Why should I repeat a mantra?
According to ancient vedic sciences, mantra is a powerful healing practice. “While mantras ground meditative practice and the many paths to liberation, they are also applied for magical power, alchemical transformation, and medicinal purposes, and for prosperity in various phases of life. Found in the earliest Vedic literature, mantras transcend Hindu culture and are also found in Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh traditions,” according to Sthaneshwar Timalsina. For many of us, we are a bit unfamiliar with how to approach mantras. Perhaps we chant OM at the beginning or end of a yoga practice. Or perhaps we listen to some songs by Krishna Das where he sings mantras through a form of Bhakti yoga, called kirtan. You may find it surprising to find out that all many mantras have a specific healing purpose, and you can easily begin to work with such mantras in your daily life.
As an example, I decided to work with the mantra “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.” This mantra can be translated as “Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.” This is a mantra devoted to Ganesha, and it is a mantra that I used to help remove obstacles. After just one day of chanting this mantra, I saw amazing results. I was waiting for a train home from a visit to Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY, and I stood chanting this mantra. For some reason, I decided to open a small zipper on my suitcase, and inside, I found an envelope with $1600 inside! As I chose this mantra, some of the obstacles I wanted to remove were financially related. I realized that I had placed this envelope of money in my suitcase months prior, and I had completely forgotten about it. So here, in this instance, the mantra (and the universe) gave me a sign that it was listening. That same train I was waiting for ended up being delayed, and in the meanwhile, I had lost my ticket. Once I boarded the train, I kept chanting the mantra over and over in my head. Everytime I had been on this train, the conductor always came around to scan the ticket, so I had succumbed to the fact that I was going to have to pay for another ticket. However, I reached my stop before the conductor ever passed by! Again, I felt a clear sign that the mantra—the remover of obstacles—was working for me.
What does it mean to work with a mantra? According to Thomas Ashley-Farrand’s Healing Mantras, it is best to repeat a mantra over and over, as many times as possible either aloud or silently in your head. Many Eastern texts actually recommend a discipline of 40 days to truly reap the benefits of the mantra.
Choose a specific place to say your mantra each day.
Set a specific time of day to say your mantra, either once a day or twice a day. In addition to this time, you can also repeat the mantra throughout the day while walking, ride the bus, cooking, etc.
If you’d like, incorporate the use of a mala or rosary, which have 108 beads, to help count the number of times you repeat the mantra.
If you have a particular desired outcome, you may wish to keep a spiritual diary.
Here are a few mantras and their meanings you may want to try out:
Mantra to remove obstacles:
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
(OM GUM GUH-NUH-PUH-TUH-YEI NAHM-AH-HA)
“Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.”
Mantra for healing:
Om Sri Dhanvantre Namaha
(OM SHREE DON-VON-TREY NAHM-AH-HA)
“Salutations to the being and power of the Celestial Physician.”
Mantra for good luck:
Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha
(OM SHAH-RAH-VAH-NAH BHAH-VAH-YAH NAHM-AH-HA)
“Om and salutations to the son of Shiva, who brings auspiciousness and who is chief of the celestial army.”
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