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What is a Mantra
The word mantra is a combination of two Sanskrit syllables: man, meaning “to think”, and tra, meaning “to free oneself”.
Consistent listening or chanting to a specific mantra soothes the nervous system, directs the mind towards positive thinking, and helps free us from negative influences, thereby allowing us to live more joyfully and peacefully.
The Spiritual Dimension
Ultimately, the practice of mantras has a spiritual purpose. On an intuitive level, we all long for the infinite joy inherent in our souls, a longing which spurs us on to directly experience our true place in the universe, and our true birthright as part of the eternal and the divine.
When we do achieve that kind of inner insight and realization, it is indeed a joyous experience - referred to in Sanskrit as Anivarchneeya Anandam. It is joyous precisely because the real nature of the soul is pure joy, ananda.
The sages of India perceived this spiritual awakening as the ultimate goal of all human life, whether one senses it consciously or not. Throughout history, they have referred to this divine attunement as the treasured state of Samadhi, whereby the exhaustless joy of the soul (atma) is in tune with the Supreme soul (Paramatma). To have lived and not to have attained this precious state of union with the divine would be an immeasurable loss. As Swami Vivekenanda said “Each soul is potentially divine. We have to awaken it.”
Unfortunately, our everyday concerns and preoccupations tend to distract us from this goal. The cares of the day swallow up our initiative, the seeming realities of the material world loom before us, and we may feel stranded in an empty existence.
Yet when we give ourselves the time, we can attend to the whisperings of our soul, urging us to look within and touch the eternal beauty that lies there.
In fact, sometimes it’s life’s very challenges that prompt us to question the meaning of life. At such times, we need to dive deeper and to search for the reason for our existence.
Mantras are an effective and exalted means to bring ourselves back to our original goal and purpose, all the while calming our nervous system and bringing peace and fulfillment into our daily lives. As they are described in Sanskrit, mantras are Manah Traayate Iti Mantrah, namely “that which gives solace to the ailing mind.”
The Healing Dimension
Interestingly, several contemporary researchers are discovering that mantras have a measurable effect on physiology and human health. For example, Dr. P. Pandya, M.D., a cardiologist who worked in an intensive care unit in Shanti Kunj, India, found that one particular mantra, the Gayatri mantra, was able to reduce the stress level of his cardiac patients, thereby reducing their risk of further cardiac problems.
Through his research, he found the mantra brought about not only neurological changes, but also psychological changes. Reciting the mantra resulted in the release of endorphins, thereby bringing a feeling of serenity and well-being. Dr. Pandya later continued his research at Harvard University in the United States.
Dr. Pandya’s work corroborates that of Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. Dr. Chopra is especially interested in the special link between mantras, neurophysiology and healing.
Hindu texts explain that repetition of selected Sanskrit words results in the balance of the hot and cold currents— referred to as ida (cold) and pingla (hot) — circulating in our spine, thereby magnetizing it. With the right pronunciation of the mantra, each syllable of sound sets up a vibratory resonance throughout the spine, awakening each of the chakras, or energy centers of the spine.
During the repetition, it is recommended that you choose a quiet place and sit on a woolen blanket, ideally covered by silk (on the floor or in an armless chair) facing east, keeping the spine straight. The blanket serves as a subtle insulation against the earth’s gravitational current. It is best to recite the mantra precisely 108 times, both morning and evening. The result will be renewed physical, emotional and spiritual health.
It should come as no surprise that, to this day, specific mantras are chanted in India during the preparation of various medicinal compounds used for specific health conditions. The rhythmic, phonetic vibrations created during the course of the recitation generate and enhance the healing properties of the medicines.
Mrityunjaya Mantra (Shiva)
This downloadable file contains 4 MP3:
This downloadable file contains 11 MP3:
This downloadable file contains 3 MP3:
01- Explanation of the mantra(22:32)
02- The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra(22:30)
03- Explication du mantra (22:40)