To focus our attention, the yoga wisdom texts recommend the process of mantra meditation—fixing one’s mind on a kind of potent sound. Authentic metaphysical sound vibrations may seem like any other sound—just a combination of syllables—but Vedic mantras originate from outside of the material world. They are eternal mantras passed down by generations of sadhus. These authorised mantras lift us above the influence of the three material modes. When we practice mantra meditation, the sound we produce is not inert material sound but the transcendental sound that descends from the spiritual world and acts like an alarm clock to wake us up to our original state of consciousness.
There are other forms of meditation, like staring at a flame or concentrating on the breath, but mantra meditation, which is most recommended by authentic wisdom texts for the age in which we live, has a special potency which other methods lack. The scientific principle of excitation helps to explain why mantra meditation is so potent. In physics, excitation is defined as the introduction of higher energy to something situated in a lower state. When that higher energy touches an object of lower energy, it elevates the lower object to a higher state. Likewise, Vedic mantras energize us and bring us to a higher awareness, bringing us eventually to our original consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge, and blissful.
The mantra most highly recommended by the Vedas and sadhus alike is called the maha-mantra, the “great mantra for deliverance”:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
The Kali-santarana Upanisad says that by chanting the maha-mantra one can overcome the myriad obstacles to spiritual advancement––distractions, procrastination, bad habits, and so on––that we inevitably face in the modern age. The chanting of the maha-mantra benefits not only those who recite it but also others who hear it, thus initiating a purifying chain reaction that improves the world’s atmosphere.
In summary, mantra meditation frees our mind from material absorption, the cause of all perplexity and anxiety, and opens up a world of spiritual knowledge and happiness. It gradually awakens direct perception of our original nature and brings us back to life’s real purpose. This allows us to see the material world clearly for what it is; a flash in the pan. Thus we’re able to still have a spiritual experience while in this world; in it, but not overcome by it.
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