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Mantra Theory and Practice. Sound is vibration What was the earliest sound? Paleolithic, 10,000 BC.

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Presentation on theme: "Mantra Theory and Practice. Sound is vibration What was the earliest sound? Paleolithic, 10,000 BC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mantra Theory and Practice

2 Sound is vibration What was the earliest sound? Paleolithic, 10,000 BC

3 Changing Consciousness Sound changes consciousness The type of sound affects the mind in different ways - ipod “Music is behind life and rules life; from music springs all life. The whole of creation exists in rhythmn” Hazrat Inayet Khan (Sufi mystic)

4 Meaning of the word Mantra Man = to think; manas – mind; manu – wise Tra = instrumentality; or trana – saving Mantra is that which saves the mind from itself, or which leads to salvation through the concentration of the mind

5 George Feurstein A mantra is sacred utterance, numinous sounds, or sound that is charged with psychospiritual power. A mantra is sound that empowers the mind, or that is empowered by the mind. It is a vehicle of meditative transformation of the human body-mind and is thought to have magical potency.

6 Ernest Wood Mantras are forms of sound prescribed for repetition, calculated to link the yogi with the divine by assisting them in their emotional and mental aspirations. All good poetry is something of a mantra, because it conveys more than the common meaning of its words

7 Abhinava Gupta (10 th century) He said that a single mantra chanted repeatedly was like the water flowing into a water wheel. It moves many other parts in the mill. In the yogi, the chant activates the detities associated with the mantra which become an auspicious force in the transformation of the practitioner’s consciousness

8 James Hewitt Mantras are incantatory and mystical sounds….At its profoundest Mantra Yoga explores the influence of sound vibrations in a universe which science tells us is made up of vibration. The Complete Yoga Book, Leopard Book 1995, pg 442

9 Chanting Mantras is Japa Daily (nitya) – morning and evening Circumstantial (naimittika) eg for festivals Forbidden (nishiddha) Penance (prayaschitta) Voiced aloud (vachika) Whispered (upanshu) Mental (manasa) – meditation on meaning of mantra Non-uttered (ajapa) - said silently Uninterrupted (akhanda) – can continue for hours

10 Other traditions Buddhist Sufis perform dhikr which means both repetition and remembrance Shingon-shu in Japan use mantra (shingon mean mantra in Japanese) Christian Monks, Taize, Greek Orthodox Church

11 Transcendental Meditation TM Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – “the laughing yogi” Developed streamlined form of mantra yoga for busy westerners Non-religious and non- denominational Secret mantra chanted silently

12 Vedas Sanskrit hymns often described as mantras 15 different meters that demanded highly skilled and disciplined recitation (requiring breath control that may have been the beginning of pranayama) When combined with ritual drafts of Soma, they induced altered states

13 Upanishads Chandogya – is the teachings of the vedic chanters Chapter 3 on Gayatri Mantra – “the morning pressing of Soma is carried out with the Gayatri” Gayatri is from the Rig Veda

14 Bhagavad Gita The Tamasic person offers up an empty sacrifice “lacking even the proper mantras or rituals with no faith whatsoever (17:13) Devotional chanting…is a purification of speech that can contribute much to spiritual progress

15 Famous Mantras Om Mane Padme Hum – the jewel is in the lotus (Buddhist) Hare Krishna (mantra for world peace) Om Tat Sat – Brahman is pure being Soham – mantra of the breath “he is I” Maha Mrityonjaya Mantra – Shiva mantra to conquer the fear of death

16 Nada Yoga Detailed in the Siva Samhita and Verse 67 onwards of Samadhi section of Hathayoga Pradipika Experiencing the inner sound of Nada by sitting with thumbs in ears Tinkling of bells, conch, drums, vina, etc etc Only experienced in deep states of meditation

17 Patanjali’s sutras 1:27-28 is about chanting Om

18 Mantra Yoga Emerges as a distinct path in the Middle Ages out of Tantra (like hatha yoga) Main text is Mantra-Mahodadhi – “Ocean of Mantras” written by Mahidhara in late 19 th Century 16 Principles of Mantra Yoga: devotion, purification, posture, five limbs, conduct, concentration, divine space, breath ritual, mudra, satisfaction, invocation, offering, sacrifice, recitation, meditation, ecstacy

19 Summary Mantras as magic tools (to bring good fortune or ward off ill fortune) Mantras to connect to the transcendental (spiritual empowerment and altered states) Mantras to follow inner enquiry into the true nature of the Self (and altered states) Traditional view is that mantras must be given via initiation to have power

20 Chanting the Gayatri Mantra We meditate on the glory of the Creator; Who has created the Universe; Who is worthy of Worship; Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; May He enlighten our Intellect. Swami Sivananda

21 Krishnamurti We meditate upon the radiant Divine Light of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness; May it awaken our intuitional consciousness.

22 Gayatri in Sanskrit om Bhur, bhuva, svaha tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhîmahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayât

23 Final thoughts Questions? Experiences?

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