Let us then first begin by understanding the concept of what are mantras? Mantras are sacred words associated with dhwani, or sound, which is nothing but energy vibrations. Every alphabet or akshara is a mantra in itself. The continuous repetition of any mantra or akshara generates energy vibrations that affect us. For instance, when we repeat the alphabet ‘Ra’, or ‘ram’ (ɹʌm), it generates heat in our body, thus exciting us.
This energy that is generated when the mantras are chanted can be channeled to address the various ailments of physical, spiritual, emotional or mental nature affecting us. In fact, in Preksha, mantra chanting is used to treat physical disorders, for grah shanti, for spiritual disorders, emotional and mental disorders including stress management, and even for the attainment of the ultimate goal, enlightenment.
There are several people who complain that mantra chanting hasn’t accrued the desired results/benefits to them. This is stating only the half-truth. For the mantras and meditation to have effect, it is important that the proper steps are followed diligently, which are as follows. The first is the chanting itself, which must proceed from a loud chanting to chanting at a moderate volume, followed by chanting at a low volume until finally, the practitioner can utter the mantras silently in his/her mind. The second step is to align one’s breathing with the mantras while meditating. The rhythm and timing of breathing are crucial to meditation. The third step is to visualize the akshara that is being meditated upon in the mantra. Lastly, for the siddhi of the mantra, the entire process must be repeated with diligence for a cycle of 90 days. Remember, if you falter even once, you must begin the cycle from square one.
For all practitioners, patience is the key and one must continue to work towards the end with sincerity. With the continued practice of meditation and chanting of mantras, you will find a method which will teach you how to increase concentration and mindfulness, traits that enhance productivity and encourage positive thinking. A few minutes spent in meditating while chanting mantras can do wonders for your overall mind-body physiology and psychology.
However, an important thing to note is that as in the medical sciences, even in the spiritual sciences, self-medication is considered improper. You may think you know the right mantra to choose but you may only end up doing more harm than good to yourself. Only a guru can guide you towards the right mantra which can take you towards your end.