Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Use of Mantras for Spiritual Transformation

"Mantra" literally means to liberate the mind in Sanskrit. Both Buddhist and Hindu belief systems centrally focus on the wheel of life, or the belief that one repeats the process of reincarnation until lasting enlightenment is achieved. A mantra is a way of transcending this circle, so as to experience a higher state of being. If you're intrigued by these schools of thoughts, read on to learn more about how you can use mantras to transform your spiritual experience on this earth.

Use of Mantras in Contemporary Religions
The most famous mantra is the repetition of the phoneme "aum" or "om" in an effort to create the conditions by which spiritual transformation is possible. The very use of mantras is an outcropping of the Sikh and Hindu traditions of India. Today, mantras are predominately used in Buddhism and Jainism.

How are Mantras Transformative?
The Hindu scriptures are collectively known as the Upanishads. In the Upanishads, use of the phoneme "om" constitutes a mantra that symbolizes Brahman. Hinduism treats Brahman as the highest level of spiritual attainment, although words fail to encapsulate the experience of attaining Brahman.

Paradoxes are wrapped up in the very concept of Brahman. Brahman, Sanskrit for being-consciousness-bliss, is viewed as the most rarified form of reality a human can enter. Brahman is said to be with and without qualities and to be both personal and impersonal in nature. The Upanishads tells practising Hindus that Brahman is the ultimate crystallization of material phenomena of everyday reality.

Buddhism's Take on Mantras
A bodhisattva in Buddhism is a being who has attained enlightenment. The use of mantras in Buddhism hails from the tradition of these enlightened masters. The six-syllable mantra known as "om mani padme hum" is meant to inspire compassion when uttered by bodhisattvas.

Other mantras within Buddhism are meant to cultivate wisdom and perspective, and some of these mantras span over one hundred syllables. For instance, the full mantra for the bodhisattva Vajrasattva in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition is such a mantra. For practical applications, novices are advised to stick with the om mantra or cultivate a mantra that has personal meaning in consultation with a practicing monk or recognized bodhisattva.

The Idea Behind Mantras
Hindu and Jain mantras all contain similar messages that can be distilled into one line: lead me from ignorance to truth. The Buddha taught that hate, greed and ignorance kept humanity shackled to the world of Maya or delusion. Through the intelligent use of mantras, the veil of Maya can be lifted and the conditions set by which enlightenment can unfold.

This is a guest post by Joseph Rodriguez who writes all about comparative religion and culture. His recent work is on the Top Online Seminaries.

1 comment :

  1. Swami Neel ji lost 15 days back in our house 20 gm of gold lost or misplaced, but other ornaments are as it is.We are thinking that nobody came in to our house.If we misplaced or theft can we get back by chanting mantra? please suggest remedy for this.
    Thanks Swami Neel Ji in advance.
    Ravi Kumar PB


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