This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
How to use a Mantra in Yoga Practice
by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
Mantra Yoga: Mantra practice is a central aspect of traditional Yoga. Following are 13 practical tips on how to use a mantra or sacred word. These suggestions are general in nature and should apply to most any use of mantra. Opposites can both be useful: Mantra japa (repeating or remembering mantra) can seem a bit complex when we ask what one should or should not do, or what is right versus wrong to do. Actually, two seemingly opposite practices can both be useful, with one simply being subtler than the other, or having a greater tendency to lead attention inward. One method may be a starting place that naturally evolves into the other. Two ends of a spectrum: All of the descriptions below contrast one pole of a spectrum with the other (external-internal or grosssubtle). In this way, the practices can easily be compared, while seeing the relative value of one versus the other. One form of practice might be useful at one stage, and the other more useful later on.
Universal seed mantras: The foundational, primary sounds are called seed or bija vibrations in Sanskrit. Such universal sounds can also be called basal, prime, primordial, essential or basic sound vibrations, as well as other descriptive names. • Om is such a sound, especially when focusing on the Mmmmm... sound vibration, which is somewhat like mentally remembering the sound of a buzzing bee. Both inhalation and exhalation might be done smoothly and slowly, while remembering that Mmmm... sound mentally. Om Mantra can be used as a seed vibration alone, or along with deeper meanings. Soham is a universal mantra vibration, with Sooo... being remembered with inhalation and Hummm... being remembered with exhalation. Ahhh... can be remembered with inhalation and Ummmm... remembered with exhalation. Many other such sound vibrations can also be used, whether or not coordinated with breath. For example, any of the single-syllable vowel sounds can be used, with or without an Mmmm... sound at the end.
• • •
It is the practice itself that will convince one of the viability of such universal sound vibrations as means of relieving the autonomic nervous system, while calming and focusing the mind. Mantra practice like this will prepare the mind for deeper meditation beyond the syllables of the mantras. Longer mantras: There are many longer mantras in many languages. Some are like positive affirmations and some are for specific, desired benefits. Some are related to religions, and some are not. The principles of using mantra that are listed below are universal, applying to all of the many types of mantras. Compact prayer: Some mantras can be described is as short, compact prayers. One can easily think of examples where a particular sentence or phrase from a longer prayer or writing forms a compact prayer or mantra. Once again, the principles below are universal, applying to any of these types of mantra.
Repetition with feeling
repetition with feeling
One can recite a mantra solely as a mental process, somewhat like training a parrot in rote repetition. While this may help train the mind to be one-pointed, it is not nearly as beneficial as reciting the mantra with feeling. Recitation along with feeling is a deeper process that brings greater benefits. In either case, it is important to note that the use of mantra merely to repress emotions is not the intent. With emotional challenges, mantra can have a stabilizing effect while a person deals with those challenges in other healthy ways as well.
chanting mantra aloud
Chanting mantra aloud can be a very enjoyable and useful process, whether alone or done with a group of people. After some time that process turns inward, and the chanting is done in the inner silence.
chanting mantra internally
repeating mantra with conscious willpower
allowing mantra to arise and repeat itself
One might initially use willpower to remember the mantra. This training the mind has a centering or balancing effect. (However, it is not a good idea to use mantra to repress, avoid, or escape from other thoughts and emotions.) Another approach is to sit silently, with attention inward, and allow the mantra to arise and repeat itself. It might take some patience, but this is a subtler practice. Notice that repeating with willpower is a form of expression, while allowing mantra
one might do 125. (Expression and attention relate to the indriyas. Also.) The process of attention is more internal than the process of expression. attention leads to concentration. Counting or not counting counting mantras Counting practices can help to focus the mind and create deep impressions that have a stabilizing effect. concentration leads to meditation.to arise and repeat itself requires attention. it will naturally move very slowly. faster than the mind might normally be able to recite. sometimes moving very fast. meditation leads to samadhi. the mantra will naturally shift in speed. in turn. At other times. A practice where a specific number of mantras is done over an extended period of time (called a purascharna) can be a very beneficial practice in clearing or purifying the mind.000 repetitions over a few months. awareness might tend to stay more on the surface level due to the external aspect of the not counting mantras . A larger and longer practice is called a mahapurascharna. Over time. For example. Yet. when counting mantras. This can definitely create a groove in the mind for remembering the mantra. and then. At its own speed intentionally repeating mantra fast allowing mantra to come at its own speed Some practitioners and teachers of mantra recitation intentionally see how fast they can recite the mantra. A more advanced or internal practice is to allow the mantra to come at it's own speed.
are useful and have their place in sadhana (spiritual practices). By getting the physical body involved through the motion of the fingers. Both practices.counting. The feeling that gradually emerges is more internal and peaceful than . if allowed. When the counting is set aside. Four levels as word and meaning as a feeling as a constant awareness as soundless sound / silence Mantra will naturally move inward through stages. it can be much easier for the mind to stay focused. past body and sensory awareness. the mantra can more purely shift to a deeper form of meditation. For example. are useful and have their place in sadhana (spiritual practices). It is important to remember this. Both types of practice. With or without mala with mala or counting beads without mala or counting beads In the beginning of using mantra. it can be beneficial to use mala or counting beads when remembering mantra (mala usually has 108 beads). setting aside the mala. the word shanti means peace or tranquility. counting and not counting. following the mantra as it leads you inward. so as to not unintentionally keep meditation shallow when it is trying to move into deeper peace. with or without mala. where attention is naturally drawn to the mantra as a single object of focus. disengaging the use of the motion of the body (the karmendriyas) allows the attention to more purely go inward. However.
Then. pervasive awareness. and be resurrected by again remembering the syllables of the mantra. or in song. or internally speak the mantra. that feeling has fewer breaks or distractions. There may be extra effort to then continue to recite. this feeling might fade quickly.is the repetition of the syllables alone. silent longing for what is behind the name Mantra will lead not allowing mantra to "lead" you to silence allowing mantra to "lead" you to silence Sometimes the mantra is naturally trying to lead attention into silence. or as given by a teacher. one might then meditate on the feeling of peace itself. which is more subtle. Mantra as a name of God external repetition of the name or mantra internal remembering of the name or mantra Some practitioners use as their mantra a name of God from within their religion. as the grosser sound is replaced by a deeper longing or communion for what is behind the name or mantra. the name or mantra might be recited or remembered internally. When the syllables drift away. Gradually. chanting. but as a root of the sound. the name or mantra itself might drift away. . and becomes a somewhat constant. This eventually leads inward to a deep awareness that is the root of the sound. it is like a soundless sound of the mantra that is resting in silence. Initially. It somewhat defies description. and the practitioner thinks that mantra is being forgotten. Or. At first the mantra or name might be used externally through repetition.
quieter. (To further understand the significance of the difference between speaking and hearing. It is somewhat like remembering a person whom you love.Deeper than this is to allow the mantra to naturally lead attention to its deeper.) . than actively speaking. the practice is more like listening to or remembering the mantra. Once those sounds are in your mind. as one might just be falling asleep. It requires a bit of practice and attention to notice the difference between drifting off into sleep and going into a deeper. more clear state of mantra meditation. they automatically arise. Initially one may internally speak or recite the mantra. Later. but the memory of the person is not dependent on the presence of the name. This leading process can be tricky in practice. The name of the person may come and go in your mind field. It is the mental stance of listening or remembering that is being practiced here. One may or may not literally hear an inner sound. This leading quality is one of the most important aspects of mantra practice. Speaking vs. see the paper on the indriyas. subtler aspect that rests in the silence. without any effort. listening internally "speaking" or "reciting" the mantra internally "listening to" or "remembering" the mantra A good way to understand this dimension is to think of songs you may have heard.
Mantra should not be used to avoid life and dealing with mental and emotional issues. This automatic . Then. Ajapa japa approach that "ajapa japa" means automatic repetition of mantra approach that "ajapa japa" means constant awareness of mantra For the approach whereby mantra japa means actively repeating (noted above). one can easily get into an inner fight between the mantra and the stream of thoughts. while the attention process is more internal and advanced. it is much easier to remember the mantra as it naturally arises in the stream of the mind. The active process is easier to practice in the beginning. Japa and listening approach that "japa" means reciting mantra approach that "japa" means listening to mantra Some translate the Sanskrit word Japa as reciting or repeating. is to allow a period of time for inner reflection or internal dialogue to explore and deal with those thoughts and emotions. while the other is a passive process of paying attention. At meditation time. These are two different approaches to the use of mantra (mantra japa). Better than fighting. The process of actively reciting or repeating is more externally focused. One is an active process of expressing. while others translate Japa as listening or remembering.Dealing with thoughts pushing away thoughts with mantra allowing thoughts to flow through the mind before remembering mantra Mantra can unwisely be used to repress ones thinking process. this process might become automatic over time (like spontaneously singing a song you have heard many times). while the process of listening or paying attention is more internally focused. This is not the best thing to do.
it will not be possible. ajapa japa is repetition without repetition (it is automatic). because I do not want to fool around with the process. Finally. and I observe my whole being listening to the mantra. I do not remember the mantra or repeat the mantra mentally. Where mantra japa means listening or remembering. then ajapa japa means constant remembering without the effort of reciting to cause that awareness.repetition is one form of the term ajapa japa. and the mantra is coming from everywhere. even the mantra does not exist. but it exists as an experience that overwhelms your whole being. This will not happen to you immediately in meditation. even if you do not want to do your mantra. and is not separate from you. For the approach whereby mantra japa means listening or paying attention. because then the mind repeats many things. Then. it is not possible to avoid it. only the purpose for which you repeat the mantra is there. then this will happen to you. then putting a. The mantra might still be there. Hence. that awareness might gradually become a constant awareness of the underlying feeling associated with the mantra. . you are There. subtler form of the term ajapa japa.in front of it means without repetition. Instead I make my whole being an ear to hear the mantra. Even if you decide that you do not want to remember the mantra. but when you have attained or accomplished something. I sit down. MAKING YOUR WHOLE BEING AN EAR FOR MANTRA From: The Art of Joyful Living Swami Rama My way of using the mantra is different from yours. Where mantra japa means repetition. This is another.
including dealing with ways of thinking. it is most important to remember that mantra is not a practice solely used by the Eastern traditions. Modern neuroscience is also beginning to discover the relationship between mental functioning and the way words are used.e. and positive use of emotions (the four points mentioned by Dr. or affirmation is recommended by virtually all religions and meditative traditions. Regarding thinking about words. more effective form than hearing. Restak in the text above)." Cultivating higher functioning: This higher functioning (buddhi) is intentionally cultivated by yogis through the practices of mantra. M. "Remembering" the Mantra: In Yoga Meditation science. yogis have been teaching the value of mantra in stabilizing and clearing the mind. different means of using mantra are prescribed. The silent. leading one to deeper spiritual awakening.Mantra. depending on whether one is hearing. or thinking of words. the center accessed through the space between the eyebrows. contemplation. Not only do the yogis use mantra (i.. Ways of using words or Mantra: Notice the explanation of increased blood flow (indicating increased activity) to the various parts of the brain. Richard M. The use of mantra. reading. speaking. ways of perceiving. perception. seeing. or speaking the mantra (See the article Japa and Ajapa-japa). meditation. the text points out that "thinking about words engages the limbic association area responsible for thought. word. The following graphic is from the book The Secret Life of the Brain. although they might describe or use them in different ways. (©2001. ability to learn. these benefits set the stage for the deeper practices of meditation. Restak and David Gruben Productions. by Richard Restak. and emotion. placing attention in the ajna chakra. Many benefits come from the proper use of mantra. Collectively. inner remembering way of using mantra use considered a higher.D. Inc. the Brain.). and Words by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati Effects of Mantra: For thousands of years. learning. but often recommend focusing the attention on this frontal part of the brain as well. compact prayer. and prayer Mantra is universal: In reflecting on the relationship between mantra and brain physiology. . words). and contemplation.
. of which a few are described in this website. OM.Varieties of Mantras: There are many mantras. and Maranatha. These are Soham. Each of these are beneficial in the ways described above.
or So Hum. • • Sooooo.Soham Mantra Meditation by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati Natural mantra: The Soham mantra is a natural mantra because it is already part of your nature.. So Ham. Oh mind.. Remembering the Soham mantra often during the day can be a very useful practice. it declares I am that I am that I am that I am... Universal mantra: The Soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath.. that I am. I am that. I am that: While the English translation may not be as important as the quality of the sound vibration. The nervous system is the arbiter between the tense body and the noisy mind. and Hummmm. is through the breath. Who am I? Soham provides the answer. Hummmm. Sohum. . When remembered repeatedly.. and in turn the body and mind. and is remembered in the mind along with that exhalation. The finest bridge between body and mind: Breath is a bridge between the body and the mind. that I am. soham.. This has been known by the Yogis for thousands of years. Sooooo. When trying to meditate it is extremely common to have tension in the muscles and noisy thoughts in the mind. is the sound of exhalation. Soham in the spine and chakras Other names or designations: The mantra is also designated as Hamsa. Soham translates as I am that. and is remembered in the mind along with that inhalation. One of the best ways to regulate that nervous system. and everybody breathes. is the sound of exhalation. and has also come to be widely known in recent years by the modern medical and psychological community. Hamsa mantra: The Soham mantra is also called the Hamsa mantra.. I am that I am. is the sound of inhalation. Hansa. soham. is the sound of inhalation. sing the sound So Ham Soham Japalehe Manawa Soham. Hamsa (or hansa) poses the question.
be aware of how that space gently pushes in. Exhalation gently rounds back into inhalation. remembering the vibrations Sooooooo and Hummmmmm. Be aware of a thin. relax the body. with no jerkiness. Allow your attention to rest in a space about the size of the palm of your hand. the cognitive sense of touch. Meditation on the gross breath leads to awareness of the subtler energy of prana. and you will find it is a very beneficial meditation practice. steady stream of energy and consciousness flowing up and down between this area near the base of the spine and the crown of the head. and how the lower ribs flare slightly outwards. and in turn. at the upper abdomen. This may be done either in a seated meditation posture or lying on your back in the corpse posture. You may or may not be literally aware of the stream. just below the breast bone. As you exhale with Hummmmmm. breath. slow speed. easiest. with exhalation somewhat longer in duration than the inhalation. through the chakras towards the crown of the head. As you exhale. Allow the breath to be smooth. regulate the nervous system. and inhalation gently rounds back into exhalation. as it flows in and out. from gross to subtle. and quiet the mind is through Soham mantra practiced at a steady. As you inhale with Sooooooo. and have no pauses between the breaths. so as to exhale completely. at the flat place between the genital area and the anus. training the mind in onepointedness. going from outer to inner. Systematic practices: The three methods described above can be used in order. and most direct ways to train the breath. allow the mind to be aware of the vibration Hummmmmm as your attention moves downward along the subtle spine towards the perineum at the base of the spine. be aware of how that space move moves back outward. allow the mind to be aware of the vibration Sooooooo as your attention moves upward along the subtle cord of the spine (sushumna). Focus attention on the feel of the breath.Value of Soham and breath: One of the finest. becoming twice as long as the inhalation. and you may or may not experience it as a milky white stream of light. As you inhale. Soham in breath along the spine: One of the deeper ways to use the Soham mantra is through spinal breath. Gradually allow the exhalation to elongate. work with the diaphragmatic breathing and awareness of Soham mantra at the space just below the breast bone. at the upper abdomen. Soham at the nostrils: Meditation with Soham at the bridge of the nostrils is a very effective practice that stabilizes and purifies the mind. Allow it to be comfortably slow. • First. by coordinating body. . though it is universal practice). and then to deeper meditation beyond. However you experience this flow is okay. Soham and diaphragm breathing: The Soham mantra is extremely useful when practiced along with diaphragmatic breathing. and mind (Such practice has been popularized as a part of kriya yoga or kundalini yoga. to the sides.
it means a constant. and experienced at ever subtler levels. To develop stability in your mantra practice. This is not mere poetic reflection. By counting one bead per breath. The heart sings a song that resonates throughout the body. In the case of Soham mantra. We are so busy. I am that. the gross level of the syllables of the mantra may or may not still be there. particularly if the mind has a habit of wandering and wondering about length of time of the practice. using whatever mantra or focal point you normally use for meditation. it gradually will be noticed more automatically. it takes about 15-20 minutes or so to complete one round of the mala. you may want to move your attention to the space between the breasts or between the eyebrows. ever repeats itself. so-hum. It also can give some definition to your practice. to hear the natural melodies that will guide us still further inward to the finer music of consciousness. The vibrations themselves are the guides. including stretches or hatha postures. Steps of practice: While the Soham mantra can be used alone. it is most effective when practiced in conjunction with the other steps of meditation. Third. After these three. The breath sings a song. or perhaps one year.• • Second. somewhat like a song or an advertising slogan might start to repeat in your mind. Swarodaya: The science of breath is called swarodaya in Sanskrit. While you might initially be using your will power to remember the mantra. That sound. so-hum. and then inhaling upwards. By doing the practices in this order. it can sometimes be comforting to do so. so entangled in the external world that we never take the time to listen within. Japa and ajapa japa: Recitation of a mantra is called japa. I am that. Counting the mantras: While it is not at all necessary to count the repetitions of the mantra. but they are seldom noticed. it sings the song of the Soham mantra. the stance of attention is more like listening or remembering than it is one of speaking the mantra. A single round with the mala can be a useful preparation for meditation without the counting. The inner vibrations of Soham mantra can be felt. it can be useful to do an intentional practice of one mala (or other number) per day for a period of 40 days. When that remembering comes automatically. starting and ending on some significant date. through the dimensions. like the waves ever flowing in the ocean of bliss. Listening and remembering versus speaking: The vibrations of the Soham mantra are allowed to arise in the mind field and to repeat themselves. come to rest at the bridge of the nostrils for meditation on the Soham mantra. depending on your predisposition. . the science of breath is the science of the waves of sound in the ocean of consciousness. The typical set of mala beads has 108 beads. and the meaning of swarodaya is the ocean. your attention moves systematically inward. it is called ajapa japa. meaning that the repetition called japa is coming without effort. and a variety of breathing practices. so-hum. Thus. so-hum. The meaning of swara is a ripple of sound. allow attention to flow up and down along the spine with the Soham manta. survey of the body or relaxation. The brain plays steady notes that can be heard when we are still. A still subtler meaning of ajapa japa is having a constant awareness of the felt or experiential meaning of the mantra. heard. feeling the touch of the air in the nostrils. I am that. to one-pointedness. over and over. it is the truth. Songs within: There are many songs being played within. pervasive awareness of the flow of subtle energy related to the mantra and the exhalation and inhalation. declaring. Though you may not be literally hearing an audible sound of the mantra. exhaling down from the top of the head to the base of the spine. At that point.
truer practice for the student of meditation is to seek the subtler level of the Soham mantra. there is a constant presence or awareness of the mantra. The process comes in stages. moving the attention up and down the central channel of sushumna. Finding the silent sound: All of these sounds. not the word: For meditation. However. It is not about repressing thoughts. back through the wave form from which it came. leading attention further inward. and the word has an external meaning.The word leads back to the sound: Sound creates a wave form. the chakras through which sushumna travels come into alignment or balance. and that is to follow the sounds inward to that place. the wave form creates a word. growing ever bigger. and to the sound from which that wave sprung forth. so-hum of the breath ebbing and flowing through the gross and subtle bodies. Gradually and surely. the mantra has a gross vibration and meaning. Inside. but the sound vibration itself is a finer. the glow turns into a fire. and go into the sound itself. One might think of so-hum as the literal sound that can be heard by listening to the passage of air at the nostrils. there is the soundless sound. The breath. Balancing chakras: By training the breath with Soham mantra. the Soham mantra is like gently blowing on a glowing ember. more powerful guide within. though actually a result or manifestation of the kundalini. unbroken relationship with the so-hum of the breath. So too. the meaning is revealed in direct experience. Finally. lead us inward to the still. and that is training the attention. the essence of the mantra. so-hum. By starting with the external meaning of the Soham mantra. one after the other. regardless of the other activities of the mind. but is more like listening intently to the whisper of a beloved friend in a crowded room. Next. This brings the mind into a pleasant. If anyone wants to know the meaning of silent sound of the Soham mantra. we follow the word. It means developing a steady. Words surely have their place in relation to the external world. The Soham mantra is a simple. not the elimination of the other people. . allowing it to become the guide. Use the sound. At first. the deeper. which is itself a subtler version of the mantra. is a means of awakening the fire. straightforward method that can be done by virtually all people. and the mind. the breath. peaceful state that is preparation for advancing into the depths of meditation. as you listen passionately to the so-hum. Blow on the fire to make it burn: The latent spiritual energy of kundalini is to be awakened by stirring that fire of kundalini-shakti. silent sound out of which they all emerge. the thoughts of the mind are allowed their life. ever brighter. Attention is required: There is one skill that is of utmost importance to meditation. there is the feeling associated with the mantra. there is only one way to do so. It is your conviction to attention that makes the voice clear. so-hum. one might begin by using the word and reflecting on it's grosser meaning. By blowing the vibration so-hum. Then.
which is extremely relaxing both for meditation and reducing stress in the autonomic nervous system... and calming the breath will in turn calm the mind. The sound of the Sohum mantra will gently regulate the speed of the breath. Five ways to practice: 1. . sound is intentionally somewhat longer than the Sooooo. of the So Hum mantra. • • • • • No pause: Allow there to be no pauses between breaths. The rate of the mantra in the recording will bring your breath to a comfortable rate. The breath will naturally become smooth and quiet. which does not work. Allow the exhalation to flow in unison with the sound Hummmm... sound.. in a palm-sized space. of the Soham mantra. This breath training has a tremendous effect on calming the mind. Note that the practice is designed for you to do silently. so that the breath is smooth. When you practice So Hum Mantra. Diaphragm: Place your attention in the area of the diaphragm.. it is still done silently and internally. Diaphragmatic: Breathe with the diaphragm. smoothly transitions into exhalation. You cannot repeat the mantra aloud.So Hum Mantra Meditation 108 Repetitions . and allow there to be no pauses between breaths. Instead. The muscles of the lower abdomen and the upper chest are not needed to breathe diaphragmatically. at a rate of about 6 1/2 breaths per minute. The bumps in the breath come from the mind. Inhalation naturally transitions into exhalation. Silent: The breath itself is quiet. as you would have to be speaking during your inhalation. with the sound of the mantra only remembered internally. Exhale silently with Hummmm. and exhalation naturally transitions into inhalation. as this increases the effect of the relaxation and meditation by releasing the autonomic nervous system. Slow: A comfortably slow breath is very beneficial. Observe the feel of the motion from the inside. just below the breast bone. the large muscle connected all the way around the inside of the lower rib cage. the way you automatically remember a song you like. by remembering the mantra internally. and exhalation naturally transitions into inhalation.... you remember the mantra in the mind.17 Minutes The 108 repetitions of So Hum mantra is about 17 minutes of meditation practice. No jerkiness: Gradually eliminate any jerkiness or irregularities. also gently train your breath. Inhalation naturally. • • Inhale silently with Sooooo. Allow the inhalation to flow in unison with the sound Sooooo... The Hummmm.. Training the breath: As you allow your mind to flow with the Soham Mantra.
40 day practice The period of 40 days has been widely recognized as an auspicious period both in the East and the West since ancient times. the inhalation is upwards. of the So Hum mantra. the wedding of the sun and the moon (ha and tha of hatha). and that each round will take a predictable amount of time (17 minutes per round of 108 repetitions).. from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Coordinate the exhalation with the sound Hummmm. and to do that for 40 days.. while you continue to breathe smoothly. Coordinate the inhalation with the sound Sooooo. With exhalation.. Once again. allow your inner attention to move upwards with Sooooo. followed by the breath along the spine. 1-4). and with no pauses between breaths. or inhale from the heart center to the eyebrow center. Mind may resist at times. You might also look for a thin. of ida and pingala.. 3. and the mind wants only to do meditation. Chakras: Similar to the breath along the spine. Nostrils: Place your attention at the bridge of the nostrils. and exhale from the from the eyebrow center to the heart. . Divide the time approximately evenly between the three. 2. feeling the touch of the air moving in and out of your nostrils. quietly. A traditional way to do an extended mantra practice is to choose a number of repetitions per day (e. or however feels comfortable and natural.. the left and right energies of the subtle body. When both nostrils flow freely.. Spine: With inhalation. 4. allow your inner attention to move down with Hummmm. Same number of rounds: Mind also likes the predictability of doing a certain number of rounds done per day. you gently transition between breaths. and then breath awareness at the bridge of the nostrils. or energy centers that may be needing special attention or balancing.. but once it gets started in the practice. g.. and exhale from the heart to the navel. mind likes the habit. Remember. the difference between the So Hum mantra methods is the placement of your attention. inhale from the navel center to the heart center. 5. a sense of completion. there is a joy that comes. If one nostril seems to be flowing less freely. and the exhalation is downwards. The mind likes to have a beginning and end to a practice. Whichever two chakras are used.2.. allow your attention to flow with So Hum mantra between two chakras. starting with breath awareness at the diaphragm. of the Soham mantra. 1. such as comes with a 40 day (or longer) practice.. All three methods above: Sequentially do each of the three practices above with So Hum mantra. This allows energy to flow in the central channel sushumna. milky white stream flowing there with the breath. It is called sandhya. from the top of the head to the base of the spine. with no pause between the breaths. For example. though that is not necessary if you do not see such an image. Fixed time per practice session: Mind finds comfort in knowing that it will do the practice of one round of 108 repetitions (or some other number of rounds).. it is good to place the attention on that nostril.
A mala is a set of counting beads with 108 beads. months 42 21 14 10 1/2 8 1/2 7 6 Such an extended practice with So Hum mantra can have a tremendous effect in stabilizing the mind in preparation for advancing in meditation. For example. This is equivalent to 1250 rounds of a mala. and to not skip any days. it is important not to do the mantra practice with rote repetition. It has been said that there is freedom in discipline. Once again. will take this amount of time: Rounds per day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Time per day 17 min 34 min 51 min 1 hr.000 repetitions of So Hum mantra.3. It does take quite a commitment to do this practice every day for such a long period. This can be very beneficial in stabilizing a noisy mind. . Extended practice A noticeable level of mantra siddhi (power of the mantra) is said to come with 125. 41 min 1 hr. it is important to have stability from one day to the next. Only 100 are counted. 8 min 1 hr. which is a common complaint. but rather. Listening to this So Hum mantra recording of 108 repetitions (17 minutes) is equivalent to one round of a mala To complete the equivalent of 1250 rounds of a mala. however you personally hold that. Such a practice simply must be done personally to understand the benefits. rather than changing the number from day to day. Specific number of days: Mind also likes the plan of knowing how many days or months a practice will take to complete. 58 min Total days 1250 625 417 313 250 209 179 Appx. if two rounds per day is a good number (34 minutes). It is best to choose the level that works for you consistently. you can decide for yourself whether or not the practice is beneficial. or a total of 125. choosing to do a regular practice frees the mind from wondering each day.000 repetitions of a mantra (Such an extended practice is called a purascharna). with the other 8 considered an offering to the divine. not to do none on one day. what will be done today. By running your own experiment for 40 days. but it is well worth the effort. In choosing the level of practice per day. then it's better to stay with that amount each and every day. but four on the next day. 25 min 1 hr. with feeling and awareness.
along with three transition levels. In either case. Universal Realities: It is important to be aware of the fact that these levels of consciousness are realities that exist universally. It is not for the person who seeks only the shallow waters of spiritual life. . which is a total of seven levels. but rather for those who strive to realize in direct experience the depth of the Absolute Reality. and seeking the direct experience of deeper truths. There are four main levels of consciousness outlined in the OM Mantra.OM Mantra and 7 Levels of Consciousness by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati Seven Levels: The OM Mantra is a roadmap for sadhana. Each of these is experienced on the inner journey of meditation and contemplation. the underlying principles are extremely useful for all seekers in purifying or clearing the mind. regardless of whether or not one uses the OM Mantra or the visual OM symbol in any way. spiritual practices (written as either AUM or OM).
(M of OM Mantra) The dot. which relates to consciousness or awareness itself. In either case. the Fourth. and M of OM Mantra) The arc below the dot symbolizes the separateness of this fourth state. • • • • The lower curve represents the Gross. and is called Turiya. (U of OM Mantra) The upper curve represents the Causal. the underlying principles are extremely useful for all seekers in purifying or clearing the mind. and seeking the direct experience of deeper truths. (A of OM Mantra) The center curve represents the Subtle. Subconscious. (Silence after A. Three transition states: Between these four states of Consciousness there are three transition states. Piercing the bindu finally allows one to attain the highest experience. Unconscious. point. there is a Silence. and Dreaming level. Meaning of the symbol: Not only does the sound vibration of the AUM/OM represent the four levels of consciousness. Fourth state of consciousness: After those three parts of the OM Mantra. or bindu represents the fourth state. Waking state level. and this comes after following the process of Kundalini Awakening.7 States of consciousness in OM Mantra Seven states or levels of consciousness are described in this article: Three states of consciousness: Each of the three sounds of AUM Mantra (A. so too does the visual symbol. which encompasses. called Taijasa. • . permeates. called Prajna. though ever remaining part of the other three. regardless of whether or not one uses the OM Mantra or the visual OM symbol in any way. and Deep Sleep level. and is the other three. These levels exist universally: It is important to be aware of the fact that these levels of consciousness are realities that exist universally. U. the absolute consciousness. and M) symbolizes specific states of consciousness. standing above. Conscious. called Vaishvanara. U.
as well as vaishvanara. and turiya. brings both the realization of the individual Self and the removal of obstacles that normally block that realization. Yoga Sutras and OM Mantra The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali suggests remembering the meaning of OM Mantra as a direct path to Self-realization.23-1. Remembering the sound vibration of AUM. Direct Experience Roadmap for direct experience: The Yogi does not use the information about these levels as mere intellectual fodder. ishvara. hiranyagarbha. prajna. Rather. It is not for the person who seeks only the shallow waters of spiritual life.29) OM Mantra and other Mantras It is important to know that OM Mantra is very often used in conjunction with other mantras.Other names for the four levels: Different texts and teachings might use different names for different characteristics at these four levels. along with a deep feeling for the meaning of what it represents. virat. (See Sutras 1. the OM Mantra is a roadmap for sadhana. but rather for those who strive to experience nothing less than the depth of the Absolute Reality in direct experience. for example. and brahman. taijasa. spiritual practices. usually with the OM being the first or .
which permeates the other three. is the Deep Sleep state. represented by the sound of "U" of the AUM Mantra. there are three transition stages called Unmani. is the Dreaming state. • • • • Waking: First. others who are not familiar with this will benefit by becoming aware that there are a variety of ways of using OM Mantra. Four major levels: When used in this way. Often these other mantras refer to a specific deity or name of God. In that sense. is the Waking state. The OM Mantra is recommended in the Yoga Sutras and the Mandukya Upanishad. sleep. as well as in many other teachings. while also being aware that there may be discourses or debates supporting one view or another. The Yogi wants to remember . Turiya: Fourth. the existence of waking. Similarly. Three transition stages: Between these four states of consciousness. Deep Sleep: Third. there is a universal truth that the vibration of OM will be experienced on the inner journey. While the OM Mantra has a variety of meanings. Practicing the OM Mantra The OM Mantra (AUM Mantra. is not a mere belief or symbolic tool belonging to any one group or groups. one of its most significant uses is for Meditation and Contemplation in Yoga and Vedanta. Some practitioners consider the OM to literally refer to only one such name of God or deity. called Turiya (literally the "fourth"). dreaming. represented by the sound of "M" of the AUM Mantra. called Taijasa. is the entire domain of that consciousness that permeates all of the other levels within which awareness does its dance. represented by the Silence after the "A. called Prajna. revealing the fourth.last sound in the whole mantra. For those born into such religious cultures." "U. and does not cause confusion. and that beyond (described below as represented by AUM) are also universal realities. However. Pranava) is a widely recognized mantra." and "M". Aladani. represented by the sound of "A" of the AUM Mantra. In the information below. and Samadhi. Regardless of how one uses the mantra. Still other practitioners believe the OM refers to some different God or deity. Dreaming: Second. the OM Mantra (AUM) has four major levels of meaning and experience to the Yogi. This leaves it a matter of personal choice how the OM Mantra will be used. which pierces the three levels of reality and consciousness. OM Mantra is presented as a means of contemplation and meditation. this diversity of use of OM is well known. called Vaishvaanara.
that consciousness which permeates All (Silence after A. One comes to see that these three are functioning at the same levels of reality. one after the other. through the levels of consciousness. it gradually becomes easier for one to maintain awareness of these meanings as attention moves through the parts of the AUM Mantra (The A. U. When awareness is on the "U" of the OM mantra. in the use of the AUM Mantra. you cultivate and train yourself to have a simultaneous awareness of: o the Dreaming state. Eventually one moves to the direct experience of the Absolute Reality. Remain aware of the meanings: With practice. you cultivate and train yourself to have a simultaneous awareness of: o the Waking state. Over time. U. and Silence of OM Mantra). and o the Subtle realm of the universe • . o the Conscious level of mental processing. and 3) the levels of the universe parallel one another. symbolized by "A" of the OM Mantra). one after the other. Conscious. M. and o the Gross realm of the universe o (Waking. but these four are the main focus of the Yogi in using the OM Mantra). permeating and being All (Silence of OM Mantra) In the actual practice with AUM Mantra (OM Mantra): • When awareness is on the "A" of the OM Mantra. (The other three stages are also there. It is approximately like this: • • • • Waking = Conscious = Gross = Vaishvaanara (A of OM Mantra) Dreaming = Unconscious = Subtle = Taijasa (U of OM Mantra) Deep Sleep = Subconscious = Causal = Prajna (M of OM Mantra) Turiya = Consciousness Itself. and Gross are all at the same level. along with the meaning. The Yogi wants to remember the four parts of the AUM Mantra internally. This is the state of Selfrealization. and M of OM Mantra). 2) the stages of the mental process. which are none other than the levels of consciousness themselves. that awareness brings increasing insight of the true nature of these levels of consciousness. there are four levels of awareness that the Yogi wants to cultivate.the 4 parts of the mantra. o the Active Unconscious processing level of the mind. Remember the four parts one after the other: Thus. Three functions are at the same level: One of the profound insights that one begins to get is the way in which 1) the levels of personal consciousness.
We can observe the four functions of mind: We come to see how the four functions of mind interact within these levels (A. and M of OM Mantra). symbolized by U of the OM Mantra).• • (Dreaming. o In active thinking (A of OM Mantra). decides. and Subtle are all at the same level. o One of the other elegant and awesome insights is the way in which our own personality. • • • • . along with the way in which the indriyas. Seeing all the levels permeated by consciousness: Most importantly. and o that also permeates all of the Causal realm o (Consciousness permeates. we come to see the way in which all of these levels are both permeated by. U. grasping. o In unconscious process (U of OM Mantra). there is consciousness. forming many invisible thought processes. o In Dreaming state (U of OM Mantra) there is consciousness. and the M of the OM Mantra. dormant. there is consciousness. o the Subconscious (latent. judges. seeing. mental and emotional processes operate: • Latent impressions begin to stir: We come to see. U of OM Mantra). and in fact. Subconscious. o In the latent storehouse (M of OM Mantra). the U. Waking state of reality (A of OM Mantra). symbolized by M of the OM Mantra). Chitta (storehouse of impressions). normally only experienced in dreams (this is similar to what psychology calls "primary process"). out of which arises the Subtle and Gross universe o (Deep Sleep. there is consciousness. and o the Causal realm. and Buddhi (which knows. and how it is that consciousness drifts over these latent impressions. is the foundation of. and hearing) and means of expression (karmendriyas of eliminating. tasting. how it is that there are latent impressions in the deep unconscious (the place of Deep Sleep. moving. and the M levels of the OM Mantra). and discriminates). and Causal are all at the same level. the U. causing them to stir from the Causal level (M of OM Mantra). there is consciousness. and speaking) come into play so as to relate to the external world (A of OM Mantra). the senses (jnanendriyas of smelling. These impressions arise into internal action: Then we see the way these impressions then arise into action internally in the Unconscious (the Active Unconscious associated with unseen mental processes and the Dreaming Sleep level. These stirrings come forward into the conscious: Then we see the intriguing way in which those stirrings in the Unconscious (U of OM Mantra) come forward into the Conscious. you cultivate and train yourself to have a simultaneous awareness of: o the Deep Sleep state. o In Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). including Manas (sensory-motor mind). procreating. Dreaming. there is consciousness. touching. M of OM Mantra). Deep Sleep). When awareness is on "M" of the OM Mantra. in direct experience of Yoga Meditation and Contemplation. you cultivate and train yourself to have an awareness of the consciousness: o that permeates all of the three personal levels (Waking. o that permeates all of the Subtle realm. When awareness is on the Silence after the A. "is" the whole of the levels of the A. inactive. storage) aspects of mind (the Samskaras from where the impetus for Karma. or action springs forth). Ahamkara (I-maker or ego). Unconscious. and are the manifestation of consciousness itself: o In Waking state (A of OM Mantra).
symbolized by the "M" of the OM Mantra). and pura means city. symbolized by the Silence after the "A. compared to the divine masculine (Shiva). Consciousness at three levels: That reality or presence of existence itself. which has three parts: 1. with ever increasing insights about the underlying truths contained in. to the direct experience of the source of the consciousness. symbolized by the "A" of the OM Mantra). Unconscious: When consciousness moves across them." "U." of the OM Mantra. as well as the Gross (A of OM Mantra). and Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra)." "M. Tripura is the consciousness that operates in the three cities of Waking (A of OM Mantra). speech. and the Causal reality (M of OM Mantra). and Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). as well as the Conscious (A of OM Mantra). is the consciousness itself. Tripura also permeates the many other trinities such as the beingness inherent in past. We declare with conviction. Bed: The river bed of stones (like the latent. . resulting in actions. or Dreaming level. and Causal (M of OM Mantra) levels of reality. symbolized by the "U" of the OM Mantra).• Who we really are. like the flow of the river. is the consciousness itself: We come to see that who we really are. or deeper than the various levels and thinking processes. what the sages have said all along. • • • Subconscious: Our Subconscious wants. and 3." "M. The practice begins simply. and suggested by the OM Mantra. Those three levels are also the Conscious (A of OM Mantra). they come to life in the the flow of the Unconscious (U of OM Mantra). and aversions (samskaras) are like those stones that form the bed of the river (M of OM Mantra). is like the consciousness that permeates the three levels of Waking (A of OM Mantra). "I am not my thoughts! I am That I Am!" AUM is like the three parts of a river: When recalling these levels of "A. Surface: The surface of the river (like the Conscious. Subtle (U of OM Mantra). the Subtle plane (U of OM Mantra). Sometimes conceptualized as the divine feminine (Shakti). present and future. she permeates the three cities of the Gross world (A of OM Mantra). is practiced sincerely and faithfully. one gradually attains the ability to go beyond. Unconscious (U of OM Mantra). and Contemplation on its meaning work together in guiding one towards Self-realization. that is in the three levels of bed of the river. Tripura: Tri means three. Going beyond the three levels: Through practice. like the action on the surface of the river. it is useful to remember the metaphor of a river. Dreaming (U of OM Mantra). not the forms which arise. wishes." "U. Meditation on OM (AUM) as an object of concentration. and Latent Unconscious or Subconscious (M of OM Mantra). Waking level. Flow: The flowing part (like the Active Unconscious. and expands over time. and Conscious: Some burst forth into the Conscious mind (A of OM Mantra). attractions. desires. and surface of the river." and Silence during practice of the OM Mantra. and Subconscious (M of OM Mantra) aspects of mind. Subconscious or Deep Sleep level and its impressions. Dreaming (U of OM Mantra). and conscious thoughts. Active Unconscious (U of OM Mantra). flow of the river. 2.
Gayatri Mantra. and Prajna (M of OM Mantra). and its levels of Vaishvanara (A of OM Mantra). Explanations of the 7 levels of consciousness: Below are some explanations of each of the seven levels of consciousness mapped out in OM Mantra. it is direct experience through repeated practice. or with explanations from one or another writer. The Bindu of Sri Yantra is the symbol of this highest transcendent Reality (Silence of OM Mantra). and surrender into this creative source or divine Mother is one of the finest aspects of Tantra as a direct route to Realization. and can easily seem to be in conflict with one another. but just not normally noticed. [Note: It is very useful to remember that. and thoughts of which we are "consciously" aware. Ultimately. As you go through the levels of the OM Mantra described below. Waking / Conscious / Vaishvaanara / Gross / "A" of AUM Mantra "A" represents Waking: The Waking state of consciousness is represented by the "A" of the AUM Mantra. that fourth state beyond the other three cities (A. and M of OM Mantra). words are inadequate.] 1.This is a Tantric rendering of the three levels of consciousness mapped out by the OM Mantra symbol." and the fourth level of Silence. U. speech. it is best to remember that the key levels for practice are awareness of the four levels of consciousness related to "A. when describing or reading about subtle levels of consciousness. devotion." "M. Some conceptualize Tripura as an anthropomorphic deity. The unconscious processes in the deeper levels (U and M of OM Mantra) are also there. love. while the subtler practices are directed towards Tripura as formless. The name of this level of consciousness is Vaishvaanara. and Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. The Waking state (A of OM Mantra) is experienced by the individual person. The quality of the three cities is an aspect of OM Mantra. Taijasa (U of OM Mantra)." "U. . as one wrestles with varying terminology. Dedication. over a long time that will unravel the meaning of the explanations and bring the true insights. In the Waking state of consciousness (A of OM Mantra) there are actions. without a break.
When using the OM Mantra. images. from out of the silence. then the whole of the manifest universe is the macrocosm. and speech arises. in a flash. when awareness is on "A" of the OM Mantra. You could say "Aaaaaaa. whether aloud or internally.. The sound arises quickly. The awareness of these three operating at the same level of reality is allowed to become clearer through practice over time. ... The "A" of AUM Mantra represents not only the individual Waking state of consciousness.Microcosm and macrocosm of Waking: If the individual person is the microcosm. This can be extremely useful to understand. actions. or thought of internally). Three types of awareness with "A": In the practice of remembering the AUM Mantra. or impressions. Observing the "A" come forward: To observe the way the "A" comes forward when remembering the OM Mantra is to observe the way our whole process of thoughts. notice how the "A" bursts forth in an instant (whether said aloud. it is useful to allow yourself to be aware of this bursting forth quality of thoughts. and the Gross realm of the universe. instantaneous bursting forth quality to it. The "A" bursts forth: When using AUM as a mantra. but also the entire Gross realm. the Conscious level of mental and emotional processing. you cultivate and train yourself to have a simultaneous awareness of: • • • the Waking state. but the "A" itself has a very brief." in a drawn out way. The individual state of Waking consciousness and the Gross realm are all operating at the same level of consciousness (both are "in the world"). All of these arise in a moment from the Subtler place within (U and M of OM Mantra).
and Sleep (M of OM Mantra). and actions are transitioning from their underlying. Don't confuse this transition with Meditation: This very pleasant state is often confused with Meditation. in which one is full awake and alert. It will become clearer how it is that conscious (A of OM Mantra) thoughts. You might be lying there pleasantly. which are also called the Gross. In other contexts. Possibly this too is a form of the coming forth of the Subtle (U of OM Mantra). Meditation is done in the Waking state (A of OM Mantra). it is also used to mean Samadhi or Turiya. it is interesting to note the parallels between the transition between Unconscious and Conscious thought patterns. not remembering your name. speech. the word Unmani is used in different ways. there also will be a natural. you have left the Dreaming world (U of OM Mantra). Rather. Dreaming (U of OM Mantra). Parallels with science: In relation to the Gross world (A of OM Mantra). and Causal. Increasing awareness of the transitions: When using the OM Mantra for Yoga Meditation and Contemplation. as it is practiced. but have not yet fully come into the Waking (A of OM Mantra). or external world. The name of this transition stage of consciousness is Unmani. Then. who you are. However.) We have all experienced this transition: We have all experienced this pleasant transition at times when about to awaken after a good sleep. where you are. Unmani does not just refer to the personal experience between Waking and Dreaming. it is the name of that transition level of consciousness itself. increasing awareness of the transition phases as well. mostly unconscious (U and M of OM Mantra) thought and emotional processes. (Like many words. But you are also not asleep having any dreams. Waking state of awareness (A of OM Mantra). and not really caring about these things. gradually the veil is opened to allow the deeper states or levels (U of OM Mantra) to come forward into the Conscious. transitioning into the Gross (A of OM Mantra). the focus is mostly on the three states of Waking (A of OM Mantra). In this state. and the way the scientists describe the coming forth of the manifest universe as a "big bang".2. and possibly when we are "day dreaming". . Subtle. Unmani / Transition between A and U of OM Mantra Transition between Waking and Dreaming: There is a transition stage between Waking (A of OM Mantra) and Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) states (or between Conscious and Unconscious states).
The name of this level of consciousness is Taijasa(U of OM Mantra). there are fewer colored (klishta) unconscious thought patterns needing to play out. psychic. One is the microcosm. whether causing that disturbance in the Waking (A of OM Mantra) or Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) states of consciousness (See also the article on Klishta and Aklishta Thoughts). It is for this reason that the Yogi gradually and naturally needs less sleep. Both Yogis and psychologists speak of this as a useful process. or astral plane of reality (also U of OM Mantra). while the other is the macrocosm. The Yogi wants to turn those colored (klishta) thought patterns uncolored (aklishta) thought patterns so that they no longer need to arise and cause disturbance.3.12. Taijasa does not just mean dreaming.5. it is the name of that level of consciousness in which dreaming occurs (U of OM Mantra). attractions. (See Yoga Sutras 1. Rather.10-2. but gradually . desires. wishes. 2. and aversions not allowed to play out in the external world (A of OM Mantra). and 2. One stays in the Waking state (A of OM Mantra). the Yogi will go further in dealing with the underlying deep impressions (Samskaras) that lead to actions (Karmas).9. Dreaming / Unconscious / Taijasa / Subtle / "U" of AUM Mantra "U" represents Dreaming: The Dreaming state of consciousness is represented by the "U" of the AUM Mantra. Uncoloring thought patterns: However. Mind working out its desires: The Dreaming state (U of OM Mantra) is a level where the mind can work out its unfulfilled wants.11 on coloring and uncoloring) Microcosm and macrocosm of Dreaming: The counterpart of the personal Dream world (U of OM Mantra) is the entire Subtle. occult. Lifting the veil: As one progresses in Yoga Meditation. opening to the Unconscious (U of OM Mantra) begins.
What comes is that which was normally only accessible in the Dreaming state (U of OM Mantra). not just an act done in the external world. (See Yoga Sutra 2." is the message the Yogi says to the mind. the intensity of the coloring attenuates. opens the curtain. seed form (until it is dispensed with entirely). Intentionally letting the thoughts come: It is in this field of observation that the Yogi does the Meditation of remaining one-pointed by letting go of the thought patterns arising. as Non-Attachment (Vairagya) becomes a reality.4 on attenuation) .16 on non-attachment) The highest therapy: Gradually. and let them go.12-1.lifts the veil. "Let them come. (See Yoga Sutras 1. so that the Unconscious (U of OM Mantra) begins to come forward. It is because of this process of attenuating that the Yogi says that Yoga Meditation is the highest of all therapies. eventually allowing the thought pattern to remain in latent.
decay. one allows the awareness and feeling associated with the "A" to transition into the awareness and feeling associated with the "U". Three types of awareness with "U": In the practice of remembering the AUM Mantra. We can surely enjoy the scenery along the way. failing to note that it is only the second of four levels of consciousness in AUM Mantra (or third of the seven). and . one is better off to let go of these allurements. If one is not familiar with this. In other words. when awareness is on "U" of the OM Mantra. beings.38). not a place to go and stay. Some say that the Yogi is seeking these powers intentionally. One can easily get caught in a trap of pursuing the actions. Witnessing and going beyond: At the same time that the Yogi observes and lets go of the Subtle realm (U of OM Mantra).The coloring (klishta) gradually attenuates Taijasa is not the "spiritual" realm: This level of Taijasa (U of OM Mantra) has often been confused as being the "spiritual" realm. Journeys in these subtle realms (U of OM Mantra) are no more useful in the journey of Self-realization than journeys to a thousand cities in our external world (A of OM Mantra). Patanjali actually mentions these on the foundation of Non-Attachment (Vairagya) and Discrimination (Viveka). such that the seeker will abandon these powers when they come (See Yoga Sutra 3. it can seem that there are only two realms (a Gross and Spiritual) with a Transition between them. which is not subject to death. codifier of Yoga science describes many siddhis (powers) that come to the Yogi through practices. the Yogis remind us. though some such journeying is sometimes needed so as to learn the lesson that the journeying is not needed. to move on to the Realization of the Absolute. Seeking the Subtle is a distraction: Patanjali. there is also a beauty in witnessing as one moves forward in the journey. with Discriminative Wisdom and Non-Attachment. not recognizing that they are merely a level to move through. though it may be best. you cultivate and train yourself to have a simultaneous awareness of: • • the Dreaming state. seeking of the breadth of the Subtle realm (U of OM Mantra) is a distraction on the journey to enlightenment. the Unconscious processing level of the mind. However. Awareness of the transition: In the practice of remembering the OM Mantra. or decomposition. and objects of the Subtle realm (U of OM Mantra).
• the Subtle realm of the universe (Dreaming. that part normally only accessed when one is having dreams while in the Dream state of sleep (U of OM Mantra). either while in bed at sleeping time or at Meditation time. The awareness of these three operating at the same level of reality (U of OM Mantra) is allowed to become clearer through practice over time. This might be experienced as very beautiful or very horrifying. The name of this transition stage of consciousness is Aladani. Forming the sound of "U": The actual sound is not like the letter "A" and the letter "U. One may sometimes consciously experience the transition between Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) and Waking (A of OM Mantra). and Subtle are all at the same level). Unconscious.... Aladani / Transition between U and M of OM Mantra Transition between Dreaming and Deep Sleep: There is a transition stage between Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) and Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra) states. it is the name of that transition level of consciousness itself." leading to Silence. between Waking and Dreaming. This state is very subtle. the transition at Aladani is .." followed by "UUUUU.. Then there is "MMMMM. However. but is the transition whereby the latent. formless facts or impressions start to stir..." There is "Ah. 4. It is a transition (as is Unmani." (as in shOE). This transition is not normally experienced consciously: This is a state that one normally does not experience consciously. depending on the nature of the thought patterns. Rather." but is more like "AOOUUUUU.. as described above). Aladani does not just refer to the personal experience between Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) and Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). and end up taking form in the Unconscious mind (U of OM Mantra).
It is a process that one is not normally conscious of. the Samskaras that are the driving force behind Karma (actions). . and aversions that play themselves out in dreams (U of OM Mantra). the transition of the genie is that of smoke that changes and solidifies into form. Moving past this transition level: For one truly on the path of Self-realization. formless. The genie was in latent form. As one touches on this transition phase from which the Subtle realm and Subtle thoughts are born. Impressions are stored in their latent form: The Deep Sleep state (M of OM Mantra) is the level where deep impressions are stored in their latent form. Those impressions are like seeds. but by rubbing the lamp. it is the name of that level of consciousness in which one experiences Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). the source of our Karma (the word Karma literally means "actions"). wishes. Beyond the Gross and Subtle: As attractive as the Gross and Subtle realm can be. The name of this level of consciousness is Prajna. wherein there was a genie. desires. one starts to see the way in which both the subtle and material realm are manifested and can be manipulated. Deep Sleep / Subconscious / Prajna / Causal / "M" of AUM Mantra "M" represents Deep Sleep: The Deep Sleep state of consciousness is represented by the "M" of the AUM Mantra. a transition process begins whereby the genie comes forth to fulfill any wishes. or turn into actions and speech in the external world (A of OM Mantra) have their root in this level of consciousness. It contains the roots of our habit patterns. in the Aladani transition. Rather. Between the stage of the genie being inside the lamp. this is a level to be acknowledged and moved past. latent form start to stir. 5. Aladani and Aladin's lamp: Notice the similarity between the names of the level of consciousness called Aladani and the story of Aladin's lamp. allowing the stirrings to fall back to rest so that the Absolute can be experienced. this is happening at a deeper level.very different from the Waking (A of OM Mantra) to Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) transition. Those wants. This is literally the beginnings of the enlivening of latent Samskaras. it is very important to note that this is not the same as the process whereby Unconscious active mental process springs forward through Unmani into the Waking or Conscious state. attractions. the thought patterns that are in their unmanifest. and being fully formed. Thoughts in their formless form: Here. Prajna does not just mean Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). these levels beyond Taijasa (the Dream State or Subtle realm) can be even more alluring and distracting. Once again.
) . How odd it is. the pot will go away.lying there waiting for water and fertilizer to awaken them. Prajna is supreme knowledge: "Pra" means "Supreme" and "Jna" comes from "Jnana. and although the clay never goes away. it is that out of which the next thing emerges. Prior to the creation of thoughts and emotions: However. whether in the Dream (Unconscious. so they may grow in the fields of Dreaming (U of OM Mantra) or Waking (A of OM Mantra). Prior to the manifestation of Gross and Subtle: It is also the domain that is deeper than. A metaphor sometimes used is the way that a pot comes out of clay. the level that is deeper than. Thus. Prajna (M of OM Mantra) is the level of consciousness that is of Supreme Knowledge (M of OM Mantra). Rather. U of OM Mantra) level or the Waking (Conscious. that the domain of Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). or prior to creation or manifestation (M of OM Mantra) of the objects and activities within both the Subtle (U of OM Mantra) and Gross (A of OM Mantra) realms." which means "Knowledge". Out of the clay emerges the pot. (The phrase "prior to" is not meaning in the sense of time. Here. where there seems to be nothing going on. A of OM Mantra) level. and merge back into the clay from which it came. is called the place of Supreme Knowledge. or prior to the creation of thoughts and emotions. Prajna (OM of OM Mantra) is the place. the clay is always there.
and thoughts. If one can gain access to the Samskaras (M of OM Mantra) while they are in this latent form. or action (A of OM Mantra). . This means direct experience of knowing.Infinite library of wisdom: One who begins to gain access to this Prajna level (M of OM Mantra) also begins to gain access to what has been called the Infinite Library of Wisdom. Making samskaras mere memories: Then. latent thought patterns (formless forms) called Samskaras that drive Karma. the deep habit patterns. they can be more readily altered such a way that they lose their potency. having lost their power (or reduced it substantially). or Samskaras (M of OM Mantra). speech. Storage and altering of samskaras: In this level of Prajna (the level of Deep Sleep. but with the level out of which that Subtle realm arises. not merely from some form of contact with the Subtle realm (U of OM Mantra). M of OM Mantra) is the storage of the formless. can no longer bind one to what would otherwise automatically drive actions.
#2 above. Those with great access to this level are sometimes revered. In this way. However. this is a process of dealing with the roots of habits directly. inactive. and instead walk in the pursuit of the Highest Realization. The awareness of these three operating at the same level of reality (M of OM Mantra) is allowed to become clearer through practice over time. those deep impressions (M of OM Mantra) have become mere memories with little or no power.) Gaining direct access to the samskaras: There are a variety of techniques that professional and lay people use at the Waking level (A of OM Mantra) to indirectly affect changes in these deep impressions. The Yogi wants to attenuate and then burn away the colorings of fears. storage) aspects of mind (from where the impetus for Karma. it is not merely pasting on another layer of habits on the top of the old. Contemplation. In Yoga Meditation and Contemplation. the Subconscious (latent. Prajna and Yoga Nidra: This level of Deep Sleep (M of OM Mantra). or actions springs forth). one remains in the Conscious. speech. descends to the Deep Sleep state (M of OM Mantra). dormant. It is like a rope that before could bind. out of which arises the Subtle and Gross universe (they are all at the same level). whereby one is left with inner conflict between the old and the new habits or Samskaras (that can play out unconsciously into actions and speech. Some of these can be very useful to spiritual aspirants in their journey. in Yoga Nidra one leaves the Waking state. the Absolute Reality (Silent aspect of OM Mantra). Waking state (A of OM Mantra). or Yogic Sleep is directed (Some incorrectly believe that Yoga Nidra is directed towards the transition level of Unmani. although even this attainment is short of the Self-realization that comes with the realization of Turiya." you cultivate and train yourself to have awareness of: • • • the Deep Sleep state. and yet. Burning away the colorings: For the Yogi. is the level at which Yoga Nidra. and the Causal realm. brings along Waking consciousness. (This process is definitely not one of psychological suppression or repression. as well as inner turmoil). the Yogis want direct access to these deep impressions (M of OM Mantra) so that they can choose their own deep habit patterns. This is why it is called the "Causal" realm or level of reality (M of OM Mantra). Though maybe still having the shape of a rope. paradoxically. the Yogi gradually becomes a master over the Samskaras (M of OM Mantra) leading to his or her own thoughts. egoism. and gradually allows that Waking state to expand through the other states that are normally unconscious. While the Yogi definitely cultivates the creation of new habit patterns. Three types of awareness with "M": In the practice of remembering the AUM Mantra. However. That is only an early experience on the way to true Yoga Nidra). but that has now been burned. through Yoga Meditation. aversions. when awareness is on "M. .Now. it has lost its ability to bind. Microcosm and macrocosm of Deep Sleep: These personal latent impressions or Samskaras are the microcosm. The Yogis suggest that the aspirant turn away even from the allurement of the offer of such creative powers. attractions. or Prajna. and spiritual ignorance (M of OM Mantra). while the macrocosm is the Causal plane (M of OM Mantra) from which creation of the entire Subtle (U of OM Mantra) and and Gross (A of OM Mantra) universe emerges. and Yoga Nidra (described below). and actions.
Many types of Samadhi: There are many forms of Samadhi." although that object may be extremely subtle. However. There is no longer an observer observing the observed. 2) A Process of Observing. U. there are three parts: 1) An Observer. If one is internally meditating on the image of a red rose. It is called Samadhi. Meditation on Gross or Subtle: The Object on which one is meditating (and then enters Samadhi) may be Gross or Subtle. and Deep Sleep: Beyond. However. Meditation may shift away from the red flower to the red color alone. However. these differences have to do with the nature of the object on which one was meditating before dropping into the state of Samadhi with that object. even that is still a Gross object of sorts. and to Subtle-most (the A. With Samadhi. Observer.Reducing samskaras through Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra is a state which allows one to experience thought patterns directly in their latent. and Deep Sleep (the A. and thus be able to reduce their power to play out due to habit. observing. Similarly. A simple example will help. An even cursory review of the texts will reveal dozens of different types. in any case there is still an "object. those are subtler (the U of OM Mantra). hidden. or to the ability to see light. such that object is the only thing left. That level of consciousness is the M of OM Mantra. to Subtler. Mostly. it is as if these three parts collapse into only one. The phenomena itself of reducing the power of the Samskaras comes about naturally through the deep process of introspection during Yoga Nidra. or to the blissful feeling that comes from the absorption. then these are still subtler. or formless forms. from Gross to Subtle. Eventually the inward shifting of attention reveals the essence of the object of Meditation and Samadhi. and M of OM Mantra) is the state of deep absorption. that is the stage to which one's Meditation practice next leads. Dreaming. and 3) The Object being observed. Samadhi / Deep Absorption Beyond Waking. 6. rather. and observed collapse into one: In Meditation on an object. there seems to be only the object. the "redness". U. It is as if the observer and the process of observing have become absorbed into the object. . and M of OM Mantra). or below Waking. If attention shifts deeper to the observer who is doing the observing. Meditation on a spiritual or religious object will also move through levels of experience. whether Gross or Subtle. Dreaming. that object is a Gross object (the A of OM Mantra). if attention shifts to light itself.
One is Samadhi "with form" or "with object" (of which there are many types of gross or subtle objects. there is not the diversity of types of Samadhi." in which there is attention that is not directed towards any form or object (since it is without any object or form. but the object is not. The difference is that in the case of objectless or formless Samadhi. (All other mantras merge into the vibration of OM. observes. 7. During Meditation. The name of this level of consciousness is Turiya." and represents that consciousness which permeates. one had simply forgotten the object. the Subtle realm. and is the other three levels. In both categories of Samadhi. to this Silence. then the state of absorption called Samadhi is within reach. Turiya / Consciousness / Absolute / Silence after AUM Silence represents the permeating consciousness: After the "A.Samadhi with. Cultivating Practice and Non-attachment: For one who does not get trapped by the activity of the Gross world. The stance of attention is still there. and is all of the other levels. Practice and Non-Attachment.) Turiya means "the fourth": Turiya literally means "the fourth. Attaining Samadhi rests on two foundation principles. and in turn. Abhyasa and Vairagya. there is no object. To call Turiya a . It is somewhat as if during Samadhi with form. and thus many types of Samadhi). attention was directed towards this form or object. and in Samadhi." and the "M" of the OM Mantra there is Silence that is representative of the consciousness that permeates. The other category is Samadhi "without form" or "without object. or without form: There are two general categories of Samadhi. or even the stirrings of the formless Causal level. the attention stance is similar. and thus came into objectless Samadhi. the attention becomes absorbed into that form or object. as is the case with Samadhi on form or object)." the "U.
In practicing the OM Mantra. Standing on the roof of the building: From the vantage point of Turiya. you can only look out a window. This awareness is allowed to become clearer through practice. along with their associated realities. in fact. one sees the entire panorama of the play of the levels of consciousness." the "U. and in fact. . Dreaming." and the Silence. since it is always. is the foundation of. or will not be experienced." and the "M" levels. Dreaming. Practicing the AUM Mantra: The AUM Mantra represents the four states of Waking. Causal levels) . These four are the focus of attention in remembering the OM Mantra. the other states. and Deep Sleep states (Gross. is the whole of the levels of the "A. over time."level" is not really accurate." the "U." and the "M." the "M. This does not mean they are not there. Deep Sleep. Practice with the Silence after AUM: In the practice of remembering the AUM Mantra. Dreaming. Subtle. where the first three floors are the Waking. and the fourth state of Turiya. whereas from the roof you can see it all." you cultivate and train yourself to have an awareness of that consciousness. It has been likened to standing on the roof of a three floor building." the "U. when awareness is on the Silence after the "A. and at one with. the emphasis is on the "A. From those levels. but simply that one not making specific use of them in Meditation and Contemplation. The Transition states and the Samadhi state are less focused on with intention during the practice. witness of. and that it: • • • Permeates all of the personal levels of Waking. Deep Sleep Permeates all of the Subtle realm Permeates all of the Causal realm Consciousness permeates.
teachers. sound and mantras truly do merge back into the Stillness and Silence from which they arose." or Self-realization. and Subtler levels of objects in which one might attain Samadhi. Samadhi is a dualistic style of attention. However. "I am a Wave in the Ocean of Bliss. it becomes much easier to see how it is that light. and there are Gross. wherein the meaning of AUM Mantra is revealed. while Turiya in nondualistic. Turiya brings one to Self-realization that. I and the Ocean are One. sages. and the levels of consciousness that it represents. sound and mantras lead to Stillness and Silence. and traditions have pointed out that eventually all light. Distinction between Samadhi and Turiya: There is a fine distinction between Samadhi and Turiya. and traditions have also pointed out that to really understand this. I am Ocean. The meaning of AUM is revealed: The masters. By understanding the meaning of AUM and OM Mantra. Subtle.Merging into stillness and silence: Many sages. I am That. I and the Ocean are One. as well as objectless Samadhi. There are many objects on which one can practice Yoga Meditation and enter Samadhi. I am That". I am a Wave in the Ocean of Bliss. teachers. leading one to the experience "I am That. I am Ocean. one must do the practices and go to the Stillness and Silence oneself. .
the statement is a clear comment on the strength of this wisdom and practice. It has also been widely said that if one understands and practices Mandukya Upanishad. and the juice of the Upanishads is in the Mandukya Upanishad. The OM Mantra is a roadmap of the entire process of sadhana and a most practical tool for SelfRealization. Mandukya Upanishad on Om Mantra: Yoga Vedanta Meditation The teachings of the Mandukya Upanishad and OM Mantra are well worth deep study. reflection and contemplation. OM Mantra is also suggested as a direct route to samadhi in the Yoga Sutras (See Yoga Sutras 1. it makes the context of all other practices significantly easier to understand and actually do.23-1.29). all of the other written and oral teachings can be explored as expansions of the foundation principles and practices encapsulated in this succinct summary. which outlines the philosophy and practices of the OM mantra (written as either AUM or OM). It is not only a most insightful writing. but also a complete outline for sadhana. the juice of the Vedas is in the Upanishads. discussion.Mandukya Upanishad: 12 Verses on AUM Mantra The pinnacle of the wisdom of the ancient sages is contained in the terse twelve verses of the Mandukya Upanishad. While nobody is likely to do that. . It has been said that the wisdom of the ancient sages is in the four books of the ancient most text the Vedas. To have such a terse summary as the centerpiece of practices. no other teachings are needed. enlightenment practices. By faithfully and intently engaging these twelve verses. The entire subject of Mandukya Upanishad is AUM Mantra.
All is OM: Hari Om. is also Brahman. All else which transcends time. the Absolute Reality. Through its seven instruments* and nineteen channels* it experiences the gross objects of the phenomenal world. This very Self itself. Four Levels of Consciousness (3-7): 3) Jāgarita-sthāno bahish-prājñahsaptānga ekonavimsatimukhah sthūla-bhug vaiśvānarah prathamah pādah. tasyopavyākhyānam bhūtam bhavad bhavishyaditi sarvam-omkāra eva. Yaccānyat trikālātītam tadapy omkāra eva. space. or will be is. Following is the exposition of Om. Atman. Everything that was. 4) Svapna-sthāno'ntah-prājñah saptānga ekonavimsatimukhah praviviktabhuk taijaso dvitīyah pādah. 2) Sarvam hyetad brahmāyam-ātmā brahma soyamātmā catushpāt. the Absolute Reality. consciousness is turned outward to the external world. Vaishvanara. Om-ity-etad-aksharam-idam sarvam. The whole universe is the syllable Om.Verses 1-2 describe the Self and the Absolute. is in truth Brahman. Atman has Four Aspects: All of this. in truth Om. In this first state. The Self and the Absolute (1-2): 1) Hari Om. Verses 8-12 outline the four aspects of AUM. Verses 3-7 explain the four levels of consciousness. everywhere. . and causation is also Om. is. First is Waking / Gross: The first aspect of Atman is the Self in the Waking state. This Atman or Self has four aspects through which it operates.
In this fourth state. which engage the subtle objects of the mental realm. there is neither the desire for any gross or subtle object. Prajna. and unthinkable with the mind. 7) Nantah-prājñam na bahih-prājñam. deductive reasoning or inference. Sushupta-āsthāna ekibhūtah prajñānaghana evānandamayo hyānandabhuk chetomukhah prājnastrityah pādah. Taijasa. filled with bliss. tranquil. In deep sleep. consciousness is turned towards the inner world. This fourth state of Turiya cannot be experienced through the senses or known by comparison. literally the fourth. Adrishtam-avyavahārayam-agrāhyam. It is within the cessation of all phenomena. nor any dream sequences. The Fourth Aspect is Turiya: The fourth aspect of Atman or Self is Turiya. prapancopasarnam santam sivam-advaitam caturtham manyante sa tm sa vijneyah. all such experiences have receded or merged into the ground of undifferentiated consciousness.Second is Dreaming / Subtle: The second aspect of Atman is the Self in the Dreaming state. it is beyond both cognition and the absence of cognition. nobhayatah-prājñam na prājñana-ghanam na prājñam naprājñam. Four Aspects of AUM (8-12): . In this second state. In this third state. This is the real or true Self that is to be realized. 6) Esha sarvesvara esha sarvajña esho'ntaryāmy-esha yonih sarvasya prabhavāpyayau hi bhūtānām. and is one without second. incomprehensible. one is filled with the experience of bliss. This one is the womb out of which all of the other emerge.alakshanam-acintyamavyapadesyam-ekātma-pratyayasāram. 5) Yatra supto na kancana kāmam kāmayate na kancana svapnam pasyati tat sushuptam. It also operates through seven instruments and nineteen channels. It is serene. All things originate from and dissolve back into this source. Find the Experiencer: The one who experiences all of these states of consciousness is the omniscient. consciousness is neither turned outward nor inward. and can also find the way to clearer knowledge of the two preceding states. it is indescribable. Here. This is Pure Consciousness itself. indwelling source and director of all. This is the real Self. Third is Deep Sleep / Causal: The third aspect of Atman is the Self operating in the Deep Sleep state. Nor is it both outward and inward.
the second letter of Om Mantra. 10) Svapna-stāhnas taijasa ukāro dvitīyā mātrotkarshādu-ubhayatvād. The Sound "A" is Waking / Gross: Vaishvanara is the consciousness experienced during the waking state. With the cessation of all phenomena. For one who knows this. 9) Jagarita-sthāno vaiśvānaro'kārah prathamā mātrā. and is that from which the other two emerge. The Sound "M" is Deep Sleep / Causal: Prajna is the consciousness experienced during the state of dreamless. Turiya is to be realized only in the silence behind or beyond the other three. That simple sound of A is first and permeates all other sounds. It is not utterable and is not comprehended through the senses or by the mind. . the first letter of Om Mantra. mm) and the three letters A.votkarsāti ha vai jñāna-santatim samānasca bhavati nāsyābrahmavit kule bhavati ya evam veda. The fourth state. Silence after "A-U-M" is the True Self: The fourth aspect is the soundless aspect of Om Mantra. ou. reflecting some qualities of the other two. 12) Amātras-caturtho'vyavahāryah prapancopasamah sivo'dvaita evamomkara ātmaiva samvisaty-ātman-ātmānam ya evam veda. and into they recede or merge. Those Four are the Same with "A-U-M" and Silence: That Om. and is M. the third letter of Om Mantra. The Sound "U" is Dreaming / Subtle: Taijasa is the consciousness experienced during the dreaming state.8) So'yam-ātmā adhyaksharam-omkaro dhimātram pādā mātrā mātrāsca pādā akāra ukāro makāra iti. dreaming. and sleeping. and these three states are identical with the three sounds and letters. The three sounds A-U-M (ah. It is a state of nondual (advaita) reality—one without a second. One who knows this subtler state is superior to others. knowers of Brahman. That Consciousness is Om Mantra. and is U. will be born into his family. M are identical with the three states of waking. even of bliss. This intermediate state operates between the waking and sleeping states. āpterādimatvād-vāpnoti ha vai sarvān kāmānādisca bhavati ya evam veda. it is pure Consciousness itself. One who is aware of this first level of reality has fulfillment of all longings and is successful. the Absolute Reality. this soundless aspect becomes known. though described as having four states. 11) Sushupta-sthnah prājño makras tritīya mtr miterapīter va minoti ha va idam sarvam-apītisca bhavati ya evam veda. A knower of this more subtle state can understand all within himself. It contains the other two. This fourth state. deep sleep. is indivisible. and is A. U.
while the nineteen channels relate more to the microcosmic. Nineteen Channels: Then. which is the goal described in other verses of the Mandukya Upanishad. along with the ten indriyas and a seed mantra for each.Turiya. witnessing. the inner instrument). grasping. instruments. and buddhi. exploring. and vyana). which are part of tattvas. samana. the Atman. but rather. and operate from the five lower chakras. air. water. This is not just intellectual information. Those four operate through the five pranas (prana. chitta. it can seem very complicated. fire. the individual operates through the four functions of mind (aspects of antahkarana. Consciousness manifests outward as space. water. ahamkara. you find yourself at the realization of the Self. The five elements operate in conjunction with the lower five chakras (at subtle level they are called tanmatras. to understand and remember these twenty-six principles. One with direct experience of this expands to Universal Consciousness. . the subject of this third verse of the Mandukya Upanishad. From that perspective. as well as witnessed in daily life. and speaking). tasting. and transcending those few. seeing. and hearing) These are explored in meditation and contemplation: All of these seven instruments and nineteen channels are the means by which the Self or Atman operates in the external world. *Twenty-Six Principles (from verses 3-4): The seven instruments are the more macrocosmic instruments. which are manas. If they are not conscientiously witnessed. moving. air. or subtle constituents). Seven Instruments: First. and the five cognitive senses (jnanendriyas of smelling. and earth. udana. is a real key to the self-observation and selfawareness practices that lead to the transcendence of all of these. and space are literally examined during meditation and contemplation. touching. fire. procreating. It is extremely useful. or channels. Keeping it simple: When reading about these twenty-six principles (the seven instruments and nineteen channels). one can be deprived of the depths of spiritual awakening. The five elements align with. if not essential. is the real Self or true Self. along with the individuation from the whole and the flow of energy (which we know as the pulsing impulse towards breath). However. the five active senses or indriyas (karmendriyas of eliminating. which is Vaishvanara. individual person. and the realization of the Self. Five elements: The five elements of earth. By systematically learning about. please keep in mind that the entire process of inner functioning is being mapped out in these principles. twenty-six is really not such a large number. apana.
and five are exit doors. and meditation in action. having no particular center. and is an upward flowing energy. Apana Vayu operates from the base of the torso. while there may be thousands of smaller currents. contemplation. Witnessing these ten senses is an important part of meditation. Udana Vayu operates from the throat and drives exhalation. The five are literally witnessed and examined during meditaition and contemplation. Four functions of mind: The four functions of mind are manas. which deals with inhalation. and is a coordinating energy throughout the various systems. which are called Karmendriyas (Karma means action: Indriyas are the means or senses). Samana Vayu operates from the navel area. chitta. having to do with vitalizing life forces. Karmendriyas: The five exit doors are five means of expression. Vyana Vayu operates throughout the whole body.Five pranas: When the Prana operates in the body. deals with digestion. which are called Jnanendriyas (Jnana means knowing. Ten Senses or Indriyas: The human being is like a building with ten doors. ahamkara and buddhi. Indriyas are the means or senses). Prana Vayu operates from the heart area. and has to do with eliminating or throwing off what is no longer needed. These five Vayus are the major currents that contain thousands of smaller currents. Five are entrance doors. is a downward flowing energy. operating in conjunction with Prana Vayu. These can be thought of as somewhat like major currents in one of the large oceans of the world. Manas = sensory. in the rectum area. and allows the mental discrimination between useful and not useful thoughts. processing mind Chitta = storage of impressions Ahamkara = "I-maker" or Ego . To witness these four is a tremendous practice for advancing in meditation. it divides into five major flows called Vayus. Jnanendriyas: The five entrance doors are the five cognitive senses.
Buddhi = knows. judges. decides. and discriminates .
OM is a symbol of the deep realities of the universe and the individual human being.... Pulsing Repetition Use a speed that is natural and comfortable: There are many rhythms in the body and mind. several cycles per second. Imagine the sound of OM. Or it might become extremely slow. and deep sleep (M) are definitely there. At first. It is also a roadmap to Self-realization. and balancing. However. and it is good to integrate the insights gradually with daily life. one of them may emerge that feels most personally in tune. sound continuing in the mind for much longer periods. The levels of gross (A). dreaming (U). the deep vibration quality is definitely experienced by the mystic traveler. Practice one of the seven: Following are seven meanings and methods of using the mantra. and causal (M). rising and falling. Or it may be slower. Rather. . with the mmmmmm. calming. The insights from the OM mantra can be significant. the experience can be quite pleasant.. having no sense of meaning at all. regardless of the symbolism captured in the mantra when stated as AUM Mantra.OM Mantra and 7 Methods of Practice by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati There are many meanings and methods of practicing OM Mantra. whether or not one has ever heard of the OM mantra as such. and different methods of using it. Gradually the other meanings will come. several seconds for each cycling of OM Mantra. going along with particular cultures or groups. both gross and subtle. subtle (U). It is these realities that are most useful in our spiritual practices Making the experience richer: If the OM mantra is repeated just for the feeling. OMmmmmOMmmmmOMmmmm. It may be very fast. Imagine it somewhat like one of these vibrations: • • OMmmOMmmOMmm.. at whatever speed is comfortable and natural. By experimenting with the various methods. the OM Mantra (or AUM Mantra) is a symbol of deep realities that already exist. if one has a sense of the deeper meanings of the mantra. 1.. it is best to use the mantra gently and for short periods of time. then the experience can be even richer and more revealing as one progresses in yoga meditation. Integrate the insights: The use of this mantra can be profound. as they all merge into a unified experience. For example. It might be best to practice only one of the seven methods of OM mantra for a while. Introduction OM symbolizes deep realities: OM Mantra itself is not a mere human invention. and the states of waking (A). but still pulsing at that slow rate. Below are seven methods that are very useful and can lead to deep experiences of contemplation and meditation.
.. It is not a method of escapism.. Some specific chair will probably come to mind. Repeat like this: • • • Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm." Another method: Alternatively. It may be large." Inhale: "OMmmmmmmm. It brings a centering..." Inhale: " (silence) (silence) (silence) " " " Mind. making no external sound." Inhale: "OMmmmmmmm. Meditation will deepen. Allow the mantra to flow with the breath. Rather.. the mind becomes calm.. done well..." Inhale: " Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm. you come to experience the mind. This synchronization has a beautiful effect on meditation. small. but rather..• OMmmmmmmmOMmmmmmmmOMmmmmmmm. Meditation time and daily life: This kind of awareness of the OM mantra can be used both at meditation time and during daily life." Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm. It may be a wooden chair or a metal chair. the body relaxes.. or this or that style.. it definitely can have the effect of bringing focus to the mind. breath. if that feels more comfortable: • • • Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm. or between exhalation and inhalation. 2.. It is not a matter of forcing the mantra to slow. This does not mean being in a dull.. no pause between inhalation and exhalation. balancing quality to daily life. in the mind only. and selflessly serving others.. That rate of speed at which the OM mantra is being repeated naturally slows down. If you hear the word chair. one has a greater openness to being aware of positive thoughts and spiritual realities that are always there. no space. Allow the mind to stay wide awake and alert. Allow there to be no gap." Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm. it brings clarity of mind and a greater ability to be in the world. 3... then the concept of chair-ness arises in your mind. this slowing comes quite naturally." Inhale: "OMmmmmmmm. imagine the OM mantra only on exhalation. and mantra in unison: In this practice. As the Object Called Universe Words have an object and meaning: Words usually have a corresponding object and meaning to go with that word.. breath. In this way.. and the breath becomes even soother and slower." Inhale: " Exhale: "OMmmmmmmm. Breaking habit patterns: This is not intended as a blocking mechanism to prevent dealing with one's thought process or with the challenges of life. Simply allow the OM Mantra to come and go with each inhalation and exhalation.. When the mind becomes calm. as the OM mantra and breath become naturally slower and slower. which can break a pattern of disturbing or distracting thoughts coming from the noisy or chattering mind. However. lethargic state. and mantra flowing in unison. and it . With the Flow of Breath One method: Imagine the sound of OM Mantra internally. The OM mantra is allowed to be somewhat of a constant companion. for example. The speed naturally slows: As you gently allow the OM mantra to flow with the breath.
U. and 3) a specific chair. to contain the whole. Some people experience this as a buzzing or ringing sound. and mantras recede when followed back to their source. and M.. Sound Vibration of the Universe The subtle sound is always there: A vibration exists. with the awareness of OM is a good way to start with the vibration aspect of OM. and reflecting on chair. the mmmmmmm. sounds like a continuous vibration. However.. a seat.) Listening to this vibration. Gradually. which is the object that goes with the word OM. The object that goes with OM is the universe: When the word OM is heard. single object. underneath all of the grosser aspects of being.. Receding into OM: That vibration represented by OM Mantra is the substratum into which all those vibrations. Stretching the attention: There is a feeling of stretching. is experienced as the silence from which the sound of OM itself emerged. causal planes of reality. Listening in this way can be particularly enjoyable and insightful when recalling some of the other meanings of OM Mantra at the same time. 4. ever sounding out mmmmmmm. including the gross. as a single unit. It means that whole. sounds.. subtle. So. Silence from which OM emerges: Eventually. Similar words: Some say that this everlasting. in this practice. Amin.. which are contained in OM Mantra. imagine that underlying vibration of the universe.may be new or old. both manifest and un-manifest. three things are there: 1) the word chair. Awareness expands to contain the object: With attention turned inward. like the end of the OM mantra (Or you might hear it as eeeeeeeee. . 2) the concept of chair-ness. It is that infinitely huge object. it is extremely loud and serene. all pervasive vibration of OM Mantra is also the source and intent of Amen. this leads to a deep stillness and silence. Listen to the vibration while remembering OM: There is a sound that can relatively easily be heard in your ears that is more surface level. and continue to expand. yet is collectively a chair. as if the attention had to get bigger and bigger. The subtle sound of OM Mantra is constantly there.. as if it were coming from all places. and legs. Continue to repeat OM. as if it was one. which paradoxically. In the same way. OM? The concept that goes with OM is the one-ness or entirety of the universe. the same way as the chair has a back... Some say that this sound is the Word of God. beyond the three sounds of A. like a substratum. In the sections below. and Shalom. At a deeper level. coming from the brain. By listening closely. as you internally repeat the sound of OM. the concept and image of chair arises. do the same thing with the word OM. sound can be heard. so as to allow your attention to contain the whole of the object called OM. • • Emerging from OM: The reality symbolized by OM Mantra is the ground vibration out of which all other vibrations. the silence is described as being the fourth state. it will expand to deeper sound of the mantra. and allow your awareness to expand. what is the concept and object that comes to mind? What is that thing that goes along with that word. as if it could contain the whole universe to go with that word. sounds and mantras emerge. The object that goes with the word OM is the entire universe. and when heard in deep yoga meditation. and through all things.
4. is experienced in a shallow way at first. including the gross. and Causal Planes Remembering four planes with OM: The OM mantra designates the whole of the universe. When the "U" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. (To better understand 2. out of which the gross and subtle emerge. refers to the absolute reality that is the substratum for each of the other three realities. and then allow those thoughts to drift away. it is best to gently allow other thought patterns to come into the field of attention. as well as OM. the mantra is also written as AUM. The Silence after these three. be aware of the gross world.. 3. something like this: AaaaaaUuuuuuMmmmmm. but then it becomes clearer and quite insightful. as best you can of the existence of the subtle or astral realm. When the Silence comes to the mind field. In other words. the listening for OM is not used to suppress thoughts and emotions. be aware.. Thus. be aware of the causal. but at the same time. Gross. so as to go beyond. sticks. The M refers to the causal plane." and finally the silence beyond the mantra. Start slowly in remembering the parts: When using the mantra in this way. and into which they rest when not active. It might help to think of it like being the canvas on which a picture is painted." then "Mmmm. When the "M" of OM mantra arises in the mind field.Silence. the background stillness out of which the subtle and gross emerge. 2.. do not get caught up in these objects. The explanation below can sound a bit technical.. This fourth level of the mantra the absolute reality. First. . Do not get caught up in these objects. This can be difficult to imagine. the people.. just be aware of this level of reality. and the silence have the following meanings: 1. As with the gross world. and letting go of the thought patterns. but this truly is a very practical use of the mantra. subtle. be aware of the absolute reality that permeates each of the other three layers. The U part refers to the subtle realm. This is one way to gain access to the ability to be a neutral witness of the stream of thoughts in the mind. and causal planes (realms." then "Uuuu. It does require working with the mantra and the meaning. and your own physical being.Allowing thoughts to come and go: While listening. once you understand the meaning. and only deepens with continued practice of contemplation and yoga meditation.. allowing time to be aware of each of the levels. non-attachment is learned by staying with the vibration. so as to go beyond. 1. just be aware of this level of reality. and then let go of it. 4.. Be aware of the four parts of the mantra separately (though forming a continuous sound). 3. Rather. either engaging them or pushing them away.. There is not really any intent of doing anything with these thoughts. or the screen on which a movie is projected. is the sound like "Ah. and then let go of it. Four parts of OM: The OM Mantra has four parts. or levels) and the absolute reality of which they are a part. attention is allowed to expand. Actually allow your attention to scan these aspects of the world. Subtle. When the "A" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. as is sometime described as being like watching leaves. it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly. 5. The A sound refers to the gross world. including the objects of the world. including whatever objects you might intuit. and logs floating by in a river. The three sounds.
Subconscious Mind . 3. and Deep Sleep Four states of consciousness: The four parts of AUM also refer to the levels of waking. but rather. and the silence have the following meanings: 1. Conscious. All of these have come to rest in a dormant. be aware of the waking state of consciousness. consciousness flows through the waking state. The "A" sound refers to the waking state of consciousness. 3. in relation to the world and your inner mental and emotional process. dreaming. When the "M" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. 7. Dreaming. Imagine that you can somehow be witness to waking. formless form. 2. 2. This simply means being aware of being awake. and even the deep sleep state (although there is no active content in deep sleep). This does not mean thinking of the objects of the world. 1. notice how very personal the practice is. being mindful of your personal waking state. but that you are mindful of the dream state that is beneath the waking state. 4. as attention longs to rest in the silence. in that you are consciously cultivating awareness of the levels of your own internal states. In other words. as well. From that. be aware of the consciousness that permeates all of the other three states of consciousness. and no words. It has an in here focus. it moves more quickly. Focusing more inwardly: When using the OM mantra in this way. subtle. By contrast. be aware of the deep sleep state of consciousness. dreaming. and deep sleep. When the Silence comes to the mind field. It is said that the states of deep sleep. the great contemplations. they merge into one awareness. This does not necessarily mean that you are experiencing those dreams. samadhi. dreaming. you will see how the mantra and the contemplations go together.) 6. Unconscious. where there is no active thought process. no images. be aware of the dreaming state of consciousness. no pictures. refers to the witness consciousness that is observer of the other three states of consciousness. and death are very close together. and deep sleep from a higher vantage point that is aware of all. Be aware of how the mind is in complete stillness in that state. With practice. The question can arise of why a spiritual seeker cares about the states of waking. the use of OM with the levels of gross. that they function at the same levels Begin by remembering slowly: As in the last practice. The three sounds. Ultimately. When the "A" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly. The Silence after these three. and absolute reality (above) has more of a focus out there.this. causal. the dreaming state. allowing yourself time to be aware of each of the levels. 4. The "U" part refers to the dreaming state of consciousness. please refer to the paper on the Mahavakyas. and deep sleep. The "M" refers to the deep sleep state of consciousness. When the "U" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. Waking.
it just sits there in a latent. or use different terms. somewhat like the data on the hard disk that is stored only as raw data. Subconscious and Causal. be aware of the consciousness that permeates all of the other three levels. that is the storage of your deep impressions and habit patterns. which is above or higher than the other three AUM Name of level States of Consciousness Levels of Consciousness Levels of Reality . The "M" refers to the subconscious level. 4. When the "U" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. this Silence expands to being the awareness of the other three states. Begin slowly: Once again. The Silence represents the fourth state. with no images as such). which permeates the conscious. one comes to see that the last three methods of using AUM (above) are manifestations of the same levels of being. be aware of the conscious level of mind. where all of the countless memories of people. It is going on behind the scenes. as well as the consciousness that permeates these. Consciousness is there in the latent part of the mind. The easiest way to do this. With practice. Be aware of that stillness. in that all of the other levels of mind are witnessed from this vantage point. Unconscious. When the Silence comes to the mind field. It is at this stage that one is called a Seer. The "U" part refers to the unconscious level of mind. even though those objects are not awakened into action at the moment. It is there. and subconscious. 4. Notice how the "A" represents. not the particular choice of words). much like the microprocessor in a computer that is invisibly doing its work. There is the conscious. it moves more quickly. in this external world. The meaning is what is important. and day to day information is stored. as best you can. When the "M" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. unconscious. The "A" sound refers to the conscious level of mental functioning. be aware. (Note that some psychologies or systems use the words unconscious and subconscious in reverse. that your mind is presently functioning at an unconscious level as well. that is out of view. There is a tremendous amount of thinking process normally going on. Waking. 3. refers to the pure consciousness. objects. is to contrast conscious to the unconscious. 1. The Silence after these three. as attention longs to rest in the silence. Integration of the Practices Three methods from same levels: Gradually. Until it is needed. The "M" represents Deep Sleep. dormant form (It is actually in a formless form. consciousness flows through the unconscious functioning. In other words. and the silence have the following meanings: 1. Conscious. the storage place of mind. and Gross levels. unconscious. that we are aware of here. like the information stored on a hard disk of a computer. 3. be aware of the latent part of the mind. it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly. and there is the unconscious that is not seen in the deeper mind. The three sounds. 2. This is what psychologists call primary process. 2. Eventually. When the "A" of OM mantra arises in the mind field. and subconscious levels of awareness.Levels of consciousness: The four parts of AUM also refer to the levels of conscious. The "U" represents Dreaming. and Subtle levels.
consciousness. and the countless pulsings of the gross and subtle. are all manifestations of that one great vibration that is represented by OM mantra. the flow with the breath.A U M Silence Vaishvanara Taijasa Prajna Turiya / Fourth Waking Dreaming Deep Sleep Turiya / Fourth Conscious Unconscious Subconscious Consciousness / Self / Atman Gross Subtle Causal Absolute Reality The one great vibration: One comes to experience that the four aspects of AUM. . or three cities including: gross. so as to capture its individual meaning and experience. Tripura: Maha Tripura Sundari. subtle. subconscious Unity of the methods: In practicing the seven methods above. it is best to focus on one at a time. essence. unconscious. beautiful one. conscious. the great. the vibration of the universe. sleeping. the unity of the methods is experienced. causal. Eventually. or reality that dwells in the three "cities" (tri-pura. the object that goes with OM mantra. waking. dreaming.
as if you are talking to yourself in your mind. Shanti. rather than causing it to happen. or sacred word to focus the mind. turning into a constant awareness. Ajapa-Japa is the practice of Japa without the mental effort normally needed to repeat the mantra. It is more like noticing what is already happening. denial. The practice of constant remembrance evolves in stages: • At first. single suggestions of the ancient sages is the use of mantra japa. and emotional challenges. At other times it is very fast. and subtler spiritual experiences. It must be practiced for the benefits to be experienced. or become weaker. you merely remember the mantra with attention drawn to it. The incoming streams of negative thoughts. The objects of the senses begin to lose their control over actions. Shanti. an oasis in which the mind can rest. Mantra japa leads one in the direction of deeper meditations. It is somewhat like the attention stance of listening rather than speaking. With practice. though you might not literally hear the sound. as if flying through the sky without restraint. Shanti. and desires from the unconscious mind attenuate. It is not escape. (Some practitioners consider this automatic repeating to be the meaning of Ajapa-Japa. No amount of intellectualizing will convince you of this. In time. which just comes on its own. the feeling of the mantra is there. Thus.Mantra Japa and Ajapa-Japa by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati A key to stabilizing the mind Many students of meditation and spiritual life complain of a noisy mind. out of control senses. though there is a subtler meaning. but a tranquil companion. one of the most important principles is the practice of constant remembrance. "OM. The mantra japa gradually becomes a best friend of the mind. In other words. The mantra gives a place of refuge. You allow the inner sound to come at whatever speed feels comfortable to the mind. emotions. as described below. the mantra japa is repeated automatically. like a song that you have heard many times. For example. and Ajapa-Japa means constant awareness. Sometimes it is very slow. One of the most significant.) Gradually. it has begun to come naturally. or repression. During the remembering of the word there may be two things--the word and the • • • . you intentionally repeat the syllables of the mantra internally. Constant remembrance of mantra Regardless of what mantra you use. By cultivating such a steady awareness many benefits come: • • • • • • • One who practices mantra japa in this way will find that the challenges and stressors of daily life are not nearly as disturbing. even when the sound or remembering of the syllables is not there. sometimes people will say. The letter A in front of the word Japa means without. as if the mind were wading through a vat of honey." where the word Shanti means peace or tranquility. Japa and Ajapa-Japa Japa means repeating or remembering the mantra.
and religions have mantra in one form or another. As the practice evolves. subtler than both the syllables and any surface level meaning or definition. spiritual lineages. not literal. useful benefits will come from the practice of Japa and Ajapa-Japa. while others are seed syllables having only feeling. this is remembrance of the feeling of the mantra. word. Some have very subtle effects on energy. there comes a pervasive awareness of the mantra. This constant awareness is the meaning of Ajapa-Japa of the mantra. words. or compact prayers that can be used for Japa and Ajapa-Japa. while others are more like positive affirmations given to train the conscious mind. Whatever mantra. while others are completely non-sectarian. the feeling may still be there. or syllables are used. Some have religious significance. word-for-word definitions. Choice of mantras There are many mantras. . When the syllables fade away.• feeling of peace or tranquility. Virtually all of the meditation traditions. • • • Some words have specific meaning.
Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect. Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees. sushumna leads to the crown chakra. However. . feeling. 2. shiva and shakti. Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day. texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages. enlightenment will come. Delusions: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance. Upanishads: Some say there are 108 Upanishads. 9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. Each intersections has masculine and feminine. 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). One of them. and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. Regardless of the meaning of 108. 9 times 12 is 108. None of these reasons are being promoted here as more or less true than the others. 1x4x27=108 Harshad number: 108 is a Harshad number. Powers of 1. Each has masculine and feminine. The question often arises: Why are there 108 beads on a mala? Below are some of the many reasons that have been given for having 108 beads on a mala. or set of mantra counting beads. and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1. Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines. and is said to be the path to Self-realization. which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad is from Sanskrit. 1 plus 8 equals 9. 54 times 2 is 108. you may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general. 54 times 2 equals 108. it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras. as well as a few other points of interest. Thus. there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body. Lies: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell. Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. and there are 54 such intersections. That 9 times 12 equals 108. and the human in particular. Also. the mantra be remembered with sincerity.Meaning of 108 beads on a mala by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati On a mala. or some fraction of that number. shiva and shakti qualities. 2 to 2nd power=4 (2x2). and full attention. devotion. there are generally 108 beads. and means "great joy") Desires: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.
Marmas: Marmas or marmasthanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body. Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future. 8 extra beads: In doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to God and Guru. Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a second. The number that naturally exist on Earth is around 100. Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole. River Ganga: The sacred River Ganga spans a longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91), and a latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31). 12 times 9 equals 108. Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108. Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names. Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna. 1, 0, and 8: Some say that 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity. Sun and Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. Moon and Earth: The average distance of the Moon from the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon. Silver and the moon: In astrology, the metal silver is said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108. Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3 ... 10, etc., where 0 is not a number. Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation. Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600. Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 paths to God.
Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads. Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names. Islam: The number 108 is used in Islam to refer to God. Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively. Sikh: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads. Buddhism: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to celebrate a new year. There are said to be 108 virtues to cultivate and 108 defilements to avoid. Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called suchu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. Chinese astrology says that there are 108 sacred stars. Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey. Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the quiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala. Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions. Praiseworthy souls: There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls. First man in space: The first manned space flight lasted 108 minutes, and was on April 12, 1961 by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut.
Gayatri Mantra (GUY-ah-tree) is one of the most known and beneficial of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. Gayatri is a mantra of physical, emotional, and mental healing, purifying the subtle karmas, protection from the onslaught of obstacles, and of spiritual awakening or Self-realization.
Aum Bhur Bhuva Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat On the absolute reality and its planes, On that finest spiritual light, We meditate, as remover of obstacles That it may inspire and enlighten us. AUM/OM: Absolute reality. That which encompasses the three states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep, represented by AUM, the three levels of gross, subtle, causal, the three levels of conscious, unconscious, subconscious, and the three universal processes of coming, being, and going. Absolute silence beyond the three levels is the silence after AUM. Bhur: Physical realm or plane; earth. Bhuva: The subtle or astral plane. Svah: The higher, celestial plane. -----------------------------Tat: That, the essential essence. Savitur: Bright, luminous, sun-like, inner power of spiritual light, which brings one to Self-realization.
-----------------------------Dhiyo: Our being of intelligence. resplendent. impel. which is a common complaint.Varenyam: Finest. choicest. Specific number of days: Mind also likes the plan of knowing how many days or months a practice will take to complete. mind likes the habit. . It has been said that there is freedom in discipline. 3. fit to be sought. choosing to do a regular practice frees the mind from wondering what practice will be done that day. but rather. understanding. best. 1. Fixed time per practice session: Mind finds comfort in knowing that it will do the practice of one round of 108 repetitions (or some other number of rounds). A traditional way to do an extended mantra practice is to choose a number of repetitions per day. Same number of rounds: Mind also likes the predictability of doing a certain number of rounds done per day. and that each round will take a predictable amount of time (18 minutes per round of 108 repetitions). shining Dhimahi: We meditate. The mind likes to have a beginning and end to a practice. but once it gets started in the practice. This can be very beneficial in stabilizing a noisy mind. a sense of completion. intellect. A mala is a set of counting beads with 108 beads. Mind may resist at times. -----------------------------Bhargo: Destroyer of obstacles. Effulgence Devasya: Divine. 2. counting with a set of mala beads. 2. which Naha: Our Prachodayat: May enlighten. guide. or 4 rounds of 108 mantras per day. however you personally hold that. inspire. mind/heart Yo: Who. with the other 8 considered an offering to the divine. such as comes with a 40 day (or longer) practice. and to do that for 40 days. with feeling and awareness. 3. Only 100 are counted. direct. You might choose to do 1. -----------------------------40 day practice The period of 40 days has been widely recognized as an auspicious period both in the East and the West since ancient times. It is also important not to do the mantra practice with rote repetition.
if two rounds per day is a good number (34 minutes). it is important to have stability from one day to the next. 48 min 2 hr. . 12 min 1 hr. Such a practice simply must be done personally to understand the benefits.000 repetitions of a mantra (Such an extended practice is called a purascharna). It does take quite a commitment to do this practice every day for such a long period.To complete the equivalent of 1250 rounds of a mala. For example. will take this amount of time: Rounds per day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Time per day 18 min 36 min 54 min 1 hr.By running your own experiment for 40 days. rather than changing the number from day to day. 6 min Total days 1250 625 417 313 250 209 179 Appx. Extended practice A noticeable level of mantra siddhi (power of the mantra) is said to come with 125. then it's better to stay with that amount each and every day. you can decide for yourself whether or not the practice is beneficial. Listening to this online Gayatri mantra recording of 108 repetitions (18 minutes) is equivalent to one round of a mala . 30 min 1 hr. and to not skip any days. months 42 21 14 10 1/2 8 1/2 7 6 Such an extended practice with Gayatri mantra can have a tremendous effect in stabilizing the mind in preparation for advancing in meditation. but it is well worth the effort. It is best to choose the level that works for you consistently. but four on the next day. This is equivalent to 1250 rounds of a mala. or a total of 125. not to do none on one day. In choosing the level of practice per day.000 repetitions of Gayatri mantra.
from the higher. Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance. Ambakam means eyes. and dissolution. the three levels of gross. being. deep sleep. unconscious. emotional. May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality. The three "eyes" means experiencing these three stages and triads at one time. dreaming. all pervasive vantage point of the Absolute. It is also said to be quite beneficial for mental. Maha mrityunjaya is a call for enlightenment and is a practice of purifying the karmas of the soul at a deep level. Tryambakam: Trya means three. which are the processes of creation. and going. and physical health. subconscious. the three levels of conscious. subtle. AUM/OM: Absolute reality. as well as the other triads. That which encompasses the three states of waking. Like a spreading fragrance. while at the same time being that existence . -----------------------------Sugandhim: Means fragrance. Absolute silence beyond the three levels is the silence after AUM. Yajamahe: We rejoice in meditation on all of this. It means the three eyes of the Absolute. which are part of AUM. and the three universal processes of coming. Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (maha-mrityun-jaya) is one of the more potent of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. causal. represented by AUM. existence. all of this permeates the whole of existence.
mind likes the habit. . This can be very beneficial in stabilizing a noisy mind. like the process of severing the cucumber from the creeping vine. but once it gets started in the practice. By running your own experiment for 40 days. while also the essence of all beings. a sense of completion. as in bound down to the ignorance and untruth. the fragrance that permeates all is the sustainer of all beings. Bandhanan: Means bound down. and that each round will take a predictable amount of time (18 minutes per round of 108 repetitions). however you personally hold that. and to do that for 40 days. 3. -----------------------------Urvarukamiva: Urva means big and powerful. A traditional way to do an extended mantra practice is to choose a number of repetitions per day.Pushtivardhanam: Means that which sustains and nourishes all. -----------------------------40 day practice The period of 40 days has been widely recognized as an auspicious period both in the East and the West since ancient times. so as to have this liberation. Mukshiya: Means liberation from the cycles of physical. 3. Arukam means disease. Fixed time per practice session: Mind finds comfort in knowing that it will do the practice of one round of 108 repetitions (or some other number of rounds). like the spiritual diseases of ignorance and untruth. counting with a set of mala beads. such as comes with a 40 day (or longer) practice. which are like the death of Wisdom or Truth. or 4 rounds of 108 mantras per day. You might choose to do 1. Mind may resist at times. 1. The mind likes to have a beginning and end to a practice. with feeling and awareness. with the other 8 considered an offering to the divine. Thus. -----------------------------Mrityor: Means ignorance and untruth. It has been said that there is freedom in discipline. Specific number of days: Mind also likes the plan of knowing how many days or months a practice will take to complete. you can decide for yourself whether or not the practice is beneficial. and spiritual death. A mala is a set of counting beads with 108 beads. It is also important not to do the mantra practice with rote repetition. mental. 2. Maamritat: Means please give me rejuvenating nectar. which is a common complaint. Same number of rounds: Mind also likes the predictability of doing a certain number of rounds done per day. but rather. 2. choosing to do a regular practice frees the mind from wondering what practice will be done that day. Only 100 are counted.
30 min 1 hr. For example. In choosing the level of practice per day. but four on the next day. or a total of 125. Such a practice simply must be done personally to understand the benefits. then it's better to stay with that amount each and every day. 6 min Total days 1250 625 417 313 250 209 179 Appx. Listening to this online Mahamrityunjaya mantra recording of 108 repetitions (18 minutes) is equivalent to one round of a mala .Extended practice A noticeable level of mantra siddhi (power of the mantra) is said to come with 125. . months 42 21 14 10 1/2 8 1/2 7 6 Such an extended practice with Maha Mrityunjaya mantra can have a tremendous effect in stabilizing the mind in preparation for advancing in meditation. It is best to choose the level that works for you consistently. but it is well worth the effort. if two rounds per day is a good number (34 minutes). To complete the equivalent of 1250 rounds of a mala. It does take quite a commitment to do this practice every day for such a long period. This is equivalent to 1250 rounds of a mala. 12 min 1 hr. will take this amount of time: Rounds per day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Time per day 18 min 36 min 54 min 1 hr. not to do none on one day. 48 min 2 hr. and to not skip any days.000 repetitions of Mahamrityunjaya mantra.000 repetitions of a mantra (Such an extended practice is called a purascharna). rather than changing the number from day to day. it is important to have stability from one day to the next.
being. The three levels of Om. homage. Thus. are seen to be true. Absolute silence beyond the three levels is the silence after AUM. unconscious. Shivaya/Shiva: That Absolute Reality that is the ground out of which the others emerge. which is at the heart of the Vedas and Tantra. as well as the three universal processes of coming. as well as the three levels of conscious. as well as the light referred to in Gayatri Mantra. It is that "ink. Thus. Om Namah Shivaya mantra is called five-syllable mantra. everything. The Five Sacred Syllables: The Om Namah Shivaya mantra has five syllables: namah-shi-va-ya (sometimes called six syllable mantra by including Om). She (Shakti). and is widely used in this and other variations in the Himalayan tradition. the great utterances. fire. subtle." Rather. . OM/AUM: The three parts of Om (A-U-M) encompass the three states of waking. and the three levels of conscious. and causal. the following focuses on meanings for mantra meditation leading to Self-Realization." so to speak. dreaming. Shiva (the static or ground) and Shakti (the active or creative) are seen to be one and the same. and going. as well as by others. one comes to see that he or she is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. five syllables) is a most potent and popular mantra. "nothing is mine. the three worlds of gross. while one with Shiva is realized in direct experience as the one in the three worlds (Tripura) outlined in Om. The Mahavakyas. the one who live in the "three cities" as in Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. While there are other descriptions of the mantra. deep sleep. the Om Namah Shivaya mantra leads awareness in the reverse order from manifestation back to the source from which manifestation arose. all of these triads is "thine" or the "other" as the Absolute Reality. It also refers to Tripura. air. subconscious. these five represent the five elements of earth. Among other things. everything is thine (as the Absolute Reality).Om Namah Shivaya (Panchakshara Mantra) Om Namah Shivaya (Panchakshara Mantra. unconscious. respect. dreaming. causal. In the Realization of this. subtle. the three levels of gross. and subconscious themselves are "not mine" as the true properties of who I really am. Namah/Namaha: Adoration. and deep sleep states of consciousness. that is not separate from the many forms which may appear to manifest or be created from that ink. Nothing is mine (as an individual person). and space. along with the three states of waking. or Panchakshara Mantra (panch means five). Truly. water.
Allow yourself to feel the meaning of the mantra." meaning. and mantras of their own religion. It is the mantra Maranatha. The word Maranatha is the final instruction of St. an ancient mantra of Christian tradition.1). "Come Lord. and is St.Maranatha: A Christian Meditation Mantra by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati Maranatha "Ma-Ra-Na-Tha" "Come Lord" Maranatha Mantra: The teachings of Yoga Meditation are universal and non-sectarian. which says. Or it might be a universal mantra such as the Soham mantra." and this particular usage of "atha" implies prior preparation has been done. However. Often the mantra is prescribed by one's teacher or lineage. as is my personal orientation. either one's native tongue or the language of one's chosen religion. there is a Christian meditation mantra that has been used for a very long time by the early monks. of the practitioners of Yoga Meditation who use a mantra use Sanskrit mantras. Pronouncing the mantra: The Maranatha Mantra is pronounced with "a" as in "car" or "far" (Ma-Ra-Na-Tha)." As "maran-atha. Allow it to arise rhythmically in the mind field at whatever speed comes naturally. These are called seed or bija mantras. since Christianity is the dominant religion of the culture where I live." "Atha" is in Maranatha and Yoga Sutras: Note that in the latter parsing the phrase "atha" is the same as the first word of the Yoga Sutras (Yoga Sutra 1. though it is little known publicly as a mantra practice. the science of Yoga Meditation itself does not tell you what mantras to use. "atha yoga anushasanam. John's final instruction in the Book of Revelations. For those who follow Christianity. the final teaching of the entire Christian Bible is "Maranatha. or is practiced in accordance with one's religious affiliation. the last word. and also encourages people to follow the teachings." Mara-natha and Maran-atha: One meditation teacher explains he was taught in seminary that when the word Maranatha is parsed (broken into parts) as "maranatha" or "maran-atha. in whatever way matches your own spiritual or religious predisposition. possibly most. traditions. Thus. "now begins yoga. whether fast or slow." it means "Come Lord." which is Aramaic and means. it is very useful to be aware of the Maranatha Mantra." it means "Lord is Here" or "Lord has Come. While many." it has two different meanings: As "mara-natha. Maranatha is the final instruction: To many people the use of mantra or sacred word appears to be an Eastern practice. being of Western birth. However. The mantra might be in Sanskrit or any other language. making one ready for these practices. though being root sounds of languages. Diversity of mantras: Mantra is a very useful practice in Yoga Meditation. Paul's teachings to the Corinthians." The word "atha" means "now. Or simply feel the calmness that . Some of the more brief meditation mantras are simply sound vibrations that are not from any particular language. though you will probably find it will slow down on its own." or "Lord Come. The Himalayan tradition uses a diversity of mantras for meditation. I mostly meet people who were born into Christian families. often associated with Buddhism or Hinduism.
slow. This subtle stream is considered by some to be the Silver Cord referred to in Ecclesiastes and some of the mystical Christian traditions The Bindu. let the breath be smooth. Remembering the mantra: The mantra may be remembered in the mind with no association with breath. Imagine it to be a space about the size of the palm of your hand. Positioning the mantra: While remembering the mantra. the home of emotions and feelings. The feeling is more subtle when remembered in the silence of the mind rather than spoken aloud. just allow your attention to rest in that space. and then goes beyond it. in the cave of the still. silent heart. where the attention rests. or the field of mind. while holding the deeper meaning and feeling in awareness. This process involves traversing the subtle stream of consciousness that is called Sushumna in Sanskrit. Allow this to happen naturally. rhythmic companion. feeling the coming and going of the mantra. or point of light is then encountered at the end . it also coordinates nicely with the breath when remembered silently as Ma-Ra-Na-Tha. Be sure that the syllables of the mantra are only in the mind. or on the feel of the air at the bridge of the nostrils. and not disturbing the flow of the breath in the lungs. as well as what some call the spiritual heart. such as a circular area in that space. encounters the source of the light. After seeing that point of light. but a small field. Follow the mantra to silence: After remembering the mantra for some period of time. allowing the attention to rest within that space. with no pauses between the breaths. and prayer. Allow your attention to gently rest either on the diaphragm area. Eyebrow center: You might feel more drawn to the space between the eyebrows. Mantra with breath: While the mantra may be done completely in the mind field. Gradually the mantra will lead you to the spiritual stillness and silence from which it arose. at the upper abdomen. being a pleasant. Once again. and quiet. affirmation. using the cognitive sense of touch. It need not be a pin-point spot. the third-eye. which is called Bindu in Sanskrit. or nasal passages. The entire "Ma-Ra-Na-Tha" simply rolls through the silence of the inner mind field. Maranatha Mantra and the Mustard Seed: Mantra eventually merges into silence at a point. neither wandering left nor right. in a palm sized space just below the breast bone. with each of the four parts remembered separately: • • • • "Ma" with inhalation "Ra" with exhalation "Na" with inhalation "Tha" with exhalation When coordinating the mantra with the breath. whether or not you count the repetitions. one eventually travels up or into the tunnel. it is best to allow the mind to gently rest in one physical location rather than allowing it to wander here or there Heart center: One of the most ideal places is the space between the breasts. a time will come when the mantra will lead your attention to complete silence in the physical space in which you are remembering it (heart or eyebrow center).comes from the gentle repetition. throat. This is sometimes experientially described as seeing light at the end of a tunnel. nor up or down. the heart center. going into complete inner silence. the last section of which is called Brahma Nadi. this leading quality is a more valuable spiritual aspect of mantra meditation. Although repetition of the mantra is quite useful in stabilizing a noisy mind (without repressing thoughts or emotions).
recovered a simple tradition of silent.of the tunnel. Whether or not you count.. Everything and everyone is now flooded." (Matthew). And I think so often it seems to us that just as we light one. or perhaps one year. it is important to not allow the mantra to become mere parrot-like repetition. dark.. mystical or yogic practitioner as a subtler meaning of the instructions: "Seek first the kingdom.. It became clear to him that this tradition had relevance today not only for monks . it is the largest. the Desert Fathers. starting and ending on some significant date. transcending the Mustard Seed and moving through to the kingdom. or as long as 20-30 minutes if done slower. such as with the breath. The wonder of meditation is that this revelation that the light has conquered the darkness and that Jesus is the light becomes universal in your experience. you might want to count the repetitions. contemplative prayer in the teachings of the early Christian monks. Bindu may also be viewed by the esoteric. one may eventually encounter and pierce the Bindu. Each time you say your mantra it is like lighting a small weak candle. a previous one gets blown out. illuminated with this light. though he also saw it as a way of monastic renewal . and a sense of beginning and end to your practice time.. yet when it grows.. Counting the mantra: While it is not essential. A typical mala has 108 beads. pulsing rate within the mind.." The wonder of meditation: Father John Main is quoted as describing: "Just imagine for a moment a vast.. stream. empty hall." . Allow the awareness of the meaning. • WCCM: The Maranatha Mantra has been taught extensively by Father John Main and Father Laurence Freeman through their organization. Father John Main ".. This can be done with a set of mala beads or some other means of counting. the World Community for Christian Meditation.. and the calmness to be there. or use a mala. This can give the mind a focus. Recovering a tradition of the early Christian monks: According to the WCCM website. Sushumna.. but for all people. the feeling. But very gradually the dawn comes and you begin to realize that the whole hall is flooded with light. it can be useful to do an intentional practice of one mala (or other number) per day for a period of 40 days. and the practice will take as little as 3-5 minutes at a faster." (Matthew) and "The kingdom of heaven is like a Mustard Seed. Brahma Nadi or Silver Cord. By following the Maranatha Mantra to its silent source. which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds. To develop stability in your mantra practice.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.