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As far as we have been able to discern, all cultures and societies that hold on to their ancient and traditional ways use special sounds and combinations of words to invoke the invisible powers for assistance with the things that are out of their physical control.
As far as we have been able to discern, all cultures and societies that hold on to their ancient and traditional ways use special sounds and combinations of words to invoke the invisible powers for assistance with the things that are out of their physical control.|
When most of us think of chanting and mantras, India, and Tibet come to mind. Hindus and Tibetans have, it seems, a mantra that can be chanted for every possible purpose.
For thousands of years, these cultures seem to have perfected the art of chanting and mantras. But they aren’t the only ones. There is a wealth of chants and mantras available to westerners from the Native Americans, Hebrews, Sufis, Moslems, Native Hawaiians, and more. Others cultures offer less variety, but can be added to any chant and mantra library.
Wiccans, for example have grimoires full of what they call spells. These spells contain incantations in English and often Celtic that are close relatives of chants and mantras.
Why do people chant? Chanting brings us closer to our divine self. Through sound, we can impact matter. Through sound, we can change the molecules of spirit and material matter. Through sound, we can open ourselves to our divine self, and universal energies. We can use chanting for healing, manifesting, praising, and to reach the highest states of spiritual purity.
Whether that sound comes from us spontaneously, or we use sounds or words set down ages ago by chanters, when we chant with our whole body, mind, and spirit, miracles can occur.
That brings us to the age old question of whether it is the sound itself, or the meaning of the words we chant that bring about the effect. There is disagreement among chanters about this, but chanting masters such as Muktananda and Swami Sivananda, say that we must train our minds and emotions toward the goal to make the chant fully effective.
We can chant to Ganesha to remove obstacles in our path, but to make it the most effective, we must set our intent as we chant. To chant without knowing the exact translation of the words we use is okay, but we must know the intent of the chant and focus our minds and emotions on this intent.
It is this intent that is carried on the wave of the chant. It is our intent that brings the purpose of the chant into our lives for manifestation.
If we chant and have our minds wandering, it dilutes the chant, just as static on a radio wave prevents clear reception. If we chant without intent, the effect is watered down and the energy doesn’t know where to return to.
Should we use ancient or modern chants? Either. If we use ancient chants, we hitch a ride on the built up energy force from the thousands of people who have chanted these words before. Established chants have a built-in attractor field that acts as a magnifier for the energy. Modern chants can be just as effective, but we may have to use them longer or focus even more intently on our outcome.
Should we use words or sounds in our chanting? Words and sentences in chants set the intent through the meaning of those words. Sounds, such as spontaneous sounds, or the ancient Hindu Bija sounds have a more basic, frequency and resonance nature. They are the seeds of words and have, through thousands of years of use, built up a lot of power.
An example of a chant using both Bija sounds and words is
Om, hrim shrim crim glaum gum Ganapatahyay.
Vara varada sarva janamay
i = ee
a = ah
ya = eeah
s within a word = sh
s at the beginning = s
The “Om, hrim, shrim, crim, glaum, gum” part are bija sounds and invoke the energies of certain deities to help remove obstacles to abundance. “Ganapati (Ganapatahyay)” is one of the names of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who removes obstacles. The rest is an invocation to have him remove obstacles to abundance. “Swaha” is a term of praise, something like “Praise be to God.”
Should we sing in the ancient languages or English? It doesn’t really matter what language you chant in if you are able to keep your mind sharp and focused as you go. However, there are some languages that are considered to be Sacred, magical languages. These are supposed to consist of sounds that most cleanly and clearly impact subtle matter. Sanskrit, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Hawaiian, Hopi, and English (because it is a compilation of so many languages) are some.
The obstacle to chanting in the language you normally speak is that we form meanings to our words. These meanings may get in the way of experiencing the wholeness of the sound vibration. A word may spark a side thought that takes our mind on a trip into distraction.
On the other hand, understanding the words may deepen and intensify our whole being experience of the chant and help it to move into action more quickly.
In the end, it is only important that you focus and keep your mind on the chant, whether it is in a language that is understood or not.
Author Bio :
Anita Burns has been a metaphysician for most of her 60 years. She has studied and traveled widely and teaches about life, spirit, and healing from an open mind and heart.
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