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Introduction to the Science of Mantra Meditation
Bhajan Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan
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"Recite mantras to cleanse the Soul. Meditations to
cleanse the Mind. Baths to cleanse the Body." Yogi Bhajan
"Mantras are not small things. Mantas have power. They are the mind
vibration in relationship to the Cosmos. The Science of Mantra is based on
the knowledge that sound is a form of energy having structure, power, and a
definite, predictable effect on the chakras and the human psyche." Yogi Bhajan
POINTS TO PONDER
Mantra: ‘Man’ means mind and ‘Tra’ means wave or vibration.
Meditation is a science, i.e., it is a technical practice
that results in a predictable and reliable outcome or experience.
Being awakened or enlightened is not simply a mental state.
It is a physiological state as well. How we breathe, how the
glands secrete, how the nervous system is operating, all of this
changes based on what we speak, what we hear, and what we perceive.
of Practicing Mantra Meditation
10 Reasons to Recite Mantras By Donna
"Do not just sing this mantra. Consciously chant it in such a
way that your cranium resonates as if you are striking a gong."
The Benefit: Reduces Anxiety and Depression
The Technology: By combining sound, breath
and rhythm, mantra meditation channels
the flow of energy through the mind-body circuit, adjusting the chemical
composition of our internal states and regulating brain-hemisphere
imbalances, contributing to a natural abatement of fear and despair–emotions
that underlie both of these common afflictions. By balancing the nervous
system, chanting regulates the chronic
stress and tension that is the norm for many people in today’s
hyper-stimulated lifestyle. And by balancing the endocrine system,
chanting normalizes hormone production, which balances our moods and
overall sense of well-being.
The Technology: Chanting delivers us from the excessive preoccupation
with our bodies and with material concerns. It delivers us from fear
of old age and death. We begin to identify with the timelessness of
the soul and consequently begin to shed neurotic habits that no longer
serve and that no longer seem relevant. By returning us to what is
essential, it clears away subconscious habit patterns. Embraced by
the steady rhythm and by the vibration that connects us all, our thoughts
combine wholly with the sound current. As the captain sets the canvas
to the wind, thus pulling the boat out of trouble, it is through mantra
that we steer ourselves out of our own stormy seas and into clear
It is Soothing
The Technology: The power of mantra is betrayed in the roots of the
sanskrit word, man, meaning mind, and, tra, meaning deliverance, or,
projection. Thus, chanting the sacred sound of the mantra delivers
us from our sense dependency, from our unrelenting habit of looking
toward the senses for gratification; pleasures that are and that will
always be, fleeting and limited–how much can you eat? Or drink?
Or buy? Sense gratification never really gratifies. We are always
left either unfulfilled and guilty–wishing we had never started,
or else, wanting more and lamenting the loss.
Chanting is a pleasure that transcends
the senses, it takes us beyond the bounds of time and space (which
is why we don't have to understand the mantra). Thus it soothes in
a most profound way. It soothes on a cellular level. It merges our
finite identity with the Infinite, and so dissolves us. It relieves
us from the sights and sounds and stimulation of the material world
and delivers us into a spiritual space, where the sound is God. The
material needs are reduced to nothing but mind chatter, and like smoke
pumped into the sky, will be scattered into the expanse. Through the
sweetness of devotional surrender, mantra turns the negative into
positive. I once heard it said: "as music has charms to soothe
a savage beast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless
two most important things in your body are the upper palate, which
is the base of the hypothalamus, because the hypothalamus controls
entire nervous system, and the tip of the tongue, which affects the
nerve channel, shushumna.
That controls your entire psyche." -- Yogi
The Benefit: Engenders Compassion
The Technology: While the first stages of mantra meditation deliver
our restless minds from their self-inflicted distress, eventually,
chanting into the all-engulfing wave of vibrations arouses our experience
of ourselves as spiritual beings. It opens our perception of ourselves
as undifferentiated from God. It awakens the divine light and love
within us. As George Harrison has said of his lifelong Bhakti practice,
chanting is “a direct connection with God." When our spiritual
identity is awakened, we experience the unity of all life, which consequently
awakens our hearts and opens our capacity for compassion, whereupon
we may live out our material lives free of animosity, envy and pride.
The Technology: It’s all about the hypothalamus. The control
tower of the brain, it regulates communication between the nervous
system and the endocrine system, taking in information from the entire
body, before transmitting outward again, via chemical messengers.
These couriers, such as serotonin and dopamine, are known as the “happiness
hormones,” due to the impact they have on our moods. The hypothalamus
is Office in Charge of many bodily functions we tend to think of as
automatic, like temperature, metabolism and nervous system, as well
as pituitary secretion, affecting everything from mood to appetite
to sleep. It is perhaps the single most important link in the mind-body
What common western manuals won’t tell you, is that it is the
breath that turns the key to
this super-circuit, this central hub, this brain of brains.
about it. You grew your magnificent brain, perhaps the most
complicated thing in the world. And you grew it without even thinking
about it. A supremely intelligent Life Force of unknown origin created
and sustains this wondrous miracle of life. It's what we refer to
as God." WhoAreTheSikhs.com
helps to adjust all the rhythms of our body–not only the familiar
circadian rhythms, but the lesser known ultradian rhythms, which monitor
the smaller-scale energy cycles that occur throughout the day. Because
our nervous systems are often overtaxed, these rhythms are thrown
out of balance. But through the technology of sound, we begin repairs.
And when breath is set to sound–Wowee Zonkers! The positive
effects on the parasympathetic nervous system - that part of the nervous
system that tells us everything is alright - are multiplied and the
healing response is triggered and it all translates into healing and
"Think good thoughts and good things happen."
The Benefit: It is Easy
The Technology: You don’t have to sing well because it’s
not about singing, in the usual sense. We’re not memorizing
complex lyrics, layering harmonies, and we’re not certainly
not busting out powerhouse solos. It works whether it’s done
alone, or in a group, as in a powerful kirtan. It works whether it’s
done softly or in full voice, as long it is from the heart and with
the belly. Although for enhanced effect, we can add eye-focus and
a gentle hand mudra, these are simple to include and can be incorporated
It is Free
The Technology: All you have to do is show up. As Krishna Das has
said, it won’t work if you don’t do it! All that is needed
is some time and an open heart. The benefits of chanting cannot be
established through reasoning and intellect. It can only be experienced
through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra.
The Technology: Pronunciation: By enunciating the mantra, the tongue
taps certain points along the roof of our mouths, sending signals
to the hypothalamus, which in turn, regulates the chemical activity
streaming into all parts of the brain and body. It might be likened
to tapping the keys of a piano–inside the casing, a hammer bounces
up and strikes the strings which are tuned to produce a specific and
foreseeable note; behind the curtains a remarkable vibratory process
is going on.
Rhythm: Through repetition of the mantra, patterns of sound are inscribed
onto the brain. The unconscious becomes the conscious, the automatic
becomes the deliberate, the mindless becomes the heartfelt. The repetition
frees us from our destination-fixation from our need to rush to the
end. The repetition is the whole point. Through repetition, the mantra
washes over us, as the waves in the sea gradually get us wet. It dissolves
us into unison, which is the essence of yoga. We "die”
in a sense, as our ego fades into the Infinite, as it gets unavoidably
absorbed by the sound.
Projection: When we chant from the navel point while articulating
the mantra, we not only stimulate the upper palate, but we vibrate
the central channel by which prana, or life force, flows–what
yogis for millennia have referred to as the shushmuna (or shushumna
by some translations). This dual process is said to move us into the
realm of anahat–the realm "without boundary."
The Technology: Our thoughts reflect and affect our mood, our attitude
and our general tenor. Our thoughts are silent sounds. And sounds
are electromagnetic vibrations. The more refined our thoughts, the
more elevated our vibration; the more elevated our vibration, the
closer we get to the highest vibration of all–our own divine
nature. The entire universe was built on sound (Word),
which is nothing but vibration. By vibrating a certain combination
of sounds, we tune in to different
levels of our intelligence-consciousness. Thus, chanting mantras is a conscious method of
controlling our moods, and in turn, our frequency and resultant all-around
radiance, much like changing the channel on the television. See A
Sound Spiritual Experience.
It is Empowering
The Technology: In the Hindu and related
Dharmic traditions that use mantra meditation as a regular part of
practice, you will find there is a mantra as well as a mudra for everything–for
every ill and every challenge. To note just a few examples, in the
Tibetan tradition, the Om Mane Padme Hum mantra has been used for
centuries to invoke the blessings of compassion. In the Hindu tradition,
the Ganesh mantra–Om Gam Ganapataye Namah–is chanted to
the elephant-headed deity to remove obstacles. And, in the Kundalini
Yoga tradition, the Siri Gaitri Mantra–Ra
Ma Da Sa–is chanted for healing. --
Note: During the practice of Mantra Meditation,
the breathing cycle is altered
to a greater or lesser extent during the chanting
whereby one is able to influence the prana-apana balance and oxygen-blood
ratios. And depending on the specific breath-mantra rhythm, the reflex
meridians in the mouth experience a direct and perhaps even, for some
people, noticeable stimulation of the pineal-pituitary-hypothalamus
zones of the brain by virtue of the contact of the tongue with the
palate. This action assists deep brain function and subsequent cranial-nervous
system resonance along with heightened inter-glandular response. And
subsequently and predictably a sense of peace, joy, and the expansion
of awareness, i.e., heightened intuition and insightful thought.
mantra is a mind projection created in either a spoken or mental manner.
Mantras can be a word, phrase, syllable or sound. They can be recited,
sung or repeated silently in the mind. Reciting a mantra is a technique
for regulating or quieting the mind. There are many
mantras each one having its own quality, rhythm, and effect. Every
thought or feeling that we have is on a vibratory frequency. By using
mantras we can direct the mind into a higher vibratory frequency.
For thousands of years, mystics and yogis have used mantras for mental
and spiritual transformation. See Meditations
for Everybody. See More
About Mantras. See Mantra Pronunciation. See
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE WORD
The Siri Singh Sahib taught about the unique classes of languages. He
called them phonetic languages where the sounds of the syllables impart
meaning by the way they resonate with the archetypal human psyche. He
described Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and French as three such languages. In the
16th century, the second Sikh guru, Guru Angad, created the Gurmukhi
alphabet to phonetically represent many, if not all, languages.
"Guru Angad, the second Sikh Master, invented the Gurmukhi script. Guru Nanak named Guru Angad to succeed him as the Guru for the Sikhs in 1539. Gurmukhi means "from the mouth of the Guru." The Gurmukhi script accomplished something very special. It allowed people to be able to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak. Up until that point in history, the dialect spoken by Guru Nanak and his contemporaries had no written equivalent. Written languages were reserved for the powerful, the wealthy, and the high-castes. There was no writing or reading based on the common language.
THE GURMUKHI ALPHABET
"The meaning of the Word-Sound is not what is important.
It is the effect of the Word-Sound that matters." Hari Singh Khalsa
Gurmukhi was developed to be a very precise phonetic language. By learning to pronounce Gurmukhi, people could not only learn to read and pronounce the songs written by Guru Nanak; they could also learn how to pronounce the songs that Guru Nanak had preserved during his life from other masters and sages, even if those songs were in a completely different language. The purpose of Gurmukhi was not to simply represent the common language of the time, but to allow people to read and sing sacred songs in other languages as well.
Why did this phonetic language develop? And what does it have to do with the Shabad Guru – the Guiding Sound of Wisdom?
Being awakened or enlightened is not simply a mental state. It is a physiological state as well.How we breathe, how the glands secrete, how the nervous system is operating—all of this changes based on what we speak, what we hear, and what we perceive. When Guru Nanak sang his songs, the words he brought forth had a two-fold effect. On the level of language, they imparted a certain philosophical meaning of how to see the world. But in the science of Naad (sound), the songs have the ability to change the physiology of a person and bring them to a more heightened state of consciousness.
The invention of Gurmukhi was key to opening the doors of the Shabad Guru to all people. Through learning this very simple, precise method of pronunciation, and by repeating the words of the sages, you begin to induce in yourself the same state of consciousness that they were in when they sang the songs. It begins to create the same changes in the physiology. It opens the door to higher awareness. And all that is required is your breath and voice imitating and repeating those sounds.
This is the essence of the Shabad Guru. It is between you and you. There is no one else involved. It only requires your breath reciting this sacred poetry. By this practice, there is a process you undergo within your own ego and identity to transform your awareness to live at these heights." --
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa
"It takes 40 days to break a habit;
90 days to gain the new habit;
120 days and you are the new habit;
1,000 days and you are Master of it."
Chanting for 3 minutes affects the electromagnetic field, the circulation and stability of the blood.
Chanting for 7 minutes begins to shift brain patterns and the magnetic field surrounding the body increases in strength.
Chanting for 11 minutes begins to change the nervous and glandular systems.
Chanting for 22 minutes the three minds, i.e., the negative, positive and neutral minds, come into balance and begin to work together; the subconscious mind begins to clear.
Chanting for 31 minutes allows the glands, breath, and concentration to affect all the cells and rhythms of the body. Endocrine secretions are completely balanced as is the ethereal energy of the chakras (junction points of physical and spiritual centers).
Chanting for 62 minutes changes the gray matter in the brain. Stimulates the frontal lobe of the brain; the pituitary and pineal glands, as well. You work through physical body, the emotions and mental states and communicate with aspects of the Divine within yourself. The subconscious "shadow mind" and the outer projections become integrated.
Chanting for 2 1/2 hours changes the psyche in its co-relation with the surrounding magnetic field so that the subconscious mind is held firmly in the new pattern by the surrounding Universal Mind. You totally remake your psyche. These changes persist throughout the day and are reflected by positive changes in mood and behavior.
In the Piscean Age that we have now left behind, it was a central and even sacred task to find and gain access to information. The motto of the age was, “to be or not to be.” Learn, grow, and become something. Great knowledge about human potential was guarded by secrecy and layers of initiations. The Piscean Age was dominated by machines and hierarchies. As the new Aquarian Age dawns, the old defenses and manipulations based on hiding and controlling access to information will no longer work.
"Man's purpose is to serve. Service is an intrinsic value,
not a value to
be added. Those institutions that are of the Piscean Age
success has been measured by money must adopt this Aquarian Age
paradigm, 'To serve is to succeed,' or soon disappear." -- H.
The new Aquarian Age is ruled by service, compassion, awareness, information, and energy. In the Aquarian Age there are no secrets. Information is available. Finding it is not the central task any longer. In this Age, the motto is, “be to be.” Real value will come from truth embodied in practical actions and in the internal caliber and qualities of the mind and heart. Your greatest power will be the Word – the consciously projected Word.
Na Jaae (5th Pauri of Japji)
Mantra Meditation For Overcoming Failure By Ramdesh
"Purpose of meditation is prosperity, here and hereafter." Yogi Bhajan
Bhajan said that the 5th Pauri of Guru
Nanak's Japji, see below, is to be recited 11 times when "you feel
a sense of failure within yourself. When you feel that you are not
up to the job, this pauri will grant you all success."
We are often confronted with situations where we forget our power
and strength and become convinced that our own failure is inevitable.
We forget our light, and so can only see the darkness. The key is...the light within you cannot have gone out. The Light of God
is within every heart and it does not extinguish.
The 5th pauri is the light switch that can help you turn that light
back on and banish the darkness. You are a radiant being capable
of success beyond your imagination. There is not challenge in front
of you that does not have the power to make you stronger, braver
The line, "Dukh parhar sukh ghar lai jaae," refers to
the casting away of pain and the arrival of joy and peace. Sing
and love the Divine and your pain will melt away. Take the feeling
of failure within you and replace it with love. Feel the support
of the loving energy of the Divine that animates this Universe and
love it right back. A feeling of failure doesn't stand a chance
in the vibration of Divine Love ... it will shatter. Try it.
In the place of failure, stands success. In the place of pain, lies
na jaae kitaa na hoe.
Aape aap niranjan soe.
Jin seviaa tin paaiaa maan.
Naanak gaaviai guni nidhan.
Gaaviai suniai man rakhiai bhao.
Dukh par har sukh ghar lai jaae.
Gurmukh nadang Gurmukh vedang gurmukh rahiaa samaai.
Gur isaru gur gorakh barmaa gur paarbati maai.
Je hau jaanaa aakhaa naahi kahnaa kathan na jaai.
Guraa ik deh bujhaai.
Sabhna jiaa kaa ik daataa so mai visar na jaai.--
with a health care professional should occur before applying adjustments
or treatments to the body, consuming medications or nutritional supplements
and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities
are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment.