Saturday, August 05, 2006

Medicinal Mantram

People do not know what the Name of God can do. Those who repeat it constantly alone know its power. It can purify our mind completely. . . . The Name can take us to the summit of spiritual experience. – Swami Ramdas

It’s probably safe to say that most people do not know how aspirin works. Yet we have faith in aspirin. When you take the bottle off the bathroom shelf and pop a couple of pills into your mouth, you are saying in effect, “I believe. I have faith that this will work.” I would say, “Take plenty of mantrams too.” It is equally good advice: one relieves fever in the body, the other, the fever of self-will. People sometimes scoff at this and retort, “We don’t think it will work.” I reply, “Don’t you think you can give the Buddha or Jesus as much credence as you give Mr. Bayer?”

Try it. If you feel comforted only by things that come in a bottle, take an empty bottle and write Rama, Rama or Jesus, Jesus on the label. Then put it on your bathroom shelf. When you have a disquieting afternoon or evening or night, take it down, look at it, and start repeating Rama, Rama or Jesus, Jesus. You have taken the medicine.
--Eknath Easwaran

I have my own mantram. I've used it to dispel my anxiety on a roller coaster, to silence my disquieting thoughts so I can sleep, and to ease my anger. It DOES seem to be an effective medicine, and I would probably find it even more so if I used it more frequently and in stronger doses. Or does one build tolerance to it over time until its efficacy diminishes no matter how strong the dose?

But what I really wonder is whether reciting a mantran can, over time, do as Swami Ramdas suggests and purify our minds and lift us to "the summit of spiritual experience" and actualization.

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