JUNE 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Using Mantra-Japa to create Happiness, Success and Peace

Lavanya Dinesh

By DR. Maulik Trivedi, MD

There is no statement about our life that is truer than the following: The level of success and happiness in our life are directly related to the health status of our brain/mind. Essentially, as the Buddha said, "You are what you think." Said another way, we are the sum of everything that we have thought of. In fact, the reality of our personal life is the direct product of what we have thought of. More specifically said who we are and what we have is the direct manifestation of what and how we think!

The Rishis (sages, wise men/women) of ancient India understood and advised on this science thousands of years ago. They taught that our outer life is clearly and directly created by our inner self. They professed the inner mind of humans to be made of four distinct and specific segments with their own characteristic attributes. This understanding about the mind is the basic underpinning of every modern psychological concept and theory.

The Rishis called the mind Antahkarana, which, in Sanskrit literally translates to "inner conscience" or "the manifest mind." They claimed that this mind apparatus operates from four different stances. They named these parts as 1. manas (the mind), 2. chitta (the memory), 3. buddhi (the intellect) and 4. aha?k?ra (the ego). The job of the manas is to conduct the random indiscriminate mental chatter that goes on in our mind at all times. This random thought process is superimposed on pre-existing memory, which the Rishis called chitta. The work of chitta is to compare and contrast what we are thinking with what we already know in our memory. In plain English, this process is referred to as contemplation.

Beyond the random thoughts and our memory lies our capacity to utilize intelligence to sort out these contemplations. This is the job of our Buddhi, or the intellect. Buddhi determines, decides and logically comes to a conclusion. The Buddha was named after this word, signifying that the mind that achieves the highest awareness of the total reality is a Buddha. Each of us is a potential Buddha!

The last segment of the mind is the Ahankar. Ahankar is the mind's misperception of the physical body and thinking apparatus mind to be the doer of deeds. In western psychology, this is aptly named ego. 

The rishis professed that these four parts contrive the totality of our outward reality. Thus, the Rishis identified the cause of our outward life. Beyond the identification of its components, they also prescribed what we can do to manage and even control our outward manifest reality. They envisioned humanity adhering to these prescribed methods to create unlimited happiness and success that leads to inner peace for every individual that pervades all human beings.

One such method prescribed for making the mind capable of directing our manifested reality is the practice of Japa. As you may be aware, Japa is the repetition of a single word or short chain of words with full concentration of the mind applied to the words. Sometimes, Japa is performed using mala-beads. Modern science has shown the positive effects of mantra-japa practice on the human mind with objective observations. Mantra-Japa is proven to create mental clarity and focus as well as decrease emotional disturbances that cause anger, anxiety and depression. Furthermore, Mantra-japa practice is proven to eliminate harmful effects of stress on human mind and body.

The Rishis even identified the sounds and words for such mantras, which are to be used for Japa practice. According to the Rishis, the sounds of these ancient mantras activate certain energy centers in the body called Chakras. According to the Rishis, the body is a Yantra, which stands for ‘machine’ in Sanskrit. Through the mantras, our mind maintains the capacity to control the mechanisms of the body through each chakra. This, Mantras control the Yantra. These energies, in turn, are responsible for manifesting particular realities in the body and outside world of the person practicing mantra-japa. The more capable we are of specifically and actively managing our mind and body, the more we are in alignment with manifesting success and happiness in our life and in the life of those around us.

So what are you waiting for?  Take any mantra you know, or even Google for a mantra on the Internet, and start doing your japa. Use the ancient science actively living inside each of us to manifest your own capacity for success, happiness and peace! Strive to become the Buddha!

Maulik Trivedi, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist and a MindBody physician. For details, visit www.FMCmindbody.com You can also follow him on Twitter @MindBodyYogaMD

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