern day gurus. Both affirmations and mantras are used to entrain the mind with rhythm and repetition to introduce a new way of thinking and being. They both are usually recited aloud, sung or written down several times. But which is one more effective? In my experience, the problem with affirmations is that they do not always work, but mantras do. And, this is why.

When reciting affirmations, it is assumed that negative thoughts or mental conditioning are non-existent. Such is not the case. Negative thoughts and beliefs, along with pre- existing mental programming, have such a powerful grip on the mind that either one of them can nullify any new affirmation that is contradictory to the existing thoughts. These pre-existing notions will nullify an affirmation, even if it is a life-enhancing statement. Herein lies the problem. Affirmations to enhance or change someone's life can only work with clean mental slates. Therefore, before any affirmation can even be effective, the negative thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and programming pertaining to an affirmed intention must be removed and replaced with positive thoughts and beliefs that are more in alignment with the intended goals. In order to bring this about, it will take an individual time, effort and self-exploration with a life coach or therapist. This is where mantras differ.

Like affirmations, mantras can be spoken, sung or written. Unlike affirmations, mantras have a sonic potency that alters the mind itself and re-aligns the mind to achieve the intended goals. It is that sound frequency that allows the mantras to act much differently than the affirmations. After a few days or weeks of chanting mantras, the mind literally will have been altered. The mantras push out any contradictory thoughts and replace them with new thoughts that are in alignment with the new goals. One new thought after another is drawn into the mental processes of the chanter. By this time, the Law of Attraction is coming into full effect. After approximately forty days of continued chant work, permanent change has taken place. The chanter is now capable of attracting all the right people, places, devices, and information that will lead the chanter to his or her goal.

As sacred sounds, mantras can be found in the most mystical cultures, especially those in India and China. Indigenous groups also have their own sacred words and phrases. The ancients of the East and Middle East were even aware of sounds that came from outer space. These sounds were also considered sacred. More recently, scientists at the SETI Institute have also discovered that sounds can be heard emanating from within our planetary system. As a matter of fact, in ancient Ayurvedic healing techniques, planetary mantras are used for treatments. Ayurvedic healers chant the mantras of specific planets to absorb or align with the energies of that planet to make elixirs and medicines.

In China, sacred sounds are also used in healing therapies, qi gong and the martial arts. Chinese healers use a combination of mantras along with affirmations. These sacred sounds are chanted or sung without or without body movements for healing chronic physical ailments much like in the Ayurvedic and Hindu traditions.

One major difference between mantras from the East and affirmations in the West is that in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the mantras are received by the gurus and sages while in their deepest meditations, as mentioned earlier. Western affirmations, on the other hand, can be made up on the spot by anyone for any intended goal. Another important factor is that even though affirmations do not possess the power of the mantra or sacred sound, they can still be of good use, under certain conditions.

Keep in mind that in order for an affirmation to work effectively, the mind must be clear of any contradictory thought that could prevent an individual from attaining his or her goal. For example, someone who believes money is evil will not be able to successfully use a money affirmation to attract money. That person could declare “I AM a Money Magnet” for hours every day and never make the affirmation work. The negative belief that "Money is evil" needs to be totally dismantled from within the person’s mind.

In contrast, a mantra, such as “Shreem” the money mantra, that is recited 108 times a day, clears out the negative thoughts. Once the negative clutter has been cleared, this mantra then restores the mind with the appropriate energies that attract money and moneymaking opportunities. In all honesty however, there is a mantra used specifically to clear out resistant beliefs and obstacles before using Shreem. That mantra is the mantra of Lord Ganesha, "Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha." Chanting both the Ganesha mantra with Shreem daily for up to two hours a day for forty straight days brings fantastic results.

As we can see, even though affirmations and mantras are similar, they have distinct properties and should never be used interchangebly. Affirmations are a by-product of neurolinguistic programming. This implies a mental pre-treatment to prepare the mind to be receptive to the affirmation before it can be recited. Mantras, on the other hand, re-align the mental energies of the mind, without any comprehensive pre-treatment, to match the intended goals. Therefore, the main reason affirmations do not always work but, mantras do, is because for affirmations to work effectively, the mind must be free of the clutter of resistant negative thoughts towards new intentions.

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