06 Aug The Power of Mantra Chanting
We all know how certain sounds can be soothing, such as the voice of a mother comforting her baby, and how certain noises can be frightening and make us feel ill at ease, such as thunder and lightning. The sounds of Mantra Chanting are definitely in the former category, and not only make us feel at peace but also have the power to quite literally transform our lives by lifting us towards a higher consciousness.
The human voice is actually one of the most powerful sounds we can hear and has the ability for transformation and healing. Chanting mantras is both therapeutic and healing for us and is therefore an extremely important tool in our quest for a better life.
According to Samkhya, one the schools of Hindu philosophy, the very first element that manifested itself in this plane was sound and that the element of sound itself originated from Lord Shiva’s Damaru, (drum). The Sanskrit alphabet is made up of 52 sounds, all of which are associated with different parts of the body and these sounds are like mantras.
Sanskrit mantras are energy-based sounds that have the power to vibrate and resonate throughout the entire body. The mantras are not just sounds; they are sound vibrations which hold the energy of the word. They form a connection between prana, the mind and the senses. Prana is the universal principle of energy or force and is the sum total of all the energy that is palpable within the universe, including all the forces in nature and the powers which are hidden in mankind and lie everywhere around us. Prana is the vital force which allows us to speak and our breath is the fundamental force which carries that prana. Any sound requires breath and prana is the energy behind every piece of speech. Speech is the verbalisation of our thoughts and links all our senses.
In his book “Healing Mantras” Thomas Ashley-Farrand said, “These ancient sounds create energy vibrations that can replace negative energy with positive ones. When chanting Sanskrit mantras, the chanter benefits from thousands of years of powerful energy accumulated from the Divine and from the millions of devoted chanters.” You can therefore see just how powerful it is to chant mantras.
According to swami Niranjananda from the Bihar school of Yoga, our body is compressed energy and this compressed energy responds strongly to vibration. This energy is so subtle and sensitive that any thoughts and ideas we have can affect and then alter its nature. Our mood swings can alter the nature of our energy. When a mood swing, such as anger, is very strong and predominant, the energy of the body becomes a conductor of that particular mood.
The same thing applies to mantra chanting. Mantras have the power to vibrate energy at certain frequencies and ranges, and therefore to demagnetize the body. Sound travels five times more efficiently through water than through air, and as the human body is comprised of more than 70% water, it is therefore an excellent conductor for both sound and vibration.
The most important of all mantras is Om. “Om is the primordial throb of the universe. It is the sound form of Atma (Consciousness).” Maitri Upanishad.
The sacred pronouncements or chanting of Sanskrit Mantras gives us the power to achieve our goals and to elevate ourselves from the ordinary and on toward the higher levels of consciousness. It allows us to attain a blissful state of liberation and freedom.