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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mantra in the Method of Discernment

By Kaivalyam

Some of us are breaking the ice literally these days, so I thought why not do it figuratively on this blog?

We are aware of the usage and utility of “mantra” (sacred formula or phrase) in spirituality. Technically mantra means “manaḥ trāyate iti” (“that which frees the mind”). Therefore, although mantra is usually associated with a deity in the path of devotion, the common phrases used in the path of discernment: “I am not the body/mind” or in positive sense, “I am the Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Absolute,” etc., could also be called mantra.

While the repetition of mantra definitely has its utility , it is so abstract that it doesn’t sink in that deeply in our mind in the initial the stages of its usage. Also, some of these mantras have been overused to appear as cliché with no special impact on the one who practices it. So while the repetition of mantra, along with corresponding feelings to generate devotion to the deity or dispassion for the objects of this world, should be done, one could also look for a more detailed simple mantra that would have a direct impact on one’s mind.