Some of you may be interested or even fascinated by the discipline of mantra, but feel somewhat overwhelmed by the array of mantras and disciplines, astotaras and pujas you find in these pages. If so, then this chapter will be of use to you. The next few pages contain some simple mantras and their common application. They have been compiled from other chapters throughout the rest of this book, drawn from the various headings of the deities or principles involved. These mantras address various life issues which we all face from time to time. If you want more information or more mantras relating to the deities or principles involved, consult the appropriate chapter.
Ganesha: Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
Rough Translation: 'Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.'
The story of Ganesha is found in the chapter devoted to this principle. But for your immediate need, you need only know that for seen or unseen obstacles which seem to be standing in the way of your progress or achievement, either specifically or generally, this mantra has proved invaluable. It has been used it with great success not only in India, but here in the West dozens of people have related to me their success in turning things around in their life by using this mantra.
Lakshmi: Om Shrim Mahalakshmiyei Swaha
Rough Translation: 'Om and salutations to that feminine energy which bestows all manner of wealth, and for which Shrim is the seed'
This mantra has not only been used for the purpose of attracting prosperity, but also for drawing in proper friends, clearing up family misunderstandings and quarrels, and smoothing some health problems. As we all know, there are many different kinds of wealth. As you use this mantra, focus on the kind of wealth you wish to manifest in your life.
Durga: Om Dum Durgayei Namaha
Rough Translation: 'Om and Salutations to that feminine energy which protects from all manner of negative influences, and for which Dum is the seed.'
Durga is the Divine Protectress. Typically shown riding a lion or a tiger, Durga has a hundred arms, each with a different weapon of destruction. Yet her face is exquisitely beautiful to behold. The interpretation is that to the pious and the sincere seeker after truth, her sight can produce ecstacy and a variety of beautiful forms. But the negative, harmful or demonic, her countenance is as terrible as Kali, except she shows more weapons of destruction than Kali (who is described later).
Saraswati: Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha
Rough Translation: 'Om and salutations to that feminine energy which informs all artistic and scholastic endeavor, and for which Eim (pronounced I'm) is the seed.'
Saraswati holds a musical instrument, the vina, in one hand and a rosary in another hand. She spans the world of mundane knowledge and spiritual understanding. Those pursuing any artistic or educational endeavor whatsoever will gain greatly from the practice of this mantra.
Shiva: Om Namah Shivaya
This mantra has no approximate translation. The sounds related directly to the principles which govern each of the first six chakras on the spine...Earth, water, fire, air, ether. Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which have a different set of seed sounds, but rather the principles which govern those chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something like, 'Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.' This mantra will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the Divine Vehicle.
Rama; Om Sri Jaya Rama,Jaya Rama
Translation: 'Om and Victory to Rama (the self within), victory, victory to Rama.'
Rama was an Avatar who came several thousand years ago. His sole purpose was to show how a person should live a Divine Life while living in a human body. A short story about the esoteric meaning of his life is found in the chapter devoted to him. You will recall from the previous chapter that Mahatma Gandhi practiced this mantra for over 60 years. This mantra will 'take one across' the ocean of rebirth. In a more immediate way, it is most powerful in reducing negative karmic effects no matter in which life they might have occurred. I have also had a powerful spiritual healing experience (for another person), while using this mantra intensely.
Following is a recording of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya) reciting the mantra Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama. Use any of the following links to play this recording. Note: The audio clip features Namadeva chanting the mantra three times. To hear the mantra repeatedly, you may need to change the options in your audio player. For example, you can set some versions of Windows Media Player to play repeatedly by pressing CTRL T, or by choosing View / Options / Playback / Repeat Forever. In some versions of Real Player you can choose >> / Play / Continuous Play.
The Planet Saturn: Om Sri Shanaishwaraya Swaha
Rough translation: 'Om and salutations to the presiding spirit in the planet Saturn.'
Saturn is the planet of lessons. It is closely related to the karma we may encounter in a given lifetime. It also stands as a gatekeeper to some of the higher vibrations to which we aspire though spiritual development. By offering salutations outwardly, one clears certain internal obstructing energy patterns. But Saturn has received an overly negative reputation from some astrologers. There have been circumstances where very positive things manifested in people's lives unexpectedly, apparently as a direct result of working with this mantra.
Internally, Saturn energy is predominant in the spleen, knees and skeletal system. However, as Saturn moves through the various astrological signs, it 'triggers' karma we may have stored under astrological configurations found in that sign. Therefore, the use of the Saturn mantra can mitigate and even clear certain categories of karma which appear in our lives. This mantra has been used with great success personally. And I have received reports of its efficacy from many other people.
Subramanya: Om Sharavana-bhavaya Namaha
Rough translation, 'Om and salutations to the son of Shiva, who brings auspiciousness and who is chief of the celestial army.'
The positive effects of this mantra may not be so clearly seen or described as some of the others: a seeming increase in good fortune or luck; the ability to make the best of a set of circumstances which may occur; an increase in positive mental or emotional disposition; an easier route to becoming physically fit. Yet these few phrases do not begin to exhaust the benefits of using this mantra. It seems to brighten or optimize nearly everything in life.
Rama (Healing Mantra):
Om Apadamapa Hartaram Dataram Sarva Sampadam
Loka Bhi Ramam Sri Rama Bhuyo Bhuyo Namamyaham
This is a long mantra to put in a chapter for those just starting off, but is placed here because it is the most powerful healing mantra I have ever encountered. The very rough translation is, 'Om, Oh most compassionate Rama please send your healing energy right here to the earth, to the earth (twice for emphasis.)'
I have seen this mantra completely cure one person from a schizophrenic break who was in a locked ward. The psychiatrist said he would never lead a life on the outside again. In the middle of a 40 day sadhana done in his behalf, he was living in a 'halfway house' for those on the road to recovery. After 40 days of a spiritual discipline done on his behalf, he was on his own. He has since graduated from Art School which he attended on scholarship, and is working as an artist.
Another individual who was on medication, took off spurning his pills and disappeared for a time. After a 40 day sadhana done on his behalf, he had stabilized his life and was back on his medication without complaint.
A woman I know was in constant pain for four years. She undertook this discipline and after just a few weeks was in less pain than at any time she could remember over the past several years. She is still doing the mantra and expects to be pain-free relatively soon.
Although the mantra is long, it is simple to say phonetically. If you can, say it 108 times in a sitting. If you are just starting out, this may initially take up to one hour. After you are comfortable with the mantra, it will only take you 30 minutes.
Bodhisattwa Avalokiteshwara (Called Chenresig in Tibetan Buddhism):
Om Mani Padme Hum
Rough Translation: 'Om, salutations to The Jewel of Consciousness (the mind) which has reached the heart's lotus.'
This mantra is practiced more than any other in the world. It is pre-eminent in producing a state of dynamic compassion in the sayer. Dynamic means that this compassion contains as part of it the ability to powerfully manifest in both subtle and obvious ways. One of the simple yet profound teachings which accompanies this mantra is the concept that when the mind and heart become united, anything is possible. The implications of this simple thought are staggering. If you want to change the world for the better, this mantra should be in your spiritual toolbox. For more on this mantra, see the chapter on the Wesak Festival.
A dedicated group of followers of Kuan Yin use this mantra to invoke her as an emanation of Avaloketeshwara, while others use the mantra Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa.
Start by picking some aspect of your life you wish to improve or some vexing problem you would like to solve or dissolve. Then pick a mantra which seems, to you, to apply. Offer a prayer to God, in whatever way you relate to God. Ask for God's blessing in accomplishing your objective in doing this spiritual discipline.
Once you have decided to undertake the discipline and offered your prayers, then pick a place where you will say your mantra for a certain number of times each day. If possible, obtain a rosary of some kind and do your mantras in some multiple of 108. If getting a rosary is not possible, then decide on a certain amount of time you will spend each day saying your mantra. It can be five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes or even an hour. For your first experience, any time up to twenty minutes is advisable.
The reason for taking things easy for the first 40 day commitment is due to the cumulative action of the mantra. For the first few days, all will probably go smoothly. Then as you progress, you may find that things start to get in the way of your doing the discipline: You oversleep; there is some minor emergency; you get a cold, whatever. This means that you are beginning to effect the inner 'something' for which you undertook the mantra. You are beginning to encounter inner resistance. That inner resistance manifests as outer obstacles to your discipline. It has almost become a joke in many spiritual circles in which the practice of mantra is common, that something of a very surprising nature happened on day 33 or 35 of a 40 day sadhana. It has happened to me and many others with whom I have spoken on innumerable occasions over the last 22 years.
Develop a sense of humor about it, and be thankful. There is no better indication that your efforts are working than to have small upheavals in your life while you are in the midst of a 40 day mantra discipline. Ask anyone who has undertaken one and they will have some interesting stories for you.