The Most Sacred Science: Part 2
In the last article I pointed out that a mantra is not just a string of words but the ‘sound body of a deity’. Before we go any further its necessary to get some idea of what a deity is. There are thousands of deities, Buddhist deities, Hindu deities, Norse deities, and of course the Greek gods. A deity is, ‘a crystallized immortal individuality’. Whereas a human is a mortal individuality. What’s the difference? Only the human Soul on its own plane has a relative immortality. This means that the human Soul on its own plane last till the end of a World period, manvantara. A deity, because they exist on the higher planes, buddhic or higher, can still maintain their individuality past the end of a world period when our system enters pralaya. In the bible this is called the ‘ends of the days’.
A deity has a name and form(nama rupa) as its perceived on the lower planes of existence. In fact a mantra is the more correct name of the deity. Take for instance Avalokitesvara with 11 heads and 8 arms. He is sometimes called Ekadasamukti but ‘OM Mani Padme Hum’ is more the real name or expression for Avalokitesvara. So when you chant, OM Mani Padme Hum you are invoking Avalokitesvara from the higher planes to come down to the lower planes.
If you chant a mantra like OM Mani Padme Hum regularly you are creating a relationship between the deity and yourself. Over time as your astral body is purified the shakti (energy) of the deity begins to permeate through your being. In general there are different rules for each deity. Some are easier to communicate with while others much more difficult. Some require the aspirant to maintain a different diet, use particular incense, or offerings. Offering are very important but that’s an entirely different matter. Once you become aligned to a mantra then the note of that mantra becomes more ingrained into your being. You will become more sensitive to your environment, especially music. If you listen to the wrong music, for instance, it can counter the good that you’ve built up and you can even lose your connection temporarily with the deity. Your connection with the deity becomes all important as you make progress on the Path.
So a mantra and deity are ‘one’. For instance if you build up a relationship with a Buddhist deity you cannot just on a whim switch to chanting a Hindu mantra. This can cause you allot of trouble.
There are 4 levels of mantra: 1) mechanical repetition (vaikhari), 2) entering into the stream or energy of the mantra(mydhama), 3) obtaining the power of the mantra(pashanti), and 4) not for us humans but when the deity chants(para). We all start with mechanical repetition. To make progress we have to reach the second level. Each level has secondary levels.
Some hints to help you past the mechanical repetition of the mantra. Add visualization of the deity with the correct colours. Remember colour is vibration which in fact is sound. So you have the form and colour of the deity, your offering, then your almost ready to chant. The next thing which I’ll just mention is your breath. Don’t force the mantra, it should flow with the breath. There are 3 more very important aspects in the chanting of a mantra.
1)The correct tune and note of the mantra.
2)The initiation or right to chant the mantra
3) Do you have karma with the deity? Are you chanting the
right mantra for you.
This is a vast topic and the real knowledge of mantra is a sacred science. I’ve only touched on a few major points in this article. The path of mantra is a very steep Path.