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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 in 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 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 together, 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 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).

MANTRA PRACTICE

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.

Gurudev emphasised that continuity and regularity of mantra 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 advice, 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.

Asana (seat/place)

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 Lake

Fixed Time

Gurudev advised us to set 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.

Water (Jal)

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).

Water has the same sensitivity to sound as the human ear. It 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.

Mahashivratri Jal

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 amplified by the addition of cloves, black peppercorns, green cardamoms, and other ingredients. These are included for their medicinal or purifying properties. Furthermore, many spiritually advanced disciples energise this mixed jal with their auras by immersing their hands in it 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 with that energy and emit a foul odour. Such water is unfit for human consumption. This is not a common occurrence but 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.

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