More And More Of Less And Less

Off The Cuff Utterances

Mantra
(sacred sound)
Among the five senses, listening by the ears is the best means to know the Truth. The seeing through eyes can be so deceptive that 'seeing' the Truth is as difficult and rare as seeing an Indian elephant in the Siberian deserts. The feeling of the Truth through the mischievous skin can be deceptive too. Rarely one get the glimpse of Truth by smelling, considering the environmental disasters that spread the stink all around us. The sense of tasting is the worst of all, unless you ate a sandwich, for your sleepy breakfast, made of rotten cheese, which had expired the shelf life a good number of months ago. The five senses cannot drill much sense in to you, except the hearing which can perhaps touch you somewhat deeper. This is where the mantras assume importance.

The best meditation happened and the best wisdom occurred only after listening to some really thought provoking words. In fact, the wisdom of the past masters are available only as words and all that the world could savor are just words that have potentially now become sacred as scriptures, in all the religions. Be it the coach who whispered a few vital words at the crucial time into the key player's ears or the dear friend uttered a few words of sweet nothings when you were in certain indescribable blues, they all have instant impact. Most people like to listen to music as they drive, because it keeps them inspired on the otherwise chocked and breathless swarming traffic all around. Just a single word of meaningless prattle from your child can lift your spirits when you come back home after all the stressful work, end of the day.

The sounds can have negative impact too. What you 'heard' about you can make you sleepless for days together. What you listen can shape your thinking always. While the sounds may have pleasant or painful influences, Mantra is a sound that lifts you above both extremes. It can give you at least a vague hint of what Truth is actually like.

Disciple : What do i gain from reciting a mantra?
Master : In fact you loose a lot. No gains !
Disciple : What do i loose?
Master : The unwanted thoughts in your mind.
Disciple : But Mantras are also just sounds?
Master : Yes, the only sounds which can make you silent.


Mantras are a combination of vowels and consonants that trigger silence from within. Especially when they are recited with a particular intonation. The vedic mantras have that charm in them to appeal to a noisy mind and put it to rest. It need not become an obsession to constantly hum some mantra helplessly, but when you realize that you need to tone down a bit within, recite a mantra clearly and repeat a few times without counting, till you feel good about yourself.

There are two ways to deal with mantras.
1. listen to them as someone else reciting
2. recite them yourself.

Listening to others reciting helps but the best result comes when you recite them yourself. Most people don't recite because of making mistakes and as a result, displeasing the gods. But gods are quite busy with the other serious issues in this world like tsunami and global warming and cannot punish your silly mistakes. In fact, except you, there are no gods listening to any of your recitation. Chanting competitions and trophies for the best chanting exponent is all a human endeavor. When you chant a mantra, forget about gods but ideally you should listen and be focused in them, be lost in them. As a result, you will become silent at the end of recitation and only in that silence you can ever meet or reach the god(Consciousness). While other noises take you away, mantras take you closer to god.

Disciple : Will gods hear my mantras ?
Master : Definitely not. They don't know your mantras !
Disciple : Then why should i recite?
Master : So that you can listen and attune yourself to the gods.

The sad fact is that the mantras you recite to make gods happy are not known t0 gods themselves, because they never recite them. None of the gods know any mantra. They don't need mantras. So no worries, next time you just rattle a few mantras unabashed and then you will find them taking some harmonious shape soon.

Its not only for reaching god or knowing the truth one should recite mantras but there are lot more to the mantras than what you can think of. They work like speech therapy and give a depth to your voice and meaning to what you speak. Regular practice of recitation can bring focus at your workplace. It can create a very peaceful atmoshpere around you and about you. When practiced with right intonation, pace and depth, you can add bit of a shine to your communication skills.

The secret is, chant mantras in the privacy of your personal space, loud and clear, then step out to face the world, carrying the fragrance of silence everywhere you go. In all probabilities you will begin to see, smell, taste and feel the presence of god everywhere.