Using mala in mantra yoga

Usually mala is used in practicing mantra yoga. It is used to count the number of mantras you have pronounced. With time, it becomes an amulet, a carrier of vibration of one or another mantra. It is recommended to use different malas for different purposes, because different mantras have different vibrations. During practice these vibrations start to impregnate the material of the beads, receiving it into itself, like the magnet.
You can make mala by yourself or buy it in a store. You can choose any material: glass, wood, gold, semi precious or precious stones, bones, stones, crystal etc. Mala has 108 beads. The 109th bead joins the others and is not used.
This bead is called Meru, it is not crossed over while counting the mala. The forefinger is not used. When you get to the 109th bead, start counting in the opposite direction. Meru symbolizes the central channel sushumna that remains imobil, when everything turns around it. The same principle is in counting the mala.
If you buy a mala, do not rush to use it. Firstly, you should dismantle it. You do not know who made it and what this person’s thoughts were during the process of stringing the beads. To take away the mantra, which was put into it, the imprint, which the mala carries, some acts should be done. You should do a number of certain actions.
It is desirable, but not necessary – to dismantle and then to string the beads again. Choose a very firm thread, not to tear it. Nowadays usually, the caprone thread is used. Take some cool flowing water from the river or from the tap. Smear the mala with honey and count the beads, pronouncing mantra ‘Phat’ on every bead. Then put the mala in water and count it again with mantra Phat. The next step is to count the mala with mantra Om. Do it several times until the honey is washed away. Pour out the water in the river or anywhere else depending on the place, where you are. Then you can start reading mantras on this mala. If you have already bought mala and read mantras for a long time, you should not do this ritual – there will be no need.
During the practice, you can hold the mala in any hand. It is recommended to count it when nobody is watching, and do not look at it yourself. The representatives of some spiritual schools count the mala in public to show off. In yoga tradition, it is not polite and it is disregarding the principle of secrecy. Attracting someone’s consciousness, you attract someone’s energy, and to some extent this can affect your practice.
Counting the mala beads ourselves, when we watch this process, we concentrate on counting instead of drawing our attention to mantra. After finishing the practice, it is better to carry the mala with you in the pocket or around the neck. Mala has a very good influence, when impregnated with mantra’s vibration, it turns into an amulet, the accumulator of vibrations.

What do you need for practice?

You can practice mantra yoga with any opportunity: in your car, in public transport, during household chores, or when you are going to bed, etc. Don’t wait for a “special moment”. When you do your practice, time works for you. However, if you can allocate some specific time for the practice it will accelerate your progress considerably.
It would be helpful if nobody disturbs you during the practice. If possible, wash up before your mantra practice. It could be taking bath or shower, rubbing with a wet towel or whatever. If you cannot do it is ok, it is not a key requirement.
Better not practice if you are hungry or full.
And of course, the key to success is in making your practice regular. By telling the truth, communicating with appropriate people, having more or less secluded way of life, exercising in a beautiful place, practicing meditations and pranayama yoga you steadily come closer to meeting your goals in mantra.
And, on the contrary, disclosure of your practices, breach of the secrecy will slow you down or even nullify your efforts.

Mantra yoga practice and austerity

Practice of mantra yoga at an early stage is equated to austerity. So, do not be surprised to find yourself tired at first, as every time you open your mouth you are applying your willpower. And your willpower makes your “inner gears” turn. And since they are squeaky and rusty, covered with mud and sand, it takes a lot of effort to make a first-time turn. You need to work hard for it, force yourself to open your mouth. The practice should be treated as a serious work, and everyone has difficulties at first.
Sometimes you can meet people who are afraid to open the mouth. We must realize that every speaker now able to lecture continuously started like that. However, she brought herself to speak, turned the gears and overcame her internal hurdles, eliminated her karmic mud. That is why the biggest thing is the regular practice and the result will follow.
There are many mantras, and you decide which one is the most attractive for you. For example, the ones that help to become rich or super-successful. These are solely utilitarian mantras and they cannot claim to reveal any spiritual truths for you. They can just solve some of your material problems. Let us say you want a five-bedroom house in Monte-Carlo, and seek for a mantra to make this dream come true. Very tempting. When you find such a mantra, you start to practice. The practice will take a lot of time as you have to get a lot of things moving. It is necessary to make some effort and force yourself sometimes. Of course, you can speed up the process by auxiliary practices. There is a saying: it is worth helping someone who helps himself. Likewise, you can enhance a practice that is going well itself. The subject of strengthening one practice by another is rather closed. It all comes down to the so-called rite or ritual. It is kind of complex practice consisting of some specific sub-practices. However all together they have a breakthrough effect.

Auxiliary ways to awaken a mantra

There are different factors that enhance the effect of mantras. All of them boil down to the methods of energy or consciousness. But the most important thing is your Will, otherwise no boosters will help you. For example, a microphone with an amplifier by itself is totally useless unless somebody speaks into it. All auxiliary practices work exactly the same way.
Pranayama yoga
Pranayama yoga can highly intensify the practice of mantra yoga. The excess of prana strengthens your concentration and gives more resources for changing yourself and the world around. In other words, the more prana you put in reciting of mantra, the sooner you will awaken it. Moreover, the right practice of pranayama will lead you to mantra yoga intuitively. For example, during the practice of pranayama yoga you start to notice that the inhalation sounds sound like “SO” and the exhalations are like “HUM”. This way you reopen mantra “So-Hum”.
Practice of mouna (silence) considerably accelerates progress in mantra yoga. The idea is that you do not talk for some time. Every time someone asks you something you feel the urge to answer, it is rising inside you. But then you think about mouna practice and do not let this urge come out. Such urges are very similar to the urge to read the mantra. If you control them you will learn how to apply your willpower and to stop them, and then you will intuitively realize how to use these impulses to the fullest. To manage this, you need to have the inner feeling and to explore the zone you almost never focused on.
Let us take this example. We call a person by his name, “George! George!”, and he immediately turns around with the intention to answer, something like “What?” He feels a wave of desire to react, his energy is aroused. But at the last moment he stops. The wave of energy goes up and hits him. He has to make an effort to keep silent. He restrained the inner blast of energy of words, and brought it back. And if he understood how to restrain this blow, he would understand the contrary, how to control it and to use mindfully.
In the practice of mouna, it is supposed that you, like Mahatma Gandhi, keep silence, say, one day a week, and use paper and pen when necessary. Mahatma Gandhi was very active in political life and could not disappear for 24 hours, but he was able to maintain the weekly practice for years. And you also should inform everybody about you practice and follow it.
Using mouna practice in everyday life is a separate topic. There are situations when you really need to keep silent, even if you have not taken such a commitment, but your inner wisdom tells you it is better to keep your mouth shut. This could be a fight with your spouse, a scene in the kitchen. You have already broken all the dishes, have a pan in your hands and you pour out the most terrible accusations. You should better stop and shut up but you keep going with this aroused energy and you need to make an effort to keep it down.
Take this example. In the old days, to open or close a water tap it took you a lot of time, turning and turning the thumbscrew. Later we got modern taps where you just slightly turn the lever one side to open it and to another side to close it, much simpler. The former one was far more complex, and more expensive in production. The question is how hard was it to come up with the simpler and cheaper model straight away?
The answer turns to be quiet logical. The thing is that when water flows in pipes, and if you suddenly turn it off, back from obstacle goes the so-called water hammer, kind of shock waves. It goes along the pipe to the first turn and then kicks this turn off resulting in break of the pipe and leak. But if you close the tap slowly, you will not be able to stop it abruptly and thus the pipe will not break. Old pipes were often rusty and weak, and it was far better to spend more on taps than to fix all the plumbing after break.
Same thing happens during our quarrels. It is very hard to stop, and if we stop suddenly, this wave of emotions and energy we were going to bring out on our opponent hits us from inside. And intuitively we understand that if we just shut up we will feel terrible. This illustrates that we cannot control this energy. However, it is very similar to the one we awake and use in mantra yoga, and to control it we need to be able to force ourselves to silence or talk at any time.
Life in seclusion
Life in seclusion intensifies your practice. Sometimes you should withdraw from social life for a while for this purpose. Take some food supply and stay alone for some time. There are some practices based on this principle. In our school, we call one of these practices “trail wandering”. There are several ways of performing this practice, but the general idea is that you walk away, change your livelihoods and follow either a particular route, for example, to any holy places or you go on a free ride without any specific aim.
Practicing sincerely and emotionally
It should be emphasized that your attitude to the practice, your inner will and desire are highly important. You should read mantra emotionally, put your heart in it. If you just keep reading it you will not get any effect as there will always remain a small part of you, which is looking around and is not involved in the process. Thus, it will block everything else. It is highly recommended to remember a situation when you had extreme emotions, for example, a fight in a kitchen, or, contrary, win in a sports competition. The moment when you could not control yourself, was not able to shut up as you were at the mercy of emotions. At this moment when you say something you really mean it. Reading mantras this way you will soon feel the effect. The more emotions, feelings and prana you put into it, the sooner you will achieve the result. Actually, yoga says, there is nothing good or bad, there is only something appropriate or inappropriate, anyway you can benefit and learn from every situation.
Awakening of mantra is greatly influenced by performing rituals. A ritual in this case is a sequence of certain actions strengthening each other, which lead to multiplicative effect on concentration of the person who practices. One of such rituals is Homa, the fire ritual, and it goes as follows: in a certain place a person starts a fire, add some clarified butter there and reads mantras, doing several meditations beforehand.
In our view, a ritual is an action that brings more an aesthetic pleasure, than something that makes sense. In fact, it is not that simple, a ritual is a very subtle practice. It is inexplicably affecting our senses and brain. During the ritual, due to the more intense focus of attention, we boost our own energy to arouse the energy of mantra. Buddhist monks during such practices usually ring a bell or beat a drum. On the one hand this puts you in a trance state, on the other hand it obviates the sleeping mind thus intensifying the process.
During the ritual, a lot of different mantras are read. First, they read redeeming mantra in case something goes wrong, it is kind of setting things right in advance. Then they continue with mantras encouraging the success of practice and sanctifying the place, mollifying local spirits. There are a lot of different factors affecting the practice and all of them are psychological, so you should cajole everyone and gain the support from the environment. Nobody really knows how to perform these rituals. Everybody does it at their own risk. Ancient texts say, “If you miss a sound in mantra, you will go straight to hell and get no effect”. There are a lot of conventions and furthermore all rituals are quite complicated and cannot be performed by a random person in a random place. If you studied the axioms of yoga, you know that this all summarizes in terms of “work with associative links”, meaning streaming your energy and consciousness only to where appropriate, and so you can draw the appropriate conclusions. Work with associative links goes just great during the ritual. Due to the strengthening of right associative links practice becomes more intensive.
Practicing together
Practicing mantra yoga together with like-minded people is invaluable. Such practice arouses strong ecstatic state of vibration and therefore is highly efficient. For example, you wake up in the morning and decide to make the world better, to eradicate hunger, diseases and so on. You gather a group to practice mantra that will change the whole world. During the group practice you can see a very interesting effect: when one person is getting tired and his or her energy level is getting lower, others give their support. The volume of prana, energy you put into the mantra grows making the practice highly successful.
There are several types of group practices. For example, continuous reading of mantras. One starts reading a mantra, when she is tired, the next person in the group takes over, while the first one is resting, and so on, in a loop. This kind of continuous relay-practice of mantra may last quite a long time.
This practice is performed by several people, and it electrifies everything around a lot.
There are some historical examples when even people far from spiritual practices could physically feel the aroused vibration in the places of such group practices. There was a mention of a great temple in Jerusalem. Romans crushed the rebellion, cruelly slaughtered a lot of people and decided to destroy this temple. One of the military leaders, who entered this inner sanctum, where entrance was forbidden for any mere mortal, felt this vibration and did not do anything, just left the temple. Though the clear intention was to destroy it completely. As you can imagine this man did not flinch.
This effect appears in the places where this vibration is aroused, and there even the most skeptical people start to feel it physically. You can find mentions of this in chronicles of English soldiers, who during the invasion in India got into these temples, where various spiritual practices took place. It should be noticed that English people are perhaps the most skeptical nation in the world and still even in their chronicles you can find the highlight of this atmosphere.
There are also some sealed yoga studies about combination of mantras and triada yogas, notably, all about the relationship between a man and a woman, all about sexual practices, which intensify mantra practice. These subjects are best left unspoken as they are extremely subtle and powerful. But you should know these methods also exist.

Yoga against drugs

Yoga excludes the use of anything that obscures our mind. People doing yoga already confront maya and illusions. Why else would they need any extra hallucinations?!
If you ever face the topic of strengthening mantra by taking drugs, do not believe it and try your best to avoid it.
Taking any kind of drugs (“dope”) is out of the question. It leads to a complete failure of mantra practice. The mechanism of actions of drugs is very insidious. First, they expand your consciousness to some extent and you might experience something while you are “high”.
But then comes a backlash, which ruins everything. In other words, a person feels so bad, that she completely forgets all the gained experience. If someone tells you that some “weed” brings out this mantra, just be aware and stay away from it. Do not try to dissuade these people. Everybody determine their own path even if it leads to hell and perhaps it is not your karma neither to discourage them, nor to follow them. That is why taking “chemistry” is not an option.
Sometimes they provide an example of some drink called “Somu” which was mentioned in Vedas. This is a very mysterious subject and no one yet has any real idea what kind of drink it is. Supposedly it was a divine drink that strengthened and enhanced your practice and view.
Nowadays people drag things down to their own level and many consider Somu to be opiates. It should be said upfront that it was something organic and its hallucinogenic effect is equal to a today’s bottle of beer, but is not anything like “dope”. It was probably a kind of a tipsy drink.
No one knows its recipe. Now they make up stories that they used to consume own-produced drugs in enormous amounts and then experienced something.
Just be aware that this is a straight way to degradation or at least to cirrhosis of the liver, as it all accumulates in our body. The ancient texts are silent on this point simply because most of “stuff” was discovered in the last few years.

Last modified: Thursday, 6 June 2019, 6:59 PM