Mantra Yoga - What Is Mantra Or Japa Yoga
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Different Styles of Yoga

Mantra Yoga

What is Mantra Or Japa Yoga - Yoga Poses and Positions

Yoga Poses and Positions

Mantra yoga is a very interesting style of practice of yoga. This is based on the principle of usage of sound as a medium of concentrating thoughts or Dhyana towards God. It is a science and an art in itself. Mantra yoga has to be understood thoroughly before practicing because it has many intricacies involved of voice intonations and voice modulation with accuracy of pronouncement accompanied with proper understanding of the mantras. So before proceeding with the actual practice a step by step understanding of its science is very necessary. This alone will give a person mastery over the art form of reciting mantras. This recital of mantras is referred to as Japa.

Most of us have a reasonable understanding of what in reality a mantra is. But in-depth knowledge of the meaning of mantras is necessary to grasp the near magical powers of mantras vouched by many practitioners. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that is defined as follows 'Mananat -trayate iti Mantrah' meaning mantra is that what is thought constantly to produce the result of release from the cycle of birth and death. Mantra is something that is constantly recited by the jiva or human so that he is released from the cycle of Dharma, Arth, Kama and attains the ultimate result of Moksha. The two syllables of the word 'Mantra' are 'Man' meaning the mind or the process of thinking (Manana). And 'Tra' means to become free from the bonding of the worldly desires and need for rebirth.

The science of Mantra yoga is based on the fact that sound emitted by any source is pure energy in the form of vibration of waves. It is also a proven fact that sound waves do not deplete or degenerate easily. These waves are the path or the tool used by a Sadhak to communicate with the divine entity. It is believed that repetition of a mantra has the power to release immense energy and spark a wave manifesting into direct interaction with the divine intelligence. The practitioners believe firmly in the near magical powers of mantras.

Mantra yoga recognizes the power of word association also. This means that when a word is suddenly said out loud the mind tends to visualize it and its image is immediately associated in the mind. This is true for anything that the mind can imagine or has previously registered from somewhere. The mantra yoga utilizes this principle of word association with praying to different Gods or energy forms by means of using specific mantras. It is said that if used this way the mind is able to concentrate on the picture of that particular God easily. The principle is based on using mantras to control the thought process and direct it to the direction of deliverance.

In this form of yoga a certain mantra is recited in all its correctness with proper usage of sound waves and at the same time the thoughts are concentrated on to the image of the God or object that is signified by the mantra. This is a process of using two or more or even all of the sense organs at the same time to control the thought process. While chanting the mantra usually the sense organ of touch is also utilized by way of using a mala or beaded string or rosary. This is used for keeping a count of the number of times a mantra has been recited as well as the sense organ of touch is directed towards the thoughts of God.

Every mantra in the ancient Indian mythology is supposed to be an embodiment of the following entities:

Rishi, Drashta or Seer: He is the originator of a particular mantra.

Chhandas or voice modulation: This is the accurate way of recital of a certain mantra. Since sound energy is utilized here to create a passage of communication with the divine it is important to follow it as accurately as possible.

Devata or Deity: This is the image form of the God for whom the mantra is basically recited, or towards whom the mantra is directed.

Bija or seed: Every mantra contains a word or series of words that is considered to be the essential part or the seed of that particular mantra.

Shakti or energy: This is the energy part of the mantra. Every mantra contains the essence of pure energy that is produced by the vibrations created with the proper voice intonations.

Kilaka or pillar: It is believed that every mantra contains a pillar or pin which keeps the Chaitanya or the aroused form of God hidden inside it. As soon as the mantra is recited with accuracy and constancy to a certain number of times, this pillar is removed and the God is released and becomes visible to the Sadhak or yogi.  

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