Dancing Ganesha by Vishwajyoti Mohrhoff
THE POWER OF MANTRA
today is a celebration of Ganesha chaturthi - a day devoted to the elephant god and a patron of writers,scholars, a remover of obstacles etc. It is an auspicious day and an ‘empty moon’ night. You may want to celebrate by chanting a Ganesh mantra or make any other ceremony to obtain a boon from the God.
A mantra is ‘composition’ of letters in Sanskrit language that can render desired results by repeating that mantra many times. It is said, that each letter in Sanskrit relates to a particular chakra in the body and so, vibrating that letter, within a mantra, will influence the energy centre(s) through out a body. In a positive way.
"Mananaat traayate iti mantraha" - the one who recites and reflect on the mantra is protected by the mantra . That is one of definitions of a mantra.
But what is that mantra? Can it be any word in any language?
It is said that Sanskrit is the language of gods: given to us by the gods. Rishis ( sages) have heard those sounds while in a deep meditation and then thought them orally to their disciples. There is a veil of mystery around,but through the ages of time we became to believe and not question to much. Practice of yoga includes a repetition of mantra,or a sound. Usually a few choices are presented by the teacher(s), but it is also said that any word can have same effect, provided that it is pleasant and close to a practitioner.
So? Is then really only a belief, passed onto us through time, that only certain words on a certain time under certain circumstances will have a positive effect and give us desired results? Today I heard just that. It is a belief, that a specific word will help, over the fact that repeating a word ( or a mantra) is having effect on our mind to quiet our troublesome thoughts and helping us to relax, focus, feel better, be more happy, content, secure, empowered, protected….?
I think there is truth in both. Whatever one chooses to use in order to feel better is a ‘mantra’, a powerful personal ritual.
De-mistify the mystical and uncover the veil to get to the essence of a matter.
As in a case of Ganesha - remover of obstacles, a son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who was a guardian of his mother’s house while she was away and was be-headed by his own father ( who did not know him yet) and then his head was replaced with a head of a first living being that came on the path. His ‘vahana’ a means of transportation is a mouse, a tinny creature that can carry an enormous body. Many vedic stories describe accidents and incidents of this beloved , cute, powerful half man- half elephant god. They are all beautiful metaphors enveloped in a story, I love stories! :) It is always great to listen to them and look beyond the words to realise their message.
One thing in particular caught my eye while I was in India and around temples there. There is always a Ganesha statue-shrine at the entrance of a temple and people go there as first. I saw them doing ‘funny’ movements: standing in front, they would be bending their knees, and placing one hand on the ear and one on the nose ( criss-cross) repeatedly and then with hand knuckles tapping on the sides of head and chanting a mantra. It looked interesting, so I asked about for the meaning of this: it is an old way of ‘evoking’ Ganesh’s powers to be bestowed upon you, that is specially to have a good memory and concentration to learn. More so, in India’s ’old days’ a teacher would ‘punish’ a pupil who did not perform well with standing or kneeling in a corner and had to make those movements. :)
But here comes a ‘good part’, as often people find a way to make a business out of everything, someone in the West learned about the benefits of ‘Ganesh evoking ritual’ and patterned this under the name of ’brain yoga’ . Hja, what can we say??? The fact is that such ‘rituals’ with tapping on the head do influence our neuro pathways and with that change our brain vibration. The result can be better concentration and learning, but it might be also based on a strong belief that by doing so, this and that will happen. And it does - because the power of our thought creates our desires into matter.
Not to mention, that there is whole ‘tapping solution’ healing technique out there that many praise for its effect. Well, why not?
Anyway, what I was contemplating today were thoughts about mantra’s sacred and mysterious powers and our belief system, that is powerful enough to manifest our expectations and desires into reality.
Perhaps someone out there can share a thought on this with me?
In any case : may all of your obstacles be removed from yourself and around you, so that the light who you are, will shine upon the world and others and make it a better place.
Gum, Gum, Gum Ganapti Namo Namaha!