Mantra means a sound, a certain utterance or a syllable. Today, modern science sees the whole existence as reverberations of energy, different levels of vibrations. Where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. So, that means, the whole existence is a kind of sound, or a complex amalgamation of sounds – the whole existence is an amalgamation of multiple mantras. Of these, a few mantras or a few sounds have been identified, which could be like keys. If you use them in a certain way, they become a key to open up a different dimension of life and experience within you.
How do Mantras Work?
So a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become because unless you become the key, existence will not open up for you. Becoming the mantra means you are becoming the key. Only if you are the key can you open the lock. Otherwise someone else has to open it for you and you have to listen to him.
Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.
The Science Behind Mantras
There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage because this is a subjective science.
Mantra and Sanskrit – What’s the Relationship?
Mantras always come from a Sanskrit basis, and the basic aspects of Sanskrit language are so sound sensitive. But when different people speak, each one says it in their own way. If the Bengalis say a mantra, they will say it in their own way. If the Tamil people say it, they say it in another way. If the Americans say it, they will say it in a completely different way. Like this, different people who speak different languages, according to what language they have been used to, tend to distort various mantras, unless real training is imparted. Such training is too exhaustive and people do not have that kind of patience or dedication nowadays because it needs an enormous amount of time and involvement.
Sound is More Important than Meaning
That is the reason why when Sanskrit is taught, it has to be learnt by rote. People just chant the language endlessly. It does not matter whether you know the meaning or not. The sound is important, not the meaning. Meanings are made up in your mind. It is the sound and the form which are connecting. Are you connecting or not? – That is the question. That is why it has become the mother of almost all Indian and European languages, except Tamil. Tamil did not come from Sanskrit. It developed independently. All the other Indian languages and almost all the European languages have their origin in Sanskrit.
AUM – The Fundamental Sound
There are so many millions of sounds you can create with your mouth, but a person who is mute can only say “aaa”, “ouuu”, and “mmm”. He cannot say anything else because he is not able to use his tongue. If you utter these three sounds together, what do you get? AUM. AUM is not some religion’s trademark. It is the fundamental sound in the existence. It is not that Shiva is sitting somewhere and uttering AUMs. That is not the point. What is being said is that everything is just a vibration.