“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.” -The Dhammapada

 

And what if the one “word that brings peace” is repeated a thousand times? That`s what mantras are -  sounds, words, and phrases which are repeatedly pronounced and which hold within a spiritual meaning and a variety of beneficial psychological effects.

The word mantra means a “sacred word” in Sanskrit for a reason.

From the early times of known history, mantras were chanted by spiritual seekers and they are also practised today, in order to experience the benefits of conscious inner states and spiritual faculties.

Mantras are extremely effective to awaken ones dormant divine spark – chanting mantras is one of the easiest ways to experience the basics of authentic spirituality.

On a more advanced level, mantras also play an important role in mystical and revolutionary esoteric exercises. Mantras are a part of alchemical transformation, transmuting the surplus of one’s energy to create superior bodies and incarnate the divine.

We express ourselves through speaking, but our words can be more than simple means of mundane communication. It is possible to connect to superior worlds of the multidimensional universe with the power of our words, especially during such marvelous times of the year as solstices and equinoxes.

Welcome to the journey of exploring the universal message of esoteric spirituality, written in the stars and in our hearts – and resonating in spiritually nourishing vibrations of some of the world`s most sacred ancient mantras.

 

An Experience of Primordial Vibration

The material world exists in perpetual motion – the entire universe vibrates, be it enormous clusters of galaxies or the tiniest subatomic particles.

Our planet gives us an illusion of stability while flying through space faster than the breathtaking speed of about 100 000 kilometers per hour – a thousand times faster than we drive on our highways!

What (who) makes everything move? To reflect on the cause of universal vibrations is to reflect on the essence of life.

According to esoteric tradition partially revealed and  preserved in sacred texts such as the Popol Vuh, the Rig Veda, The Book of Genesis, etc., the universe was created and sustained by the power of the “Word” of the Highest Spiritual Force called the Heart of Sky, Brahma, God, etc.

What exists outside of us, exists within us. Our human psyche, the microcosm, is the reflection of the macrocosm – the universe. We had been created in the “image of the Creator”, so we can also be a source of creation.

“That which is below is like that which is above, that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing. And as all things have been arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.” -The Emerald Tablet, interpretation by Isaac Newton

 

We can discover authentic divinity within our own psyche. It emanates inner stillness and peace in the present moment - where both past and future melt away in the true reality of the eternal now.

One of the most simple, yet powerful mantras is “OM”/”AUM”. The naturally made sound with opening the mouth, rounding the lips, and closing them, reflects in our speech the “Word” – the primordial divine vibration giving birth to creation, the manifestation of Brahma (God) into the form. The origin of ”OM” can be traced to sacred Hindu texts such as the Upanishads, Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras.

This mantra is written as “AUM”, and “AU” tends to be monophthongized into the vowel “O”,  stimulating the heart chakra.

 

But the mantra pronounced as ”AUM” also exists, affecting other chakras. The vowel “A” (pronounced like “a” in the word “atom”) stimulates the chakra of the lungs, and the vowel  “U” (pronounced as the double “oo” in the word “moon) – stimulates the chakra of the solar plexus.

Mantras “OM” and “AUM” facilitate gaining intuitive knowledge and developing mental clarity.

Also AUM (OM) is a seed syllable placed in the beginning of Hindu and Buddhist mantras. Besides its symbology, it is also a way of preparing the vocal chords for chanting.

There are 7 notes in Indian music: Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni. All those notes besides Sa and Pa can change their frequency. AUM is made up of three immutably fixed notes: Sa, Pa and again Sa, but on the immediately higher scale. When chanting AUM (OM) in this way, all the other basic notes can be heard in it.

By chanting mantras OM and AUM, mystics connect with the source of creation (known in Ancient Egypt as Amun) within themselves. It helps them to pass through the turmoils of life with “awareness of the individual Self and the removal of obstacles.” (Verse 1:29 of Patanjali Yoga Sutras)

According to the Mandukya Upanishad, awareness and unity with the Self is symbolically expressed in the pause after chanting the 3 letters of AUM (in this context, “Self” means the Spirit – not to be confused with selfishness)

“Letterless is the fourth, the Incommunicable, the end of phenomena, the Good, the One than Whom there is no other: thus is OM. He that knoweth is the Self and entereth by his self into the Self, he that knoweth, he that knoweth.”

Interestingly these mantras are not just a part of Hindu or Buddhist spiritual traditions, or traditions developed in close geographical proximity such as Jainism. We may find that numerous prayers from different cultures start with “O” -”O My Lord”, “Otche nash”, “Ho Osiris”, etc.  And so words similar to Aum may be found at the end of Jewish, Christian and Muslim prayers: “Ahmen”, “Amen”, “Amin”. And is it just a coincidence, that 3 well known Christian attributes of God are omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence?

 

Genuine Compassion

Conscious beings which govern the universe are connected by the force of divine love. The vibrating universe is kept united in a wheel whose motion nothing jars – by the Love that moves the sun and other stars (Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy)

However our global society on the planet Earth lacks love and harmony. We suffer from injustice, violence, environmental destruction, and many other grave problems. While everyone lives a mostly self-centered life and there are more than 7 billion people on the planet Earth, obviously there are numerous conflicts of interests over our planet`s limited and rapidly depleting resources.

The global economical system is designed for the rich to become richer at the expense of the poor becoming poorer. The richest 2 percent of the population own more than half of the world`s household wealth, while more than 25 000 people die of hunger each day!

Sacred spirituality had widely degenerated to the point of becoming a highly profitable part of the commercial market (which Jesus coined a “den of thieves”)

Evidently humanity is in dire need to find the right way to solve its problems and discover lasting release from suffering.

“The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of Vohu-mano to the deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the poor makes Ahura king. -Ahunwar, sacred Zoroastrian prayer (the Khorda Avesta)”

 

“Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money.”

Do we need to wait for this Native American prophecy to eventually come true, or perhaps we won`t have time for that due to global warming? What can be done to do the right thing, to help the world?

The real change in society is individual change. The spiritual solution to helping the world is to get rid of ones own selfishness individually, to incarnate the inner spiritual, and help others as much as possible. As we do it, we can learn to be the change which we want to see in the world like Mahatma Gandhi was saying.

The core Buddhist concept presented in 4 noble truths expressed the essential need to find lasting liberation from suffering for all sentient beings. Only conscious suffering has a true value, when necessary on one`s way to inner freedom and to help others. Below is a parable from Oriental mystical teachings illustrating this principle.

“Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit look delicious. One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travellers find their way to the oasis.”

 

There are many spiritual techniques which may assist us in our spiritual quest, and among them we may find the incredible mantra Om Mani Padme Hum.

OM MANI PADME HUM awakens mercy and compassion. It starts with “OM” and contains within it “AUM”, thus relating to the primordial sound of creation. This mantra activates inner energetical centres (chakras) widening the range of perception.

First mentioned in the Buddhist Karandavyuha Sutra, it was described as a precious gift of the divine cosmic being, primordial lord bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.

It is said that this mantra contains within it an entire doctrine of Buddha, and can`t be interpreted literally word by word.

Its words are symbolic: “MANI” means “the jewel” and “PADMA” “the lotus”. A marvelous gem of the spirit can be found under the “dirt”, the impurities of the subconscious. The beautiful lotus flower rises from the mud with the help of sun and water, which symbolize spiritual energies and divine birth.

Spiritual teacher and author Samael Aun Weor, who revived the esoteric teachings, expressed the meaning of this mantra in a simple sentence “O my God in me!”

According to Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, this mantra can symbolize altruistic intention and wisdom, which are indispensable components of advancing on the spiritual path:

“The path is indicated by the next four syllables. MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factor of method- the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love. Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of cyclic existence and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel fulfils the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfils the wishes of sentient beings.

 The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom. Just as a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non- contradiction whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom. There is wisdom realizing impermanence, wisdom realizing that persons are empty of self-sufficient or substantial existence, wisdom that realizes the emptiness of duality (that is to say, of difference of entity between subject and object), and wisdom that realizes the emptiness of inherent existence. Though there are many different types of wisdom, the main of all these is the wisdom realizing emptiness.”

There are 6 syllables of the mantra OM MA NI PAD ME HUM and numerologically the number 6 is “Indecision”, presenting a choice between succumbing to animal passion or seeking divine love. If light triumphs, the number 6 is the Hexagram, the harmonious unity of the Solomon`s seal.

 

There are different ways to pronounce OM MANI PADME HUM. Experiment and discover what works the best for you in different situations.

 

Connection with the Divine Mother

Everything within Creation is divided into opposites. And as above so below, our immortal divine part which had descended into Creation, also has its masculine and feminine aspects, known in esoteric traditions as “Divine Father” and “Divine Mother”.

Our Divine Mother is the closest part to our individual consciousness. She is the easiest spiritual part to reach; her precious help and guidance are vital for radical inner transformation.

The Divine Mother is highly revered among many Indian spiritual schools. Below is the beautiful praise to her by Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of the famous ”Autobiography of Yogi”, who brought simplified spiritual teachings from India to the West in the first half of the 20th century.

The Divine Mother is so beautiful! But remember, in Her higher manifestation even that beauty is formless. She is in everything. Her divine, compassionate love is expressed in the raindrops. Her beauty is reflected in the colors of the rainbow. She offers fresh hope to mankind with the rose-tinted clouds at dawn. Above all, be ever conscious of Her presence in your heart.”

The Divine Mother was known all over the world under different names such as Ishtar, Rea, Cybele, Athena, Durga, Diana, Tonantzin, etc.

The mantra IS IS (“I” pronounced as “E” in the word “eagle”)  is one of the effective ways to connect with one`s individual Divine Mother.

Isis was her sacred name in Ancient Egypt. Isis was a highly revered Goddess of the Great Ennead of Ancient Egyptian Deities, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.

The myths of Isis were not fantasies of ancient people with a strange imagination and a dark sense of humor. At their esoteric core, these myths describe the psychological reality of a superior dimensional level of existence.

One of the popular stories is her restoration of the body of her dead husband Osiris who had been betrayed and split into many pieces by his evil brother Seth. That miraculous revival symbolizes the internal unity of the parts of ones true spiritual nature separated by selfishness.

This unity has different levels: consciousness needs to be united, the spiritual parts of one`s multidimensional psyche need to become one, and the spiritual ideal for our humanity is to become united with a spirit of love into one family.

Even the Ancient Egyptian myths of divinities personifying forces of nature can carry a deeper spiritual significance, such as this interpretation mentioned by Plutarch in “Isis and Osiris”.

“…among the Egyptians such men ( those who have a reputation for expounding matters more philosophically) say that Osiris is the Nile consorting with the Earth, which is Isis, and that the sea is Typhon into which the Nile discharges its waters and is lost to view and dissipated, save for that part which the earth takes up and absorbs and thereby becomes fertilized.” 

A simple esoteric explanation is that vital energies of human body, symbolized by water, need to be transmuted and not wasted.

The mantra IS IS may temporarily activate the faculty of clairvoyance expanding ones capacity to see beyond the limits of our physical vision. With this mantra one may perceive a bigger picture beyond the fragmented perception caused by subconscious elements and their subjective interpretations.

Some people (for example Joan of Arc) were born with an advanced capacity of clairvoyance and polyvision, the result of their previous spiritual progress. When combined with inner purity it meant their capacity to receive objective spiritual guidance when needed.

This was the simple answer that Joan of Arc gave when she was questioned on how she had recognized king Charles who had hidden himself among the court to test her divine capacities.

 ”I recognized him by the counsel and revelation of my Voice.”

However, everyone may develop superior inner vision by practicing mantras, and more importantly, doing the inner work to walk on the path to awakening.

 

Mantras and Esoteric Astrology

A profound aspect of the science of mantras is that they might connect mystics with cosmic forces of enormous power: the sources of wise guidance and divine inspiration.

From ancient times, the changes of the year were studied with the Zodiac circle. It is divided into 12 constellations (signs) centered upon the ecliptic, the path of the sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year (as seen from the centre of the Earth).

The Zodiac circle was also separated by 4 distinct points marking arrivals of new seasons and also carrying profound esoteric symbolism: spring equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox, and winter solstice.

Interestingly the remnants of many ancient sacred sites such as The Temple of Karnak, The Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, Angkor Wat, some Gothic churches, etc., are aligned precisely with solstices and equinoxes.

Thus, for example, during the time of the winter solstice, as the sun rises in the prehistoric Irish site of Newgrange, golden light slowly illuminates its inner chamber; this can also be seen in Vermont when the sun enters the stone chamber at the Calendar II site. In the Mexican Temple of Kukulkan at the Chichen Itza, the sun on the winter solstice appears to ascend the edge of the staircase and rests directly above the temple before beginning its descent down the other side. In England`s Stonehenge, the sun sets directly in the midst of 3 great stones (“Trilithon”) aligned with the centre of the monument.

Incredibly the lives of world spiritual teachers such as John the Baptist, Jesus, Mithras, Attis, Buddha, Osiris, etc., were also connected with those cosmic influences. For example, John the Baptist was born right after the summer solstice preparing with his life the coming of Jesus who was born 3 days after the winter solstice.

Astrology, the science explaining the psychological connections and dependence of individuals from the forces of cosmos tends to be ridiculed as the pseudo-science of primitive people, or diminished to divinations and superstitions.

Fortunately the knowledge of its true meaning and significance is preserved in modern esotericism.

The future can be seen, and even changed, by overcoming corresponding cosmic influences.

“…Esoteric astrology does not preclude free-will or the power of man to modify his nature.”

“Then destiny is a variable quantity?” I asked.

“Every conscious act of will brings a modification in your so-called destiny; but only a few men consciously will, most following blindly the impulses or tendencies of their nature. Therefore, most men’s lives are fixed and subject to only slight variations. But there are exceptions, and if you take a man of powerful mind and will it is difficult to cast his horoscope; for he can in a few short hours modify his course in life, and his predominant quality to-day may be replaced by another to-morrow.

-from the talk of St. Germain with Alphonso Colono – Brother of the Third Degree by Will L. Garver “

Mantras were a part of the astrological teachings of the Rosicrucian and Gnostic schools of Dr. Arnoldo Krum Heller and Samael Aun Weor, explaining the connection between Zodiac signs and parts of the human body. Importantly, Astrology became placed within the context of seeking enlightenment. It was taken out of the mathematical calculations of “destiny” into direct personal contact with spiritual cosmic forces.

Let say during the sign of Aries governing the head, one exercise was the mantra “I” (pronounced as “E” in the word “eagle”) for one hour activating the chakra of the third eye.  Another one was a special prayer to connect with the Divine Being governing the Heart Temple of the main star of the constellation of Aries.

Mantras can be also used during the times of the 4 cardinal points of the year for mystics to experience for themselves the profound effects of related cosmic and internal spiritual forces.

 

The Wheel of the Year resonated in Sacred Hindu Mantras

Solstices and equinoxes are marvelous times of the year to practice mantras and to get more in touch with the spiritual.

Solstices can be described simply as the times when the sun appears to “stand still”, either during the longest day (in the Northern hemisphere – it is around June 21) or after the longest night (around December 21). Equinoxes are the equilibrium points at the end of September and March when the length of day and night is equal.

The journey of the sun through the wheel of the year represents the inner journey of spiritually advanced individuals towards the great
goal of spiritual enlightenment and liberation.

From an esoteric perspective, the purpose of the entire Creation is so that unconscious sparks of the Absolute can descend into it to learn through the struggle and unity of opposites. The ultimate purpose of life is to become completely conscious, returning back to the Absolute completely enlightened and awakened.

This reunion is symbolized during the summer solstice with the longest day of the year. When the sun reaches its maximum power in the Northern Hemisphere and appears from our perspective to stand still on its movement along the horizon, it symbolizes the “inner sun” of the prepared initiate, reaching the maximum point of conscious awakening. This is the time of true spiritual triumph.

The powerful  ”Maha” (Great) mantra, which may be practiced at this time of the year, in order to experience its spiritual significance is highly revered Gayatri – one of the most sacred Hindu mantras. According to Hindu scriptures, Devi Gayatri ( divine deity personifying this mantra) is the Mother of the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu sacred texts.

Often the Gayatri mantra is chanted 3 times a day – at sunrise, midday and sunset, which relate to the spiritual aspect of the sun and reflect the 3 primary forces of Creation, and all other triads, such as birth, life and death; past, present and future; consciousness, personality, subconscious, etc.

“Savitar thrice surrounding with his mightiness mid-air, three regions, and the triple sphere of light, Sets the three heavens in motion and the threefold earth, and willingly protects us with his triple law.” – The Rig Veda

“He who for ever vigilant precedes these Twain, the Day and Night, Is Savitar the thoughtful God. He who gives glory unto all these living creatures with the song, And brings them forth, is Savitar.” -The Rig Veda

“May the libations poured to thee thrice daily, day after day, O Savitar, bring us blessing.” -The Rig Veda

Helena Blavatsky, who had made enormous efforts to bring Eastern esoteric wisdom to the West, is likely to be the author of this interpretation (signed as “An Obscure Brahman”), who described the meaning of the Gayatri to be a prayer for all humanity to unite with the Divinity.

“The object of this prayer is that we may carry out our whole duty, after becoming acquainted with the truth, while we are on our journey to thy Sacred Seat. This is our pilgrimage, not of one, not selfishly, not alone, but the whole of humanity. For the sacred seat is not the Brahmanical heaven of Indra, nor the Christian selfish heaven acquired without merit while the meritorious suffer the pains of hell. It is that place where all meet, where alone all are one. It is when and where the three great sounds of the first word of the prayer merge into one soundless sound. This is the only proper prayer, the sole saving aspiration.“

Om bhur bhuva swaha

Tat savitur vareniam

Bhargo devasya dhimahi

Dhiyo yonah prachodayat

Similarly to all other mantras mentioned here, its words are symbolic and have different meanings. Below are some of the different interpretations:

“We meditate on the worshipable power and glory of Him who has created the earth, the nether world and the heavens (i.e. the universe), and who directs our understanding.”

“We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal. I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence. We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.”

  • Om: the primeval sound
  • Bhur: the physical world
  • Bhuvah: the mental world
  • Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world
  • Tat: That; God; transcendental Paramatma
  • Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver
  • Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting
  • Bhargo: luster, effulgence
  • Devasya: resplendent, supreme Lord
  • Dheemahi: we meditate upon
  • Dhiyo: the intellect, understanding
  • Yo: which
  • Nah: our
  • Prachodayath: enlighten, guide, inspire

After the summer solstice the wheel of the year rotates towards darkness as days become shorter and nights get longer. When the Zodiac enters the sign of Libra, it is the equilibrium point before nights become longer than days, known as the fall equinox.

Its symbological aspect is the mystery of inner death. Selfish elements are required to be removed for spiritual elements to exist, as symbolized in esoteric traditions by a victory over dragons, Perseus killing Medusa, or Horus defeating Seth, and so forth.

A true spiritual dawn in ones life is only possible through destruction of old self-centered patterns, which was symbolically described in the Gospel of John with the analogy of a kernel of wheat.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, unless a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” -John 12:24

The help of the feminine spiritual aspect (Divine Mother) is required for the destruction of negative psychological elements, thus in mythological stories, Perseus is helped by Athena to destroy Medusa, Horus by Isis, Aeneas by Venus, etc.

One of the sacred Hindu mantras which resonates with transformative forces of that time is the mantra of Goddess Durga, in her warrior aspect of Chamunda.

According to the Devi Mahatmya sacred text (a part of the Markandeya Purana), Goddess Kali appeared out of the midbrow of Chandika, the Supreme Goddess, in order to defend her from asuras Chanda and Munda, and their demonic armies. Kali had defeated bravely all her enemies in a terrible battle and was granted a new name – Chamunda.

Spiritual practitioners can overcome their inner defects only if they can see them clearly and are helped by the Divine Mother, thus Kali came from the third eye of Chandika. “Chanda” and “Munda” represent two opposite sides of selfishness. When they are defeated and transformed, the very nature of one`s psyche changes, enriched by the light extracted from defeated darkness, bringing this light to the world.

“Because you have brought me both Chanda and Munda, you O Devi, shall be famed in the world by the name Chamunda” -Chandika to Kali, The Devi Mahatmyam

The mantra of Goddess Chamunda:

 OM AIM HRIM KLIM CHAMUNDAYE VICHCHE

The literal meaning:

    • Om – primordial sound
    • Aim – knowledge
    • Hrim – purification and transformation
    • Klim – attraction of spiritual energies from sun
    • Chamundaye – the name of the form of goddess Durga which helps to destroy evil
    • Viche – cut

After the fall equinox there is the  time of the shortest days and longest nights. Darkness becomes stronger than light until the point of the winter solstice, followed by the birth of Jesus celebrated 3 days later on Christmas.

Surprisingly for many, other ancient enlightened spiritual teachers such as Mithras, Odin, Horus, Dionysius, etc., were also born on the same day. Their lives were aligned with the changes of the wheel of the year, as a part of a symbolic teaching about spiritual awakening.

Jesus was born surrounded by animals in stables, symbolizing the inner state of a spiritually advanced initiate on the certain high stage of the path to awakening, yet still possessing low animalistic states, and so Krishna was born in the prison cell surrounded by hostile guards. And similarly to Joseph and Mary who had to escape from king Herod to save their baby, Vasudeva and Devaki also had to escape from king Kansa to save infant Krishna. Both Jesus and Krishna were born as the result of the “immaculate conception” symbolizing pure spiritual birth with Alchemy.

According to esoteric teachings, the universal journey of the Christ symbolizes the high stages of one`s spiritual development.

The meaning of the Christian Triad “Holy Father, Holy Son and Holy Spirit” relates to the Divine Force incarnated within Jesus, and therefore his original teachings to be divinely inspired and lead to God.

Jesus had God within himself, he was God, born out of God into a human body; he “followed the will of the Father” while being connected to Him through the Holy Spirit.

The Christ is not only related to Jesus – it is the inner spiritual force which can be incarnated by individuals, bringing hope to a person to live beyond the point of death as well as hope to humanity. This is the reason why there are many similarities in the lives of Jesus, Krishna, Horus, Odin, Mithras, Dyonisius, Kukulkan, Viracocha, etc. The path of the Christ is universal.

A deeper insight into the essence of esoteric Christian teachings can be gained through a study of ancient Egyptian temples.

For example, in Luxor, the Karnak Temple Complex, which is the biggest religious site in the world, is dedicated to the Creator God Amun-Ra. It is aligned precisely with the winter solstice sunrise. At first, the light of the rising sun was symbolically funnelled to enter the Holy of Holies of the temple – its inner sanctuary, then, perhaps at a certain moment of a sacred ceremony – through the second door to the West – the light could pass through the East-Western axis of the temple making its way towards the temple`s main entrance.

Following the river Nile, to the south of the Karnak`s Temple, the road of sphinxes was designed to lead to the amazing Temple of Luxor (The Temple of Man as called by Schwaller de Lubizc), containing scenes of annunciation, sacred sexuality and divine birth, which educate in symbols the mysteries of spiritual transformation within the body of a prepared initiate. Across the river Nile, the energy of the winter solstice was channelled into the beautiful temple of Hatchepsut, devoted to her quest for divine birth and immortality.

A powerful spiritual mantra which may be practised at this time of the year to increase spiritual yearning and connection to the divine is Asatoma Sad Gamaya -  the Shanti Mantra (Mantra of peace) from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

Below are the words and the translation:

Om Asato Ma Sad Gamaya

Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya

Mrtyor Ma Amritam Gamaya

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti 

  • Lead us from Unreal to the Real,
  • Lead us from the Darkness to the Light,
  • Lead us from Death to Immortality.
  • May there be Peace, Peace, Peace.
The interpretation of Sathya Sai Baba:
  • “O, Lord, when I am deriving happiness through the objects of this world, make me forget the unreal objects and show me the way to permanent happiness,” this is the first prayer.
  • “O Lord, when the objects of the World attract me, remove the darkness which hides the all-pervading Atma, which every such object really is.” This is the second prayer.
  • “O Lord, bless me through Your Grace with Immortality or Paramananda, resulting from the awareness of the Effulgence of the Atma, immanent in every object.” This is the third prayer. This is the real meaning of the Mantra.

Another aspect of “lead us from death to immortality” is that the subconscious within needs to die and be transformed, in order for the spiritual within to be born, which brings resurrection and immortality.

After the winter solstice “the sun slowly recovers its powers”, until the point of the spring equinox which symbolizes the victory of light over darkness – the time of spiritual resurrection.

The vernal equinox was widely acknowledged and celebrated in ancient spiritual traditions and mystery schools. There are numerous alignments of sacred sites around the world, for example at the Cambodian Angkor Wat, during the time of equinoxes, the sun rises at dawn over its central tower (symbolizing Mount Meru – regarded as the centre of the Hindu universe and the abode of gods.)

Astrologically at that point, the sun enters the sign of Aries, named for the golden ram whose Golden Fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Colchis. It is a popular myth, yet has an esoteric meaning.

“The Golden Fleece, with all of its precious stones, and incalculable wealth, is our own Christified and resurrected Being. Fortunate is the one who reaches Christification. Fortunate is the one who reaches Resurrection. Blessed be the one who defeats the Dragon and takes possession of the Golden Fleece.” -Samael Aun Weor, Pistis Sofia Unveiled 

The temple at Angkor Wat contains an impressive stone relief on its eastern wall, depicting the scene of the churning of the milky ocean – the struggle between the forces of good and evil, pulling back and forth the serpent Vasuki to rotate the Mandara mountain in the milky ocean, which produces a sacred elixir of immortality, that confers spiritual virtues and eternal life.

“Hari, the creator of the universe, being thus prayed to by the prostrate divinities, smiled, and thus spake: “With renovated energy, oh gods, I will restore your strength. Do you act as I enjoin. Let all the gods, associated with the Asuras, cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea of milk; and then taking the mountain Mandara for the churning-stick, the serpent Vásuki for the rope, churn the ocean together for ambrosia; depending upon my aid. To secure the assistance of the Daityas, you must be at peace with them, and engage to give them an equal portion of the fruit of your associated toil; promising them, that by drinking the Amrita that shall be produced from the agitated ocean, they shall become mighty and immortal. I will take care that the enemies of the gods shall not partake of the precious draught; that they shall share in the labour alone.” -The Vishnu Purana

The spring equinox is the symbol of a spiritual victory, when sacrifice bears fruit, what was dead, comes back to life symbolized by the return of Persephone from the underworld of Hades, the revival of Inanna and the resurrection of Jesus during the Easter time.

It is the moment of joy –  the Pythogoreans were described by Iamblichus to have a musical celebration at this time of the year, by gathering in a circle and singing songs; one person stayed in the centre of the circle and played the accompaniment on the lyre.

Below is the sacred “Death Conquering” Mahamrityunjaya mantra from the sacred Rig Veda. It is used to rejuvenate, protect from danger, and advance forward spiritually – despite any difficulties.

Similarly to all other mantras, it may be chanted any time when it is needed, as well as during the time of the vernal equinox to experience the energy of its forces and to understand deeper its profound spiritual meaning.

 

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe

Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan

Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat

“We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance. May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.”

  • Tryambakam – Trya means three. Ambakam means eyes. It means the three eyes of the Absolute, which are the processes of creation, existence, and dissolution, as well as the other triads, which are part of AUM. The three “eyes” means experiencing these three stages and triads at one time, from the higher, all pervasive vantage point of the Absolute.
  • Yajamahe – We rejoice in meditation on all of this.
  • Sugandhim – Means fragrance. Like a spreading fragrance, all of this permeates the whole of existence, while at the same time being that existence
  • Pushtivardhanam – Means that which sustains and nourishes all. Thus, the fragrance that permeates all is the sustainer of all beings, while also the essence of all beings.
  • Urvarukamiva – Urva means big and powerful. Arukam means disease, like the spiritual diseases of ignorance and untruth, which are like the death of Wisdom or Truth.
  • Bandhanan – Means bound down, as in bound down to the ignorance and untruth.
  • Mrityor – Means ignorance, untruth, and death.
  • Mukshiya – Means liberation from the cycles of physical, mental, and spiritual death.
  • Maamritat – Means please give me rejuvenating nectar, so as to have this liberation, like the process of severing the cucumber from the creeping vine.

 

Year after year, time passes by, and so our lives move with it.

“Alas! As with love time is impossible to grasp with reason. Just as there are different loves, so too are there different times” -The Flight of the Feathered Serpent, Armando Cosani

Mantras were designed to cultivate the continuity of mindfulness through external changes and changes within ones psyche.

True wisdom is the result of spiritual development. The earlier in life one gets sufficient wisdom to live well, the more time one tends to have to apply this wisdom in the world, and to learn more. And our world is in dire need of more love and wisdom.

The daily practice of mantras is a powerful tool to connect with spiritual forces, enabling a deeper understanding of the causes hidden beneath life’s events, and ideally helping one to walk on the path to profound inner transformation and enlightenment.

Copyright – EsotericteachingsDotOrg, published on May 29, 2012

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