Mantra is a divine instrument with the rare potential of arousing our dormant consciousness. Thus it helps develop our latent powers and brings our original greatness to the fore. The parents give birth merely to our physical body whereas the True Brahmanishtha Sadgurus, the personages established in their True Self, give birth to our Chinmay Vapoo through Mantra-Diksha.
Man can attain greatness by developing his dormant powers through Mantra. The regular japa of a mantra reduces restlessness of the mind, brings restraint in life; and works wonders in developing the concentration and memory. A Mantra has different effects on different energy centres of the body. Many personages like Bhagvan Sri Adi Shankara Acharaya, Mahavir, Buddha,Sant Sri TulsidasJi Swami Vivekanand, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Ramtirtha, Pujyapaad Swami Sri Lilashahji Maharaj,Sri Raman Maharishi etc. have attained respect and reverence all around the world through their awareness of the True glory of Mantra.
Hence if we also perform the japa of Mantras under the guidance of a Sadguru, who is aware of the true power of Mantra and also is capable of arousing that dormant power lying within us, we can bask in the glory of material and spiritual accomplishment.
Through Mantra-Diksha, the Guru rekindles the dormant powers of the aspirant. Diksha is composed of two syllables, ‘Diksha¡’, ‘Di’ and ‘ksha’. ‘Di’, means what is given or the person capable of bestowing divine grace. And ‘ksha’ means one who is capable of assimilating. On one side is the benediction of the one (The Guru) who is capable of imparting the Lord’s grace and on the other hand is the assimilating capability of the aspirant. The combination of these two is Diksha. When the Guru initiates His disciple with the mantra, He also bestows His sensitive power of intuition and empowers the disciple with His ‘sankalpa’ (benign resolve) as well. When a farmer sows seeds in his farm, a stranger cannot tell whether the seeds are sown. But slowly and surely, when the seeds are watered and nurtured, they gradually sprout forth and only then there is proof that seeds were sown. Similarly, we are unaware of what is imparted unto us at the time of Mantra-Diksha. But when we water that seed in the form of spiritual practices and devotion, the hallowed grace of Mantra-Diksha does sprout forth.
Diksha is of three kinds: Shambhavi-Diksha, Mantra-Diksha and Sparsh-Diksha. Shambhavi-Diksha is given through a glance as Shukdev Muni gave to king Parikshit on the fifth day of the seven-day long narration of the holy Srimad Bhagwat. Sparsh-Diksha is given through sparsh. Mantra-Diksha is given through a mantra. The greater the spiritual elevation of the Guru, the more effective is the mantra given by him. If an ignorant illiterate man tells you to chant ‘Rama’, it will not benefit you so much. But the same ‘Rama’ coming from the mouth of a God-realized Saint like Ramanandji (The Sadguru of Kabirji), becomes a powerful mantra. Kabirji performed japa of the mantra with faith and devotion and became accomplished. The mantra was the same ‘Rama’ but in this case the inner self of the Guru was perfect with enlightenment.
If a peon says something, it does not carry much weight. But if the same thing is uttered by the Prime Minister, then it becomes very effective. The mantra given by Saints of great spiritual accomplishment delivers us when practised with faith and devotion. Mantra = manan (reflection) + antar (in heart); that which is to be reflected upon in the heart. Alternatively, mantra = mann (the mind) + tarr (deliver), that which delivers the mind from samsara.
The smaller the mantra given at the time of Mantra-Diksha, the more rhythmic its recital and the more convenient and propitious it is for the aspirant. This leads him fast on the track of spiritual progress.
Naradji was a Saint who was completely un-attached to any community or sect. His prime concern was the welfare of anyone coming in contact with him. Those who have the welfare of others close to their hearts, are ‘Lok Sants’ (Universal Saints). When Naradji initiated the robber, Valia, the mantra had a longer ‘Ra’ and a shorter ‘ma’, and ‘ma’ preceded the ‘Ra’. Valias, life-force was in the lower centres of the subtle body. Naradji gave the mantra knowing fully well that japa of ‘maRa’ would produce vibrations in those centers and gradually he would reach the higher centres without fail. He blessed Valia with Shambhavi-Diksha as well, thus transmitting his own spiritual energy unto him. Valia started japa of ‘maRa’ in right earnest.
Gradually his Kundalini was awakened with the japa becoming more and more rhythmic, and thus the robber was transformed into Valmiki Rishi.
Scientific Basis of Mantra-Japa
This experiment was carried out in a western country. A team of distinguished and highly learned men and women had congregated in a well-decorated room at Lord Litton’s residence. All of them were well acquainted with the twentieth century science and its various inventions and discoveries. Renowned researcher, Mrs. Watts Hughes, was singing a song with music played on an ordinary guitar.
When she played a particular tune, the effect was miraculous. Star-shaped forms were seen dancing on the screen erected nearby. As soon as the tune was stopped, the forms disappeared.
The singer started another tune. Forms of a different type were seen. She went on playing different tunes and each time different types of forms were seen stars, serpentine forms. Triangular and hexagonal forms, multi-coloured charming flowers, fierce marine creatures, trees laden with flowers, vast expanse of sea waters all these things were seen one after another. This spectacular phenomenon kept the spectators literally spellbound. Finally, when the singer stopped all music the forms disappeared as well.
Once again Mrs. Watts Hughes started a tune and.a serpentine form was seen too. She played the tune many times and each time the same form was seen. Thus Mrs. Watts Hughes arrived at the conclusion that there does exist a natural correlation between the musical notes and the respective forms.
Similarly experiments and exhibitions have twice been conducted on the same subject in France. In one of these exhibitions, Madam Lang played a tune and Mother Mary appeared on the screen with Jesus Christ in her lap. On another occasion, an Indian musician played the ‘Bhairavi Raga’ and there appeared the form of Bhairava.
Such experiments have also been carried out in Italy. A young lady learnt to play a particular Vedic verse on the guitar from an Indian master. After vigorous practice, she played the tune on the bank of a river, placing the guitar on the sand. She was amazed to see a form appearing on the sand. She told some scholars about it. They took a photograph of the form. The form turned out to be that of Maa Saraswati, holding a book and a lute in her hands, as she always does. Whenever the lady played that tune with concentration, the same form of Maa Saraswati would appear.
Thus there is but a natural and psychological correlation between the sounds and the resultant forms. The western world has discovered this fact only now, but in India, the propitious japa-yoga was founded on this very scientific theory millions of years ago. Our ancient Rishis had discovered beej (rudimental) mantras through painstaking and minute exploration. Gods were pleased by systematic japa of these beej mantras, and siddhis were attained.
After a great deal of experimentation, research and analysis, Psychologists have established that the thoughts that recur in the mind become imprinted thereon. Such thoughts keep appearing in the mind time and again. The mind derives pleasure out of them and gradually becomes engrossed therein. Other thoughts, howsoever propitious and noble they may be, don’t appeal to the mind. It soon gets bored with them and flees from them to the safe haven of its preferred thoughts. Our learned sages, the fathers of holy scriptures have called such thoughts as samskaras. These samskaras determine the positive and negative nature of human actions and thereby one’s image in the society.
It is one’s thoughts that are reflected in his action or words. The roots of all one’s actions have their origin in the thoughts and emotions arising in the mind. Thoughts make one the kind of man one is. One’s personality is simply a reflection of the inner thoughts of an individual.
Japa puts a restraint on our thoughts. Repeating a (Mantra) word and listening to it has a profound impact on our mind as the meaning and the thought represented by the word become imprinted on our mind. With sustained repetition, this impression goes deep into our psyche and becomes a samskara. The samskara then becomes our nature, which ultimately governs our actions.
At the time of japa, a mental picture of one’s tutelary deity, along with His various attributes is formed. This brings forth a pious metamorphosis of one’s samskaras. Consequently, his mind is purged of thoughts of ignorance and illusion. The vile samskaras and feelings of greed, delusion, envy, malice, egotism, anger, etc. gradually wither away. Tamasic and rajasic thoughts soon give way to sattvic ones.
Just as in uttering ‘mango’, the form, colour, properties and taste of a mango are recalled to one’s mind; the name of a stinking substance incites abhorance; similarly the name of the cherished Lord brings forth divine virtues to the mind; the mind is purified and is purged of perverse thoughts. The aspirant attains divinity. Japa is, thus, an easy and scientific way in realizing one’s tutelary deity.