new age spirituality

finding purpose in infinite reality

Mantra and Consciousness

abracad, · Categories: consciousness, externally authored, meditation, yoga

Author: sushant pandey

A mantra is a combination of psychically potent sound syllables that are capable of influencing the human system. It works on different levels of being (from gross to the subtlest).

Mantras as it is defined, is that tool which liberates the mind from bondage, here bondage means ‘the state of identification of the gross mind’. Mind is always identified with the world of idea name, form and objects. At the energetic level the identification leads to dissipation of energy (vikshepa), mind is tied down to the plane of gross sensorial world creating the spectrum of experiences colored by the polar opposites of pains–pleasures, heat-cold, depression-elation etc. Here in these conditions mantras helps to tune the vibrations of mind to the subtler frequencies of mantras and hence helps to internalize it.

According to tantra this whole creation (including the body-mind complex) is the result of spandan (Vibration). When we analyze the structure and dynamics of mind we find that mind is the subtle instrument which is found with vrittis (modification of mind), kleshas (inherent causes of afflictions) and samskaras and vasanas (subtle impressions/tendencies). These subtle factors of the mind are responsible for determining the nature of the manifest contents of the mind, such as thought, feelings, emotions attitudes etc. Different thoughts, feelings and emotions which appear or disappear from the surface of the mind, are the expression of energy. The psychic energy when manifests as thoughts or feelings it could be felt or heard internally. In this light, if we study the mind we find that our mind is composed of the different vibratory patterns of energy, always echoing inside the subtle body some times its contents would be heard or perceived in the form of thoughts or feelings and some times major chunk of it remains in the state of unexpressed state of potentiality in the form of kleshas or samskara. In order to attune the awareness to that subtle dimension of psychic realm one has to have a vehicle, here the mantra or the sound vibrations are used as the vehicle to transport the consciousness and to alter the vibratory patterns existing in the subtle realm of the psyche. Because of this reason sound vibrations are supposed to have the potentialities to transform the mind. Once the subtle vibrations of the mental body are fully attuned to the vibrations of mantras, it can be transformed easily and this takes place when the mind resonates with the vibrations of mantra. In this state of resonance the vibratory patterns of mind takes the shape of the patterns of vibrations of mantras resulting in the manifestation of altogether different mental state. When this state is achieved, the mental energies become more synchronous and harmonious. The person at his feeling tone, experiences inner tranquility and the state of homogeneous awareness. At this time one experiences a state of tension free alertness and one-pointed awareness. The tension producing annoying thoughts and emotions cease to exist and mind is taken over by the subtle purifying energies of mantra. In yoga the state of health is the state of synchronicity of physical, vital, mental and psychic energies with the energies of the external environment. When this synchronous field of energy is created within; one experiences the state of harmony and health.

In science we study that the energy and the matter are interconvertible and in the realm of quantum field of energy there is continuous interpermutations of energy particles. Since matter is also an expression of energy (which is gross form of energy or in other word as state of compressed energy), therefore it could be influenced by the other forms of energy, on this principle the phenomenon of mind over matter would be explained. Through mental energy mantras can affect the different levels of being. The sound vibration of mantra filters down the energies of mind and body, until they are completely shaped into the vibrational patterns of mantra and by altering the field of mental energy the gross body is affected.

Psychic dimension of mantra

Mantras, we know are not the creation of the intellect rather they were experienced by the yogis in their higher state of consciousness. Experiences of the subtle vibrations in higher state were when chanted by them, created mantras, putting it another way the origin of mantras is divine or transcendental. The rishis only heard them as richas, sound frequencies in an organized form. Because they were the result of the experience of the higher consciousness, may transport any one; who practices them to the same space from which they originated. Therefore each mantra in tantra is considered as the embodiment of consciousness (Vigyana rupa) and when mantra is perfected it fully enlivens the samskaras, accumulated experiences of past lives in the form of subtle traces or patterns, and the meaning of the mantra appear to the mind in the form of experiences carried by the mantra.

Therefore, the purpose of mantra is to transcend the mind by purifying the mala, (impurities in the form of thoughts, desires and destructive emotion) and vitalize the thoughts and emotions with the positive energies of the mantra. Different mantras affect the energies of the body-mind complex differently. Each mantra affects a specific energetic centre of the body and through the corresponding centre the associated energy patterns are brought forth or awakened in the body. Once the mantra is awakened in the body, the vibrations generated by the mantra can cleanse the entire energetic network in the body by removing the blockages present in path of the energetic flow (nadi). The purification which takes place at the deeper energetic plane which is the substratum of the body-mind functioning, helps to enhance the efficiency of the different physiological systems and the mental processes. Mantra chanting makes the mind calm and tranquil. Mantra chanting along with the breath awareness develops the ability to control the emotions and develop one-pointed ness. The breath which flows with the vibrations of the mantra is charged with the positive energy of the mantra. The breath with the chanting becomes rhythmic and harmonious, as a result of which the functioning of the physical and the mental systems become harmonized. Emotionally one becomes stable and relaxed. The breath is considered as an important tool to mobilize the energies of the body, therefore when the feelings and the emotions move in the body, they change the patterns/nature of the breath and the converse is also true. From one mental and emotional state to other the patterns of breathing also change and this changes the nature of the flow of energies in the body.

Voice is another important aspect in the mantra chanting which plays an important role in altering the states of the feelings and the moods of the person. Voice is also associated with the state of the mind. The tone of the voice is affected by the mental state of the person. In one of the techniques of the psychotherapy (primal therapy) the individual is treated by releasing the tensions through the voice and the breath. While chanting a mantra, the emotions express themselves in the breath and the voice. Every time the breath is uneven it means the emotions are involved and we are out of balance. Chanting helps us to achieve this stillness by bringing the breath and the emotions under control. As the mantra is chanted moods will in time be brought under control and awareness in the here and will grow attention and therefore energy will be withdrawn from the old thought patterns which like tapes on a tape recorder play over and over. These mental background noises keep us tied to the past and future, to fearful imagining and senseless fantasies which cause self created suffering. This energy will now be channelized and mutated for the higher purposes.

Components of mantra

Based on the immediate aims the different mantras may have different effects but all the different mantras have these important components.

1. Pronunciation
2. Melody, tune or modulation of voice,
3. Beats

Through these three aspects, mantra creates a definite pattern of the sound vibration. The presence of the above factors creates a suitable environment to alter the consciousness.

Different tones which are produced during the course of chanting utilize the different areas of the body hence affect the energies of the corresponding parts of the body. Specific tones in conjunction with certain tunes or modulations of sound mobilize the energies of specific region of the body. Although, the seat of sound is the vocal cord, but the different tones are produced in conjunction with abdominal, heart or upper parts of the body. The aim of mantra is to harmonize the energies of the body with the energies of the nature.

The practice of mantra chanting is a potent means to initiate the process of pratyahara, by withdrawing the mind from the sensorial dimension to the more subtle dimension of the internal environment and ultimately can lead to the state of transcendental consciousness through the stages of dharana and dhyana. In this state of consciousness, mind reverberates with the timeless or eternal vibrations of the soul. At the psychological level, the chanting of mantra results in diluting the force of attachment of the mind for the senses. It tunes the mind to the patterns of the sound vibrations of mantras as mentioned earlier, hence reducing the pulling tendency of the mind for the senses. Through the chanting, the mind could easily be programmed to become still and steady. The beat cycle which is inherent in the rhythmic pattern of mantra can change the state of consciousness. The beat cycle of mantra affects the state of emotions, mind and at the physical level the beat of heart and respiration. To work better, each mantra is chanted in a particular beat/rhythm. That is the reason why different forms of chanting, with specifically distinct beats and rhythm could affect the energies of the individual differently, inducing a specific mood, feeling or state of mind. Mantra chanting increases will power, the power of concentration and positive emotions. Because of the effects of mantra on creating a positive and uplifting field of energy within, it becomes a powerful fool to stop the dissipation of mental emotional energies and to make the mind one-pointed and relaxed.

Article Source:

About the Author

I started yoga teaching 10 years ago after completing my Post Graduation in Yoga Psychology from Bihar Yoga Bharati (Deemed University). After completing the study there I started sharing my learning with yoga aspirants, in the same university as Lecturer in the Dept. Of Yoga Psychology. The field of yoga has been an awakening and life transforming experience for me. It opened a completely new perspective to see the reality and participate in the flow of life! And I do believe that every particle in the UNIVERSE is participating and contributing to the eternal flow of life..


Filed in: consciousness, externally authored, meditation, yoga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *