"The mantra is a friend that helps the mind become one-pointed and slowly leads the student to a deep state of silence,
to the Center of Consciousness within."
- Swami Rama
What are mantras?
Mantras provide a link from our lower consciousness to our higher consciousness, and they can be of great assistance in the process of self-transformation. Their vibrational energies contain powerful transformational energies that serve to remind us of and to reconnect us to the Source that lies within us. The meaning of the words is not what creates its impact; the sound itself is a powerful focus that guides the mind toward stillness, toward that place beyond sound, to that silence within.
All spiritual traditions throughout the world use a sound, a syllable, a word, or a set of words to guide individuals across the fields of delusion to higher awakened consciousness. In India, these sounds, or mantras, were said to have been revealed to the rishis ("seers") who were in deep meditation. These mantras, however, do not belong to any particular language, religion, or tradition.
Our minds contain the imprints, or samskaras, from many lifetimes, and these imprints then constitutes our personalities. In order to refine and truly transform ourselves, we need to begin to change these subtle imprints within the mind. Mantras offer a potent means for this purpose; their vibrational energies-- irrespective of the literal translations-- create an impression upon the mind and help us to form new grooves within mind. Mantras serve as powerful tools in the process of self-transformation.
"If you want to find the secrets of the universe,
think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
― Nikola Tesla
What is kirtan?
This ancient practice of kirtan (call-and-response yoga chanting) has been found to quiet the mind, reduce stress, and renew the spirit. It is a participatory, cross-cultural sacred music experience that incorporates the audience right into the music itself, and it has swiftly gained popularity throughout the U.S. as it follows on the heels of the yoga movement. While kirtan and mantras have many spiritual aspects, they should not be confused with religion; their benefits can be enjoyed by individuals from all walks of life.
From our Ancient Spirit CD brochure on kirtan: