I recently made a post about the importance of understanding the meaning of a mantra. Among the repies I got these inquiries…

I think mantra is not what we vibrate with our mouth because that is purelly a mechanic activity. And hearing a mantra is not about receiving sound waves with eardrums, another mechanic interaction from the outside.

This is very dualistic – as if the “inside” has nothing to do with the “outside.” If you take that out, and add the word “just” or “only” then  your conclusion makes more sense to me. I would say it like this: “Mantra is not just what we vibrate with our mouths or hear with our eardrums…”

I think the “sound” itself is not understood with mechanic vibrations of the air but the sound is the words which we create in our counsciousness.

The most important part of the mantra is the meaning you receive from the sound, but the sound itself is also important because it symbolically carries the meaning.

The sound waves are symbols carrying meaning/understanding, like the wind carries a breeze. Words don’t need to be audible. They can be written or simply pronounced by the mental voice to the mental ear.

But “the mind” is also a brain or a subtle body, so it is also an external thing.

Yes! That’s why the dualism of “external/internal” is not realistic. The external is a projection of what is internal. Therefore the external and internal are inter-related and affect one another. Thus an external sense perception, or a mental recollection of it, affects the internal state of consciousness and ultimately can be witnessed/experienced by the ātma itself.

Hari nāma is a  state of consciousness where you want to chant the hari nāma.

It is not just a state of consciousness. It is actually a word, a name. But this word-name cannot be heard or chanted perfectly without a perfect state of consciousness. Hari nāma is a transcendental entity, so it cannot be produced by an ignorant tongue, nor heard by an ignorant ear. Only the absolutely pure ātmā drenched in śuddha-sattva can hear or enunciate the real names of Krishna.

The endeavor to hear and chant this word-name, however, purifies the consciousness gradually. So the method for eventually hearing and speaking the true spiritual names of Krishna is to practice hearing and speaking the external approximations of those names.

I have heared that the chanting of a pure devotee can set everyone who hears it free of material desires.

A pure soul would be able to chant the true name of Krishna, so this would have a profound effect. Just like if you hear someone explain something they really understand, it is more profound and you can understand it more easily then when someone who doesn’t really grasp the subject tries to explain it.

Hearing the name enunciated by a pure soul would make a very profound impact on us, making us really desire strongly to understand what that person experiences. This would propel us in bhakti-yoga very strongly by giving a very, very strong śraddha (conviction in the value and worth of Krishna).

Vraja Kishor

www.vrajakishor.com

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