• Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

    Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

    Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


    What is the role that the personal mantra (the mantra that is received during initiation) plays in yoga?


    Three have answered this question: Mrs. Lalita Arya (Ammaji), Michael Smith, and Carolyn Hume.

    From Mrs. Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

    This is a good and normal question.

    Anyway, the main function for the beginner is that the personal mantra helps the discipline of FOCUS ... developing, training and maintaining focus - that is so important in the study of Y & M. When one is doing the mantra all else takes secondary importance and the mental repetition is all that matters - it also helps to remove ideas of 'ego' as it dwells only on sound. Once that concentration is mastered the other subtle reasons reveal themselves and there would not arise the question asked.

    From Michael Smith:

    There are Swami Veda's three booklets:


    and his book MANTRA AND MEDITATION. [Sometimes Pandit Usharbudh Arya, Swami Veda’s pre-sanyas name, is the listed author of the book Mantra & Meditation.]

    Also, in Pt. Dabral's recent lecture he speaks a lot about the benefits of mantra practice . . . . You'll be getting both the audio and the transcript of that lecture ASAP: “Deepening Your Sadhana”, in the February 2018 Ahymsin newsletter.

    Personally, I like what Swami Rama said about mantra initiation: "When you receive a mantra, you're given an angel."

    This is a personal speculation only (below):

    In the Himalayan Yoga Tradition, the Diksha Mantra is the sound body of an Ideal, Archetypal, Dharmic Form.

    A Mantra is the Sound-body (Ideal Form), an aspect of the Divine Essence.

    A Yantra is the Light-body (geometric visual-body).

    A Murti (Image) is the Material-body.

    We are imperfect representations of our Archetypal Forms, so — as Swami Rama said — “When you receive a mantra, you receive an Angel.”

    With Japa, our task is to super-impose an Archetypal (Angelic) Form over our mundane form – a Name (an aspect of God, a Deity, a Deva) – as a step toward the unmanifest God (Brahman), God without name and form.

    A prayer in the East and the West is

    “Dear Lord, make me over again according to Thy Divine Image.”
    “Dear Lord, make me over again according to Thy Heavenly Form.”
    “Our Father Who art in Heaven,
    Hallowed by Thy Name.
    Thy Kingdom come,
    Thy Will be done,
    on Earth as it is in Heaven . . . .”

    Names, especially divine Names (Mantras) are vessels of extraordinary power.

    In all religious texts, such as the Bible and the Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs, again and again, homage is paid to the NAME, which is the LOGOS or the Word/Intelligence of God.

    From Carolyn Hume:

    Among other places, Swami Rama writes about mantra in the chapter “Meditation, Mind, and the Mantra” in the book Meditation and Its Practiceand in the chapter *Understanding the Process of Meditation” in the book The Art of Joyful Living.

    Also you may like to read the article written by Wolfgang Bischoff “Elaboration of Meditation as 'Indwelling'”in the January 2013 newsletter, in which he writes about mantra meditation and initiation.

    Editor’s Notes:

    If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact Us" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

    Previous “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…” columns.



    The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

    Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana     Mindfulness     Japa     Dharana     Shavasana     Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor     Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage     Silence     Full Moon Meditation

    Copyright © 2009-2017 by AHYMSIN ®