- Religion and Philosophy
What Is Mantra?
Mantras in Hinduism are sacred words or group or words written in Sanskrit language dedicated to specific Gods or Goddesses possessing divine spiritual powers . Mantras should never be understood as merely ordinary words or sentences rather they are the divine words that came out of mouth of Gods,deities,saints who have attained enlightenment. The source sound "OM" called pranava mantra is the source of all mantras.The power of mantra can be awakened by repeated chanting of the mantra for a specified number of times. There are many number of mantras in Hinduism that are used for various purposes like gaining siddhis (psychic powers), fulfillment of any wish, removing diseases, spiritual advancement , enlightenment etc.The repeated chanting of mantra for a certain no. of times to achieve any specific goal is called mantra sadhna. Mantras are said to show the results after they are chanted for a minimum count of 1,25,000, alternatively for full perfection or siddhi over a mantra it should be chanted for a fixed no. of times which is calculated by multiplying the total no. of alphabet in the mantra by a lakh. There are various types of malas or rosaries used for chanting a certain mantra.Although you can chant mantras using any type of mala but still every mantra has a dedicated mala to get results fast . The mantras are counted in cycle of 3,11,21 and most auspicious cycle being of 108. Mantra can be chanted loudly, silently or in mind. Mantra helps in stabalizing and controlling the mind thus improving concentration. Mantra sadhna is one of the easiest way to attain enlightenment. Due to this reason it is strongly recommended to all meditators and people wanting spiritual advancements to choose a mantra according to their comfort and start chanting it regularly for at least 108 times.Success in mantra sadhna requires high level of patience , consistency and faith .If you loose any of these three things, you cannot progress with your mantra.
Various Parts Of Mantra:
A mantra constitutes of various elements that are described below:
1.The Beej or seed:It gives special power to the mantra. Sometimes also represent the life element with which mantra is associated like water,fire.
2.The Devta or deity: Every mantra is dedicated to a specific deity. When the mantra is perfected or siddh the power associated with that deity is attained.
3.Keelakam: It is the key to unlock the mantra .To prevent the misuse of mantra they are initially locked. After the specified amount of chanting is done, the mantra become unlocked and liable to be used.
4.Shakti: It represents the power of mantra.
5 .Chanda: Represents the correct pronunciation of mantra.Mantra should be learned to pronunciate properly before they are chanted or used.
6. Rishi or saint: The person who has first realized the mantra.
Types Of Mantras
Mantras can be classified into following types:
Guru mantra is received by any enlightened sage. Guru mantra comes above all mantras.In Hinduism guru or teacher has the highest place. While worshiping any god the name of guru or the guru mantra should be recited firstly.Lord Shiva is said to be Adiguru i.e the default guru of every being.If you don't have any guru then you can worship him as your guru. It is very difficult to find an enlightened guru nowadays. The people who boasts that they are enlightened are fraud ones. If you somehow found a real enlightened person convince them to take you as their student and get a mantra from them. Such mantra is called a guru mantra. A guru mantra is uttered direct from the mouth of an enlightened person and is already siddh or unlocked chanting of which shows result instantly . A person with guru mantra can awake kundalini without any harm or reach enlightenment comparatively fast.
Vedic mantras are the mantras that are mostly discovered from the sacred Hindu vedic literature like vedas, purans etc. These mantra are perfected or Siddh after chanting them lakhs or crores of times.Although with full faith ,love and consistency, they are seen to show results very soon. These mantras generally start showing their results after a minimum chanting of 1,25000. As the practitioner advances in chanting ,the power of mantra gradually awakens which brings spiritual advancements. With lakhs and core of chantingof these mantra the person itself becomes liable to be worshiped by others. Once a vedic mantra is made siddh the person cannot be defeated or conquered by any power until his intentions and character are pure. Examples of vedic mantra are Shiv panchakshar mantra,Gayatra mantra etc.
These mantras are mainly used to attain materialistic or worldly pleasures rather enlightenment. They can be used to gain strengh,remove any disease, harm any being,remove poison of insects or reptile,gain psychic powers,communicate and control the spirits etc. Although these all objectives can be fulfilled by vedic mantras too but compared to vedic mantras tantric mantra can be made siddh by comparatively less no. of chantings.Vedic mantras are basically practiced by the people to attain enlightenment.Although tantric mantras shows the results very fast but there are many restrictions with these mantras like correct strict pronunciation,fixed time,appropriate mala,no. or chants etc whereas there
comparatively negligible restrictions with vedic and guru mantras. It is because of the fact that guru and vediic mantras are chanted out of love whereas tantric mantras are used for selfish purposes.The presiding dieties of tantric mantras are lord bhairav,goddess kali ,lord veerbhadra,goddess bhairavi, goddess baglamukhi etc. Some mantras also involves worshiping a spirit. It is recommended to obtain full knowledge of tantric mantra from a skilled yogi before practicing it. It is observed that most people use these mantra to harm others but it ultimately leads to their own destruction so better not try any such thing.
Many people constitutes shabar mantra inder tantrik mantra and many oppose it so I have described them as another category of mantra.These mantras unlike the above three mantras are written in local dialects.When people are newly introduced to these mantras they get confused with these mantras as they don't read like normal mantras but believe me they show amazing results and can be activated or siddh in a very short span of time sometime even less than tantrik mantra.These mantra are used mostly for the same purpose as tantrik mantras. These mantras also have various restrictions.Shabar mantras are said to be originated
from the mouth of Lord Shiva or some say they are given by Shree Gorakhnathji ,incarnation of lord shiva.
Method Of Performing Mantra Sadhna:
Note: I am only dealing with vedic mantras in my whole article as tantric and shabar mantra have their own rules and restrictions.
Although you can take any vedic mantra according to your own comfort ,decide no. of chanting for daily (where 108 chants are recommended) and choose any time of day but still there are various methods generally preferred for vedic mantras which deals with consistency,time,no. of chants etc.
The first step is to choose any vedic mantra which captivate you the most or chanting which pleases you a lot. Basically people chooses the mantra of the deity who they trust or like the most and i would recommend the same as the objective of every vedic mantra is to take you to salvation or enlightenment.So choose the mantra that you love to chant.After choosing the mantra make sure to gain complete knowledge about that mantra like the presiding deity of the mantra,correct pronunciation,the dedicated mala of that mantra etc and most important understand the meaning of that mantra.A mantra recited without knowing the meaning only
benefits 30%-40% so know the meaning of mantra first for efficient mantra sadhna.Next is decide the asana and place to chant the mantra regularly. The asana should be comfortable and the place shouldn't be polluted. The most appropriate timings for mantra sadhna is early morning or just after sunset.Make sure you have taken bath before starting you daily mantra chanting.Next comes taking "Anusthan". Anusthan is
making vow to the presiding deity of the mantra keeping some water and a flower in hand that act as witnessess.This vow includes your total no. of chants to be done in your specified amount of time.This practice of chanting the mantra by taking anusthan to complete a specified no. of mantra chantings in specified time is called "Purushcharna". Purushcharna is also divided into two parts Ardhapurushcharna and full purushcharna.
Ardhapurushcharna constitutes of taking an Anushthan of doing 1,25000 chantings in your specified amount of time where mostly a period of 1 month or 30 days is preferred. Dont stop with just 1 purushcharna rather keep doing more purushcharna after completing every purushcharna. This is an efficient way to increase your spiritual power and approach towards enlightenment.
Fullpurushcharna is done by taking an Anushthan of doing a specified no. of mantra chantings ,which is calculated by multiplying the total no. of alphabets in mantra with a lakh in your specified amount of time.The time for this extended or fullpurushcharna is more than ardhapurushcharna as the no. of chants are more.
When doing purushcahrna you are required to do a fixed no. of chant daily to complete your total no. of chantings in the specified time both of which you specify while taking anushthan.This daily fixed chanting is decided in the first day keeping in mind
that this daily decided fixed chant will complete your total expected no. of chant in the expected time which you specifed while taking anusthan.Along with this the time of doing purusharna everyday should be fixed.
If some how you could not do it any day by accident remember not intentionally, you can chant Gayatri mantra 108 time and do some Anulom Vilom pranayama for forgiveness. Remember do purushcharna only if you are sure that you will complete your specified no. of chants in the expected time which you specified while taking anushthan. Maintaining strict celibacy is very important during the period of purushcharna.
After completing every purushcharna you are required to perform Dashansh havan to get 100% benefit of your mantra chantings . Dashansh havan is done by giving some specified no. of oblations to the holy fire. The no. of oblations is calculated by taking 1/10th of the total no. of mantra chantings that you did in puruscharna . For example for ardhapurushcharna you will offer 12500 oblations to the holy fire. If you don't know how to do a havan you can ask a priest or make him do it for you at your home.
Some Vedic Mantras:
1. Gayatri Mantra:
This is known to be the most powerful mantra. It was found by Rishi Vishwamitra. The presiding diety of this mantra is goddess Gayatri which is the main diety of the Bhramans. Gyatri mantra contains 24 alphabets, so it needs to be recited for 24,00000 to gets its siddhi.It is said that the person who has chanted it for 24,00000 or has attained its Ssiddhi becomes liable to be worshiped by others. Gayatri mantra helps in going to deep meditation after chanting it 1,25000 times
2. Shiv Panchakshar mantra:
This mantra is chanted with "OM" in the beginning whereas females are recommended to recite it without "OM". It contains 5 alphabets without considering "OM" so for siddhi over this mantra it is to be chanted for 500000 times.
According to Shiv mahapurana shiv panchakshara mantra chanted for1000 times everyday for 1000 days i,e 10,00000 chantings along with offering food to bhramans can fulfill any wish,with 1 crore chantings can bless one with the place of lord Bhrama, 2 crore chantings leads to lord Vishnu's place , 3 crore chantings to lord Rudra's place and consequently 5 crore chanting leads to Sada Shiv' place.
3."Vakratundaya Hung"- Ganesha Mantra:
Lord Ganesha is the son of lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is said to be remover of all obstacles so every new work or pooja is started by taking his name so that it gets completed successfully wthout any obstacle. Ganesha mantra "Vakratundaya Hung" is a very powerful mantra.For siddhi over this mantra it needs to be chanted for 1,25,000 times.
4. Vishnu mantra:
Lord Vishnu is one of the major gods in Hinduism . Lord Vishnu mantra "Om Namo Bhagvateya Vasudevaya" is said to be granter of all siddhis and powers.For siddhi it
should be recited for 12,00000 times.
5. Shakti mantra:
Shakti represents goddess Durga,Parvati,Laxmi,Saraswati etc. Shakti mantras are very powerful mantras that can grant all the worldly pleasures and enlightenment. The goddess Durga mantra " Om Shri Durgayai namah" when chanted for 1,25,000 times brings a noticeable level of mantra siddhi.
Rules for Using Rosary or Mala
Malas are used for chanting the mantras. Usually a mala consists of 108 beads where 100 are offered to the deity and 8 are for errors . There are certain rules to use japa mala while chanting a mantra:
1. Use your right hand to hold the mala.
2. Place the mala over the middle finger
3. While chanting cover the mala with a cloth or use a "Gomukhi" instead.
4. Avoid touching others fingers to the mala while chanting mantras.
5. Never keep the mala in ground.
6. Never use it for wearing.
7. After completing each cycle of mala flip it in 180 degrees to begin another cycle.
8. Avoid touching nails in the mala.
9. Place mala in a clean place or possibly in the house temple.
10. Never show or let anyone else touch your mala.
Description About Various Rosaries or Malas
1. Tulsi Mala
Lord Vishnu and all his incarnations
Removes throat diseases,purifies the body
2.Kamal Gatte or Rose seed Mala
Removes skin ailments and imparts beauty
Lord Shiva and all the Gods
Contols b.p,sugar and many healing properties
Planet Mars,Lord Ganesha
5.Sphatik or Quartz Mala
For worshiping 9 planets
Removes bad effects of nine planets
7. Conch Mala
Cures person affected by evil spells
Cures eyesight,stabalizes mind and prevents heart attack
9. Haldi or Turmeric Mala
Used in Anusthan and Purushcharna
For curing jaundice
Excellent for curing B.p,diabetes,heart diseases
11. Rose wood Mala
Used majorly by Bhuddhist
Imparts beauty to the wearer and maintains good blood circulation
Used by Tibetians and Buddhist
Cures blood related problems
13.Bhodi seed Mala
Used majorly by Buddhist
Used to go in higher meditation
14. Kharwa Mala
Cures jaundice,menstrual disorder
15. Vaijanti Mala
Imparts beauty and love
16. Silver Bead Mala
Planet Moon and Goddess Parvati
To fullfil any sacred wish
17. Putra Jeeva Mala
Sun and Planet Jupitor
To have a child in family
18. Kusha Mala
Used for all divine activities
Symptoms Of mantra Siddhi
Although the symptoms and experiences of mantra siddhi can vary for each practitioner still some commonly observed symptoms are as follows:
1. Feeling vibration in hands while holding the japa mala.
2. Instantly going to deep meditation while chanting the mantra.
3. Feeling vibration in whole body and mouth while chanting the mantra.
4. Seeing lights while chanting the mantra.
5. Awakening of psychic powers(telepathy,clairvoyance etc)
6.Sudden removal of diseases and gain in health.
7. Peace and satisfaction in life.
8. Feel of levitation while chanting mantra.
9. Feeling cold vibrations in the spine while chanting the mantra.
10.Seeing the presiding deity of mantra in dream.
Piece Of Advice
1. Always chant mantra in a clean or if possible a holistic place on an asana.
2. Maintain strict celibacy during your Anushthan days.
3. Never reveal your mantra or name of guru to anyone.
4. Do not wear the mala you are using for japa or chantings.
5. If possible use the recommend mala for the mantra you are chanting.
6. Always do the mantra chantings after you have taken bath.
7. If you have achieved mantra siddhi over some mantra never reveal about it to anyone .
8. Tantric mantras should be done under the supervision of a skilled teacher.
9. Never use mantras for harming other.
10.Before starting a purushcharna learn correct pronunciation of mantra along with knowledge of its presiding diety.