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

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Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life!

Ganapathi Manatra

5 Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life

By: Mandy Burstein 

Mantras are like medicine for the soul.

When we select a word or series of words to repeat in the form of a mantra, we are affirming it to ourselves and allowing its meaning to seep below the surface, into our subconscious, helping to shift our negative habits and patterns into positive ones.

In my own practice, I have often benefited from the power of mantra. By far, my favorite mantra memory is a powerful transcendence that happened during a workshop with Nicholas Giacomini (aka: MC Yogi) and his wife, Amanda.

They had us think of a challenge we were currently facing and hold it steady in our minds. Over the next hour, they led us through 108 rounds of chanting Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah, a prayer to Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. By the end, the entire room was fired up. A renewed sense of purpose and resolve was sparked in us that day, which comes alive in me again every time I hear this mantra.

As yogis, we have access to Sanskrit, an ancient, highly mathematical, and sacred language….so why not use it?

Sanskrit is considered by some linguists to be the “perfect language,” as its correct pronunciation evokes a unique vibration in the Universe, placing into motion whatever you are trying to manifest through your mantra.

Here are my 5 favorite Sanskrit mantras, with their ancient meanings and how we can adopt them into our modern lives:

1) Mantra:

OM

Translation: The sound of the universe. It’s the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process.

Modern adaptation: Chanting the soundOM brings us into harmonic resonance with the universe – this is a scientific fact!OM is said to vibrate at 432 Hertz, which is the natural musical pitch of the Universe, as opposed to 440 Hertz, which is the frequency of most modern music.

Decreasing your frequency to coincide with that of the Universe stills the fluctuations of the mind, allowing you to practice yoga through sound.OMis an idyllic way to begin and end a yoga or mediation practice, and also comes in handy when you just need to chill out.

2) Mantra:

Om Namah Shivaya

Translation: I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.

Modern adaptation: In the book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is given this mantra by her Guru, which she lovingly refers to as the “Amazing Grace of Sanskrit.” Her interpretation is, “I honor the divinity within myself.” This is a great mantra to help build self-confidence, reminding us that we are all made up of divine energy and should treat ourselves accordingly.

3) Mantra:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all

Modern adaptation: Most commonly associated with theJivamuktiYogaSchool, this mantra is a powerful way to dedicate yourself to living a life of non-harming and being of service to the greater good. This mantra encourages cooperation, compassion and living in harmony with the environment, animals and our fellow human beings.

4) Mantra:

Shanti Mantra 

Om Saha Naavavatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Aavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om

Translation: May the Lord protect and bless us. May he nourish us, giving us strength to work together for the good of humanity. May our learning be brilliant and purposeful. May we never turn against one another.

Modern adaptation: A perfect mantra to start a yoga class, a new day, or even a new business with. It unites the participants and sets a tone of non-competitiveness, unity, and working together towards a common goal.

5) Mantra:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah

Translation: I bow to the elephant-faced deity [Ganesh] who is capable of removing all obstacles. I pray for blessings and protection.”

Modern adaptation:  In Hindu teachings, Ganesh is known as the god of wisdom and success and the destroyer of obstacles. This is my favorite mantra, which I always draw on when I’m facing a big challenge in life and especially when I’m traveling.

With THANKS to:   MindBodyGreenCom

This Blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra