DR. DAVID FRAWLEY (PANDIT VAMADEVA SHASTRI)
The term mantra is commonly used today in the media for key phrases, terms or words of power and influence. Each group has its particular mantras that represent its special view, orientation or goal, whether it is a corporation, a political party or religious organization. We are coming to value clear and concise statements or summary views over longer explanations and discussion. Our communication through computers, power point and text messaging is getting progressively condensed or, we could say, mantric in nature.
Mantra in the Yoga tradition consists of the use of sacred sounds and intentions to transform the energy of the mind in a positive direction. Mantra is probably the most powerful and commonly used of all yogic meditation methods. All the main paths of Yoga – whether of knowledge, devotion or action, or whether Hatha, Raja or Kundalini Yoga – have their key mantras. Mantras can also be performed to help us with concentration, with our work, dealing with emotions, for health, prosperity or overall well-being.
Mantras are of many types. Some are longer prayers and intentions, like the famous Vedic Gayatri mantra to the solar Godhead. Others consist of the repetition of Divine names like the well-known mantra Om Nama Shivaya for Lord Shiva. Yet probably the most important and simplest of all mantras are the single syllable mantras called “bija” or seed mantras starting with Oæ. They can be used for meditation, worship of deities, energizing prana or for healing purposes – for all aspects of mantra practice. These main bija mantras are also called “Shakti mantras,” as they are commonly used in the worship of the Goddess, who Herself, is the power of sound and mantra.
Shakti bija mantras carry the great forces of Nature such as the energies of the Sun and Moon, electricity and magnetism, not simply as outer factors but as inner potentials of Divine light, love and wisdom. Shakti mantras hold, resonate, and propel the Kundalini force, the higher evolutionary power of consciousness, to flow within us. In this article, we will focus on the eight prime Shakti bija mantras, their energies and usage for Yoga, for health, and for improving our karmas in life.