The Hidden Power of Reciting Mantras
The ancient writings in Hinduism are full of Sanskrit hymns, Slokas and Mantras. These were written by the great scholars having expertise in spirituality and salvation. At that time not only the saints or sages practiced that but many people who learned about it also made it a practice in their life. It became the part and parcel of the life of many persons as it gave them relief from the worldly worries and power to fight back the challenges of life.
The wisdom of ancients
Many cultures and civilizations had great scholars who preached and wrote valuable ideas related to nature, God or philosophy. Different civilizations had historical account of these learnings. Some are mythological in their nature while others simply pertain to knowledge gained during different historical periods.
Hinduism is one of such culture and there is a lot of knowledge and wisdom embedded in those illustrations by great saints and scholars. Their language was Sanskrit which is a very grammatical language changing the words suffixes as per the gender as well as singular or plural. Sanskrit is a unique language in that sense. As it was too complex to learn and was used by the knowledgeable people only, it was not adopted by the common people and they started to converse in other easier languages which evolved during the passage of time like Hindi, Bangla, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Malyalam, Assamese, Oriya and many others which are common in the Indian Peninsula. Now that the knowledge contained in the scriptures is translated in major languages, anyone can read it and acquire its essence.
Hindu civilization and scriptures
Hindu civilization is a very old one and has a very big mythological background to it. Time to time the Hindu scholars and saints have written a vast amount of literature which contains a lot of information on life and its purpose and ways of salvation. Hindu Ved, Puran, Upnishad, Epics, Scriptures etc are full of the valuable information. As these are written in Sanskrit language, most of them are in form of Slokas and Mantras which are generally written in poetic forms. Prose is also used as a method of depiction in many scriptures.
There are 4 Vedas known as Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda. They contain thousands of Slokas and Mantras. Some of them pertain to the worshipping of different dieties or Gods while others bear the knowledge related to the music, magic, tantra, nature, grammar, and natural materials including ancient medicines. No doubt, these are the treasure house of knowlege and Indian Ayurvedic information is also derived from them. To explain the knowledge embeded in the Vedas the scholars later wrote down Upnishads which explained what was there in Veda that is so important.
There is so much material available in these scriptures that many researchers from the outside countries, especially like Germany, have done their doctorate in subjects related to Vedas and Upnishads. In totality there are thousands of unique Slokas and Mantras in these scriptures and each one of them is like a compressed capsule of knowledge, learning and wisdom. The credit of Veda compilation is attributed to saint Ved Vyas.
Have you heard about Hindu scriptures like Veda, Puran, Upnishad etc? Are you aware that they contain a treasure house of knowledge?
What is a Sloka and what is a Mantra
Sloka and Mantra both are supposed to be related to the wisdom of mankind but there are some differences between them. Sloka is simply a description or gratification of some entity or of an abstract thing but Mantra is something which is used for a purpose. It could be to help someone or benefit oneself or destroy the enemy.
Example of Sloka:
Karagre Vaste Laxmi, Kar-madhyay Saraswati.
Karmule sthito Brahma, Pra-bhate Kar-darshnam.
(above couplet is in Sanskrit.)
Laxmi, the Goddess of riches dwells on the tip of fingers while Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and learning dwells in the centre of the palm. Brahma, the creator of the universe dwells at the root of the palm and therefore we should just look at our palms in the morning and bow to all of them with respect.
The simple meaning of above sloka is that it is visualised that these different deities correspond to the different parts of our palm and by looking at the palm as the first thing in the morning after getting up will be a sign of respect to these powerful entities and will make our day problem free and enjoyable.
Example of Mantra:
Aditya Hradayam Punyam, Sarva Shatru Vina-shanam.
Jaya-vaham Jape-nityam, Akshyam Para-mam Shivam.
(above couplet is in Sanskrit.)
By merely remembering the Sun God daily in ones life, one can win over any enemy.
In Hindu mythology Sun is considered as an powerful God as it gives us enormous energy in the day time for the life to sustain on Earth. So using this Mantra in ones life one is simply worshipping the Sun God for acquiring a part of that energy and winning over ones enemies. This example mantra couplet is a part of the big ‘Aditya (Sun) Hradayam (keep reciting or keep remembering) Mantra’ consisting of 31 couplets. It is also mentioned in the mythology that when Lord Rama had a confusion in his mind as how to kill the demon Ravana, then sage Agastya guided him to recite this Mantra and that enabled him to get courage to instantly kill Ravana.
Why should we recite or chant it
In many cultures meditation, worshipping God or doing any such activity is considered conducive for learning concentration and acquiring focus in ones life. There is much truth in that because in todays materialistic life a lot of stress is generated and accumulated in human beings and we have to somehow get rid of that stress before it harms us in any way. Reciting Slokas or Mantras is also a technique belonging to that remedy and is being actively pursued by many people worldwide. In this respect 'Hare Krishna' movement was very instrumental to introduce these things to the world at large and that made a path of spiritual learning and attainments for the people of the world through Indian Vedic philosophy.
So the basic purpose of reciting Mantras is for stopping the distraction of mind to unnecessary indulgences and attractions. Concentration and focus are required for success in our life and a practice of reciting Mantras or Slokas daily for a short period provides us that. It is a type of meditation only but the only difference is that we are reciting something which is a part of the spiritual and philosophical knowledge and if we understand the meaning of those verses then repeating and remembering them daily is definitely going to unleash the hidden strength in us.
'Om' - A small but powerful Mantra
'Om' as depicted in the first photograph in this article is a small and short Mantra but is sufficient to bring same tranquility and peace in our life as obtained by any other long Mantra. It has a great significance in the life of many who undertake meditation as an element in their life style. Generally, long stretches of inhaling and exhaling are to be accompanied while reciting 'Om'. So breathing control is also achieved in that process.
You are a cosmic flower. Om chanting is the process of opening the psychic petals of that flower.
- Amit Ray
Regular reciting or chanting of the Slokas or Msntras is beneficial in many ways and brings the feeling of traquility which is otherwise difficult to achieve. It is not only a matter of belief but also a matter of rigorous practice by which the hidden power of Mantras can be revealed.
Importance of Vedas
Did this article help you to understand as what did the Vedas contain?
Reciting of 'Om' Mantra
- Om 108 Times - Music for Yoga & Meditaion - YouTube
Om (Aum) when chanted properly is attributed with peace, tranquility, meditation, bliss, nirvana, eternal realization, soul, purity, mental stability, concen...
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt