can make the impossible possible"
Discover India Jan'2001 Issue
Dr. Gautam Chatterjee
Dr. Viswamitter JI
Head of Sri Ram Sharnam,
which has its headquarters in Delhi
The mantra is
a mystic phenomenon. Can you explain the essence of mantra?
A. A mantra can be a word or a sentence which, when
uttered in a particular manner and contemplated within,
can make sorrows wither and assure mukti (salvation).
The aim of mantra is to achieve dharma
(religious righteousness and duty), artha
(philosophical interpretative value or meaning and even the means), kama (procreative
universal truth and sensual satisfaction) and moksha (salvation from birth and rebirth).
Mantras have definitive importance both at the
materialistic and spiritual levels.
Q. What are the
different types of mantras in
A. There are simple mantras which arc known to snake
charmers who, with the help of these mantras, take
out the poison from the mouth of a snake.
However, there arc mantras which are
universal benefactors and take out the ‘poison bag’ from the mouth
of the materialistic world and ensure emancipation. An ex-ample is the Rama
Q. What are the
dynamics of mantra?
A. Everything in
the world is perish-able and we remain mortal. We nurture materialistic
cravings. We are all yantra. There
are two aspects: One is yantra and
the other is mantra. Yantra only
activates materialism and remains mortal. It does not provide peace and
only feeds the world called maya or
illusion. But a mantra is
bigger than yantra and
remains the embodiment of Paramatman, the
If you want to
understand yantra then
see for yourself the impermanent aspect of yantra :
Childhood, youth,. old age, beauty, wealth etc which are never
permanent and dwell in the sphere of mortality.
On the other
hand, mantra ensures
peace. Peace can be achieved through mantra and upasana (sitting
near). If a calf does not sit near a cow then how can it get milk? If a
baby does not cling to its mother than how can it get milk? Not going
near God how can one get peace? How can the soul fill its hunger? So
worshipping or doing upasana with mantra ensures
a state of emancipation which scales beyond time and space. Mantras
are powerful and by the act of japa (constant
remembrance through counting beads) one is progressively empowered.
Can mantras enhance
will power and mental strength?
Let me tell you a short story. Once Alexander the Great, after
conquering country after country, finally went to the Himalayas. Near a
snowy mountain he met a sadhu (ascetic).
Alexander told the sadku to
ask for anything. The saint asked, "Do you think you are the most
powerful person? Then bring the sun rays here and if you can’t then go
away and allow whatever rays to come here." Alexander stood
speechless. The saint could dare to say all this and banish the ego of
the Emperor with his mantra sadhana! Thus
a mantra empowers
and makes an ascetic fearless.
To understand the power
of a mantra, let me cite another story. Once Emperor
Akbar told his Minister, Mansingh, to find a solution as a fort being
built at Prayag was collapsing again and again for unknown reasons. The
Minister, while contemplating and strolling along the banks of the Ganga,
saw a saint meditating. A python was about to
attack the saint but failed miserably. The saint, with his power of mantra
defeated the python.
At the sight of this
miracle, the Min-ister approached the saint with the problem of Emperor
Akbar. After some contemplation, the saint said that the fort could not
be built as Goddess Devi Shakti was annoyed. Then he gave a piece of paper with a
on it and instructed the Minister to lay it on the foundation of the
fort and start building again. Mansingh followed his advice and the fort
was rebuilt successfully.
A mantra can make the impossible possible. A
simple sadkak can
become a great saint with the power of mantra. A mantra can
change an unfavourable situation into a favourable one.
Q. How can a mantra make things favourable? Can you cite an example?
create a favourable at-osphere and the lshta (the God) of that particular
even save a per-son from evil designs of his foes.
It so happened that Shivaji
was fighting the Mughals and repeatedly eluded the sword of the mighty Mughal
the Mughals hatched a conspiracy and tried to kill Shivaji in a clandestine manner.
With the power of Tantra and Mantra, a Mughal killer was able to penetrate the
security system of Shivaji. The Mughal took
out his sword and was about to attack a sleeping Shivaji when, suddenly,
an unseen invincible power held his hand. The Mughal asked,
"Who is stopping me?" Immediately an answer was heard,
"Your ishta (God)
could penetrate the security system and facilitate you to come up to this
point but Shivaji’a Ishta who
is satvik (pure) and all-powerful is
already present here to save Him". Thus an attempt to murder Shivaji
was foiled by a mystic power which was appeased with Shivaji’s
Q. Can you highlight
the types of mantras we have?
are three types of mantras. One
is Sabhri which empowers one with siddhi or mystic powers. The second is
Tantra which gives ckamatkari (amazing demonstrative powers) at the
mystic level. The third is Vedic mantra which
goes towards achieving eternal peace for the soul. Initiation with mantra
from the guru covers most aspects of sadhana (spiritual cultivation). This
mantra once given by a guru can erase fear within and diminish
demonic influences, if any. Whosoever cultivates the Guru
mantra is able to travel to Puramdham,
the land of the Supreme Soul.
Q. Will you elaborate
the context of Guru mantra at the
uttering the seed mantra of naam (name)
one gets into a creative process automatically. This is called Naam
Yoga. A sadkak (worshipper) is not to bother about its
result as the God or lshta Naam takes
care of the disciple automatically. In actuality, the God of any given
name resides within the naam (name)
and so the Naam mantra is
referred to as Mantramay or
embodiment of God within the sacred sound of mantra. In the process
of japa, the sadkak gets closer to his/her Ishta or
God who in turn bestows love and care on the sadhak.
The utterance of
the name of God in a repeated manner is a japa and
once it is chanted loudly it becomes kirtan
or devotional song. On the score of
utterance there are various stages or centres of activity. There is an
involuntary movement of the tongue which is called annamay kosh. This is powered by the life force
called pranmay kosh. But
there has to be a wish for the movement of the tongue which is called manamay
kosh. Then there has to be a doer (karta)
called Vigyanmay kosh. The name of God has to be uttered with
deep love, respect and dedication and then it becomes the harbinger of
happiness or anandamay - anandamay kosh.
While we utter the
name of God and all centres of activity work in cohesion and unison it
empowers us with mental and physical strength. The negative karma of past lives gets effaced with
Q. Will you narrate a
story citing the impact of mantras?
have a tremendous impact at the body
and mental levels. In Jabalpur there lived a saint, Mahamaleshwar, and
if anybody touched any part of his body one could hear Rama Naam ringing automatically. And when he
chanted naam kirtan even
dogs danced. Similarly, when Mahaprabhu Chaitanya chanted naam
kirtun trees began to sway as if in dance to
his sacred tune.
A mantra is physically a pure sound and its
repeated utterance creates a ring of sound within and outside. If one
ties a small stone at the end of a rope and swings it to revolve then
this small stone gets so powerful that if released it can even kill. The
repeatedly chanted can create a dynamic sound wavelength which can
inspire one to aspire for anything. The amalgamative power of a mantra
at the sound and bhava level
can become so prominent that one can even assume the qualities of the
Q. Finally, how does Rama,
Rama, a simple mantra become a Guru
Rama uttered from Gurumukh (mouth of the Guru) has special meaning as the sound comes
out of the cosmic touch of the Guru’s atman (soul)
and gets planted in the heart of a sadkak (follower). Let me explain this idea:
We all see the gigantic Vata Vriksha but
its seeds are very small. We do not see these seeds sprouting in plenty.
Actually these small seeds are food for animals and birds who digest
them and out of their body heat the seeds
become soft and sprouting becomes easy. Similarly, when Rama,
Rama is processed by the tapa and siddhi of
a Guru, it becomes cosmic nada of Rama, Rama. Such is the power of the
emits from the soul of the Guru.
To understand the
power of a mantra, let me cite another story. Once Emperor
Akbar told his Minister, Mansingh, to find a solution as a
fort being built at Prayag was collapsing again and again for
unknown reasons. The Minister, while contemplating and
strolling along the banks of the Ganga, saw a saint
meditating. A python was about to attack the saint but failed
miserably. The saint, with his power of mantra had defeated