The Causal Power of Words
A BĪJA MANTRA (Seed Mantra) is assigned to each Chakra, and each petal of the Lotus blossom carries a Sanskrit syllable that is described as the “guardian” of that particular Chakra. When we repeat the Mantra belonging to a Chakra in meditation we unite with the quality and vibrational energy of the Chakra and with this awaken its qualities within us.
A Mantra is a syllable, a word or a sequence of words with a high spiritual vibration. All elements and energies in the Cosmos can be influenced and guided by Mantras. That is why Mantra is the best aid in awakening the dormant consciousness.
There are three types of Mantras:
- GURU MANTRA
- BĪJA MANTRA
PRAYER is a way of communing with God.
The GURU MANTRA represents the essence of prayer, and anchors us in God, the Ātma and the Supreme Self. It is the first initiation given by the Master to the disciple on the spiritual path. How we should treat the words and blessings of the Master is illustrated in a short story:
Once a farmer and a businessman asked a Master for a Mantra. The Master presented each of them with a small green soybean and said: “I am going away for some time. Look after the soybean well. When I come again I will take it back from you. Whoever can give it to me then will receive Mantra, and that one who has been thoughtless or has lost it will receive nothing.”
The businessman took his soybean, wrapped it carefully in cottonwool and put it safely in a small, lockable casket. But the farmer thought about it: “Who knows how long the Master will be away. By then the bean could have dried out or been eaten by moths.” As it was exactly the time to sow crops the farmer planted the soybean in the earth. Soon a beautiful bud grew and by harvest time the farmer had a whole kilo of soybeans from the one soybean. As the Master still had not appeared within the next year the farmer sowed the beans again. This time he harvested a few hundred kilos, and after the third year the harvest filled an entire storeroom.
Finally during the fourth year the Master returned. Both disciples greeted him with joy. The businessman ceremoniously opened his casket wanting to present the soybean to the Master. To his great horror there was only a dried out maggot in the casket. A grain moth had slipped in through the keyhole and had laid its egg. The maggot had eaten the bean and then perished in the casket. The Master shook his head and said to the businessman: “So my instructions were not thought about.”
He then turned to the farmer and asked: “Where is your bean?” The farmer answered: “Master the soybean you gave to me has grown so much I am unable to carry it here. Please come with me so I can give it to you.” He led the Master to the storeroom in which there were soybeans by the tonne. “You have understood properly,” said the Master. He blessed him and gave him Mantra.
The Mantra is a “living” word: It is like a seed that grows into a strong tree, blossoms and produces a multitude of fruit. It contains an immense power for propagation and enrichment within itself – though only if the disciple always carries it in his mind and practises daily. Continuous practice of Mantra purifies the consciousness and the mind, and removes Karmas in much the same way as constantly walking over weeds on a path crushes them. Only those who continue to work with this gift from the Master are able to harvest its fruits. If it is merely put away and “stored” it withers like flowers without water.
The even finer vibration of the BĪJA MANTRA forms the essence of the Guru Mantra. The Bīja Mantra is the vibration and the “call” of the soul. Its effect develops more readily in deep meditation. As it works at the astral level it guides and influences the course of our destiny. This is not as unusual as it may appear at first sight. The Mantra is vibration, sound. Tests have shown that certain sounds stimulate the growth of plants and are even able to cure disease. This indicates that vibrational energy influences the Tattvas (subtle elements).
Spiritual Mantras are generally written in Sanskrit and play an important role in the awakening of the Chakras. The reason for this goes back to the beginning of creation. Lord Shiva, himself, transmitted the Sanskrit language to humans and its sounds are also known as “Devas”. The word “Deva” has three meanings: God, protector (or guardian angel) and cosmic vibration. Lord Shiva brought the Devas down to earth in the form of letters, and this is why the characters of Sanskrit are called Devanāgarī, “the citizens of God”.
Sanskrit is not merely “spoken”, it is intoned and articulated in a very specific way. Unfortunately, nowadays this knowledge has largely been lost. In Sanskrit there are fifty-two letters, the same number as the levels (Lokas) which exist in the Cosmos. As these levels also exist within us the Sanskrit language is therefore a key to our inner world. In meditation when we are deeply immersed in the cosmic spheres we occasionally perceive the corresponding Sanskrit letters and Mantras and feel the Tattvas and qualities associated with them.
Vibrations can be audible or inaudible. For example, thoughts and feelings are counted as soundless vibrations. These are no less effective than the spoken word. To the contrary. After death the soul is guided on the astral level by invisible and inaudible spiritual vibrations. The vibration of the Mantra leads the soul directly towards the light of realisation.
A Master only ever passes on a GURU MANTRA (or SIDDHA MANTRA) to another according to the ancient and venerated Master-Disciple tradition. It does not act like a suggestive formula, such as “I am well”, “I feel God’s presence” or “There is peace within me”, which merely serve to quieten the mind. Instead, a Siddha Mantra works in such a way that the spiritual power contained within the vibration of the word or words is realised within us.
How can we manage without words?
We give and take through words,
Speak understand and discern through words.
Indifferent to where we ourselves go,
We cannot escape from words.
Words bring us together,
Words give us knowledge.
Through words (Mantra) we are liberated.
Through words, we recognise the Supreme and the illusion.
Swāmī Shivānanda says:
Bhagwān Srī Dīp Mahāprabhujī has transmitted the divine word to me
His word accompanied me across the ocean.
Bhajan by Srī Swāmī Shivānanda from the book “Lila Amrit”
The Mantra is internalised in five stages:
- LIKHITA – through writing
- VAIKHARĪ – through speaking
- UPĀMSHU – through whispering
- MĀNASA – through thinking
- AJAPĀ – through uninterrupted inner repetition.
A spiritual Mantra always contains the word OM and the name of a divine incarnation. This name is full of significance. It possesses even greater spiritual power than the person. There is a story in the Rāmāyana that illustrates this clearly.
When Lord Rāma and his helpers reached the sea between India and Srī Lanka in their search for Rāma’s abducted wife, Sītā, it appeared that a crossing would be impossible as there was neither a ford nor a bridge available. But Rāma’s faithful follower, Hanuman, said: “Lord we will build a crossing with your name.”
He picked up a stone, wrote the Sanskrit word RĀM on it and threw it into the water. Miraculously the stone did not sink, but floated on the surface of the water. The others followed his example and began to throw stones with Lord Rāma’s name on them into the water, in this way forming a floating stone bridge.
Lord Rāma also wished to help and threw a stone into the water. But his stone did not float, it sank! A second try was also unsuccessful. All the stones that Rāma threw into the water sank to the bottom, while the stones of his followers floated on the surface. Perplexed, Rāma turned to Hanuman: “Tell me, how come the stones that you throw remain on the surface and my stones sink?” Hanuman answered: “That is as clear as daylight. You, yourself, have taught us that those whom God allows to fall inevitably perish. Therefore, everything you throw away must sink to the bottom. But we are acting with complete faith in you and so this miracle occurs through the power of your name.”
This tale illustrates that there is indeed a miraculous power in the name of God repeated in a Mantra, which makes everything possible.