The Power of a Mantra
We have to understand that Mantra Japa is not mere chanting of Sanskrit syllables which produces magic.
This is the common folks’ lay understanding.
Mantra Japa is also not an intellectual concept.
We cannot simply imagine some power operating within the Mantra which produces miraculous results.
Mantra Japa is oceanic by nature.
There is a whole science in Mantra Japa.
This is the science which produces the effect spanning many lifetimes.
It is like the energy trapped within an atom, a miniscule particle, that has the potency to produce fuel that can last for generations.
It is the same energy which can also blow up a continent in a matter of seconds.
Does any Repetition Qualify as a Mantra?
The Mantra is not an arbitrary sentence or formula.
One cannot create or formulate a mantra following the whims of the mind.
A mantra is something that comes from the womb of infinity.
There is the mantra’s sacredness.
None can fully express the purity and sanctity of mantras, through words or explanation.
The taste is in the pudding.
We have to experiment and find out for ourselves how mantras work.
But before that, it is important to understand Mantra in all its authenticity.
The Guru transmits the power of the mantra from his heart to the heart of his disciple.
It is the expression of the universal spirit embodied in words or mystical formulas.
The expression of the Mantra from Guru to disciple is a preliminary condition, to put the Mantra to use, through authentic means.
We can derive maximum benefits from the Mantra, through specific means.
It is however important to understand how a Mantra comes into existence, for potential use.
The Seer of the Mantra
The Mantra has 4 fundamental components.
- Sage: A potent mantra has a rishi or yogi who experiences the depth of the mantra.
- Syllable: This is the Mantra itself.
- Deity: Every potent mantra has a devata associated with it. The mantra transmits power of the Devata.
- Kilakam: These are locked Mantras, used for specific purposes in the older Yugas.
We shall see points 1 to 4 in detail now.
Sage of a Mantra
Every Mantra has a divinity or deity and then it has a particular lock that has to be first opened to bring the Mantra to use.
There are other nitty gritties that make up the body of the Mantra, but those details may not be relevant for this article.
When a committed sage caring for the ultimate welfare of beings becomes fully matured through sadhana, a specific Mantra reveals itself to him in his heart.
The sage “sees” the Mantra.
It imbues its potency in him.
The sacred formula appears in his heart, not through the mind or any deeper dimensions of his individualistic being.
A mantra appears in his heart from the core of Creation.
It is the Supreme Creator who reveals the Mantra in the heart of the sage.
The sage is not the manufacturer of the mantra.
He is rather accepted as the “seer of the mantra”.
So the rishi or sage, is the one who brings the mantra to existence from the deepest dimensions of the universe, to the three dimensional universe.
Potency of the Gayatri Mantra
It is in this manner that the Gayatri Mantra came into being.
It first Manifested in the Heart of Sage Vishwamitra and then it became popular as a needed mantra for purification process of the body and mind.
In short, mantras cannot be created by you or me.
No grouping of words can become a mantra.
Repeating a set of words will have no tangible effect.
Vedic Mantras have potency as they are charged by the deity and by the Sage who chants the mantra a number of times.
Syllable and Deity of a Mantra
The Mantra has two components, a body and a spirit. They are the syllable and deity respectively.
The body of the Mantra is the syllables or the words forming the mantra.
For example, the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”, has a body.
The very syllables of the Mantra represent the body of the Mantra.
Now the Mantra represents a deity.
That deity is Lord Shiva. So Lord Shiva is the soul of the mantra.
So these are two aspects of the Mantra.
Kilakam in mantras
They cannot be directly used for any purpose, although the mantra is available and the deity is ingrained in the mantra.
Experts in Mantra Shastra believe that Lord Vishnu had asked Lord Shiva to lock all major mantras that can create havoc in Kali Yuga.
People of Kaliyuga usually have animalistic tendencies and are usually greedy, self-centered and destructive by nature.
If people misuse the mantras, it can lead to widespread destruction.
At the behest of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva put a lock on these mantras.
Thus these locks became kilakam.
There are some complicated processes, known only to few experts who can open these locks.
They use kilakam Mantras to open some Mantras.
But such mantras are rare.
In Kaliyuga these specific mantras cannot be put to use for destructive purposes.
Thus, kilakam is the fourth aspect of Mantra Sadhana.
Vedic Mantras and Tantrika Mantras
Now there are two broad categories of Mantras.
They are Vedic Mantras and Tantrika Mantras.
Vedic Mantras are eternal Mantras, existing in the Hiranyagarbha.
The Hiranyagarbha is the eternally existing womb of Existence and these mantras are beginningless and endless by Nature.
One has to satisfy many conditions before the sanction of such Mantras or before the Mantras can be put to use.
These Mantras also find a mention in the Vedas.
The second type of Mantras are Tantrika Mantras.
The hearts of the individual self of the sages produce these mantras.
These mantras may represent a sage or an idea.
The divinities are the creations of the inner purity and power of the sage.
The Tantrika Mantras may be those, which do not find mention in the Shastra and are highly customized mantras, which can be chanted freely, but with the permission of the Guru.
For both the Vedic and Tantrika Mantras initiation into the process of Mantra Japa is mandatory.
Qualifications to Chant Vedic Mantras
Vedic mantras require special Vedic qualifications.
There are Important Rules for Mantra Japa so that it has an effect on the chanter.
The Varna Ashrama and other specific qualifications are necessary before one can qualify to chant Vedic Mantras.
One should also maintain bodily and mind purity as one chants the Vedic Mantra.
One has to recite Vedic mantras carefully after he/she satisfies all preliminary qualifications.
A person should take care of intonation, metre of mantra etc as one chants the mantra.
There is one leeway that the Vedic mantras offer.
If somebody intends liberation through the Mantra, the mantra may allow small mistakes during chanting.
If the intent is liberation, even bodily and mind impurities shall not matter.
The Vedic mantras are benevolent to such intentions and they tone down their expectations on purity, intonation and metre.
The Vedic Mantras take special liking towards one who chants these mantras, to express love for the deity or with the sole motive of liberation.
How do Tantrika Mantras Operate?
People use Tantrika Mantras for pin-pointed specific purposes.
Sadhakas use the Tantrika mantras for deriving specific material goals.
Yet it is possible to attain liberation through Tantrika Mantra Sadhana, through powerful initiations.
Tantrika Mantras may have many bija Akshara or syllables, potentiated towards goals.
The advantage one may have through Tantrika Mantras is faster siddhi.
One may be able to put the Tantrika Mantras of goal attainments much faster compared to Vedic Mantras.
Tantrika Mantras may have elaborate forms of rituals attached to them and that is what makes the Mantra Sadhana a powerful tool.
Through proper initiation of Tantrika Mantras, one can become rich quickly.
One may keep the body young for a longer time.
One can have extra energy to work and attain goals and so on.
Thanks for reading!