Mantra: the Pathway of Dissolving
The word "mantra" combines the sanskrit root of "mind," "mannas," with the suffix "tron," a vehicle: as in "electron," a vehicle for electricity. Mantra is the vehicle that carries mind back to its source in boundless, formless, ever-creative silence.
Mantra is neither repetition nor concentration. Repetition only makes the mind dull. Concentration makes the mind tired and frustrated. When we meditate, we want to refresh and re-invigorate the mind, not yolk it to a discipline. We don't try to concentrate: we want to de-concentrate. Let mind expand, lighten up, release knots of worry and tension. We don't want to count the beads but to dissolve them.
Real meditation dissolves weary mind into happiness, and mantra is the pathway of dissolving. Enlivened by Shakti, the living breath of the master, the mantra effortlessly settles awareness into clarity: into the stillness at the root of vibration, the mysterious vacuum at the source of energy.
Precisely because we do not try to repeat the mantra or hold on to it, the mantra reposes in a vibration of luminous feeling, diffuses into crystal space, and expands into the boundless. Effortlessly, mantra smooths thought waves into a calm sea. This process is precisely the opposite of control, the antithesis of concentration. It fulfills the definition of Yoga in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Yoga chitta-vritti nirodaha: "Yoga is stilling the thought-waves."
A true mantra reverses creation's Word. Through the dissolution and refinement of the mantra, awareness returns to the luminous darkness before God said, "Let there be light." This living silence is not empty or abstract: it overflows with abundant potency. It is pure consciousness at its source, solid as diamond. In fact, compared to the adamant jewel of transcendental silence, it is the outer world of forms that is ephemeral as mist.
Transcendental silence is not the suppression of noise. It is not a silence imposed on the mind's chatter through an act of control. The silence of Transcendental Meditation is the home of song, the fountain of joy, the passion of delight in pure beauty.
For the loving gift of meditation, to the tradition of our masters we say, "Jai Guru Dev."