Everything in creation is, at its most refined level, sound and vibration. Every tree, every human, every part of your body has its own individual vibration. All the qualities you visualize in your life such as happiness, joy, abundance, and love are vibrations.
When you are healthy, happy, and vibrant, these vibrations are harmonizing with each other like an excellent cosmic symphony. However, if the vibration of any area becomes distorted, the harmony breaks down, leading to a lack of completeness and some discomfort in your life. Meditation for healing is based on knowing the correct sound or vibration and reintroducing it into that area, where you can restore the balance, harmony, and comfort.
Nature itself is full of sounds such as birds singing, the wind blowing through the trees and the waves breaking on the shore. Dismally, for much of our time currently, we separate ourselves from nature. When you spend time exploring nature, hearing sounds, your physiology becomes harmonized with the rhythms and flow of nature.
All traditions of the world have used sound during their meditation for healing, whether the beating of a drum, a bell, a gong, or a sacred chant. The ancient Vedic Tradition of India has taken this a step further, exploring and refining the use of sound over hundreds of years to formulate it into the Vedic Science of Mantras.
Mantras are specific sounds or vibrations whose effects are widely known. When either chanted aloud or repeated, they can create an effect in any area of your physiology or life for healing, transformation, and inner awakening. This is, of course, a vast subject and there are mantras for everything from curing diseases to spirituality.
Japa means the repetition of a mantra so it comprises all uses of mantras. Basically, Japa is most generally associated with a fixed number of repetitions of a mantra. Usually, a string of beads, known as a Mala, with a set number of beads would be used to keep count—one repetition per bead. Sometimes shorter malas with 54 or 27 beads can be used with longer mantras.
Using the Mala will often involve making a commitment. Let’s say you have a particular obstacle in your life. Knowing the mantra to help harmonize that situation, you might choose to repeat it 108 times (one Mala) for the next 30 days.
Consciousness is transforming into the matter at every point in the Universe but is more lively in certain places. We refer to these energy centers as a vortex; in the body, we call them chakras. Chakras aren’t physical, but you can imagine the main seven in the body located along the spine. Each reflects different qualities in your life.
By putting your attention in the area of each chakra and chanting the mantra associated with it, you can begin to enliven the chakra and release its qualities in your life. There are several different sets of mantras for the chakras, the following set is for general everyday use. It’s important to do the whole set rather than just focusing on one or two. Starting with the lowest (first) chakra, bring your attention to that area of the body and repeat the sound 1 to 3 times aloud or silently.
Enlightenment is a state of balance, harmony, and self-awareness on all levels. Therefore, all mantras indirectly support this spiritual goal. However, the Gayatri Mantra, being the “Mother” of the wisdom of the entire creation, gives you the direct path to Enlightenment. Traditionally, it is chanted at times of transition during the day, but it can also be chanted at any convenient time. It is best chanted a minimum of three times each session.
The mantras already mentioned are intended to create or support something on the active level of life, and as such, they have meanings and/or intentions associated with them.
Meditation mantras have no particular meanings or specific intentions. Their role is simply to take the awareness from activity to the inner realm of silence and infinite possibilities. These mantras re-connect you to your most primary level of Being and allow you to begin to restore the memory of these qualities in all areas of your life.