I was recently asked to contribute writings to the premier kundalini yoga site, Spirit Voyage, which I was delighted to do. The venture comes at a good time, as I have finally committed to the intensive kundalini teacher training program under my longtime teacher, Guru Singh, and plan to chronicle parts of this nine month journey in a collection of posts that will eventually appear in their blog section. This program, which will supplement my existing yoga teacher training, was a long time coming, and the decision to do it now has been an emotional one, so there will be much to write about.
I was looking through some of the many interesting sections there, and was touched by this story on the Mantra [on Spirit Voyage’s Mantrapedia] :
“Mantra is a mind projection created in either a spoken or mental manner. Mantras can be a word, phrase, syllable or sound. They can be recited, sung or repeated silently in the mind. Shakta Khalsa, in her book Kundalini Yoga, describes mantra as ” a technique for regulating the mind. There are many mantras each one having its own quality, rhythm, and effect…Every thought or feeling that we have is on a vibratory frequency. By using mantras we direct the mind into a hight vibratory frequency.” For thousands of years, mystics, meditators and yogis have used mantras for mental and spiritual transformation.
The enlightening capabilities of mantras are illustrated in a story about the Bhakti mystic Kabir. Kabir was born into a poor family in Northern India in the 15th century. As he grew older, he found a guru he wanted to study with. Kabir approached his teacher to learn a mantra and pursue his spiritual enlightenment. The teacher was considered to be in a deep state of awareness at all times and quietly recited a mantra at all times. The teacher rejected Kabir for being of the wrong background and sent Kabir home without instruction. Kabir was disappointed but not deterred. He observed that this teacher would take a bath in the river early in the morning before the sun rose. He observed that his teacher followed the same path every day. Kabir then hatched his plan. He took a shawl and covered himself, hiding along the path that his teacher took. As he teacher approached he tripped over Kabir exlaiming “Ram!” as he stumbled over Kabir. It was in this way that Kabir learned his mantra. Ram is considered a mantra but it is also short Lord Rama, who is considered the 7th incarnation of Vishnu.
For the remainder of his life, Kabir recited his mantra, Ram. Kabir was a weaver and as he worked he would recite his mantra. After years of recitation, the story goes, that Ram could not take it any more. He would hear Kabir chanting, day & night, Ram Ram Ram. So finally, Ram appeared in front of Kabir and said, “Kabir, you chant my name day & night. What is it that you want ?” Stunned, Kabir said “I don’t want anything. I just like chanting your name.” And from that day forth, Ram followed Kabir chanting Kabir, Kabir, Kabir.”
(From Donna’s blog DQ’s Windmill.)