A decade back, while I was in Bangalore I happened to read a book “The Mantram Handbook” written by Eknath Easwaran (http://www.easwaran.org/eknath-easwarans-mantram-handbook.html). I wanted something to engage myself while traveling and picked up this book from Bangalore airport. I was lonely those days and wanted to read something spiritual.
The name “The Mantram Handbook” caught my eyes, and I thought it too be a book of mantras. But to my surprise, throughout the book, the author tried explaining a single concept – the power of mantras. The book suggests that one of the best methods to keep away worrying thoughts is to chant a mantra – in mind or aloud repeatedly!
So, what is so unique about mantras? And how can chanting mantras help us in avoiding anxious thoughts and keep us positive? You may already know that counting 1 to 100, or from 100 to 1 with eyes closed is an effective method if we have difficulties to sleep. It is also a conscious way of keeping negative thoughts away. Instead, if you repeat a mantra, in your mind, the spiritual power kicks in; you will feel the power of God, and this makes you positive and stronger. For those who believe in God, the Supreme Power, this makes absolute sense!
The author recommends chanting any mantra or prayer that makes you feel comfortable. “Om Namashivaya,” “Ohm Namo Narayanaaya,” “Jesus Mary Joseph,” “Allah” – anything that makes you feel connected with God. You can either chant it or say the prayer silently in your mind. The effect is the same!
I wasn’t sure of its effects until I started practicing it. Amazing results; but practicing it wasn’t a cakewalk either. I preferred chanting “Om Namashivaya,” being a disciple of Lord Shiva; and silently; Initial days were tough; I could chant only twice or thrice, and my thoughts go hay way! I had to consciously push myself to chant the mantra number of times, focusing on the mantra mechanically. But after few days, I found myself repeating the mantra, almost full time – when I was cooking; when I was cleaning; when I was traveling… virtually all the time except when I was working or talking to someone else. Even when I go to bed, I chant this mantra… and I must say it helped me keep negative thoughts away. After a period, whenever something bothered me, I quickly turn to mantras! And it was an amazing experience.
This experience with mantras happened long back…and as years passed, I stopped practicing it and have almost forgotten about it…until someone spoke to me recently, about mantras and the need to learn Sanskrit to understand the mantras in depth…That is when I remembered about the book, and how I used to chant simple one-liner mantras and how it has helped in keeping myself positive… And that made me write this blog… to all my friends struggling to keep away worrying thoughts and to stay positive! First few days, you will have to push yourself do this, and after that, it will come naturally to you… and hope you all experience the power of mantras soon. Let me also start practicing it again, from today…