Of music, mantra and meditation

Neeraj Dubey

The wheel of life keeps us all moving essentially from the past to the present. As we move from present to future, we are also confronted with unheared challenges. In today’s prevailing scenario, it has been noted that every third human being, especially youngsters have become the victim of stress, depression, anxiety, over ambition and isolation. The natural remedy to get rid of all these problems and challenges is to adopt Music – Mantra and Meditation in daily life. Music has a strong impact to our unconsciousness especially if it has lyrics. Music can help to relax, focus and get rid of stress and depression, annoyance, exasperation and to calm down.Mantra on the other hand is a code of a high and very pure Divine energy.  Many great Yogis and Yoginis of the past and present have used mantras for their daily chanting practice.  Thus listening to Mantra Meditation music naturally brings a listener closer to the meditative state of mind, humility that a God worshiping monk has and allows him to enhance his spiritual practice to the higher level.The mantra is like a password, a key, to a certain state of consciousness or universal principle you want to experience. Meditation is seen as a tool, an exercise designed to bring you better health, performance, relaxation or personal growth.Sound is vibration. And all the cells in your body are vibrating. Everything in the universe is vibrating, and each has its own rhythm. Your thoughts and feelings are, indeed, vibrations in your body and your consciousness. Sound, rhythm and speech have profound effects on your body, thoughts, and emotions. Mantra meditation is the use of these three elements with the purpose of purifying, pacifying and transforming your mind and heart.Mantra meditation is a method of rotation of consciousness around a sound, amplifying it for maximum effect. The inner most process of this human and spiritual experience is the deepest, the most intimate process that we will ever experience. It is a vibration that dives into, combs through, and energetically touches and massages every cell of our entire being.When we tune into, and align with this process, we become guided by something greater. A different language of sorts that we naturally, intuitively, and creatively understand with our hearts and souls and visceral bodies, no matter what logic and our intellectual minds may have to say.Everything is composed of waveforms of energy – effectively sound waves – and the impact of sound on matter is well known. From certain music affecting our moods, to NASA experimenting with acoustical levitation, the impact and value of sound is abundantly clear.Music, and more specifically – sound, produces mental and physical effects. Here are some of the effects: –
* Music can slow down and equalise brain waves. It has been demonstrated repeatedly: brain waves can be modified by both music and self-generated sounds.
* Music affects the heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure. The human heartbeat is particularly attuned to sound and music. The heart rate responds to musical variables such as frequency, tempo, and volume and tends to speed up or slow down to match the rhythm of a sound.
* Music can strengthen memory and learning. Playing an instrument or participating in a music program in school (or incorporating music into classroom activities in such areas as history and science) has been shown to have broadly positive effects on learning, motivation, and behaviour. On the other hand: -A mantra is a sacred utterance, sound, word, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power. The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, and those are at least 3000 years old. Mantras are now found in various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Similar hymns, chants, compositions and concepts are found in Taoism and Christianity, amongst others.  It is thought that the utterance of different words has its impact on different glands and by such impact the energy of these glands gets stimulated.
This is the basis of mantras and this is why mantras have been composed. There are 100’s of mantras. And, my personal favourite, is one called the GAYATRI mantra: – Gayatri Mantra (the mother of the Vedas), the foremost mantra in Hinduism and Hindu beliefs, inspires wisdom. The mantra is also a prayer to the “giver of light and life” – the Sun. Its meaning is:-“We meditate on the glory of that Being who has created this Universe and all the realms, may he enlighten our minds”. The Gayatri mantra, which was written in Sanskrit about 2500 to 3500 years ago, has been the mantra many have chanted for many centuries, even before that.
The mantra does more, as I have found, it opens up your heart, and when both our minds and our hearts open, we open ourselves up for new possibilities. There are twenty-four letters in Gayatri Mantra which are said to be related to twenty-four such glands located in the body which, on getting stimulated, activate and awaken the powers of righteous wisdom.
By uttering Gayatri Mantra, the chord of the subtle body of the reciter is said to start playing, tinkling at twenty-four points, creating sound waves which impact important elements of the invisible world! In Buddhism, although the breath is more universally used, there is the recognition of the power of mantra as a tool for focusing the mind. The author would like to conclude this article by this beautiful quotation, “Music is a mantra that soothes the soul. Meditation is the most significant, because it opens the door for all other significant things: – Love – Prayer – God – Light – Music & Poetry.”
(The author is Sr. Faculty & Warden (GCET)- Jammu)