A Place where devotees gather to share inspiration.
"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
Here are some notes from my notebook on japa and mantra to share.
Mantra Yoga is the spiritual practice that unites the individual with God through the repetition of a mantra. A mantra is a holy name or word formula signifying God, with or without form or attribute. The word yoga means ‘union’. There is nothing in life, which is not yoga; our thoughts, our actions, and our feelings—all have to be brought into harmony.
Mantra Yoga is a wonderful way to bring oneself closer to God. The practice of Mantra Yoga has its roots in the basic philosophy of the Word. This philosophy states that the universe is formed from sound vibration, the different levels of vibration forming words. It was given expression in the opening lines of St. John’s gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Repetition of any mantra or name of the Lord is known as Japa. Dhyana is meditation on the form of the Lord with His attributes. There is meditation (dhyana) with Japa (Japa-sahita-dhyana) and there is meditation (dhyana) without Japa (Japa-rahita-dhyana). In the beginning one should combine meditation with Japa. As one advances the Japa drops by itself; meditation only remains.
Name (Nama) and the object (rupa) signified by the Name are inseparable. Thought and word are inseparable. When you do Japa of Rama, Krishna, or Christ, the picture of Rama, Krishna, or Christ will come before your mind. Therefore Japa and dhyana (meditation) go together—they are inseparable.
The theory of Mantra is that it is a word of power born out of the secret depths of our being where it has been brooded upon by a deeper consciousness than the mental, framed in the heart and not constructed by the intellect, held in the mind, again concentrated on by the waking mental consciousness and then thrown out silently or vocally—the silent word is perhaps held to be more potent than the spoken—precisely for the work of creation.
A Mantra is divinity encased within a sound-structure. It is divine power or Daivi Sakti manifesting in sound-body. The Mantra is itself deity (Devata).
The scriptures and the teachings of illumined souls tell us that in order for the mantra to be raised to the level of enlightening power, three things are essential: purity of body and mind, eagerness for the vision of God, and detachment from sense-pleasures.
Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire, U.K.
Wow! Thank you, brother.
I was beginning to think that no one was going to answer me. Everything said here is heard and helpful.
I have struggled and struggled in personal life, not knowing the right or wrong way. I have asked and asked, "Lord, show me the way", then I read where Mother said, "Without meditation, how will you know the right thing to do". A direct answer for me.
It is a lonely thing I do. Sometimes I get ridiculed for the portraits of Saints in my home, "Who's the man in the diaper?", but I feel my vision changing, and I know that I must do what I do and wait on God.
Thank you for your words. It is nice to know you are out there
When our intentions are pure, we are guided to the right path. Right way quite often is not an easy way. We are never alone in life. Help sometimes comes after a long wait -- but it comes -- and often comes from unexpected quarters.
Before the great mystery of the inner life, man, be he a scientist or a scholar, a top executive or a millionaire, is but a child. The English poet Tennyson expressing this mood (In Memoriam) sings:
Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last — far off — at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.
So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night;
An infant crying for the light;
And with no language but a cry.
We overcome all weakness by life in God. Our hands and feet can only work efficiently when they are directed by higher intelligence, so we accomplish very little unless we are under the guidance of Higher Power. There is only one Doer, but we forget. It is He who is working through us. There is an unfailing Power that works in us; and when we are right channels, nothing will be lacking.
Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire, U.K.
Thank you Vriju for having addressed the issue with such clarity and understanding. It is always educational to read your posts.
The Mother is holding you and has promised to take care of it, there is NOTHING else needed. Just faith and devotion to Her.