Guiding Light of The Month

Tell me, wilt Thou grant me the marvellous power to give birth to this dawn in expectant hearts, to awaken the consciousness of men to Thy sublime presence, and in this bare and sorrowful world awaken a little of Thy true Paradise? What happiness, what riches, what terrestrial powers can equal this wonderful gift! - The Mother

Editorial

The editorial, on behalf of the Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore, takes this opportunity to convey its prayer of peace to the departed soul of the chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore, Mr K S Rajah and its condolences to his bereaved family. This issue of our Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Mr K S Rajah and all that he stood for and meant to us as our leader and co-traveler on the path. The last 4 pages of the Newsletter bear tribute to Mr K S Rajah from long standing friends as well as messages of condolences. The rest of the Newsletter will be devoted to the theme of this month, mantra. Mantras have always intrigued Mr Rajah and occupied a special place in his life. Co-incidentally or otherwise, what better theme than this can decorate these pages of dedication?

Mantra. This is a frequently encountered word in the spiritual tradition of India. Sanskrit in origin and being, the root word “man” refers to “to think” and “tra” refers to a tool or instrument. Together, it appears as “instrument of thought” in literal translation. Mantras are commonly understood to be either a sound, or a syllable, or word or a group of words that are capable of bringing about a transformation. This transformation can take place in the various planes that make up our nature, such as in the mental or vital or physical planes and also in the less readily accessible inner planes in the human being. How is this possible? The ancient texts explain that the universe is nothing but a creation of sound; each created being and thing is made of vibrations of various amplitude and frequency of sound. All elements and energies can therefore be guided and influenced by mantras, which are organized sounds of varying intonations. Therein lies the power of mantras as practiced till today. Each mantra is essentially a “thought form” which can exert their influence on entities by means of sound vibrations. AUM mantra, or The Word, is seen as the king of all mantras, since it is the source of all mantras representing the underlying unity of reality or Brahman. It is also known as the mantra of creation.

In our own lives, we could have experienced the effect of mantras on us, the most foremost and noticeable effect being the descent of peace in the mind and heart. We are then better able to detach ourselves from the external happenings and their effect on us and remain centred within in calm repose. It is a physiological truth that this calm repose itself brings about a positive well being in the whole human entity. There are also instances of mantras for specific effects on our different chakras and so on. In any case, the suggestion is also spontaneous that any such dwelling with mantras need proper guidance from one learned in these matters or effects could be quite contrary to that sought after. The Mother has also cautioned that each individual should find that mantra which works best on him or her.

Sri Aurobindo, as a spiritual master and guru, refrained from handing out mantras to his followers. He considered the name of The Mother and his to be sufficient mantra capable of seeing to the transformational needs of seekers of integral yoga. Later on, The Mother revealed some short lines of mantra as essential in having a direct effect on the very matter that constitutes our being, the cells of the body. These, according to her, respond to the power of repetitive word or sound. The Mother put her entire yogic practice of transformation behind the mantra “OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH” and explains beautifully its effect in “The Agenda”.

May the myriad rays of the mantra illumine our ways.

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