"A mantra can make the impossible possible"

Published in Discover India Jan'2001 Issue

 

Dr. Gautam Chatterjee talks to 

Dr. Viswamitter JI Maharaj, 

Head of Sri Ram Sharnam, which has its headquarters in Delhi

 

Q. 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 vogue?

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 mantra.

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 Supreme Being.

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.

Q. Can mantras enhance will power and mental strength?

A. 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 had 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 mantra inscribed 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?

A. A mantra can create a favourable at-osphere and the lshta (the God) of that particular mantra can 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 Empire.

Finally, 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 mantra sadhana.

 

Q. Can you highlight the types of mantras we have?

A. There 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 power level?

A. By 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 the chanting.

Q. Will you narrate a story citing the impact of mantras?

A. 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 mantra if 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 Divine.

Q. Finally, how does Rama, Rama, a simple mantra become a Guru mantra?

A. Rama, 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 Rama mantra which emits from the soul of the Guru.


[ My Guru - Ram Naam Philoshophy ]

[ Articles on Hinduism | Articles on Buddhism | Articles on Indian Heritage/Culture | Topical Articles ]

[ Books written | Author for Sale | Research Projects | Tourism Support on India | Photo India

[ Road Safety | Idea Concepts | Media Services | Field Research Support on Indological Studies

[ HOME PAGE ]

[ Contact me ]


Copyright ©  Dr. Gautam Chatterjee