Book Review – A little bit of Mantras

I grew up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family where mantras and rituals were a part of daily life. There was a time when I was reciting hanuman chalisa every morning but I soon gave up that practise. I picked up this book to explore the science behind mantras to see if that is something I want to get back to. The book gave me the apt information I was looking for. The book starts with quoting scientific studies on people where mantras have helped in well-being. When seeing images filled with fear, people who were reciting a mantra felt calmer than people who didn’t. Then the author goes further quoting different mantras and their uses and the right way to do them.

 

Key Learnings

 

  • While there are a lot of affirmations you can say to feel good, reciting a mantra is more helpful as they have the power which has been transferred since ages
  • Scientific studies on mantras revealed its impact on relaxation, lower blood pressure, reduce obsessive thinking, improve focus, increase resilience, fight alzheimer’s disease.
  • Mantra practise involves – gathering attention, notice the mind wander, let go distraction and bring back attention
  • There are three ways to practise – speaking, singing and writing
  • Using a mala helps in counting the mantra and doing it for the right number of times
  • Mantras have to be written in the right strokes for them to be helpful
  • Mantras for peace are Aum, Aum Shanti, lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu. If you are reciting them, it is helpful to recite it 108 times with a mala  
  • AUM denotes four aspects
    • A – waking state
    • U – dream state
    • M – dreamless state
    • Silence after sound – Transcendental space 
  • Mantras for healing are called bija mantras. They are Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Aum. They need to be practised associating each of them with the chakra they belong to.
  • Soham is the mantra for ‘I am that’. It helps in connecting with the divine
  • Mantras for clarity are Gayatri Mantra and aum asato ma sadgamaya. Gayatri mantra is associated with Goddess Gayatri and the Sun God.
  • Mantras for strength are Maha mantra, ram, jaya jagatambe ma durga. They are associated with Vishnu, Ram and durga respectively.
  • Mantras for liberation are aum gam ganapathaye namah, aum namah shivaya, jai gurdev.
  • Mantras can be effective to replace negative emotions, empowering yourself, infusing food with positive energy.

 

Should you read this book?

 

For an atheist or non hindu, this book provides the scientific research behind the power of vibrations of certain sounds. If you can disassociate yourself with the thought of god and devotion and consider this as a power of vibration of certain words, go ahead and read it to learn about different methods to change your life.

 

Happy chanting!

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