Today, stress has become an inevitable part of our lives. There are several training programs on stress management. There are meditation sessions. There are the satsangs or the bhajan sessions. There are techniques to relax your mind. All these techniques require you to assiduously persevere. Sometimes even if we are physically strong but mentally unfit, it can still affect our health adversely.
Adopting a spiritual way of life is the time-tested formula for achieving mental peace. When we chant mantras, our mind increasingly progresses towards the steady state. In this state, we experience equanimity be it success or failure, happiness or sorrow. But we need to have the patience. It may take days, weeks, and months. But we have to persevere. Our mind is like a monkey that can jump from one thought to another. It can be a child behaving irrationally at times. Mantra-japa or chanting of mantras is the only way to quieten the frenetic speed at which the mind travels. We should be circumspect not to capitulate to the irrational demands made by our mind or encourage the impure thoughts that jostle to find space in our mind. The more we fear such impure thoughts, the more we become nervous and such thoughts will continue to attack us with impudence. We have to ignore such negative emotions. The mind can be strengthened by chanting of mantras.
Despite the challenges that we face, we should not cower down but continue with the chanting. It is a good idea to get up early in the morning at 5 am, perform the morning ablutions and sit down for chanting. Even a simple chant of – “Hare Ram Hare Ram Rama rama hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, hare hare “ is enough. People get confused regarding the process of chanting. Should we chant the mantra loudly or should we say them to ourselves? In reality, we should choose the decision ourselves. We are not yogis to sit and chant in silence inured to all the distractions that pass by. So, chanting by uttering the mantras is a good method. Over a period of time with repetitive chanting, we can train ourselves to repeat the mantra slowly. Once we achieve the expertise, we can start chanting the mantras to ourselves. Even if we can’t, no need to worry about it.Bhagawan Satya Sai baba says that if we chant the mantras loudly, they will produce vibrations that will enter our brain via our ears to energise us.So, to each his own.
Gayatri Mantra is the mother of all mantras. Then there is Maha mrityunjay mantra. We have the Varahi Devi mantra to cure us of our negative midset. The benefits of reciting Hanuman Chalisa are legion. Such hymns have been recited for hundreds of years and they have the power to ensure that negative emotions are rescinded so that we can face the challenges in life with resolute determination. Wearing a rudraksha is known to have potent benefits, but more about that in another article. The Vishnu Sahasranama is another hymn that can offer immense protection to the one reciting it. “Om Namah shivaya”, “Om Namo Narayananya”, ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya” – these chants have healing powers.You will experience catharsis/ purging of your emotions. From time immemorial, the mantras are revered for their therapeutic powers.
Says the Jeeyar Swamigal in Bangalore, “I have been reciting Vishnu Sahasranama since I was 7. Now I am 73. I am hale and hearty. The man who recites or hears the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu will never meet with any evil. If a Brahmin does this, he succeeds in mastering the Vedanta. Such a man attains great fame, enduring prosperity and never meets with fear at any time. Disease never afflicts him.’’
Sometimes, due to time constraints we may not be able to devote time for mantras. We have to tell ourselves it is okay and be flexible in our outlook. However, once we swerve our path towards the spiritual, we should eschew the ignoble thoughts that can corrode our mind.
Whichever mantra you utter, utter it with devotion. If your mind wanders, light a lamp, get soaked in the light emanating from the lamp and continue to chant. Do not give up, my friends. Giving up is easy, following the process rigorously is more challenging. Believe me, that mantra chanting is the magic potion that can definitely cure your ills. It enables you to see the positive aspects in every adverse situation. Chanting mantras early in the morning and between 6-7 pm in the evening are optimal. Counters are available in stationery shops. Those travelling by local trains/buses can chant even when they travel using the counter. The only prerequisites for success in these attempts at mantra chanting is faith that these mantras will work and devotion that is pristine with noble thoughts.
Chant with immense faith and devotion and see the world around you changing for the better!