The elusive Buddhe Baba gave Gurudev the missing words in the mantra he was reciting at their first meeting. The addition of those eight words converted the Gayatri mantra into the Mahagayatri. The extended mantra accelerated Gurudev’s spiritual progress and became the precursor to his many attainments.
Gurudev’s mantras were secret and known only to his disciples and devotees. They were not to be shared with anyone until authorised, since in giving a mantra to someone, the person also gives away a part of his energy. Technically, mantras are nothing but sound energy.
Everything within the cosmos has a frequency at which it naturally vibrates since sound is considered its primordial energy. Therefore, every form has a unique vibration, and every vibration has a unique form. Mantra practice is instrumental in activating subtle energies within you so that your natural vibration can tune-in and harmonise with the vibration of the power the mantra represents.
A mantra is either a single word or a combination of multiple words strung together and repeatedly recited in conjunction with the desired intent. Since each word is a sound wave with a unique frequency, when all words in a mantra are recited, the entire mantra has a powerful vibration. For this reason, the correct pronunciation of the mantra is instrumental in channelling its power.
With repeated mantra recitation, there comes a time when you begin to vibrate at the frequency of the mantra and can be qualified as siddh (accomplished) in that mantra. At that stage, the mantra’s power and form awakens within you and becomes accessible as a tool to use for several purposes, including self-protection, healing and helping others.
Gurudev worked with about eight mantras, of which some were combinations of two or three of them. From tapping into higher forms of consciousness to halting death and extending life, to warding off negative energies, the mahaguru’s mantras invoke the most powerful energies.
Gurudev’s suggestion was to not recite any mantra aloud. The mantras were to be recited in the mind, with our mouths closed and the sounds directed within the body rather than outward. His advice was for us to continue the silent internal recitations (ajapa japa) during the humdrum of our daily routines. Whether standing, sitting or lying down, working in the kitchen or driving a vehicle, mantras should be recited as many times daily as possible. However, he did advise, were we to recite a mantra before falling asleep, then in our subconscious mind, the mantra would keep running till we woke up. (This was his secret tip for increasing mantra repetitions).
The mahaguru insisted on three constants during regular mantra practice. The first was asana or seat/place of practice, the second was the time of practice, and the third was the use of water by the bedside. The primary intent of such technicalities is to ensure that the mantra’s vibrations are optimally absorbed by the human body and very little dissipated into the atmosphere. In the great guru’s view, continuity and regularity of practice far outweighed the techniques.
(Even if it may sound like a disclaimer, let me state this upfront. Gurudev prescribed the practices. He did not explain why they had to be followed. We followed them because it was his instruction. But for those who prefer to let their intellect prevail over a siddh guru’s instructions, the scientific bias in the explanations may be hard to disregard. I can certify that the mahaguru’s practices are spiritually transformative. I would encourage you to experiment with these).
During mantra-based meditation, mantras should be recited while sitting on a specific asana or seat. For example, the Mahamritunjay mantra is best recited while seated on Kusha (Halfa) grass mat. The Mahagayatri is best done in a water body, perhaps by being immersed in a bathtub. The Chamunda mantra is recited at a convenient spot in a forest or seated on a deerskin mat. Several such permutations and combinations of asanas are suggested depending on the type of mantra.
It may not be easy to source these mats in modern times, so one must make the best use of available and affordable options. Each chosen asana has its benefits. For example, a kusha grass mat minimises aura loss, making it a perfect companion during mantra practice. No matter which asana you use, please ensure you unchangingly use the same asana for your daily meditation. Gurudev would wrap himself in the same sheet or blanket while reciting his mantras so that his clothing would retain his aura, dissipating very little into the atmosphere.
The mahaguru also suggested the use of a round pillow for mantra-based meditation and sleeping. As per the laws of physics, any energy/force acting on a round/spherical object collects at the centre of that object. When a round pillow is used, your dissipated auric energy will collect at the centre of the pillow. And, when your head (at the point of the crown chakra) makes contact with this accumulated energy, you have access to it since it is your own. Besides being usable, this energy will be an add-on to the energy being generated within you at that point in time.
Gurudev meditates at Santoksar Sahib in Amritsar
Gurudev advised us to keep a fixed time for meditation. This helped the body clock to be subconsciously prepared for it. Science has validated that regular habits are formed in the brain’s basal ganglia region, an area also associated with emotions and memory. Repeated behaviour patterns get wired in the brain as it creates new neuronal connections aligned to the habit. Therefore, using a fixed time every day for mantra practice ensures that the brain is programmed and preconditioned for meditation.
The third constant during mantra-based mediation includes keeping a glass of water with a bowl sitting on its lid, on either or both sides of your asana. While reciting, sound waves are converted into electromagnetic waves due to the membrane potential of body cells. The electromagnetic field created around the body is the aura or subtle energy shield. Since skin cells are porous, some electromagnetic waves inadvertently escape from your body’s auric layer into the environment. The water kept by the side of your asana aims to magnetise these waves so that the energy lost from the aura is captured partly by the water, minimising the loss. It takes a lifetime to increase the potency of your aura. Hence, its conservation is a critical aspect of spiritual hygiene.
While reciting certain mantras, heat is generated in the body. For offsetting this heat, it is advisable to consume a lot of water due to its cooling properties. Water can also wash away the subtle negative energies from your aura. Therefore, on seva days, the disciples prefer taking a shower after ending seva. Gurudev used water as a medium of removal (cleansing) and repair (healing).
Water’s sensitivity to sound is as intense as that of the human ear. And, it can not only hear sounds but also respond to them. It consistently picks up on sounds within its environment but, more specifically, those spoken/directed to it. Cross-sections of frozen water show patterns ranging from intricate sparkling snowflake-like crystals to disordered muddy blotches, a direct reflection of the sound or thought it had been exposed to. In other words, water can consciously alter its molecular structure without changing its chemical composition, implying that it has a consciousness of its own.
Gurudev predicted that there would come a time when people would go to Neelkanth Dham and place a glass of water on his samadhi. As they circumambulated the samadhi, the water would be energised. This blessed water would suffice to resolve their issues.
A day after Mahashivratri, a special jal is distributed to people across all sthans. Commonly referred to as the Mahashivratri jal, this spiritual concoction is so potent that healers can use it to achieve miraculous results. Several factors make this jal so powerful. Water from five rivers is collected and poured together to make it. The inherent energy of this mixed jal is further enhanced by adding cloves, black peppercorns, green cardamoms and several other ingredients. These are used because they have medicinal or purifying properties. Additionally, many spiritually advanced people energise this mixed jal with their auras by immersing their hands in the water while reciting mantras.
The Mahashivratri jal lasts for years without smelling foul. It can retain its potency even after being diluted to three times its initial concentration. During Gurudev’s time, people would wait in long queues to receive a bottle of this jal.
Water as a Healer
Every organ and tissue in the body vibrates at a particular frequency even if it cannot be audibly perceived. Any deviation in vibratory rate spells the onset or ingress of disease.
All mantras are powered by intent, and specific mantras are purposed for healing. The healing mantras are utilised for disease correction and body repair. When recited in the mind, we believe that a healing mantra’s sound is carried to the diseased part of the body by its prana or breath. When two different frequencies come together, then one of the two begins to resonate at the same frequency as the other. This process is referred to as entrainment. By reciting a healing mantra frequently, its frequency entrains the malfunctioning body part and affects a cure.
Water kept by the bedside of a person under the influence of negative energies may entrain with the resonance of that energy and emanate a foul smell. Such water is unfit for intake. This may not be a common phenomenon but has been experienced by some.
PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MANTRAS
Physiologically, mantras are known to reduce heart and respiration rates and lower blood pressure. Mantra recitation can increase oxygen flow to the brain and decrease its utilisation, thereby slowing brainwave activity and giving rise to a ‘relaxed’ feeling. Over time, repeated recitation can build concentration and synchronise the brain’s left and right hemispheres.
The entrainment of the hemispheres leads to improved memory and intellectual function. Thoughts are positive and more insightful, and the ability to consciously tap into the mind is heightened. Greater the brain-mind coordination, greater is the level of conscious awareness.