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 unless authorised, since in giving a mantra to someone, the person also gives away a part of his energy. Furthermore, the giver becomes spiritually entangled with the receiver and takes responsibility for the receiver’s spiritual upbringing.
Technically, mantras are nothing but sound energy. Sound is the primordial energy of the cosmos, and so everything has a frequency at which it naturally vibrates. 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 words strung together and repeatedly recited in conjunction with the desired intent. Since each word is a sound wave with a unique frequency, the entire mantra has a powerful vibration when all words in a mantra are recited together. 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 in that mantra. At that stage, the power and form of the mantra awakens within you and becomes accessible as a tool for various purposes, including self-protection, healing, and helping others.
Gurudev worked with about eight mantras, some of which were combinations of two or three of them. From warding off negative energies to halting death and extending life to tapping into higher forms of consciousness, the mahaguru’s mantras invoke the most powerful energies.
Gurudev advised against reciting any mantra aloud. The mantras were to be recited mentally, with our mouths closed and the sounds directed within rather than outward. His advice was to continue the silent internal recitations (ajapa japa) through the monotony of our daily routines. Mantras should be recited as many times as possible throughout the day, whether standing, sitting, lying down, working in the kitchen or office, or driving a vehicle. However, he did advise that if we recited a mantra before falling asleep, the mantra would run in our subconscious mind until we awoke. (This was his secret tip for increasing mantra repetitions).
The mahaguru insisted on three constants during regular mantra practice. The first was asana (seat/place of practice), the second was the time of practice, and the third was the use of water by the bedside. The primary goal 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.
During mantra-based meditation, mantras should be recited while sitting on a specific asana or seat. The Mahamritunjay mantra, for example, is best recited while seated on a Kusha (Halfa) grass mat. The Mahagayatri is best done in a body of water, such as a bathtub. The Chamunda mantra is recited in a forest or seated on a deerskin mat. Depending on the type of mantra, several such permutations and combinations of asanas are suggested. Since grass or deerskin mats may be hard to find in modern times, one must make the most of the available and affordable options such as cotton mattresses and sheets, blankets, and so on.
Each asana has its own set of advantages. A Kusha grass mat, for example, reduces aura loss, making it an ideal companion during mantra practice. Regardless of which asana you use, please ensure that you unchangingly use the same asana for your daily meditation. While reciting his mantras, Gurudev would wrap himself in the same sheet or blanket so that his clothing would retain his aura and dissipate very little into the environment.
The mahaguru also advised using a round pillow for mantra-based meditation and sleeping. According to physics, any energy/force acting on a round/spherical object collects at its centre. When you use a round pillow, your dissipated auric energy collects at the centre of the pillow. And, when your head (at the point of the crown chakra) makes contact with the pillow, you have access to the accumulated energy. This energy is an add-on to the energy being generated within you at the time.
Gurudev meditates at Santoksar Lake
Gurudev advised setting aside a fixed time for meditation so that the body clock is subconsciously prepared for it. Science has validated that regular habits are formed in the basal ganglia region of the brain, which is also associated with emotions and memory. Repeated behaviour patterns get wired in the brain as it creates new neuronal connections aligned to a habit. Therefore, mantra practice at a fixed time ensures that the brain is programmed and preconditioned for meditation.
Keeping a glass of water with a bowl sitting on its lid, on either or both sides of your asana, is the third constant during mantra-based meditation.
Due to the membrane potential of body cells, sound waves are converted into electromagnetic waves during mantra recitation. The aura, or subtle energy shield, is the electromagnetic field that forms around the body. As skin cells are porous, some electromagnetic waves from your body’s auric layer may inadvertently escape into the environment. The water kept by your asana aims to magnetise these waves so that the energy lost from the aura is partially captured by the water, thereby minimising the loss. It takes a lifetime to increase your aura’s potency. Hence, its conservation is a critical aspect of spiritual hygiene.
Heat is produced in the body when specific mantras are recited. By virtue of its cooling properties, water intake is recommended to offset the heat. 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).
Sound travels through water five times better than through air. Water can not only hear but also respond to sounds. It consistently detects sounds in its environment, especially those spoken or directed at it. Cross-sections of frozen water reveal patterns ranging from intricate sparkling snowflake-like crystals to disordered muddy blotches, which directly reflect the sound or thought it was subjected to. In other words, water can alter its molecular structure without changing its chemical composition, implying that it has its own consciousness.
Gurudev predicted that there would come a time when people would visit Neelkanth Dham and place a glass of water at the samadhi. As they circumambulated the samadhi, the water would be energised. Drinking this water would provide relief.
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 very powerful. Water from five rivers is collected and poured together to make it. The inherent energy of this mixed jal is enhanced by adding cloves, black peppercorns, green cardamoms, and other ingredients. These condiments are included for their medicinal or purifying properties. Many spiritually advanced disciples energise this mixed jal and the condiments with their auras by immersing their hands in the jal while reciting mantras.
The Mahashivratri jal can be stored for years without smelling bad. It can retain its potency even after being diluted three times its initial concentration. During Gurudev’s time, people would line up for hours to get a bottle of this jal.
Water as a Healer
Every organ and tissue in the body vibrates at a specific 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 a few are purposed for healing. The healing mantras are used to treat diseases and repair the body. We believe that when a healing mantra is recited in the ajapa (silent) mode, its sound is carried to the diseased part of the body by prana (breath). When two frequencies interact, one begins to resonate at the same frequency as the other. Entrainment is the term used to describe this process.
Regularly reciting a healing mantra 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 that energy and emit a foul odour. Such water is unfit for human consumption. Although this is not a common occurrence, it has been experienced by some of us.
PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MANTRAS
Physiologically, mantras are known to lower blood pressure as well as heart and respiration rates. Mantra recitation can increase oxygen flow to the brain while decreasing its utilisation, resulting in slower brainwave activity and a relaxed feeling. Over time, repeated recitation can improve concentration and synchronise the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The entrainment of the two hemispheres improves memory and cognitive function. Thoughts are more positive and insightful, and the ability to consciously tap into the mind is heightened.
Greater the brain-mind coordination,
the higher is the level of conscious awareness.