The power of Mantras and Yantras

By: The Magic of Gayatri, Chandra-Shekar.

The word ‘mantra’ is Sanskrit and it means sacred syllable(s) or sacred word(s). Across the literature, mantras are described as vibrational formulas that are recited silently within, spoken, or sung outwardly. There are mantras in Sanskrit as well as in many other Asian languages.  The word OM is a mantra unto itself and perhaps the most well-known of them all.

Indigenous tribes around the globe have been known to formulate sacred syllables and words. Shamans and holy men have used these for centuries in Native American cultures as did the Polynesian people, the Australian aborigines and the Mayans and Incas.

A mantra is a precise sound, a frequency that conveys a directive into our sub-consciousness.  Mantras are invoked towards the delivery of very specific results and are repeated a certain number of times. These specific results could include healing, fertility, the creation of abundance, etc.  Mantras are used to open the heart and the mind and to aid in accessing and entering into a state of greater awareness.  They are perfect tools for reaching a meditative state.

Some mantras may be prayer while others can be powerful and invoke commands or demands.

Because mantras are precise sound vibrations that produce geometric patterns, it is imperative that they be recited correctly with the appropriate intonation and pronunciation.

The geometry or visual pattern of a sound vibration containing a particular information code is called a ‘yantra’. A yantra is a sacred diagram that transmits subtle information of mystical significance to the one who looks at it. Like a mantra, each yantra embodies a very particular meaning, opening inner awareness and receptivity to the information that the yantra expresses.  Very often, Buddhist monks and other spiritual practitioners focus on a yantra or mandala while meditating.

The Gayatri Yantra is specific to the Gayatri Mantra and transmits a subtle language encoded in the Gayatri’s potential. Every curve, every line and even the number of lines convey meaning. While meditating and chanting the Gayatri Mantra, it can be useful to the practitioner to have the Gayatri Yantra in front as a point of focus.

Mantras and their impact on our mind

The human mind has often been defined as our “brains in action”.

For thousands of years, yogis have stressed the value of chanting mantra in stabilizing and clearing the mind, leading one to deeper spiritual awakening and awareness. Modern neuroscience is now beginning to discover the relationship between the way words are used and the impact on the functioning of the mind.

When we hear, speak, chant or even think a mantra, the frontal lobes of our brain “light up” and the nerve endings fire up. There is increased flow of oxygen and blood. These frontal lobes are responsible for thought, learning, perception, and emotion.

Mantra, meditation, and contemplation are all tools that facilitate this higher functioning of the frontal lobes. Spiritual teachers often recommend focusing one’s attention while chanting or meditating on this frontal part of the brain as well, placing attention on the “ajna chakra, the meridian accessed through the space between the eyebrows, also called the “third eye”.  I have found that my own efforts at reaching a true meditative state become easier when applying this approach.  As you meditate, remember to let the tip of your tongue touch the upper part of your mouth just behind your upper teeth in order to connect the meridians.

The power of 108

Traditionally, the Gayatri mantra is recited or chanted 108 times on three occasions daily – at sunrise, at midday and at dusk, when the sun is setting.

It can be repeated in totals of 108, 1,008, 10,008, etc.

When we repeat the Gayatri mantra three times over the day, we are basically affirming the concept of the trinity of life – birth, growth, death.

A japa mala (prayer beads), having 108 beads, is often used during the chanting of the mantra.

For centuries, the number 108 has had relevance in Hinduism, Buddhism and in yoga and dharma related spiritual practices.  Countless explanations have been given to provide significance to the number 108.  Here are a few:

The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.

There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, Shiva and Shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

On the Sri Yantra, there are marmas (intersections) where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.

9 times 12 is 108. Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many ancient traditions.

The chakras, our energy centers, are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, Sushumna, leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

In vedic astrology there are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

In 108, 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

It is said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on its journey.

There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian tradition of Bharatanatyam.

There are 108 Upanishads according to the Muktikopanishad.

Thanks to: The Magic Of Gayatri

This Blog Is Maintained by: Miracle Yantra.com

Shiva Linga

Shiva Linga
By: Subhamoy Das
Hinduism Expert

Aum namah Shivaya Mantra

What is behind Lord Shiva being represented as a ‘Linga?’ The popular belief is that the Shiva Linga or Lingam represents the phallus, the emblem of the generative power in nature. According to Swami Sivananda, this is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder.

Shiva Linga: The Symbol for Shiva

In Sanskrit, Linga means a ‘mark’ or a symbol, which points to an inference. Thus the Shiva Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva – a mark that reminds of the Omnipotent Lord, which is formless.

Shiva Linga speaks to the devotee in the unmistakable language of silence, and it is only the outward symbol of the formless being, Lord Shiva, who is the undying soul seated in the chambers of your heart, who is your in-dweller, your innermost self or ‘Atman,’ and who is identical with the supreme ‘Brahman.’

The Linga as a Symbol of Creation

The ancient scripture Linga Purana says that the foremost Linga is devoid of smell, colour, taste, etc., and is spoken of as ‘Prakriti’ or Nature itself. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of Lord Shiva.

The Linga is like an egg, and represents the ‘Brahmanda’ or the cosmic egg. Linga signifies that the creation is effected by the union of ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Purusha,’ the male and the female powers of Nature. Linga also signifies ‘Satya,’ ‘Jnana’ and ‘Ananta’ – Truth, knowledge and Infinity.

The 3 Parts of a Shiva Linga

A Shiva Linga consists of three parts, the lowest of which is called the ‘Brahma-Pitha,’ the middle one, the ‘Vishnu-Pitha’ and the uppermost one, the ‘Shiva-Pitha.’

The Holiest Shiva Lingas of India

There are 12 ‘Jyotir-lingas’ and 5 ‘Pancha-bhuta Lingas’ inIndia. The dozen Jyotir-lingas are: Kedarnath, Kashi Vishwanath, Somnath, Baijnath, Rameswar, Ghrusneswar, Bhimshankar, Mahakal, Mallikarjun, Amaleshwar, Nageshwar and Tryambakeshwar. The 5 Pancha-bhuta Lingas are: Kalahastishwar, Jambukeshwar, Arunachaleshwar, Ekambareshwar of Kanjivaram and Nataraja of Chidambaram. ThetempleofLord Mahalingaat Tiruvidaimarudur known also as Madhyarjuna is regarded as the great ShivatempleofSouth India.

The Quartz Shiva Linga

The ‘Sphatika-linga’ is made up of quartz. It is prescribed for the deepest kind of worship of Lord Shiva. It has no color of its own, but takes on the color of the substance which comes in contact with it. It represents the ‘Nirguna Brahman’ or the attribute-less Supreme Self or the formless Shiva.

What the Linga Means to Devotees

There is a mysterious or indescribable power or ‘Shakti’ in the Linga, to induce concentration of the mind, and helps focus one’s attention. That is why the ancient sages and seers ofIndiaprescribed Linga to be installed in the temples of Lord Shiva.

For a sincere devotee, the Linga is not merely a block of stone. It is all-radiant – talks to him, raises him above body-consciousness, and helps to communicate with the Lord. Lord Rama worshiped the Shiva Linga at Rameshwaram. Ravana, the learned scholar, worshiped the golden Linga for its mystical powers.

Thanks to: Subhamoy Das, About.com

This blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra