A mantra is composed of psychically potent sound syllables that are capable of influencing the human system both physically and spiritually. They can excite the emotions and give suggestion to the mind. They influence both the one who chants them and the one hears them. The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit word Mantrana, which means advice or suggestions. According to the Upanishads, the original abode of the mantra was the \"Parma Akesh\" or primeval ether, the eternal and immutable substratum of the universe.
How does a mantra work?
A mantra is also an energy field composed of certain frequencies that have a pattern of their own and a vibration field that creates different intonation. These frequencies and the sympathetic overtones generated by them influence our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous, which are spread in a fine neural network through our internal organs in the body. The sympathetic response generates the Nero-motor response and influences two hemisphere of the human cerebral cortex.
Effects of Mantras
Mantra practice involves the left hemisphere of the brain and is therefore effective in increasing positive emotions. The intonation and melody, which are the essential parts of Mantras, remove negative emotions. In association with a Yantra or a picture of a deity - the mantra also provides the right hemisphere with a concrete visual image of the object of emotional attention or \"Bhakti\" - devotion.
This is the way mantra affects the emotional self. Spiritual sounds may be poems, chants, prayers or hymns all create emotional frequencies and open new dimensions in our consciousness. The practice of Mantra is more than a suggestion or an idea. It is a means of getting in touch with our inner self. This is the essence of \"Bhakti Yoga\" - which is the simplest and the most effective way by which we can connect to the supreme and infinite consciousness.
6 Elements of Mantras
Every mantra has six elements: -
* \'Rishi\' or The Seer
* \'Raga\' or The Melody
* \'Devta\' or The Presiding Deity
* \'Bija\' or The Seed Sound
* \'Shakti\' or The Power
* \'Kilaka\' or The Pillar
Rishi - Seers
The intensions of the Mantra worshipper or \"Mantra Shadak\" are his or her responsibility. One must thus be clear about why one picks up this tool of Mantra meditation. Good or bad Karmas are categorized according to the effect they create inside and outside the individual, who should be prepared to acknowledge responsibility for the same.
Raga - Melody
The raga is comparable to a western melody line - a sound or sequence of single sounds, without harmony. When chanting a Mantra, it is extremely important not to change the raga and its key, because the rate of vibration on which the sound is based on integral part of the Mantra.
Devta - Presiding Deity
The Devta is the presiding deity of the mantra. The informing powers a very personal aspect of God. It is the wisdom that comes from a higher source and is like a single beam of sunlight. One beam that is singled out and given a name so that the disciple can develop a personal relationship with and worship on aspect of God that he or she can understand and experience.
Bija - Seer Sound
Each mantra has a Bija or seed. This represents the sound string defined by the Seers as being the repository of auditory energy sources. The form and content of the Bija have been handed down from the ages. The Bija gives the mantra in which it is used, its special power of self-generation and effects. Just as within a seed is hidden within tree, so too, the energy of the mantra is resident in the seed on which it is based. This helps the mantra to manifest itself into spiritual consciousness.
Shakti - The Power
The power, the consciousness, within the mantra is \'Shakti\' - the Divine Mother, the goddess of the spoken word. The male aspect of the God is energy in a state of equilibrium; the female aspect is the dynamic energy, which manifests as Creation. This Energy of God is the source of all created beings. In the mantra this energy is present in a pure form. The potency of the mantra is realized through repetitions, until the individual chanting the same, feels the presence of God. This is a spiritual experience, which the Mantras help to bring about.
Kilaka - The Pillar
The Kilaka is at first, the driving force, the persistence and will power that the discipline needs to pursue the Mantra. But when the power of the Mantra begins to take on a self generating \"flywheel motion\", the Kilaka becomes a very fine thread joining the discipline to the mantra, to the power of the mantra, to the Guru and to the deity, until all are manifest as one.