Is Mantra a vehicle for Meditation?

A mantra is a word, phrase, sound, or set of words, according to precise guidelines. This science is both subtle and profound. It leads to a state in which the meditator allows the mantra to repeat itself internally in the deepest and most subtle way possible. The goal is to give the mind an internal focus, or point of concentration, so that it does not continue its normal, scattered pattern of mental activity. If followed properly, this technique allows the mind to quiet itself and become still.

People often wonder whether any word or sound can be a mantra, and if they can select a mantra for themselves from a book or by using a word or phrase to which they are attracted, such as the words “peace” or “love.” Actually, the authentic mantras were not invented or developed by any person; they are sounds that were received and experienced by the great sages in states of deep meditation. They are not part of any particular language or religion; they are profound, precise sounds that are eternal and universal. When the sages came back from their deep states of meditation, they conveyed the sounds they had received to those students who were prepared to hear them, and it is these revealed mantras that helped the aspirants to attain the highest levels of deep meditation.

In the ancient tradition of meditation, it was said that mantra and meditation are like two sides of the same coin. Certainly, there are some techniques that do not use mantras as a way of deepening the meditative state, but these are generally limited to breath awareness—and such techniques can take students only so far. They cannot help them to attain the highest state. But when students meditate on a particular mantra and make a conscious effort to focus the mind on that mantra, this finally leads the mind to silence. All sounds proceed from silence; the mantra leads the student back to that silence which is called samadhi, nirvana, or the state of tranquility. Thus, among all the methods of meditation, the mantra is the most profound and advanced.

Scroll to Top