Tags: mantras


thoughts on mantras

This kinda relates to this post on the correct way to chant mantras. YES, I'm hung up on this a little bit, because I hear people chant mantras wrongly all the time, so I will keep writing about this. I'm well aware that I'm stuck, and I'm fine with it for the moment.

Not maintaining the integrity of the rhythms of mantras is equivocal to not maintaining the correct accent of words in Mandarin chinese. I know it sounds extreme, and it's a way to convey how I feel about this. If you don't maintain the correct accent of words in chinese, no one will understand you. For example, if I changed the accent of banana, it could also mean elephant's foot. Yeah, no kidding. When you strip away the correct pronunciation, and the rhythms of mantras, you don't have a mantra anymore, you have a song, or some ordinary series of words strung together. The power of the sound is gone, and has been replaced by noise.

If you are serious about the practice of mantras, (I'm referring to Vedic mantras in particular), then you will value the structure of mantras. The word mantra can be broken into man, manas or mind, and tra, tool. Mantras are mind tools that were created and perfected through their power in sound. Sound has many levels of depth of understanding. A sound is more than just a sound, it is a vibration, and conveys an idea of an object; it is imbued with meaning. And sound also indicates the consciousness of the person, and conveys their subtle presence. This subtle presences is none other than turiya.

When you bastardize a mantra by changing the rhythms and melody, you are smashing the depth, and flattening it to the grossest level of manifestation. Please do not engage in such an insipid form of practice in front of me. And for you integral geeks out there, here's some KW to back up my fierceness on this topic:
Mantras are Zone #1 injunctions that can help with particular state training, and can induce ordinary and nonordinary peak experiences. "When you correctly follow those injunctions, you will have a series of phenomenological experiences." -KW, Integral Spirituality, Ch. 3 (My italics.) Yes, correctly, because otherwise you are just wasting your time.

yea.... some people know what I'm talking about

Last night I hung with some peeps who really knew their stuff when it came to the power of sound and mantras. Gave me a nice, warm, wooly feeling. Yay! I'm not alone in America! And I woke up this morning and started laughing at something I never realized before...

Part of the reason those damn new agers' mantra chanting is soooo off is because they're missing half the alphabet of pronounciation from their speech! Lol. English has 26 letters, Sanskrit has 54! Hee hee.

Don't be fooled!

on chanting mantras

Kali yuga keval namah adhara.

The saying above translates to something like, "In the Kali Yuga (age) the holy name will help you across." In Satya Yuga, meditation was the focus. In Treta Yuga, sacrifice was the focus. In Dvapara Yuga, worship was the focus. We are living in the Kali Yuga, the last of the ages. Mantra Yoga is said to fit in for the development of the individual in our age. Mantra Yoga is a part of Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound. Sound is vibration. Nada Yoga is a theory and understanding of sound, vibration, and music.

Mantras were passed on to us by the rishis, seers of the past. Mantras are carefully created for their subtle vibrational quality, and the unbroken oral tradition of such sound has been studied in detail for centuries by Indians. Anyone who has had any experience with purposeful chanting is well aware of the power of mantras in opening the chakras, and also of their healing and awakening qualities. Mantras as sounds have rhythms, patterns, sacred words and melody.

From the uttering of the primal sound, Vach or Shabd, the universe itself was created. (In the beginning was the Word...)