Ayurveda does not separate the body, mind and spirit when diagnosing and treating a patient. So if what we ingest becomes our cells and tissues, does what we consume mentally become our mind? And if so, is there a form of medicine subtle enough to treat the mind? Yes! Ayurveda is the science and knowledge of life, so it has of course pinpointed a treatment that will meet the mind at its own level, and this is what mantra therapy is. But first, what is a mantra?
What is a Mantra?
I envisage mantra cikitsa or mantra therapy to be a filling-up of the body from the inside out with positive vibrational fields. These sonic waves fill in the spaces with specific charges rather than allowing for negative ones to proliferate. Negative vibrational fields come in the form of: worry, stress, trauma from the past stored in the body, anxiety, depression, as well as ambient man-made electro magnetic fields.
So we either say one word or syllable that has been given to us by a teacher, this is called Bija Mantra (bija means seed, and each seed sound relates to an energetic centre in our body). Another method is Mantra Japa which is the repetition of a mantra, repeated over and over again according to the number of mala you have been recommended to do.
When doing Mantra Japa, we sit in a meditative pose, concentrate our awareness inside our body, and use specific fingers of our right hand to count the mala beads, while saying the Mantra Japa inside, letting it resonate through our body, while feeling its effects throughout and after.
What does Mantra mean?
The word mantra has the same root as the Sanskrit word for the mind, which is ’manas’. The verse that explains this goes: “Mananat trasate iti mantrahah” meaning, “Mantra is used to change the status of the mind”.
As the world of mantra can be hard to navigate, we have been given tools. The Sanskrit language was heard and written down by the Rishis in the Himalayas thousands of years ago. They tapped into the primordial sounds of the universe, and created the basis to a language in the form of 8 Matrika (which means mother or female goddesses). These Matrika are the Sanskrit vowels and groupings for the words, and then there are the consonants that follow in these 8 groupings. These Matrika are also called Matrika Shakti meaning the power or the sounds that lie behind the words.
Mantra is our way of connecting to primordial sound. Sankhya Vedic philosophy says that the creation of matter starts with sound (which is quality of ether element), and that all matter is made up of its own unique vibrational pulsating field, which also is a form of sound. So mantra is our way of meeting what we are originally made of. Some say mental disorder is the lack of connection to that we originally came from, or our true life’s purpose. So it makes sense that there is a medicine that can bring us back there.
How do we use Mantra Therapy?
Just as every person has a unique bodily constitution and no one size of medicine fits all, the same goes for Mantra therapy and the treatment of the mind. Mantra is like medicine. It is said that a Master or Vidya should give you the appropriate mantras for you and your situation. There are some that are universal and great to do in the morning, like the Gayatri mantra, and others that are to do in the evening such as Hanuman Chalisa, or Navarna Mantra. But the pronunciation of the phrases is important to get right, and the number of repetitions, or mala needs to be given to you specifically also.
What does this information mean for us?
My teacher once told me that everything that has ever been remains in the cosmos, that nothing comes from nothing, just as modern day physics describe in its Conservation of Energy theory. This is why those that are deeply attuned can hear the cries and prophecies of those that have come before; and knowledge is in the ether to be taken in by us if we know how to tap into it. This also means that everything we say, sticks around. It makes us think twice about the words we use and energies we put out, doesn’t it?
Some Lessons from Mantra for Maintaining the Mind:
- Be careful with what you say, do not utter anything that you would not want everybody to hear, or that you wouldn’t want to be said about you. Understand that the coarseness of our words remain in the atmosphere, so take care with these vibrations that you put out.
- Understand that we are surrounded by subtle currents, both negative and positive, so learn ways to fill yourself up with positivity, lest you fall victim to negativity.
- You need to treat the subtle with the subtle. The ways of the 21st century are not subtle, so we need to gain understanding of this fine art of subtle vibrational fields, spanda and mantra.
This is a huge topic, which I am just touching upon now, and will continue to elaborate upon in later articles and if you have any questions, do get in touch on Ask Selina.
By Selina Van Orden