In Kundalini Yoga, we often accompany a movement or even a breath pattern with sounds we sing or meditate on silently, called “mantras.” Mantras are repetitive sounds we make over and over to bring about a change in our consciousness.
Chanting may seem strange to you at first, but it is a powerful tool for healing. People often ask me what is the purpose of a certain chant in a certain meditation. The words are chosen not only for their meaning as words, but also for a scientific reason that goes far beyond pure definition. All mantras we use are based on the science of “Naad” — the secrets hidden in sound.
The roof of our mouth has eighty-four meridian points, all along the upper palate. Mantras were given to us as special gifts Long ago, highly evolved beings went into deeply meditative states. They began reciting certain sounds that made the tongue hit these meridian points in the mouth in certain combinations. It’s kind of like playing the piano — if certain notes are struck, a beautiful song is produced. With every word we speak, or in this case the mantras we recite, we hit certain “keys.” If the right combination of keys is struck, then the hypothalamus, thalamus, and pituitary in the brain are all stimulated in such a way as to bring our minds into a meditative state, and even into ecstasy. And just think, if we can produce that state without drugs, what a world this would be.
This is also why sometimes you’ll walk into a room in which people have been gossiping, swearing a lot, or generally talking “low-vibrational” talk, and the whole room will feel depressed and heavy. Other times, you might walk into a room in which a lot of chanting or uplifting kinds of conversations have been occurring, and you’ll feel a lightness and ease in the room. What you’re experiencing has a lot to do with the science of Naad.
Each mantra was chosen by those ancient wise people because it encapsulated an uplifting vibration into a few choice little words. When we recite them, we stimulate certain parts of our brain that actually change the chemical balance of the brain. This changed chemical composition allows a more relaxed and expanded state of consciousness to overtake our minds.
“In the coming age, the mental insanity, which has started breeding now and which will multiply and multiply, will not be curable by any medicine. At that moment the practice of chanting in Naad yoga will be most effective. It will bring about a balanced state of mind.” Yogi Bhajan
One of the most powerful mantras we use in Kundalini yoga is “Sat Nam,” meaning “I am Truth.” The beautiful pure vowel sounds are very similar to the Latin “Amen.” We end each yoga class with a long, sung “Sat Nam.”
We all use mantras all day long — repetitive, out loud, or silently — phrases such as “It’s hard,” or “I’m tired.” “I don’t know what I’m doing,” “It will never happen … .. I’m stressed,” “There’s not enough time,” or “There’s not enough money.”
We don’t even notice them becoming part of our reality by repetition. We act out on what we say, live on how we think. If your mantra is, “I am stressed,” you will be stressed. Or if your mantra is, “It’s never going to happen,” — it’s never going to happen. In the beginning was the word, and the word was God. So powerful are our words to ourselves and to others. Mudras: Magic Hand Positions
Along with the use of mantras, we sometimes use “mudras” in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. These special hand positions are designed to bring energies into the body, and along with the use of mantras and eye focal points, they send certain messages to our brain. They aid in producing calming and meditative states within our being.
Authors Details: Gurmukh (with Cathryn Michon)