Transcendental Meditation Mantras
TM is practised by silently and effortlessly thinking a mantra or sound, which has been passed on during personal instruction by a fully-trained teacher following careful guidelines laid down by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is strongly recommended that you do not try to learn TM from any other source, even if they claim to be using Transcendental Meditation mantras, for reasons which will become apparent below.
How do Transcendental Meditation mantras work?
The mantra does not act as a focus for the mind as in other forms of meditation, but as a ‘vehicle’ upon which the attention gently and innocently rests. This allows the mind to settle into increasingly subtle levels of thinking, and finally the mantra itself is transcended and we settle into silence.
There are two qualities of the Transcendental Meditation mantra which are important for this process to occur:
It is a meaningless sound. Using a word with meaning would keep the mind on the surface, thinking about the word, and not allow it to transcend (go beyond) that level.
Its vibration has a resonance with its source in the primordial hum (Om) close to the silent, blissful level of the mind which gives it a tendency to fade in that direction. This attracts and charms the mind, which itself is always searching for greater happiness, so the mind settles with the mantra towards silence.
Where do Transcendental Meditation mantras come from?
The mantras used in Transcendental Meditation come from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. They are Sanskrit sounds, the language which is the closest possible human imitation of the natural vibrations produced by the dynamism of the unified field – the field identified by objective modern science as the silent source of all creation, and by yogis in their meditation as the Self – the field of Pure Consciousness. Some mantras have healing power for specific parts of the body, but the Transcendental Meditation mantras are for transcending, which has an enormous healing effect for the whole body and mind and much more.
How do you choose the Transcendental Meditation mantra?
There are thousands of Transcendental Meditation mantras, from which a small number with known effects are used. We choose one that is suitable for you from a selection passed on by Maharishi according to a simple procedure that ensures it is correct.
Can I get my mantra from my friend, or some other source?
It is important to receive the mantra from a fully trained Transcendental Meditation teacher because they have been given a selection of mantras which have been passed down through a long line of teachers over thousands of years. The effects are therefore well known both historically and currently to be always positive and life-enhancing.
The mantras and procedures for passing them on are received by the teacher after months of intensive training, and the student is asked not to share the mantra or the way it is taught with anyone. This is for the benefit of the one already meditating (see next question), and to preserve the purity of the teaching ensuring that every person receives full and correct instruction. This is very important.
There are 4 vital aspects of the teaching that ensure that it will work for you:
- Receiving a correct mantra.
- Knowing how to use it properly.
- Being able to correctly interpret the experiences that come as a result.
- Having the support and guidance of a fully trained teacher free for the rest of your life.
Any one of these aspects missing could result in incorrect practice, lack of progress, and giving up on meditation completely, so missing a priceless opportunity to significantly enhance your life.
I don’t think I could/would want to keep my mantra a secret
This is not an uncommon feeling for people to have before they start. However after a few TM meditations, the mantra becomes very personal to you; it’s the vehicle that allows the attention to dive inwards and the mind begins to associate the mantra with the experience of settling down and enjoying inner silence. It becomes a treasured and trusted friend. Speaking the mantra aloud, chanting it or passing it on is to bring the mantra ‘out’, to reverse its natural direction – it’s of no value. Also, the Transcendental Meditation mantras only work in context. Using or speaking the mantra without its simple yet very specific instructions and personal guidance from a teacher simply doesn’t work. Because the way that TM is taught is simple and does work, once you learn you will no doubt feel, as others have, that you want friends and family to learn it in the same simple, effective and enjoyable way. We find therefore that it is actually extremely rare for anyone to abuse their mantra in this way, even if they started with the same doubt as you.
Why not Om?
As explained above, not just any sound will do. Different mantras have different effects. The mantras used in TM are a group of ‘householder’ mantras designed to enable people to experience deep, restful meditation which brings integration between inner silence and outer activity – deep rest along with energy and dynamism. Om has a strong environmental effect which is OK if chanted in a group, but if used as a personal, internal mantra, it is suited only for those wanting to withdraw from active life.
Isn’t it better to chant the mantra?
Chanting the mantra will keep the body (mouth, throat etc.) active, and therefore not allow it to sink into the state of natural, deep rest that TM is famous for. Chanting also controls the mind and prevents it from settling into silence, as it naturally wants to do. And modern science has shown us that these quieter, deeper levels of life are more powerful – the nuclear level is far more powerful than the atomic level. Similarly, mantras are more powerful when they are thought rather than chanted, but the biggest power is discovered when the mantra is transcended as in the process of Transcendental Meditation.
What if I get the wrong mantra? How can we be sure the mantras work?
You cannot get a wrong mantra if taught by a qualified TM teacher, and it will always work because it is a natural process. Extremely rarely someone feels the mantra is not right, but this is always a sign of incorrect use – and easily corrected by their teacher. These particular Transcendental Meditation mantras have been passed on in this specific way to millions of people all around the world since Maharishi’s revival of this ancient knowledge in 1958. The success of the technique has been verified by the benefits indicated by testimonials and a vast body of scientific research in universities around the world.
“Thank-you for the incredible teaching that you have given me. It has already made such a remarkable and positive impact on my life. I have been trying so hard for so many years to make a connection and now I feel I have – and it feels as natural as walking. I feel this incredible sense of relief and peace.” David Lever