Uplifting Humanity with Mantras
Nov 27, 2017 03:27PM
The world is going through difficult times as separation and division seem to be the dominant forces. How we react to this is our choice. We may choose to feel helpless, angry and depressed, or we may choose to build world peace one person at a time. When we feel peace, we spread peace to those around us: our family, our friends, colleagues at work, the person we smile at in the street and the cashier at the shop. To accomplish this, meditation is the main tool.
There are different ways of meditating, and each of us has to find what works best for us. A great way of quieting a restless mind and of purifying the mind from negative thoughts is through the chanting of a mantra, a Sanskrit word that means “incantation”. It can be a word, a sound or an aphorism (statement). While repeating the mantra, we are keeping our mind focused on this positive thought. Afterwards, the mind will tend to remain in that positive state for a while. Through the slow and methodical repetition of the mantra, we also charge our being with the particular power represented by that mantra.
There is none more powerful than the mother of all mantras. Aum, or Om, unlike all other mantras, is anahata, or “unstruck”. This pure sound comes directly from our inner being, from deep inside our heart. Om is said to be the vibration with which this universe was set in motion. When we chant Aum, we search for the sound “O” deep inside our heart, and then let this sound rise to the throat, where the sound “U” is briefly met, and further up to the third eye, the region in the center of the forehead just above the eyebrows from which the sound “M” disperses into the universe. This way, we build a bridge between our little self and the entire universe—between the microcosm and the macrocosm. We are then reminded of our true nature; not the weak, helpless being, but a being that houses the entire universe within.
Some special mantras were envisioned by the ancient sages of India, the Rishis. These mantras were transmitted orally and eventually recorded in the Upanishads, the ancient Indian scriptures. These mantras have been chanted for thousands of years and have thus accumulated some special power. Among these, the famous Gayatri mantra:
We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.
Other beautiful mantras remind us of the real essence and purpose of life:
Lead me from the unreal to the real Lead me from darkness to light, Lead me from death to Immortality.
Again, we may choose to simply invoke qualities such as peace, joy, love, or light in our chanting. Also, some modern poetry can be as inspiring and act as powerfully as these ancient mantras. Here are examples of poems by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy, which may serve of inspiration at the start and ending of the day:
Today I must smile and smile to unburden the sorrowful life of this world.
My evening descends to teach me how to hear in silence the heartbeat of the vastness-world.
Our minds are powerful. The thought waves that we allow to pass through our minds carry an energy that spreads through this universe, just like the newly found gravitational waves. These waves influence people all over the Earth. We need to become conscious of what we spread. Negative thoughts will not only disturb us and eventually make us sick, but will influence people all over the world. Positive thoughts will carry the power to uplift the entire humanity.
To contact Dr. Kapila Castoldi at the Sri Chinmoy Centre, visit MeditationAnnArbor.com.