Category Archives: Mantra
A spectacular exploration of varied paths of devotion that converge at one of the world’s most extraordinary religious events — the Kumbh Mela — Pan Nalin’s thoughtful documentary is a genuinely spiritual journey.
Aad Guray Nameh / I bow to the primal truth;
Jugaad Guray Nameh / I bow to the truth for all creation;
Sat Guray Nameh / I bow to the perfect truth;
Siri Guru Dev-ay Nameh / I bow to the great invisible truth.
The festival of Navratri celebrates nine nights dedicated to the nine divine forms of Goddess Durga. A Hindu festival symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, Navratri takes place at the beginning of October around harvest time and, as the name implies, is celebrated for nine days. On the tenth day is Dussera which celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. An effigy of Ravana is burnt; often giant dummies of Ravana stuffed with fireworks are shot with arrows until it blows up. Navratri in Gujarat is celebrated with dandiya, and garba-raas.
Goddess Durga symbolizes the divine forces (positive energy) known as divine shakti (feminine energy/ power) that is used against the negative forces of evil and wickedness. She protects her devotees from evil powers and safeguards them. It is believed that Goddess Durga is the combined form of powers of Goddesses Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati.
It is also believed that Goddess Durga was created by Lord Vishnu as a warrior goddess to protect good people (devas) for fighting the demon, Mahishasur. Her divine shakti contains the combined energies of all the gods in the form of weapons and emblems (mudras).
Goddess Durga represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. The Sanskrit word durga means fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Durga, also called Divine Shakti, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces (negative energy and vices—arrogance, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, greed and selfishness).
Goddess Durga is depicted as a warrior woman with eight hands carrying weapons of different kinds assuming mudras, (symbolic hand gestures) that represent her teachings.
• Chakra in her 1st upper right hand symbolizes dharma (duty/righteousness). We must perform our duty/responsibilities in life.
• Conch in her first upper left hand symbolizes happiness. We must perform our duty happily and cheerfully and not with resentment.
• Sword in her second right lower hand symbolizes eradication of vices. We must learn to discriminate and eradicate our evil qualities.
• Bow and arrow in her second left lower hand symbolizes character like Lord Rama. When we face difficulties in our life we should not lose our character (values).
• Lotus Flower in her third lower left hand symbolizes detachment. We must live in the world without attachment to the external world. Just like the lotus flower stays in dirty water yet smiles and gives its beauty to others. This is the only way to receive Her blessings.
• Club in her third right lower hand is the symbol of Hanuman and symbolizes devotion and surrender. Whatever we do in our life we do with love and devotion and accept the outcome as the Almighty’s will.
• Trident/Trishul in her fourth left lower hand symbolizes courage. We must have courage to eliminate our evil qualities and face the challenges in our life.
• Fourth Lower Right Hand symbolizes forgiveness and Her blessings. We must forgive ourselves and others for mistakes and/or any hurt we may have caused.
Durga Maa is depicted as riding on a lion or a tiger. A tiger symbolizes unlimited power. Durga riding a tiger indicates that She possesses unlimited power and uses it to protect virtue and destroy evil. The lion is a symbol of uncontrolled animalistic tendencies (such as anger, arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, desire to harm others etc.) and Her sitting on it reminds us to control these qualities, so that we are not controlled by them.
She is usually shown wearing a red sari. The color red symbolizes action and the red clothes signify that She is destroying evil and protecting mankind from pain and suffering.
Thus, Goddess Durga symbolizes the Divine forces (positive energy) that is used against the negative forces of evil and wickedness. She represents pure energy (positive), known as divine light or jyoti that is the embodiment of feminine and creative energy.
This month we must pray to Maa Durga, the Universal Mother, asking Her to use Her destructive power to remove the vices within us (anger, selfish desires, greed, ego and undue attachments), imperfections and faults; and purify us to become a receptacle of her Divine Shakti—Anandamayi Shakti.
There are several mantras for Goddess Durga, but the most simple and easy mantra to remember is “Om Sri Durgaya Namah.” It is believed that by chanting this mantra regularly the Divine Mother will remove the physical, mental and worldly problems in life and shower us with her unlimited blessings.
India Currents Magazine Article What Does Goddess Durga Symbolize? By Satya Kalra
Ashtanga Yoga Opening Chant
Ashtanga Yoga Closing Chant
More info on Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute Website
Gayatri Mantra (GUY-ah-tree) is one of the most known and beneficial of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. Gayatri is a mantra of physical, emotional, and mental healing, purifying the subtle karmas, protection from the onslaught of obstacles, and of spiritual awakening or Self-realization.
Aum Bhur Bhuva Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
On the absolute reality and its planes,
On that finest spiritual light,
We meditate, as remover of obstacles
That it may inspire and enlighten us.
More Information on Gayatri Mantra at SwamiJ.com
Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (maha-mrityun-jaya) is one of the more potent of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. Maha mrityunjaya is a call for enlightenment and is a practice of purifying the karmas of the soul at a deep level. It is also said to be quite beneficial for mental, emotional, and physical health.
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat
We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality
Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality,
Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.
More Information on Mahamrityunjaya Mantra at SwamiJ.com
Each deity has its mantras, starting with single-syllable seed or bija mantras and extending to longer mantras, prayers and supplications. Kali’s primary single syllable mantra is KRIM (pronounced Kreem). KRIM refers to Kriya or the power of action, but action of a yogic nature.
KRIM is composed of three primary letters. The letter-k is the first of all the consonants in the Sanskrit alphabet. It indicates manifest existence, power and force. The letter-r is the seed of fire and light. The letter-i is focused energy and will power.
Out of this single seed mantra is developed a longer threefold mantra or three seed-mantras as KRIM HUM HRIM. This has yet more energy and efficacy in awakening the Goddess within us. It begins with the mantra KRIM and builds upon its power.
The mantra HUM (hoom) is composed of two primary sounds. The letter-h is the seed syllable of the element of space or ether. It also represents the sun, Prana and the Purusha principle. The letter-u creates a force field that can both serve to hold in and to push out. HUM represents an explosion of energy, an expression of great power that is pranic, electrical and fiery. HUM is the power of Agni or fire particularly as directed by the wind or Vayu. Whereas KRIM awakens the electrical force or Shakti, HUM serves to direct it with great force, to use it to make great efforts.
HRIM (hreem) is the great mantra of the spiritual heart, hridaya. It is composed of three main letters. The letter-h, as in HUM, represents, space, prana and light. The letter-r as in KRIM represents light and fire. The letter-i as in KRIM represents focused energy or a ray of light, the Shakti as such. Through the mantra HRIM alone one can enter into the spiritual heart and the small space within its lotus (dahara akasha) in which the entire universe is held.
These put together, Kali’s threefold mantra serves to awaken and energize the spiritual heart, hridaya.
The mantra KRIM serves to cut the knots of the heart. It works like a sword. It stimulates the heart energy within us, its primal desire or wish for immortality, love and light.
The mantra HUM gives power to the heart, expanding the energy of prana and Agni (fire) in a strong, if not explosive manner.
The mantra HRIM opens the energy of the spiritual heart which is like the Sun, spreading it into the Infinite.
This threefold Kali Heart mantra can be compared to a kind of spiritual adrenaline. KRIM awakens the energy of the heart, like an electrical jolt to a heart patient whose heart is failing. HUM expands it this current with great force. HRIM stabilizes it as an infinite power and eternal presence.
KRIM draws the Prana from the breath, the sensory and motor organs and directs it into the heart. HUM turns the Prana into a force of fiery meditative power. HRIM connects the individual prana-mind with the power of the Supreme Self, the power of the light of consciousness (Chid-jyoti). This threefold mantra therefore creates a powerful Pratyahara in the yogic sense, it takes our energy back to the spiritual heart.
Excerpt from Article The Goddess Kali and the Spiritual Heart by David Frawley
(Reuters Health) – Mindfulness meditation may be useful in battles against anxiety, depression and pain, according to a fresh look at past research.
Using data from 47 earlier studies, researchers found moderate evidence to support the use of mindfulness meditation to treat those conditions. Meditation didn’t seem to affect mood, sleep or substance use.
“Many people have the idea that meditation means just sitting quietly and doing nothing,” wrote Dr. Madhav Goyal in an email to Reuters Health. “That is not true. It is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”
Goyal led the study at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
He and his colleagues write in JAMA Internal Medicine that meditation techniques emphasize mindfulness and concentration.
So-called mindfulness meditation is aimed at allowing the mind to pay attention to whatever thoughts enter it, such as sounds in the environment, without becoming too focused. Mantra meditation, on the other hand, involves focusing concentration on a particular word or sound.
Approximately 9 percent of people in the U.S. reported meditating in 2007, according to the National Institutes of Health. About 1 percent said they use meditation as some sort of treatment or medicine.
For the new report, the researchers searched several electronic databases that catalog medical research for trials that randomly assigned people with a certain condition – such as anxiety, pain or depression – to do meditation or another activity. These randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard of medical research.
The researchers found 47 studies with over 3,500 participants that met their criteria.
After combining the data, Goyal said his team found between a 5 and 10 percent improvement in anxiety symptoms among people who took part in mindfulness meditation, compared to those who did another activity.
There was also about a 10 to 20 percent improvement in symptoms of depression among those who practiced mindfulness meditation, compared to the other group.
Excerpt from Article Meditation may help with anxiety, depression and pain BY ANDREW M. SEAMAN