These days whenever a politician repeats
a promise over and over again commentators say that this
promise has become a "mantra" for that politician. For the
journalists, the word "mantra" means a meaningless phrase
that is repeated endlessly. For yogis however, a mantra is a
word or collection of words, which has the power of
liberating a human being from all limitations.
How can the repetition of a word or a few words have the
capacity to bring about such miraculous results? It is all
based on a simple psychological principle, "as you think, so
If you someone tells you "You're stupid," that's of course a
bad insult and will hurt you. However if you start to think
"I am stupid," and keep repeating this phrase over and over,
then that is far worse. When someone tells you that you are
stupid, then this is a negative outer-suggestion. When you
start to think about it, then you are giving yourself, a
negative auto-suggestion. If you keep thinking in a negative
way, then your personal development will be harmed.
Meditation mantras have a positive meaning. They remind you
that your true nature is something great: pure consciousness
and boundless love. If you start to think about the best
part of your being, you will begin to have more confidence
in yourself and this will become apparent in your actions.
However, many people have read philosophical, spiritual or
self-help books explaining these ideas, and yet they never
realize these great truths in their everyday reality. It is
not enough to just think about a good idea once, and then
close the book. You need to think in a concentrated and
systematic manner over a period of time in order to get
Meditation mantras have a special quality that helps in the
task of concentrated, positive thinking: their very
vibration has the capacity to concentrate and focus your
mind. Some sounds, such as power drill breaking a pavement,
can upset you greatly, while other sounds, like soothing
music, can transport you to another world.
The syllables and words used in meditation mantras have been
chosen according their sonic capacity, and they greatly aid
the task of concentration and contemplation, as well as
carrying a positive meaning.
In order to get the benefits from mantra meditation, you
need to meditate regularly with a mantra that has a positive
meaning and the capacity to help you concentrate. You need
to do it on a regular basis, sitting silently two times a
day for a period of 10 to 30 minutes.
It sounds easy, but the common experience of most people is
that as you sit and try to think about one word or one
phrase, your mind is quickly filled with many other
thoughts; thoughts about work, financial problems, disputes
with people and all kinds of other matters. When this
happens, and it certainly will, then you have to bring your
mind back to the mantra. Meditation is a process where you
concentrate on the mantra and its meaning for as long as you
can, and when you mind wanders, you bring it back.
Keep doing it, and you will attain an improved capacity to
concentrate and deep inner peace.
It may still sound too good to be true, and some
intellectuals scoff at the alleged power of a mantra. Once,
a renowned Indian yogi came to America and delivered many
lectures on this subject. In one of the lectures he was
challenged by someone in the audience who said that it was
not possible for a single word to deliver the results that
the yogi promised. The yogi turned to the man, who was a
distinguished professor and said "You fool!"
The professor turned red, and began to shout at the yogi,
who calmly watched the professor unwind.
The yogi then addressed the professor and said: "Now can you
understand the power of a single word? All I did was utter
the word "fool" and your behavior was changed in an instant!