Generally in the western world we consider a mantra something that we repeat over and over again to empower us, something like ‘I am strong’. But the real power of mantra lays beyond the meaning of the words themselves. A mantra can be repeated either over and over again in our head ( especially during meditation) or can be sung ( check out the beautiful Deva Premal) or in Kirtan,( the yoga of chanting where a leader will sing the first line and the followers will repeat the line). Mantra is sound energy. The power of them lay not in the meaning of the Sanskrit language but in the energy of their vibrational tones. Mantra could be referred to as the medicine of sound as it is known to have healing effects on the body and mind.
Our body is made of cells and water. The vibration of the sound enters our body and causes the cells to vibrate. This has a re-organising or unifying effect on our cells. It has been known that mantra can cure depression, anxiety, bring us joy or peace without even knowing what you are listening to. The mere act of listening seems to have a healing effect. When we listen to mantra we are unifying the parts of us that are split in our body and mind and through this we can find some peace.
The Gayatri Mantri is one of the oldest known mantra. It was said to appear at the creation of the universe. The fire and energy that produced the earth was said to produce the oldest known scriptures of Hinduism known as Vedic texts and also the sounds of the mantra was born. Today it is sung and chanted throughout the world.
The Gayatri is a prayer to the sun and therefore it is said to illuminate or light our way. More precisely it removes the obstacles in our way to gaining wisdom. The mantra purifies us. In very basic but beautiful language, it says “May the divine light of the Supreme Being illuminate our intellect, to lead us along a path of righteousness”.
Practice for today: You don’t need to understand anything about yoga or mantra to gain the benefits from mantra. Listen to Deva Premal sing the Gayatri Mantra. Trace the effect it has on your mind, body and soul. Enjoy.