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5.3 Mantra Meditation : Exploration from Spirituality
...mantra meditation is for higher values and realization of God or Love of God, and better health is just an immediate side effect.
The word "mantra" is a Sanskrit word consisting of two syllables: "man" (mind) and "tra" (deliverance). In the strictest sense, a mantra is a pure sound vibration that delivers the mind from its material inclinations and illusion. Chanting is the process of repeating a mantra.This act of chanting mantras is mantra meditation. Mantras are said to be originated in the
Vedic religion of India , later becoming an essential part of the Hindu tradition and a customary practice within Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and others. In contrast to the modern definition of mantra as any self chosen word that can be repeated, according to spirituality not just any sound vibration can actually be called a mantra. The vibrations and sounds of the mantra are
considered extremely important, and thus reverberations of the sound are supposed to awaken the prana or spiritual life force and even stimulate chakras,according to many vedic schools of thought. Moreover, according to the Vedas,mantra meditation is for higher values and realization of God or Love of God,and better health is just an immediate side effect.
Aum Bhur Bhuva svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Om namo narayanaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Hare Krishna Maha Mantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Though there are many mantras in the vedic literature, Hare krishna Mantra is specially prescribed for this age (Kali yuga) . A verse from Kalisantarana Upanishad confirms this by saying:
hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare harehare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare;
Hi sodasakarh namnam, kali-kalmasa-nasanam;
natah parataropayah, sarva-vedesu drsyate.
"The sixteen words - Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare - are especially meant for counteracting the contaminations of Kali. To save oneself from the contamination of Kali, there is no alternative but the chanting of these sixteen words."Though the mantra was there as an instruction of Brahma to Narada in the Kali Santarana Upanishad, associated with the Krishna Yajurveda, it was popularized by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu roughly around 1500 CE when he began his mission to spread this mantra publicly to 'every town and village' for the benefit of all in the world, travelling throughout India, and especially within the areas of Bengal and Orissa.Although Lord Chaitanya was widely renowned as the greatest Sanskrit scholar in His youth, he left only eight most important verses, called Siksastaka, and the benefit of chanting this mantra is given in the first verse:
1.Chanting the maha-mantra cleanses the mirror of the heart.
2.It stops the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence.
3.It is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities.
4.It is the life and soul of all education.
5.It expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life.
6.It gives a cooling (relieving) effect to everyone.
7.It enables one to taste the full nectar at every step.
b) Other Religions
Mantra meditation does exist in Christianity in the form of repetition of single words such as "Amen", "God" or "Love", or a short prayer such as "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me", sometimes in conjunction with feeling the beads of a rosary, contemplation of a portion of the scriptures, or focusing on an icon. In the Islam and Buddhist traditions, mantra meditation also exists, in the form of chanting "Allah Hoo" and "Om mani padme hum" respectively. In the case of Jews, ritual re-reading of the Torah or chanting prayers are forms of mantra meditation.