All the major religions in the world, despite their intrinsic mutual differences, hold a unanimous view that the entire universe with its animate and inanimate parts was created out of a divine word. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men,” says the Bible.
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The Hindu or Vedic religion is no exception to this concept of God being the divine word of our origin. It acknowledges Om as the sacred syllable — the divine sound out which God created this universe. Out of this divine word evolved variations of potent vibratory sounds capable of connecting with specific planes of cosmic consciousness on subtle level for which they were created. Each of these sacred vibratory sounds was called “Mantra” in the scripture as it originated from the Tantra, the technique of specific ways of pronouncing the divine word to achieve specific results. The mantras therefore form the very basis of the Indian spiritual discipline. However, this knowledge is secret because of the great potency of each mantra to impact the physical as well as the spiritual world positively or negatively. Under the spiritual discipline, a mantra is potent only when it is given by a spiritual master to someone whom he has been accepted as a disciple. The repetition of mantra, called Japa, results in full utilization of its potential. Mere reading of a mantra from the text would be an exercise in futility as the word would lack the divine vibratory sound which only a guru, well-versed in spirituality, can give. Even an illiterate person, lacking knowledge of scriptures or philosophy, can therefore experience full potential of a mantra if he receives it from the guru, and practices it under his guidance.
When mantras are directed to lower levels of consciousness they often end up as spells with destructive or protective powers. However, when they are used for reaching the higher planes of consciousness, they can take the practitioners to greater heights of spiritual awakening and eventual freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
The silent repetition of the mantra is called Naam Jap. After continuous chanting of the mantra for over a fortnight or a month, the disciple doesn’t have to make an effort to chant; the chanting happens automatically on its own whether he/she is awake or sleeping. This state is known as Ajapajap (roughly translated as involuntary chanting). When chanting of Mantra is accompanied by regular meditation, it slowly unleashes a wave of Ananda (bliss), which is so soothing that the disciple feels he/she is on a high, and doesn’t want to come out of it. Indian saints have described this state of Ananda as intoxication without drugs. The Ananda brought on by the Mantra and meditation is incomparable to the calming effect of any addictive drug because it doesn’t depend on any external inducement and lasts forever. This is the reason why a disciple initiated into Siddha Yoga by Guru Siyag is freed from drug-addiction completely and irrevocably.
Given below is an excerpt from the book Sri Aurobindo or The Adventure of Consciousness by Sri Aurobindo’s disciple Satprem. Guru Siyag often cites this section to explain the power of mantras:
“There exists in India a secret knowledge based on sounds and the differences of vibratory modes according to each plane of consciousness. If we pronounce the sound OM, for example, we clearly feel its vibrations envelop the head centers, while the sound RAM touches the navel center. And since each of our centers of consciousness is in direct contact with a plane, we can, by the repetition (japa) of certain sounds, make contact with the corresponding plane of consciousness. This is the basis of an entire spiritual discipline, known as “Tantric” because it derives from sacred texts called Tantra.The fundamental or essential sounds, which have the power to make contact, are called mantras. The mantras, always secret, and given to the disciple by his guru, are of all kinds (there is a multitude of degrees within each plane of consciousness), and may serve the most contradictory purposes. By combining certain sounds, one can at the lower levels of consciousness, generally the vital level, make contact with the corresponding forces and acquire quite strange powers: there are mantras that can kill (in five minutes, with violent vomiting), mantras that can strike with precision a particular part or organ of the body, mantras that can cure, mantras that can start a fire, or protect, or cast spells. This type of magic, or chemistry of vibrations, simply proceeds from the conscious handling of lower vibrations. But there is a higher magic, which also proceeds from the handling of vibrations, but on higher planes of consciousness: this is poetry, music, the spiritual mantras of the Upanishads and the Vedas, the mantras a guru gives his disciple to help him consciously make direct contact with this or that plane of consciousness, this or that force or divine being. Here, the sound holds in itself the power of the experience and realization-it is a sound that makes us see.”
"I have set out alone to elevate the Sattva Guna in mankind and to destroy all its Tamasic tendencies completely. No single nation, religion, race or caste can claim a monopolistic right over me."-Gurudev Siyag