12/29/2014

Gift of the Mantra



I am so grateful for the gift of the Mantra. Mantra is a word meaning "vehicle for the mind": combining "mannas" (Sanskrit root of the English "mind") and "tra," (root of the suffix, "tron"). As an electron is the vehicle for electricity, so the mantra is a vehicle to carry the mind inward, through subtler strata of energy, until awareness merges in its silent source, which is also the source of light.

A living mantra cannot be learned from a book or picked up in a casual conversation. Then it is just a hollow shell, an echo. The mantra must be ignited from the very spark of light to which it returns. It must be a "chaitanya" mantra, a live seed. This ignition happens at initiation. Westerners give little credence to initiation, as there is no correlate for initiation in modern culture. Once there was. References to initiation and mantra abound among both Christian and Jewish Gnostics. The Nag Hammadi library of the early Christians, and works such as the Sepher Yetsirah and the Book Bahir in Jewish Kabbala, testify to the ancient science of mantra. Christian and Jewish mystics practiced Mantra, "the way of the divine Name." But the basis of our present culture is mere information: words without consciousness.

Our media revel in words, with no attention to the energy that these words may carry. Very few of our words are charged with consciousness. Intellectuals write PHD theses and give lectures. Authors publish thousands of texts and articles. The news media churn out words by the millions. We spend much of our day in chatter and gossip. But how many of these words actually transform our awareness, or heal our bodies?

A mantra is a different kind of word, directly related to the Word of creation. A Vedic text declares, "Adau Bhagavan shabdha rasahi: In the beginning, the Lord first manifested the universe through a stream of sound." The Upanishads assert: "In the beginning was the syllable Om. All that was, is, or ever will be, is created through the sound of Om." The first verses of John's Gospel echo that Upanishadic teaching: "In the beginning was the Word... all things were created through the Word." Modern physics re-cognizes that the universe is vibration, the "music of the spheres," a resonance of fields emanating from the silence of the vacuum.

The science of mantra is the practical application of "creation through the Word." Through the effortless refinement of listening to a living mantra, our physiology is also refined. The mantra is a vibration as substantial to the body as to the mind. Through atunement to the mantra, the sparkling energies of every atom and nerve cell resonate in the harmony of a single inward star, which may illuminate the forehead, the crown, the throat, or the heart, wherever this radiant tuning fork is required for healing.

The supreme art of Mantra conducts the complex symphony of the body-mind into one luminous chord of samadhi. This music is ananda.

Gratitude to the Vedic rishis for the gift of Mantra! Jai Guru Dev.

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