Mantra Meditation – Why Use a Mantra?

Mantra Meditation

Mantra is a Sanskrit word derived from two roots: man (meaning “mind” or “to think”) and trai meaning to “protect”, to “free from”, or “instrument/tool”. So, mantras are tools of the mind, or tools to free the mind.

Most Mantras, according to tradition, derive their value mostly from their sound quality. Some are short, one-syllable mantras; others are long, composed of many words.

Sometimes the mantra is:

  • listened to
  • repeated fast, at other times slow
  • simply repeated by itself, and at other times in connection to concentration on the breathing, certain feelings, chakras, visualizations, or abstract concepts.

Why use a Mantra?

Why is it considered a powerful tool for meditation?”.

Sound is vibration. All the cells in your body are vibrating, everything in the Universe is vibrating and each has its own rhythm. Your thoughts and feelings are, indeed, vibrations in your body and your consciousness.

Looked at in this way, your mind – your psyche – is a collection of patterns, each vibrating at its own frequency, speed, and volume.

What Yogis discovered is that by sustaining a particular sound vibration for a long time, the nature of the mind and body can be somewhat transformed.

Any musician will tell you of the power that sound has to induce/evoke moods, thoughts, and emotions.

Thus, the mantra, being an instrument of the mind, can help you create profound changes in your body and psyche, and produce altered states of consciousness.

Mantra Replaces Thinking

For meditation, the implication is pretty simple: in every moment that you are paying full attention to the mantra, you are not disturbed by any other thoughts, memories, or sensations. If you are able to continuously string together the ending of one mantra repetition to the beginning of the next, you’ll remain in that beautiful state for the duration of your meditation.  Mantra is great if you struggle with a busy mind.

Progress and Levels

It’s your repeated attention working with the mantra that charges it.

The mantra eventually becomes the most powerful thought in your mind, and then you can truly rely on it to bring you peace.

This is the traditional progress of the practice:

  • Verbal recitation
  • Whispering
  • Mental recitation
  • Spontaneous listening

Even if you don’t like verbal recitation and want to go directly to the mental level, I recommend you at least do a few rounds of whispering recitation in the beginning. That will help you centre your mind on the mantra much more easily.

Think of the mantra as a radio station and your mind as the receiver The challenge with this receiver is, it often wants to jump around stations, switching frequency by itself.  Our goal is to keep the receiver (The Mind) in sync with the Radio station ( The Mantra).

The mind’s task is to actively pay attention to each repetition.

Let every repetition be fresh, new, full of life and awareness.

Unite your mind with the mantra completely.

Become one with it.

Let every ounce of your attention be engaged with it.

Give it a try and see how you feel.

KP xxx