The lack of good literature about mantra yoga.
There are not many good books about mantra yoga, and almost no books cover the theory of it. So it may be too hard to figure out everything by yourself, without a teacher or a mentor. More to that, a large portion of the literature, which is widely available today, goes against common sense, pushing much on esoteric, mystical aspects of the subject. There are some exceptions, though, as "The Garland of Letters" by John George Woodroffe, but it is quite hard to read this author. Some basics of mantra yoga theory and axiomatics were revealed by Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and their followers as well.
Today the topic of mantra yoga is a part of popular culture. For example, books like “How to become rich in 7 days” mention mantras as a side practice, kind of self-hypnosis. Interest to Buddhism also gave a boost to popularity of mantras, but mostly in a form of a part of lifestyle. All in all, mantras became a commercial product, just like Feng Shui, Japanese garden design, or Ayurvedic medicine before that, and there is no lack of people wanting to sell it and get easy money. They read a thin book about the subject and overnight they start to promote themselves as specialists, asking serious money for consulting, initiation, ceremonies, etc. But as soon as the audience loose interest to the subject, these nimble “specialists” immediately rush to something else, following the wind.
So, it is hard nowadays to find adequate source of knowledge about mantra yoga in its entirety and original meaning.
Civilization plays a cruel joke on us. We have a well-developed mind, and it rejects everything that it does not understand. In mantra yoga it becomes an obstacle. You should repeat a combination of some sounds for many times, this is the practice, but the mind rises against it and says, "No, my friend, we are modern people, what is the point to repeat these archaic spells, mantras, recitatives, they make no sense!" And we lock ourselves, do not use this knowledge and, as a consequence, do not get the result. The mind forces us to ignore this very powerful knowledge! And the only major obstacle that will be on your way is your unserious attitude to mantras. If you had confidence in the practice, you would quickly realize that this is a real science, and it works. Otherwise, you would spend much more time and effort to achieve success.
The theory of mantra yoga is needed to "knock down a peg" from your mind. A developed mind is wonderful thing. But, unfortunately, it still does not understand many things, and therefore rejects and throws them out. And the theory of mantra yoga gives the mind the full picture. It is logical, there are no inconsistencies. So let your mind work with the theory, and do the practice while it is busy. And once you got even a tiny result, your mind would calm down.
Lying is a serious obstacle in mantra yoga. There is even a special method: if you want to awaken your mantra, learn to speak only truth. If your words do not diverge with the deeds, as yoga teaches, the ability to awaken mantras is activated automatically.
Try to imagine your life without any lie, especially any lie to yourself, just for one minute. This picture might hurt your mind, does not matter what you do in life. Our world is constructed this way, world of false, in which people speak one thing but do another one. The world is still there, it did not collapsed. Although, people say, there is a critical threshold of lies, after which everything breaks down. So, you have to try to not lie as much as possible, when it is possible. And the most important, try to be honest with yourself. If it is not realistic to tell the truth to everybody, it is still necessary to observe when you lie, and when you are honest. It significantly undercuts the roots of lying.
Of course, we should not be silly and fall into paranoia, should not do sudden moves. Let it all come harmoniously. If you cannot be true, there is an easier option: if you feel that the coming situation provokes you to lie, just try to avoid it. In ancient times, sages and ascetics withdrew to caves, and vowed that they would tell only the truth to the beggar and to the king. But today this way of living is too marginal, and not everyone dares to live under the bridge. But there is no need in it, actually.
If you do not lie, the power of words increases, if you lie, it decreases. In terms of mantra yoga, consciousness and energy diverge from each other. We think one thing, say another, and do the third. The internal channels, where the energy flows, start to react to it. These pipes fill up with mud and debris, and the next signal, which passes through them, becomes weakened. For examples, your curses to someone are just words. But if it were a yogi in your place, who tells the truth all his life, everything would actually happen as he said.
Wrong first impression
Distrustful and negative attitude towards mantra yoga can be formed from rejection and disgust towards the environment, to the people from whom we learned about this science. This is the sad part. People, who come to India in search of spiritual knowledge, are often shocked by the settings, in which this knowledge is kept. Knowledge, indeed, is there. But the first thing that catches the eye, is the terrible poverty, reign of superstitions and mundanity of people. And in these conditions a newcomer acquaintances with mantras, you can actually meet many people repeating them everywhere. The Europeans usually get associative aversion to mantras from disgust to this situation. Moreover, somewhere on the streets you can hear someone talking about mantra yoga, familiarly addressing to it, saying that he practices certain mantras and studied all mantra yoga and knows everything about it. But, in fact, these people are very far from mantra yoga and their behavior only leaves a wrong impression of yoga. First, because in yoga, it is believed that until you awaken a mantra, you should not tell anybody about it, this is at least immodest; and second, even if you gained a little experience, a speck of result of mantras for yourself, you would begin to treat the mantras very seriously and respectfully. To awaken a mantra, to get at least a little result, this is really a big experience, as if you found a source of energy or a treasure. If a yogi received this experience, he would not talk about this at every corner. Even if it is necessary to transfer the knowledge to people, it is inappropriate to share any personal nuances of practice or experience.
Non-compliance to the principle of secret
In yoga, there is a rule, "keep your practice in secret until you get a result, until you awaken the mantra. If you follow the principle of secret, success can come faster. If not, it could be difficult to obtain even a small result." Why is this principle so important? By telling the nuances of your practice, you attract someone else's consciousness and energy. It is like if you were doing hard work, and someone interfered rudely in this process. For example, you are building a house of cards and suddenly someone opened the window, and in a moment all your work is destroyed.
In order for the practice to go well, you need to carefully learn what should be practiced and do not disclose it. Practice, get a result in full or partially, and only after that you can speak about the subject. It means, when you begin your practice to solve your personal problems, whether material, spiritual, or both, you should share your experience with others not earlier than after you have reached all your goals. And even in this case, it is worth to talk about this only for the good of all living beings, in order so they can benefit from that knowledge and change their lives to the better.
In yoga the principle of secret is really important, even necessary, but everything should be reasonable, without paranoia. In the past, yoga partially disappeared because of this excessive secrecy. There was knowledge, there were people ready to receive it, but an exaggerated mystery had obstructed everything. Therefore, it is important to also remember about the principle of openness, "After you have studied a particular section of yoga or successfully passed any yoga practice, you are bound to use every mean to transfer this knowledge or experience further, to every person whom it can help."
Stupidity and ignorance
Despite the ease of using mantra yoga, there is something that does not allow us to use this science, and this is our stupidity. The stupidity is a very insidious thing, it is rooted in our ignorance. A person is silent and does not give certain impulses to the mind. The mind does not develop, and if it is not developed, it does not realize what is contained in the speech. The purpose of mantra yoga is to dispel this ignorance. Our mind developed to such an extent that we engage in self-development, find interest in spiritual knowledge, but still do not realize the role of the voice, the role of vibration, and therefore we do not engage in mantra yoga practice. The principle of speech, which is inherent in each of us, is underdeveloped.
Imagine a jungle, overgrown with vines, trees, where it is impossible to walk. Approximately the same quantity of obstacles and debris is there in our center of speech. Animals trodden a small pathway through this jungle, even sparrows can tweet and chat with each other. Prehistoric men extended this way, they could clearly communicate with each other, they enriched vocabulary, which contained tens of words. It was already much more than the state of an animal, but also very far from the state of a doctor of science. From life to life people developed the ability of communication. And here there is a strict correlation: the more savage is a person, the more primitive is his language. The more a person is developed, the more complicated is her language, by the structure and the lexical content.
In other words, the vocabulary of a person and the way she articulates the words are an indicator of the level of her development. There is a minimum vocabulary to perform routine operations, basic household actions. Speaking about a culturally and intellectually developed person, we usually imply of her having a wider vocabulary, using more complex structure of sentences and expressions. Usually, everybody stop here, why do something else? "I understand them, they understand me, this is enough!" Actually, it is not: only by continuing to improve the ability to speak, a person suddenly realizes that articulated speech enables much more abilities than just to have a chat with others, there are some processes of evolution depending on speech. We are just not able to understand some of the secret levers of power until our speech is not developed. And we can notice a very interesting thing: at a certain level of development a person begins to treat the words, as in the primitive times he treated magic.
In the old tales, in order for the magic to happen you needed to do some rituals and recite incantations. Remembering the childish feelings, we understand that we did not think of it seriously: who knows what the primitive men could make up. But, the primitive men were closer to the truth of the inner nature than we are now, educated people. And it starts to be clear after a long yoga class, when the feeling comes that the potential inherent in every spoken word is much bigger than just chatting with other people. But we do not understand it, and therefore we do not develop in this direction. And if for any reasons a person develops the rhetoric, she starts to realize the power that is hiding in every spoken word!
The bottom line and the most useful advice is, "Friends, start practicing!"
We have our speech and we can pronounce words, some of us more and some less. But there are certain words or phrases, called mantras, and if we start to practice them, then we launch the mechanism of their action. And nobody is stopping us from starting the practice today. Does not matter if you understand it or not. If you did understand, you would be doing it for a long time already. This is the main idea of this Chapter. And the most important thing you should learn from this book, "Stop waiting!" This is a treasure that you have in your hands, it will help you to get rid of many problems you cannot solve any other way. Most students who have already studied mantra yoga, over time begin to ask, "Why did we not learn this before? We did so many stupid mistakes!" If we do not practice mantra yoga, it only shows one thing, underdevelopment of our mind that is. If we practice, our mind develops with time. And we, first intuitively, and then based on real results, begin to understand and feel the power of words.
Awaiting for Initiation
There is a mysterious topic that is called "the transfer of an awakened mantra" or "initiation into a mantra". This is a great event, and many people do not practice mantra yoga until they get initiated. But this is one of the most dangerous delusions, that a Guru from the Himalayas will come and initiate you in your personal mantra, so necessary for you.
In yoga we say, "When the student is ready, the Teacher is ready". It means that until you did not do your part of the job, you cannot receive the desired mantra. In the ancient treatises there was a beautiful comparison, that before we obtained the elixir of knowledge from the Teacher, we must first prepare the vessel for the elixir. A person who did not work on herself, but claims to receive a superpowered magical mantra, will not find understanding from teachers. For them this is a violation of the Second yoga principle – do not waste time and effort for nothing. It is useless to give something to a person if she is not ready to accept it. And to become ready to accept it, the person needs to do some steps on her own.
You must not wait for a Guru from the Himalayas, but have to begin to practice certain mantras, the most common ones, and then, as if by a coincidence, a Guru will appear and initiate you into all the mantras that you need. Unfortunately, today more and more people who heard about the initiation into mantra yoga start to seek for a specific mantra or a person who could give it to them. Remember, "No adequate teacher will outrun the events without absolute necessity"!
Last modified: Wednesday, 5 June 2019, 7:37 PM