Magic mantras for a better you

Chanting mantras is a discipline or practice of positive thinking

On December 30 was a guru puja at the Kambali Swami madam in Pondicherry. I was happy to be there just before the New Year. The decorations, fragrances and the people around added to the ambiance. Mantras and bhajans filled the air.


I remembered the time when my grandfather would chant on Saturdays and the main attraction for being there was the sundal (chick peas) and chakra pongal (sweet rice). I have evolved beyond that, not that my taste for either has diminished but now there are other reasons too. I want to absorb the energies that would help me grow.

A mantra is a fascinating tool in the yogic science and is a combination of sound vibrations, positive words and rhythm. It is a tool to redirect the manas or the mind that is easily influenced by the emotions. It is a tool to tune into our highest. Most self-help books speak of the power of positive thinking.

The rishis (researchers) had discovered this principle many centuries ago and had made it part of their lifestyle.Chanting mantras is a discipline or practice of positive thinking. Instead of giving in to the theme “life is hopeless, people are hopeless, I am hopeless” we redirect our thoughts to that which is positive. The mind is like a stuck tape recorder that goes on and on with its negative thoughts. The practice of positive affirmations is good to replace negativity. We are affirming to ourselves what we consciously chose. Thus by daily saying, “I am healthy and happy” we are firmly telling (affirming) ourselves that this is the reality we want to create. The yogis had many positive affirmations. When repeated often and practiced regularly they go deep into the sub-conscious mind. In Christianity also the japa mala is used. The chanting of the “Hail Mary” using the rosary is common.

Chanting is sometimes taken to be part of some black cult. I have heard many use the expression, “mayam, manthiram” (magic mantras or illusions). You get the impression that you can go to a magician and he will give you a charm or thread that will bring you whatever you want. Sure, anything can be misused. However the real aim of the mantras or charms is to make each one of us be in touch with our own charm. What can be more charming than one who is happy to be oneself, with all one’s strengths and inadequacies? You will be charmed each day with yourself if you see the infinite potential in you and redirected your life so that you may realize it. You will be a charming person and create a charming life for yourself. So go ahead and have the most charming year yet!

A fortnightly column on yoga and holistic health