An Introduction to Preksha Meditation ► [14] Mantra Meditation

Posted: 06.11.2009

Mantra Meditation

Mantra plays an important role in Preksha Meditation. It is also helpful in realizing the self. In Preksha Meditation mantras are used for improving mental concentration.

There are two ways of achieving the concentration of mind:

  • Jap (chanting of mantras)
  • Dhyan (meditation)

The human mind is inherently unstable. It does not concentrate on one point for a long time. The chanting of mantra is a tool that is generally used for making the mind focused on one object. Mantra chanting is a simple exercise for achieving better concentrations. It can be practiced by one and all. Many bijaksharas (seed letters) and terms or phrases that can be recited incantatory are available for chanting. Among these, 'Aum', 'Hreem', 'Shreem' 'Kleem' etc., are seed letters. These are invested with great powers. An articulation of a word generates special kind of sound waves and vibrations, which influence our mind.

Chanting of mantras is of three types:

  • Jap
  • Antarjap
  • Mansikjap (mental jap)

These are characterized by high voiced, low voiced, and silent chanting of the mantras, respectively. Basically, the whole process constitutes an effort to migrate from the gross to the subtle. Gross sounds produce gross vibrations and subtle sounds produce subtle vibrations. Subtle vibrations are far more powerful than the gross ones.

In the initial stages, in bringing about a change, gross vibrations play key role. However, in order to achieve higher levels of change and in advanced stages of meditation, it is essential to be able to move towards the subtle vibrations. Chanting of mantra at a higher pitch is gross and constitutes the first stage. Low-toned chanting of mantras constitutes the next and more advanced stage. The highest level of chanting of mantra is the silent one, in which the distance between the meaning and the words disappear. At this stage, language and thought get closer to each other and become indistinguishable. The degree of effectiveness varies and depends largely on the correct recitation of the mantras. For the chanting of mantra to be effective and fruitful, it is essential that recitation be done diligently and systematically in a correct manner. Wrong pronunciation of words, lack of mental concentration during chanting, and too fast or too lethargically performed chanting are some of the major obstacles in realizing the benefits of this technique.

There are a number of mantras that have been successfully applied during Preksha Meditation training programs. For example, 'Arham' and 'Aum Hreem Arham Namah' are the common ones. Among these 'Arham' has been explained earlier.

The technique of recitation of the mantra Aum Hreem Arham Namah is as follows:

While reciting the word 'Aum', concentrate the mind on the tip of the nose, the center of vital energy. Try to perceive the mantra Aum on this center. Then shift your attention to the middle of the eyebrows, the center of intuition, and perceive the mantra 'Hreem there. Now focus your total attention on the middle of the forehead, the center of enlightenment and visualize the mantra Arham. Towards the end, focus your concentration on the front part of the head, the center of peace and perceive the mantra 'Namah' here.

In the first stage, recite the mantra. In the next stage, realize the mantra on the specific center with bright white colour. At this stage, mantra becomes meditation.

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Edition: 2009 (1st)
Publisher:
© Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun, Raj. India
ISBN: 81-7195-136-8
Design:
Shivani Bothra, Sanjeev Bothra

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