Mantra And Mind
Conscious Unconscious & Subconscious Mind
What all we talk and share comes from the conscious mind. The mind has two other layers categorized into the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind. So a man thinks not only on the conscious plane but thinks also when he is in a subconscious or unconscious state. These deeper layers of the mind (subconscious and unconscious) consist of hidden desires, fears, emotions and complexes in the form of Samskaras and Vasanas. Some theories even classify mind into seven levels. Apart from conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious levels, the other levels classified are Superconscious, Collective Conscious, Spontaneous Mind and Ultimate Mind.
The mind, therefore, is not a homogeneous substance. One can definitely streamline the emotions or the pattern of thinking. Here comes the importance of Mantra Yoga or the Science of Mantra. To understand the thought process, to understand the emotions and to go into the deeper strata or layers of mind, Mantra Yoga is the best practice.
What Is A Mantra?
A Mantra is not the name of a god or goddess or of a person, and as such it has got nothing to do with any religion. On the contrary, it is a vehicle for the expansion of mind and liberation of energy. Mantras are a group of words, which were heard by the Yogis in the higher stages of their consciousness, and they passed them on to society, to bring happiness to the neurotic and the confused, to show man the way to real happiness and to even get rid of a vicious circle of life and death.
The sounds which one receives and the sounds which are being produced, create resonant waves in the depths and surface of the mind. These sound waves have different forms which are known as mandalas and these mandalas go deep and hit the depths of the mind.
How To Practice Mantra Yoga
Important Points & Steps To Mantra Yoga are:
- Select a Mantra (Guru Mantra is the best).
- Fix the mind on the nose tip or at the eyebrow center or at the center of the heart or even Sahasrara chakra or any center or part of the body. This is very important because the movement of the eyeballs affect the rhythms of the brain which do not allow the level of consciousness to become steady. For this reason, the eyes have to be absolutely steady. And in order to create the steadiness, there is a need for fixing the mind at one center.
- Next become aware of the natural and spontaneous breath flowing through both the nasal orifices.
- Start chanting the Mantra.
- Synchronize the mantra with the natural flow of the breath. It is not necessary that one mantra should be completed with one complete inspiration and one with expiration. This will depend upon the length of the mantra and also on the choice of practitioner, whether to do one mantra or more than one mantra or even less than one mantra in either of the expiration or inspiration.
- Use Mala for the best results of Mantra Chanting.
- Chant at least one Mala (108 Mantra at a time).
- Fix the asana, Mantra, time, direction and the symbol and maintain them for regular practice.
- Increase the Mantra Japa with the increased capacity but as per the instructions of Guru.
- One should not reduce the number of Mantra Chanting, once selected initially, for best results.
Mantra Yoga & Mind Reaction
As the practice of Mantra start, more and more thoughts start expressing themselves. As long as one is occupied, the mind is peaceful. But as one begins to concentrate on the mantra, everything comes out from the depths. The mind becomes wild. One might get distracted or even develop the feelings of giving up Mantra practice altogether. The fact is that he is on the right track. When the practice of mantra is started, the wilder the mind becomes, the better it is for the practitioner.
While practicing mantra, it should be kept in mind that the practice is not to crush the mind. To suppress an emotion is to destroy the very base of the ambition and desire. The greatest discoveries in history, the greatest arts, compositions, and realizations are all products of the mind. Therefore, during the mantra practice, one should maintain a detached awareness of whatever comes to his mind and be a silent witness to it. During practice, deeper the one goes, the greater areas of the mind are explored.
Types Of Mantra Yoga Practice
There are three different ways by which mantra can be practiced:
- Vaikhari – aloud, with the mouth;
- Upanshu – whispering, with the movement of the lips;
- Manasik – silently in the mind, with no movement of the lips or tongue.
Mantra can be best practiced in the following sequence:
- Start with the first way of chanting i.e. Vaikhari, producing the sound with the mouth.
- Once mastered in the Vaikhari, which help to get rid of external distractions, which may even take a few months, just whisper the mantra on the lips, without producing any vibration which is called Upanshu.
- Then later, after a few months, convert the chanting from Upanshu to Mansik chanting.
- For still higher practice, start Ajapa Japa practice, wherein one has to develop spontaneous awareness of the mantra with the rhythm of the breath. This is the most important form of practice. For the mantra to penetrate the inner consciousness, i.e. to reach at a point where thoughts originate, at a point where consciousness emanates and evolution begins, Ajapa Japa, must be practiced.
An Attitude of Witness
It is important to learn to live with the mind and to understand the mind. Whenever the mind is disturbed, the cause of the disturbance has to be ascertained. It may be a sound, an individual or even a situation. Whatever it may be, simply try to become a silent witness to what all is happening. This attitude must be developed in the practice of mantra.
Finally, once the practice is finished, put the mala down. Fix the mind at one point, for example, the nose tip or eyebrow center, for five minutes and visualize the symbol of the mantra there.
The Power Of The Mind
The mind is the greatest force on the earth. Swami Sivananda said that one who has controlled his mind is full of powers. He can bring all minds under his influence. All diseases can be cured by the psychic healing. Mind creates and destroys. It creates the whole universe by its power of imagination. A mind is a cause of bondage and liberation.
The continuous practice of Mantra Yoga will help treat the mental problems and correct abnormal mental behavior. It will help develop an intimate friendship with the mind, and all of its fantastic faculties will open up. This mind is telepathic, clairvoyant, psycho-telekinetic. This mind has infinite qualities. It can decide one’s future and make him a warrior, a soldier, a statesman or a saint. But one must know how to make use of this mind.
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