How to Meditate With a Mantra
By Dada Vedaprajinananda
These days whenever a politician repeats a
promise over and over again commentators say that this promise has become
a “mantra” for that politician. For the journalists, the word “mantra”
means a meaningless phrase that is repeated endlessly. For yogis however,
a mantra is a word or collection of words, which has the power of
liberating a human being from all limitations.
How can the repetition of a word or a few words have the capacity to bring
about such miraculous results? It is all based on a simple psychological
principle, “as you think, so you become.”
If you someone tells you “You’re stupid,” that’s of course a bad insult
and will hurt you. However if you start to think “I am stupid,” and keep
repeating this phrase over and over, then that is far worse. When someone
tells you that you are stupid, then this is a negative outer-suggestion.
When you start to think about it, then you are giving yourself, a negative
auto-suggestion. If you keep thinking in a negative way, then your
personal development will be harmed.
Meditation mantras have a positive meaning. They remind you that your true
nature is something great: pure consciousness and boundless love. If you
start to think about the best part of your being, you will begin to have
more confidence in yourself and this will become apparent in your actions.
However, many people have read philosophical, spiritual or self-help books
explaining these ideas, and yet they never realize these great truths in
their everyday reality. It is not enough to just think about a good idea
once, and then close the book. You need to think in a concentrated and
systematic manner over a period of time in order to get results.
Meditation mantras have a special quality that helps in the task of
concentrated, positive thinking: their very vibration has the capacity to
concentrate and focus your mind. Some sounds, such as power drill breaking
a pavement, can upset you greatly, while other sounds, like soothing
music, can transport you to another world.
The syllables and words used in meditation mantras have been chosen
according their sonic capacity, and they greatly aid the task of
concentration and contemplation, as well as carrying a positive meaning.
In order to get the benefits from mantra meditation, you need to meditate
regularly with a mantra that has a positive meaning and the capacity to
help you concentrate. You need to do it on a regular basis, sitting
silently two times a day for a period of 10 to 30 minutes.
It sounds easy, but the common experience of most people is that as you
sit and try to think about one word or one phrase, your mind is quickly
filled with many other thoughts; thoughts about work, financial problems,
disputes with people and all kinds of other matters. When this happens,
and it certainly will, then you have to bring your mind back to the
mantra. Meditation is a process where you concentrate on the mantra and
its meaning for as long as you can, and when you mind wanders, you bring
Keep doing it, and you will attain an improved capacity to concentrate and
deep inner peace.
It may still sound too good to be true, and some intellectuals scoff at
the alleged power of a mantra. Once, a renowned Indian yogi came to
America and delivered many lectures on this subject. In one of the
lectures he was challenged by someone in the audience who said that it was
not possible for a single word to deliver the results that the yogi
promised. The yogi turned to the man, who was a distinguished professor
and said “You fool!”
The professor turned red, and began to shout at the yogi, who calmly
watched the professor unwind.
The yogi then addressed the professor and said: “Now can you understand
the power of a single word? All I did was utter the word “fool” and your
behavior was changed in an instant!
Dada Vedaprajinananda has been practicing and
teaching yoga and meditation for the past 35 years. He is the webmaster of
the Ananda Marga
meditation society’s website, and is the author of
Start Meditation, Stop Smoking and
Yoga Weight Loss Secrets