Mantras used by spiritual aspirants to achieve God-
Realization are called deity Mantras. They are saguna, with
qualities or form producing, and aid the conceptualization
process, just as do visual symbols. In time, recitation gives
rise to the actual form of the particular deity.
As a specialized sound body of consciousness, the Mantra is
the deity itself. The form of the deity manifests as the
visible portion of the sound. The Mantra, therefore, must be
repeated in the proper way, with attention to the syllables and
rhythm. If translated, it ceases to be a Mantra because sound
vibrations newly created in translation cannot evoke it. Only
the rhythmical vibrations of the Sanskrit syllables properly
recited can regulate the unsteady vibrations of the worshipper
and permit the form of the deity to arise.
Westerners are prone to think that the various Mantras refer
to different gods, and that there is a wide diversity in the
culminating experience. It must never be forgotten that the
deities are aspects of the one Divinity whose grandeur is too
vast for the mind to comprehend at the beginning of spiritual
practice. To use again the analogy of the hill, the many paths
to the top can be viewed as the worship of the various aspects
of the God. The hill itself is the one hill, and the summit
is the same. After reaching the pinnacle, one will have the
vision to encompass the totality.
Every true Mantra fulfills six conditions :
- It was originally revealed to the sage, who achieved
Self-Realization through it and passed it down to
- It has a presiding deity and
- a specific meter.
- It possesses a bija, or seed, investing it with a
special power that is the essence of the Mantra.
- It also has dynamic divine power, or shakti.
- Lastly, there is a plug that conceals the pure consciousness hidden in the Mantra.
As soon as the plug is removed by constant prolonged
repetition, pure consciousness is revealed, and the devotee
receives the vision of his deity.
All devotees are really worshipping the same Supreme Atman.
Differences are only the differences in worshippers. These
differences arise from the need for multiplicity in approach
to Godhead. Various temperaments are attracted to particular
manifestations of the Divine. Some people are drawn by
silence, others by activity; some lose themselves in nature,
others in intellectual abstractions. One can approach God
more easily if there is a compatible relationship with the
most suitable manifestation. Harmony between aspirant and
chosen deity is essential. However, the goal will be reached
only when one can see his chosen deity in all deities and in
At the time of initiation by a guru, one's deity or ishta
devata is chosen. Every person has worshipped some deity in
previous lives; the impression of this worship is imprinted
in the subconscious mind. These impressions have influenced
the mental vibrations and have helped to form the particular
mentality. Worship of Lord Siva in a previous birth would
incline one to Siva worship in this life also; it would
impart certain mental characteristics, such as stoicism and
love of solitude. One who chooses Siva, as his ishta devata
would be most drawn to abstract forms of thought and
meditation as his method of worship.
The householder to whom family, responsibility, order and
ideals are important is drawn to Rama, the ideal son, husband
and lawgiver. Krishna attracts most people, particularly
devotional types and active, balanced extroverts who are
concerned with the welfare of others. As the mischievous baby,
a young man engaged in divine play in the fields and forests
of Vrindavan, and inspired giver of the wisdom of the
Bhagavad Gita, his range is all-inclusive. Those who feel
reverence for the Mother aspect as divine universal energy
might worship Durga. If one cannot discover his own natural
inclination, the guru will choose the deity in accordance
with his insight.
Once the deity and appropriate Mantra have been selected,
and the aspirant has received initiation, he works with the
Mantra until reaching enlightenment. The Mantra becomes his
theme song, so to speak. He makes his vibrations his own, and
to the extent that he can do this, he is drawn closer to God.
Other deity Mantras can also be used in a supplementary
way, such as foe acquiring particular attributes. Repetition
of OM Aim Saraswatyai Namah bestows wisdom, intelligence and
creative achievement. OM Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah confers
wealth and prosperity. The Ganesha Mantra removes obstacles
in any undertaking.
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra prevents accidents, incurable
disease and calamities, and bestows longevity and
immortality. It is also a moksha Mantra, bringing liberation
. Those who do japa of it daily will enjoy health, long
life and ultimate enlightenment. The translation of this
powerful Mantra is: "We bow to the three- eyed Lord (Siva)
who is full of sweet fragrance, who nourishes human being.
May he free me from the bondage of births and deaths, just
as the ripe cucumber is separated from the vine, and may I
be fixed in immortality."
The Gayatri Mantra is the supreme Mantra of the Vedas. It
is the one Mantra that can be commonly prescribed for all,
for Gayatri is the Mother of the universe, Shakti herself,
and there is nothing she cannot do. Her Mantra purifies the
mind; destroys pain, sin and ignorance; brings liberation;
and bestows health, beauty, strength, vitality, power,
intelligence and magnetic aura.
Repetition of the Gayatri Mantra, OM Namah Sivaya, OM
Namo Narayanaya, or OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya 125000
times, with feeling, faith, and devotion secures for the
devotee the grace of the presiding deity. OM Sri Ramaya
Namah and OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya enable one to attain
realization of God with attributes first, and subsequently
realization without attributes.
Mantra for Japa