Mananaat traayate iti mantrah, i.e. That which uplifts by constant repetition is a Mantra. In chanting of the Mantra, the sound itself lifts the believer towards the higher self. These sound elements of Sanskrit language are permanent entities and are of everlasting significance. In the recitation of Sanskrit Mantras the sound is very important. Sound can bring transformation in man while leading him/her to power and strength. In fact it wouldn’t be wrong to state that the sound is power. Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe or fear, and so on. The sacred utterances or chanting of Sanskrit Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness. They give us the power to cure diseases; ward off evils; gain wealth; acquire supernatural powers; worship a deity for exalted communion and for attaining blissful state and attain liberation.
It is important that one must have faith in the recitation of Mantras. It is primarily through faith aided by strong will that one achieves one’s objectives. A sound body and calm mind are essential for the chanter of Mantras. Once he/she is free from all worries and has achieved stability in his/her mind and body, he/she will derive maximum benefit through the recitation of Mantras. He/She must have a definite object in view and strong will power to obtain the desired thing, and then direct that will to achieve the goal.
The Vedas are Mantric teachings. They consist of various Mantric chants or hymns cognized by different seers or Rishis from the Cosmic Mind. Since the Vedas are impersonal and eternal, the exact historical date of Mantra chanting cannot be given. For example, every Mantra in the Vedas, Upanishads and various religious traditions (sampradayas) within Hindu religion begin with OM or AUM, which is the primordial sound. What is the primordial sound? It is the sound which took place at the time of the creation of the Universe- also refer to the modern “Big Bang’ theory of creation of Sir James Jeans. In the Bible (John 1:1) it is said, ” In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God “. The modern Vedic philosophers have interpreted this teaching of the Bible, as OM is God, the Word, unmanifested. OM is the most important of all mantras. All mantras generally begin and often also end with OM. However, there is much confusion about OM. OM is the mantra of assent. It means yes and affirms and energizes whatever we say after it. That is why all mantras begin with OM. OM is also the mantra of ascent and causes our energy to rise upward into the infinite. OM is expansive and increases the fire, air and ether elements, particularly ether. It also gives strength, protection and grace. It connects us with the guidance power of the inner Guru.
The chanting of OM (or AUM) in Transcendental Meditation has now got a special type of honor and in future, treatment can be possible for tension and many other difficult diseases and it is also possible for prevention of the diseases that are possible to come. The Brahmvarchas Shodh Sansthan (A research center for integration of science & spirituality) in Shantikunj, Haridwar, India is the only place I know of which carries out extensive experiments on mantra shakti,. The result of these experiments is used to testify that Mantropathy can be reasoned scientifically for healing and environment cleansing. I have had several opportunities to interview the Director of the Sansthan, Dr. Pranav Pandya in my weekly Vedic religion broadcast, Bhajanawali that has been in existence for the last 21 years (visit www.bhajanawali.com). According to him also, there is no other place where extensive researches on Mantra chanting are being done. I am also aware that the American Institute of Vedic Studies has a rich library of the published materials on the benefits of Mantra Chanting including OM and Gayatri Mantra.
As far as my personal experience is concerned, over the last 21 years of my Vedic religion broadcast, several listeners have told me how they have benefited physically and spiritually from chanting Maha-Mrtyunjay mantra for 15 minutes every morning. Although there are many schools of thought on the methods of chanting, it is however universally agreed that sounds are vibrations. A Mantra chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully, is sure to give the desired result for physical and mental well-being. It is also believed by many that the glory of Mantra chanting cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can be experienced or realized only through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Mantra.
Yet, there is another interpretation of the power inherent in the chanting of Mantras. According to these scholars Mantra chanting is Mantra Yoga, which is an exact science. The simple yet powerful Mantra, Om or Aum harmonizes the physical forces with the emotional forces with the intellectual forces. When this happens, you begin to feel like a complete being. The World Health organization (WHO) defines health as, ” complete physical and mental well-being “. The sound healing obtained by Mantra chanting has this capability of complete cure but the healing process is very slow and requires a lot of patience and unfailing faith. In my opinion the healing can be expedited if a mantra is obtained from a Guru. The Guru adds a divine potency to that mantra. It becomes more effective and thus helps the chanter in his/her healing faster. However, since the healing process by Mantra chanting is extremely slow and depends on the capacity of continuous practice and unfailing faith of the chanter, it will not totally remove the need for allopathic treatment in this computer age when people desire instant cure for their physical ailments.
Now, let me give you my concerted opinion based on 21 years of chanting OM GAM GANAPATAYAE NAMAH, the Mantra given by my Guru. It has warded off all evil and blessed me with abundance, prudence and success in every walk of life. Moreover, when I chanted this Manta before beginning a journey, a new job, or before entering into any new contract or business, all impediments were removed and my endeavor was crowned with success. The credit of all my worldly and spiritual successes goes to my Guru-Mantra Sadhana.