Namaste! This blog is for anyone interested in the healing power of mantra. A blog is just a window into the depth of this process, which should necessarily involve more than some type of cookie-cutter approach. People often ask: “What mantra does one use to heal emotional hurt?”. Or, “What mantra releases anger?” While it is true that certain mantras are clearly for a purpose of healing, such as, the Vedic mantra that addresses anger before chanting the Gayatri. In most instances, it is the deity, or divine function, that best addresses the issue. Like, invoking Dhanvantari, for healing as in Ayurveda. But what kind of healing? Dhanvantari is usually invoked for medicinal healing. Healing, from the perspective of spiritual awakening, is somewhat different as we will discuss further into this blog.
Our karmic connections to specific deities should play more of a role in our choices than what a specific mantra is supposed to do. Mantras are like spiritual pharmaceuticals in some ways, but not in others. Like we can’t say, well this is like Advil, so use it for your pain or as a muscle relaxant. There are many factors that need to taken into account, not the least of which are the psychological conditions around an issue. And mantra application should be a process that is refined and learned from over time, much like how medication might be tweaked in dosage.
Before we go on, a disclaimer. Mantras cannot and should not take the place of therapy or medical treatment. They can, however, fill a gap or address needs that psychotherapy and medicine may not, and are therefore complementary to our application in the healing process.
And one needs references, too, which is why, to assist this blog, I have included a healing mantra meditation of Ganesha in which I share my own practice with you so you can engage a bit of healing yourself. The type of mantra in the medication shared is Vedic, so it may not work for everyone. Nevertheless, you can sense the healing power of this type of mantra. For a well rounded approach to the healing power of mantra, all three types of mantra should be employed. That is the purpose of this blog, to elucidate the role of the different types of mantra in our healing process.
For best effects, the Vedic, Tantric and Bhakti forms of mantra should all be utilized. And we discuss their roles in the process further into this blog. If you are genuinely interested in how the healing power of mantra should combines all three streams of mantra, consider joining me at the Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health, September 28–30. Kripalu is one of the foremost educational instituions in the world bringing together Yoga and its sister traditions such as Mantra, Tantra and Ayurveda in its applications.
If you have read my book, The Yoga of Sound: Tapping the Hidden Power of Yoga and Music, you know that in my approach to sacred sound, I tap three distinct streams of mantra. These are the Vedic, Tantric and Bhakti, or devotional streams. The therapeutic application and effects of these “types” of mantras are in the way they are chanted. How do we use these streams for healing? And what do we mean by “healing”?
Healing, in the approach that I teach in my Yogic Mystery School and School of Mantra, is the process by which we address that which stands in the way of our enligthenment, as well as that which prevents us from sustaining deep states of enlightenment. In other words, if we have had spiritual breakthroughs, but have lost that blissfull state, or it just comes and goes, that’s not sustained enlightenment, and healing some parts of the self may be necessary.
Similarly, if we do not feel we have tapped the state of enlightenment yet, there is healing to be done. This healing takes place within the self, not the body, although the body is certainly affected by both, the need for healing in the self, and is consequently affected when we heal the self.
Obviously, we are not speaking of physical healing here, but psychological, and even psychic, to a degree. The chakras, for instance, are our psychic centers. While everything is spiritual, it does not help us any, to just blanket it all as spiritual. When we are whole, the spiritual dominates all parts. But when we are not whole, when healing is needed, something not so spiritual is affecting that wholeness.
When we speak of psychological healing, we are speaking of deep wounds in the psyche. Trauma even. Heartbreak. Sadness of soul. The pain of betrayal. Loss of safety. Vulnerability that has been taken advantage of. The symptoms for such conditions of the soul (the word “soul” is interchangeable with psyche), can be anger, or fear, or anxiety, or depression. Again, one must be clear that using sound to address these conditions does not take the place of psychotherapy or medical treatment. The healing power of sound, however, can complement our therapy and medical treatment to fill spiritual gaps that neither of them may address.
Sound, especially in the form of devotional mantras, can be used as relief from our psychologial pain. However, it may not address the cause of our pain. There is a place for pain relief, even getting away from our pain, escaping from it for a while. But we must return to our pain nevertheless. Devotional mantras can also help us address parts of our self that are filled with anger, softening these parts, and creating a field of compassion within us, which can help us address some of our deeper issues.
Vedic mantras are a fantastic structure of sacred sound that helps create a container for us to work with our wounds. It creates a safety net, a safe zone, a sense of protection. The actual healing is often accomplished through Tantric mantras. I have found this method to be very powerful, using these three streams of mantras to address these various aspects of the healing process. I cannot, understandably get into more detail here. This is a blog, not a book. Nevertheless, there is solid information here for all those who use sound for healing, and for those who wish to incorporate mantras as well, I invite you to come study in our School of Mantra.
Now here is something for you to experience. In the meditation below, I share with you how I use Vedic mantras for my own healing practice. It may or may not help you at this particular time as there are many factors that determine what’s best for a person’s healing at a particular time. This is why I prefer to work privately with people, that is, one-on-one, to determine the best sound-based models for their needs and goals. If you are interested in studying my methods, please visit schoolofmantra.com and see what draws you at this time.
Here’s the meditation. Please leave a comment or ask a question after you have enjoyed it. If you question inspires me, I will create a blog in response to it. To know my response, please sign up for my updates here.