Meditation – Spending time with yourself to comprehend the true nature of the “self” and the meaning of your life
When and why should we think about meditation? Nowadays many people regard meditation as a fashionable art-form that allows them to project tranquility in their actions. Within the business culture, there is a lot of pandemonium. When your mental and physical health begins to suffer as a result of your corporate job, you begin to believe that meditation is the answer to all your tension and chaos. Almost everybody says, “I have a problem in my life; hence I need to start meditating.” But, how many of us are able to meditate successfully?
While there are many ways to attempt meditation and a lot of information is available, how can you know which meditation approach is ideal for you?
Today, I’m going to talk about Mantra Meditation, and I’ll share my own experiences with it, as well as the differences it has made in my life.
I’ve always enjoyed spending time alone and discovering myself, therefore I used to practice simple yoga asana, and spend much of my time off from school sitting in my home’s “temple” room. A “Temple” is a hallowed place of worship within the household. I’d sit in solitude, attempting to meditate. I was never able to sit still and concentrate; since, as a child, I also wanted to play, but I always felt a void inside of me that drew me back to my temple chamber, again and again.
As I grew older, I felt compelled to study more about meditation, so I enrolled myself to various courses and learned some beneficial meditation techniques. I began studying “pranayama,” a set of breathing exercises. They were effective, but they didn’t help me connect to my true self or fill the void I felt inside. I was able to apply part of what I learned to mantra meditation, but nothing compared to the effectiveness of mantra meditation itself.
What is Mantra Meditation, and how does it work? The word “Mantra” is made up of two parts: “man,” which means “mind,” and “tra,” which means “vehicle.” As a result, the term “Mantra” refers to a “mind-vehicle” that moves the mind beyond thoughts and into tranquility. Now, to operate this vehicle, you must properly fuel it, and the proper fuel for this vehicle is “Sound Vibration,” which is chanting a powerful sound that induces a state of meditation. It can be done with Japa beads.
Mantra Meditation works simply by repeating a mantra and immersing oneself in the sound vibration of each syllable of that mantra while chanting. One can chant any mantra; however, many people prefer to chant the universal sound vibration “AUM,” which is simple to chant. I chant the “HARE KRISHNA MAHA MANTRA” it is chanted as follows:
|| HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE ||
|| HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA HARE HARE ||
I didn’t realize the power of this mantra when I first started chanting it, and I just chanted for the sake of feeling peaceful within myself. I felt like I was falling into a pit, and this mantra came to my rescue. After a few days, I felt a shift within myself. I’d always felt an unexplained void within myself. I could never fully be aware and be present in whatever I was doing. There was always some kind of void following me. Nothing I did in my life was fulfilling, and I couldn’t figure out why it was so. Everything in my life changed after only a few days of chanting. I began to feel satisfied and content. All of the areas of my life in which I struggled began to improve on their own. I began to experience an enormous amount of joy in everything I did, particularly in my spiritual life. The best part about chanting was that it helped me reconnect with my life’s purpose.
I was astounded to notice these changes in my life. My weakness became my strength, and I gave up some unhealthy habits and started living a more fulfilling life. A transformation occurred in my life, and everyone who knew me only wanted to know what the secret was? The Transcendental Sound Vibration was being chanted. This process of chanting has the power to melt one’s heart like butter. Once you get the taste of this mantra, you will relish mantra meditation and will look forward to doing it every day.
What is the meaning of this mantra and how to chant it?
“Hare” refers to the divine feminine potency (Radharani) of Lord Krishna/ God; and “Krishna” means the all-attractive one, and “Rama” is the reservoir of all pleasure. This mantra is extremely powerful and has a direct impact on the soul, igniting an inner fire that burns away all impurities and bad karma. This mantra has the power to eliminate fear, loneliness, anger, jealousy, lust, desire, and other negative emotions. I’m far from perfect, but this mantra has changed and continues to change me.
There are no hard and fast rules to following when chanting this mantra. It can be chanted anywhere and anyone can do it. However, it is convenient to have a single place where you can sit and chant. Begin with simple Japa beads and recite this mantra at a pace that is comfortable for you. Japa mala consists of 108 beads. You can begin with one round and gradually increase the number of rounds. The goal is to concentrate on hearing the sound of what you’re chanting because attentive hearing allows the sound to enter from your ears and into your heart, where “Krishna” sits as the super soul. The motive here is to connect with the almighty Lord, who is sitting in our hearts as the super soul.
Japa is an art, and to achieve the success you have to keep trying without giving up. The most important rule is to remain attentive. You see, our mind is like a monkey and it cannot stay without thinking even for a single second. One can practice mantra meditation for years and years, and not achieve success only because of lack of concentration. The key here is to remain aware and be in the present moment to be able to focus; each time you find yourself drifting away pull your mind back and bring it into awareness, and in the present moment and focus on each syllable of the mantra and feel it and believe in it.
Let me ask you a question now. What will you do if you are in a corporate meeting with thirty to forty people in the room and it is your turn to give a presentation but, you are tired, sleepy, or have too many mundane things to worry about? Will you excuse yourself and flee, or stay alert and present in the moment while still completing your presentation to save your job?
The answer is that you will complete your presentation regardless of how you feel because you want to keep your job! right?
The same analogy holds true for mantra meditation. Don’t let yourself have a choice. Every time you sit down to do your mantra meditation, think for a moment that, this is your only chance to please the Divine Lord or to connect with the universe.
Would you miss your only chance? No! No, you will not. So, give it your best. Within a few days of chanting, you will notice a significant shift within yourself.
Let me share, “My prayer of Surrender” before I begin Mantra Meditation
O most beautiful and merciful Radha and Shyama (Krishna) I am just a tiny soul swimming in the vast material ocean, full of material desires. I have rendered so much service to these desires and have not attained any mercy from them. But today, in this very moment, I set myself free. I submit to you, my universe, and allow you, the “Divine,” to guide me. I humbly offer myself to you and respectfully request that you allow me to chant the beautiful transcendental names for your pleasure. My dear lord, please grant me the divine power to stay alert, and present in this very moment while I am chanting. I meditate on your beautiful form, sitting under a tree on the banks of river Yamuna and while you are playing your flute, the transparent waters of river Yamuna are touching your lotus feet and swaying back and forth. This transcendental vision is giving me an immense amount of joy and bliss. Let my mind not deviate from this divine vision and if anything, or anyone enters my space while I am meditating, please allow me to wish them well and let the thought pass. Please allow me to bring myself back to the present moment and concentrate on hearing the transcendental sound vibration. I AM NOTHING WITHOUT YOU. I AM YOUR’S, WILL YOU BE MINE PLEASE????
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE…………
Please keep in mind that this is a transcendental mantra and should not be chanted to obtain material benefits; however, the Divine Lord Krishna is so merciful that, he grants auspicious results.
I practice Krishna Consciousness, and I wrote this article to share my experiences with mantra meditation. Please feel free to share your experiences with me. I am eager to learn as we grow.
– Khiyati M Barrot