How are Mantras Chosen in Initiation?

How are Mantras Chosen in Initiation?


A mantra is a syllable or a series of syllables appropriate for an individual person. Here a person might ask his initiator, “You hardly know my name. How can you choose a mantra for me?”

There are two different processes for acquiring knowledge: a rational process and an intuitive process.

First of all, you must know who you are. Many people identify themselves with their names and believe they are their names. On the contrary, they are not what their name is. Where did their name come from? Let us presume that you take birth in a very advanced civilization 3,000 years from now and where the people have only numbers, or where everybody keeps their name a secret. In such scenario, all kinds of possibilities can arise. When you were born, you did not come out of you mother’s womb and announce, “I am Mary.” May be when you were one-and-a-half or two-years old, something in you said, ‘They say the word Mary and they look at me’; or they say, ‘Mary, come here. Mary, do this. Mary do that, hence my name must be Mary’. It is a conditioned reflex. Your name is not you.

There are certain personality types and understanding this in itself constitutes a science. Each person has some strengths and some weaknesses. Those who understand the science of yoga are trained to look at the personality. The initiator is one who is trained in the science of mantra as also in the different aspects of human personality.

The process of initiation, however, goes far beyond this. The mantra is intuitively received by the initiator. The person who initiates is the one who has a very pure, unclouded, unblocked mind and, when meditating, he can receive and impart the mantra which will match the personality of the initiate. Now we are reluctantly entering an area which many people will not accept. Some may call it a mystery. You are free to accept or reject it, believe in it or not, ask for a personal mantra. They take what they have learned about meditation as a unit. There are other helpful courses they can take, and may continue their practice of yoga on the basis of whatever they have learned. However, in our tradition, advanced practices of meditation are never given without first imparting the personal mantra.

The teacher, the initiator, will seldom say, “I want to give you a mantra.” It is something that should arise from within you. If you feel the urge, you ask. Then a time is set and a very simple form of initiation take place. But the urge has to come from within the would-be initiate’s own consciousness. It has to be his own interior impulse. But, again, even if the impulse does not surge up within you, then at least set yourself a regular meditation time. Even setting up a fixed for meditation will keep you in touch with the source of grace.

1 Comment

  1. shweta sambyal

    Happy bday Gurudeva. In utmost reverence.
    Pranam

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