can you speak about listening to mantras?
Updated: Mar 11
"You know, using the power of mantras is my trade secret!"… laughter…
Listening to mantras can be very effective – very-very effective – but it can be dangerous also. So one should be very careful while using mantras. Though here we are not chanting them, we are just listening – and that too – after a lot of inner cleansing.
See, during the first three-four days, we did “Gibberish,” which is a cleansing process. When one is empty, relaxed, ready, only then can listening to mantras be effective… it is a very powerful medicine and one should be very careful.
I call it a – “sound massage.”
It massages you… massages all your subtle bodies. The Upanishads talk about five bodies. The first one, which is made of, and dependant on, food is called the “food body” – Annamayakosha. The second body they call the “etheric body” or “breath body” – Pranmayakosha. The third is called the “astral body” or “mental body” – Manomayakosha. The fourth is called the bliss body – Anandamayakosha. And the fifth they call Vigyanamayakosha – the spiritual body.
Listening to mantras affects all your bodies – every cell, every atom of your being – it nourishes; it heals. It is very effective… though there are many things I cannot tell you… when anything falls into the hands of unconscious people, they misuse it, they spoil it; and it becomes very dangerous too. People are using mantras for all their worldly interests, worldly purposes. Somebody wants money, somebody wants power – things like that. They are not using mantras for the purpose of spiritual evolution.
Here, I only use mantras for the purpose of Meditation. And that too very-very carefully; when you people are ready – relaxed, unserious, laughing, receptive – only then I use them. It does so many things. It brings you Here and Now immediately – without any effort. The sound, the frequency, the repetition, the rhythm… they all combine to create magic.
It gives you very sound sleep as well.
Usually any mantra, whether we listen or chant, is done 108 times. All these mantras which you will listen to are repeated 108 times. But I sensed today that it will be too much for some people. That is why I just played half and then you were kept in silence for fifteen minutes, and then for fifteen minutes you lay down. There was also a small four minute prayer at the end which was played quite loudly, but many people still did not sit up because they had gone so deep into themselves. And I don’t believe in instant things, in fast things. I believe in slow… move slow, be patient. If you try to do things quickly, you will create a mess.
So impatience is not good at all. One should be very patient, slow and steady. Homeopathic doses are better than allopathic ones. Allopathic medicine is gradually becoming out of date – people are avoiding it more and more because it is too violent a therapy. So now people are turning towards ayurveda, or other new-age forms of medicine like aromatheraphy, flower essences… Bach flowers, Bush flowers… acupressure, acupuncture, massage… many-many things. Because these therapies are holistic, they keep in their vision the whole man, not the part.
So when we use a mantra for the purpose of Meditation, it is multidimensional. It covers all the dimensions of your existence, of your being. It does not only take care of the mind, it also takes care of your body, your emotions and your other subtle bodies – it heals, it cleans, it nourishes.
Our mind is all the time restless, crazy, unfulfilled, running here and there, desiring this, desiring that, not getting anything, becoming angry, frustrated, in rage. Mind has to be dealt with like a child. If you fight with it, it will become dangerous, it will never forgive you. And the mind knows all the tricks, it is the most efficient politician ever – your very own mind. That is why I always say, “Never fight with your mind,” take your attention instead, towards something very positive. The same thing can be positive, and the same thing can be negative. Just see… Gurudev motions to Jaidev to stand up… "Put your right leg up." Now you can decide that for half an hour, "I will not put this foot down." Here the emphasis is on “not”– I will not put. This is a negative attitude. But it can be like this also, that "I will keep this foot up for half an hour." This is a positive attitude, though the act is the same. If the emphasis is on “not,” it becomes negative and you will lose energy, but if you make it positive, if you decide that I will keep this foot up for half an hour, you will gain energy. Then it is a positive.
Always choose the positive, not the negative. But our whole mechanism, our whole system is based on the negative, not on the positive.
So, how to bring the mind to our side? Right now, it is not on our side, we are on its side. Mind does not take care of us, we take care of the mind – all the time we are following our mind while mind should be following us! How can this be done? Increase, enhance your Meditation. Grow in Meditation more and more.
Now, what is Meditation?
You know this world through your senses; you become aware of the world outside you, through your senses. So through the senses, the attention is going out. Attention is the basic energy… the functioning energy of consciousness.
If there is no Consciousness, you cannot know the world, because you are not even aware of yourself – that you “are.”
See, the first thing that happens when you wake up in the morning is that you come to know that you are, and simultaneously, you come to know that the world is, through your senses. This body is also a sense – the sense of touch. So, the moment Consciousness appears in the morning on waking up, there arises a “body-sense” and all senses are activated. The first feeling that arises is “I am” and at the same time, simultaneously arises the awareness that “the world is”… because the world is contained already in the Consciousness. When Consciousness appears, the world appears – including myself. When Consciousness disappears, everything disappears; the world also disappears, including me. When you are in deep sleep, Consciousness is on stand-by mode. For instance, a TV is plugged somewhere, connected to the electricity. And you are sitting before the TV, holding the remote. If you press the stand-by button, the TV turns on, and if you press it again the TV goes off. But actually it is not off, it is simply on stand-by. So in the same way, when you go to sleep, Consciousness is on stand-by mode. When the TV is on stand-by mode, you see nothing. In the same way when Consciousness is on stand-by mode, you know nothing. As the TV does not function on stand-by mode, in the same way, the senses do not work when Consciousness is on stand-by mode. When there is no Consciousness, when it is at rest, there is no knowing. No knowing of ones-self, no knowing that the world is – both are absent. But when they become present, they become present together. In the morning, when Consciousness appears, the world appears with it, including me. So Consciousness is the very source of knowing, of perceiving, of experiencing.
How does consciousness function?
It functions through the senses by means of attention. Attention goes, comes back, reflects, and the knowing happens. Now, you see the world outside – the world of people, buildings, vehicles, trees, animals etc. But inside, there is also a world – the world of thoughts, feelings, images, emotions, sensations, experiences, memories, etc.
When you are sitting with closed eyes you come to know that a thought is moving. And one comes to know that there is a thought because attention is on the thought. When attention is focused on the thought, the thought is consuming all the energy of attention. Most of your energy – maybe more than eighty percent of your energy – is consumed by this thought process.
Now the question is: How to save this energy?... Bring your attention to the bodily sensations. For instance, you are sitting, and there is the touch of the cushion – feel it. Now you are sitting in a certain posture, there is a touch, you can feel, simply feel… feel your own body. So take your attention there. And when you feel this touch, the attention is moved from the thoughts to the sensation of touch. You are wearing something and it is too tight. So you can bring your attention there and feel it. You can feel, you can experience the tightness. Or while eating you can feel the touch in your mouth – the taste. Don’t think, just feel the touch. In this way you are cultivating your attention, through experiencing, through feeling. And the energy is diverted. This you can do whenever you like – while you are on a journey, sitting in your office, or even waiting for an interview. It can even be done while lying down or while taking a bath. It can be done at any moment, at any time. And it is a very-very simple technique of Meditation.
In this way, you are freeing your energy from the mind and cultivating your attention. And as you progress in this cultivation, you can bring this attention towards the very source of Consciousness. You can be in the state-of-presence… that “you are,” “I am”… which we call “Self-remembering.” After that it will be easy to remember ones-self.
Because our energy is so scattered, that is why it is so difficult to remember oneself. Try and see. You will be lucky if you can remember yourself just a few times a day… just a few times a day!
The problem is: we just keep forgetting; and when we try it seems very hard, because our attention, our energy is too scattered. So our energy needs to be brought together by small techniques.
Another technique can be: when you are sitting with closed eyes, just become receptive to the sounds; just listen to the sounds. The crow may be cawing, the dog may be barking, the truck may be passing, the child may be weeping – maybe in the kitchen the maid has broken a glass. So many sounds are happening at a time – just be totally, but passively attentive to the sounds. These are very simple methods of cultivating the attention. While walking, you can remain aware of the touch – when your foot is touching the earth – just feel it and then take the next step… again feel it, then take the next step. You can become aware, attentive towards your body movements – while sitting, while walking, while talking. These are simple methods, but one has to practice them persistently. Only then slowly-slowly-slowly… you are cultivating your attention – bringing it on one spot.
I am not talking about concentration; I am not in favor of concentration. It is not concentration, it is just that you remain passively alert from within… feel the touch, listen to the sounds… things like that. Or sometimes, when you are sitting, simply watch your breathing – it is coming, it is going – that’s all. Not at any particular point, just simply becoming aware of the breath: it is coming, it is going.
And by practicing these methods, you are taking away the energy which is consumed by the thought-process. But if you don’t do this, then the mind will consume all your energy.
And Meditation is only then, when the attention is just attentive of itself – it is not moving anywhere else, it is just attentive of itself. When it remains at the source and is attentive of its own attentiveness – that’s all. It is not going anywhere, not knowing anything – it just is – that is pure Meditation. Call it Content-less-consciousness – there is only Consciousness, without any functioning – not trying to know this, not trying to know that – it just is. That is pure Meditation.
And it is a real miracle. It will change; it will transform everything in you. It will renew you. It will make you a “new-man.” Osho talks about the “new-man” and in Meditation you will enter into the territory of the “new-man.” You will be different. Everything outside will be the same, but deep down within, you will see that everything has changed. The qualitative transformation happens within.
You have asked me about mantras. I am using mantras for that purpose.
It gives you a different kind of massage. After a session, you feel a certain kind of well-being – quiet, centered, collected. If you become aware, you will notice that you are resting in your being. That is what we call… just being. You can taste that… the just-be-state, the being state. Otherwise all the time, mind is in a state of becoming. Becoming something – this or that, in this way or in that way. It is running all the time… it is always trying to become.
Meditation means: No becoming, just Being… Here and Now.
So if the mantra is used properly, you will become more silent, more still. You will feel a kind of well-being, a subtle happiness, a freshness. But it should be done after cleansing. It will be really good, for instance, if one has done Dynamic meditation in the morning, or at any other time and then listens to Mantras.
When you are ready to listen to Mantras, sit silently for a minimum of forty to sixty minutes… depending on the mantra you are going to listen to. It will be repeated 108 times. So sit comfortably, just listen to the mantra and then take twenty minutes of rest. For resting, you can lie down or sit very relaxed. And at the end of it all, if you participate in a Kirtan – the whole energy that has been awakened and cultivated, will move towards the heart and settle down there.
So it is a very simple, very effective method of Meditation, but one should be ready for it… one should clean and do catharsis first… then it can give very good results.
However, too much use of it can make you rigid – you will feel peace, but it will be a dead peace, not an alive peace. You will feel peace, you will feel good, but it will be all dead. You will lose your sensitivity. And you should not destroy your sensitivity. On the contrary, it is much better if you can become more and more sensitive. So if you use it improperly – too much – then you may become rigid, you may become stubborn.
Listening to mantras, the right dose is a must, the proper use is a must.
Gurudev is a Spiritual Master, founder of Osho Mystery School in Srirangapatna, India where he organizes 40-day meditation retreats. Manish has been in his company for more than twenty years. Gurudev has gathered experience during 50 years in music for meditation and other purposes in the spiritual path. This article is included in one of Gurudev's (also known as Whosoever) books: "And Nothing has Ever Happened."