Re: mantras for real?

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Posted by David S. ( on October 22, 2000 at 07:33:16:

In Reply to: Re: mantras for real? posted by curtis on October 21, 2000 at 08:16:36:

Hi Curtis,

One understanding of this "purification" is because if you will chant a mantra 300,000 times you do a number of things.. one, you calm and concentrate the mind, which already stops you from being moved, pushed, pulled, etc. by circumstances and thus to not respond poorly and create bad karma. Two, the mind is focused on the purpose of your reciting, which is purification.. that is, repentence and reform. You are essentially, with every recitation, transforming your minds direction from harmfulness to benevolence, from selfcenteredness to givingness, etc. by reciting repeatedly with that purpose subtley in mind. Third, with every recitation you also have in mind the object of hte recitation words.. whether it be a buddha, a bodhisattva, or a universal mantra like "Om Mane Padme Hum." (seems to be a few transliterations for this spelling). But when you recite the mantra, like Susan said, you open your mind out to this "pure nature" of the buddha, the bodhisattva, or the universal, and to do this you must make your mind like that, thus making your mind into a more pure state. By this understanding it is not the mantra per se, but what it symbolizes, your sincerity, and your directing your own mind during the recitation that purifies the mind. Like Susan said, if a person recites with no intention, or the wrong intention, they will get nothing or a bad thing from the reciting the same words.

One now deceased Chinese Buddhist master, Master Hsuan Hua, said you could purify your mind by reciting "dried shit" if you did it correctly. It's a little extreme of an example, I suppose, but it gets the point across! :)

For this understanding, I suppose prayer would be the same.

I personally also believe, though, the understanding that the tones and rythums themselves do effect the mind's and body's energy and that if recited properly can also have a noticable effect.

It's an interesting topic. I spent some time reciting two different mantras as part of my practice and felt I benefited from both "understandings", or aspects, of how a mantra can work.

Some people say Buddhists don't need statues, or pictures, or shouldn't need them. But they are also like mantras, they remind us to and provide a "substrate" for us to focus and transform our minds.

Best wishes,

: hi susan:

: thank you for your reply, I agree with you that words are powerful force, and we can utilize it to calm our inner world, i chant om mani padme hum every day, and I do feel good. But what is your opinion on the Tibetan buddhist's claim that chanting such and such a mantra sincerely a specify number of times will help cleanse past bad karmas? That is the part I have doubts about because it was not part of The Buddha's original teachings, if it was, he would have explicitly instructed it to his followers.

: curtis

: :
: : words I think you will agree are very important in any case as that is the way we each communicate to each other. In all spiritual faither, prayers are said and it makes spiritual connections to both the outer and inner world. Inside us, there are millions and millions of what is the right word I want to use here, someone else help me here out there but anyway mantras set up things innerwardly to connect to the spiritual world and are very powerful. Of course, if one has no feeling or reason to be saying them, then nothing will happen but if the heart is right, it is your personal connection.
: : It help calms the mind, the heart and the whole body loves it. The particular one you used is my own but its not a bad place to start. They are real and bring great results but you will have to find that out for yourself.

: : Susan

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