Why Repeating a Mantra?


The practice of repeating a chosen mantra helps personal transformation over time

Mantras are consecrated expressions or numinous sound.

Chanting a mantra releases thought-energy waves that have an effect on the person's nervous system. This occurs even if the person does not know the meaning of the mantra chanted. In Indian traditions, a mantra is repeated several times, often 108 or 1008, or several times more, to create the right impact on the neural system. Scientific studies have shown that repetition increases our memory. Our brains consist of specialised cells known as neurons, and they undergo physical changes when we practice the same action over and over.

The length of time or the number of repetitions is thus recommended to achieve good results over a period. The purpose of repetition is essentially to boost one's awareness level and improve concentration. Repeating a mantra several times helps to transcend all mental activity, and it creates vibrations leading to a pathway into deeper awareness. Mantra repetition while meditating helps to find a natural breathing rhythm.

monk chanting ancient mantra

Breath is our vital life force. When you join the breath with the calming repetition of mantra recitation, it helps to deepen the meditative state, quietens the fluctuations of thoughts in the mind, and allows you to tap into higher consciousness. There are many mantra practitioners who do continuous repetition of their chosen mantra at their free moments of mechanical activity throughout the day, such as when walking, waiting for a lift, or waiting in line, or during their rhythmical form of exercises such as jogging and swimming.

yogi after meditation in the garden on cotton yoga rug

This is sometimes called portable mantra repetition (as against focusing on a mantra in sitting meditation). Such repetition helps to arrest the 'monkey' mind, and brings the person back to enjoy the present moment. When practised consistently over time, repetition of the chosen mantra fosters long-term psychological capacities, such as the ability to quickly recover balance after any crisis, and exude a sense of equanimity and compassion. Many mantra practitioners express that repeating a mantra with conscious attention over a prolonged period, helps to create a sense of invisible armour around the body. The person comes to radiate a certain glow, an indescribable brightness, and he stands noticeably different from others in any group. As they say, practice makes one perfect. This is verily true in mantra sadhana in Indian traditions.

 


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