dmattwads

Kaliyuga and chanting

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I admittedly do not know much about Hinduism but I was recently reading that in this Kaliyuga that chanting (specifically the Krishna mantra) was said to be the best practice one can do. Is anyone who is familiar with this willing and able to elaborate on this? Thorough explanations will be appreciated. 

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That "saying" comes from Hare-Krishna (and generally Pushti Marga sects) sources. It's attributed to Lord Chaitanya who promoted bahjan practices.

 

If you're interested, you'll find plenty of explanations from the same ISKCON sources: ask in their forums or read Shrila Prabhupada's books.

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I have read those explanations and am not really sure what I think one way or the other but what I do know is that I do really like this mantra. I feel really good while doing it and afterwards. I also noticed that after doing mantras to get "stuff" I tend to feel bad and I suppose with the goal to "get" one is strengthening the ego. 

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Iskcon and their lead swami has rejected Hinduism in several ways - although they sure co-opt  parts of it big time!

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(some info on the founder of ISKCON)  "Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (henceforth Prabhupada) also sometimes jokingly called himself and his movement Krsnian, a play on Christian, but neither Krsnaite nor Krsnian became current, even though the institution he founded was named the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Popularly, of course, his followers were known as the Hare Krsnas, a name to which Prabhupada did not make an objection. Acknowledging his membership in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya or Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession, he happily identified himself as Gaudiya Vaisnava. However, his relationship with the larger entity known as Hinduism was rather less clear. In fact, he often overtly denied any connection to Hinduism at all: 'The Krsna consciousness movement has nothing to do with the Hindu religion or any system of religion' (SSR: 3). Another time he wrote: 'One should clearly understand that the Krsna consciousness movement is not preaching the so-called Hindu religion.' He could be even stronger in his judgement of Hinduism, calling it 'a dead religion' with 'no philosophy' (72-02-04.VAI) or 'a cheating religion' "

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Quote: Yukteswar’s correction* brought the Yugas back into a rising and falling cycle that aligns with the cycle of the ages and with what we call The Great Year in the west, the approx. 25,000 year cycle of the precession of the equinoxes**. In this model, Kali is only 1,200 years long. We passed through the trough in 500 AD (the Dark Ages) and are now about 311 years into the second age, Dwapara Yuga, the bronze or energy age***.

 

He summarizes the memes with 3 terms: (dates are for the current ascending cycle)
Satya ‚Äď Golden: (7700 ‚Äď 12,500 AD ascending, then a similar period descending)
Self realization, direct intuitive perception, consciousness

Treta ‚Äď Silver: (4100 ‚Äď 7700 AD)
Self-mastery, intuitive attunement, thought awareness

Dwapara ‚Äď Bronze: (1700 ‚Äď 4100 AD (current))
(enlightened) Self-interest, awakened intellect (science), energy (flow, intuition)

Kali ‚Äď Iron: (500 ‚Äď 1700AD ascending after a similar decent from 700 BC)
Passive acceptance, dull-mindedness, matter awareness
This period was more uncultured than now. But not before that.

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Anyway the reason I brought up this topic and the reason I posted in the Hindu section is as follows.... For several years now my primary practice has been Buddhist meditation. While doing it I enjoy it though after repeated observation over a length of time I began to notice that a little after doing Buddhist meditation I would feel anxious or agitated or unpleasant in some other way. I don't think this is the case with most people but it does seem to be the case with me. I did experience a lot of childhood trauma so I don't know if that is a factor or not. I'm actually quite disappointed that this seems to be the pattern as I have enjoyed Buddhist meditation. The reason for posting this in the Hindu section is that I found that first of all Hindu mantras seem to help me deal with the unpleasant side effects after meditation and when I do mantras as a stand alone practice for what ever reason I don't seem to experience the after effects as I do from meditation. I was hoping someone might be able to shed some light on this.

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On 12/21/2017 at 7:47 AM, 3bob said:

(some info on the founder of ISKCON)  "Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (henceforth Prabhupada) also sometimes jokingly called himself and his movement Krsnian, a play on Christian, ...

 

Funny I stumbled on what 3bob said because just the other day I saw a blurb of Prabhupada's outright equating Krishna and Christ. http://www.krishna.com/krishna-or-christ-name-same This is so bogus (not that he said it, but what he said) it's almost nauseating. I often reel at some of Prabhupada's purports in Bhagavad Gita As It Is, but this one takes the cake. This is a blatant attempt to woo westerners to ISKCON by conflating Jesus and Krishna. He was trying to take a page from Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda. But their goal was to show there is only one God, no matter what you call him, not add Jesus to the pantheon of Hindu gods or even call him God. 

 

There are thousands of Indian Hindus who are Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Vaishnavism as taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but Gaudiya Vaishnavism doesn't distance itself from Hinduism. The MahńĀmantra (Hare Krishna mantra) is from the¬†KalisantaraŠĻáopaniŠĻ£ad from the 16th century CE, so it's pretty old relative to the ISKCON movement. That said, the¬†MahńĀmantra is sort of the ultimate Vaishnava mantra because it is a grammatical play on the names of God:

Krishna himself.

RńĀma: could be the¬†RńĀma of the¬†RńĀmayana, or a shortened form of RńĀdhńĀrńĀma, Krishna's beloved and shakti, or a shortened form of BalarńĀma, Krishna's elder brother, and yet another avatar of Vishnu. BalarńĀma is often considered the 8th avatar instead of Buddha. Btw, three purnavatara (full avatars) of Vishnu existed concurrently on Earth: Krishna, BalarńĀma, and ParashurńĀma ("RńĀma with the axe", a warrior avatar). Vishnu can do whatever he wants.¬†:D

Hare:¬†the vocative of Hari, a name of Vishnu meaning "he takes away¬†(our sins and worries)"; or it can be the vocative of HarńĀ, another name for¬†RńĀdhńĀ.¬†

 

So, the¬†MahńĀmantra fairly oozes with calling on the names of God. Though personally I favor om namo bhagavate vńĀsudevńĀya, as a mantra "reverence/obeisance to VńĀsudeva (God who lives in all beings)".¬†

 

@dmattwads¬† When you chant a mantra, it is a/the name of (a) God/dess; the name is non-different from the God/dess. Most of them are in the form om sri [deity name in dative case] namah meaning "reverence/obeisance to [deity]". Sri is an honorific that really doesn't translate, but not always used. Repetition of these is called nńĀma japa. So, you are using sound energy and repeatedly calling on the God/dess. Yes, it has a calming effect¬†because you are opening yourself to the grace of the deity. ;)

Edited by Jainarayan
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Well what I've learned about mantra is to not let it strain your mind..

 

You can do this by chanting; whether inside your mind or outside with your voice.

 

So having said that: do the mantra for as long as you feel comfortable and then stop or switch to a new mantra as soon as you feel strain.. you can keep performing the mantra in your mind and take it with you through out the day.. just do it for whenever you think of it.. then let it go.. and pick it up the next time you think of it..

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First of all, It is not the chanting that was described as the best (or most effective practice) for Kaliyuga, but it is the 'Namasmarana' -- 'the (constant - ever present awareness or )  remembrance of the name of Gods (or one's Ishta -- favorite Deity or object of worship).  This practice helps to be mindful of one's object of worship or deity all the time and to build a single pointed devotion towards the same.  Where does this practice originate? Namasmarana or even chanting is practiced from Vedic times and has some place in all scriptures of the Sanatana Dharma.  Where does the idea that this practice is the best for Kaliyuga  originate from, is it from ISKCON as stated by some above?  No, this idea does not originate from Iskcon.  Namasmarana or Chanting as the most effective method of worship for Kali yuga comes from Puranas, that are part of the canon of Hindu scriptures.  I will get to Puranas in a bit.  Iskcon may follow chanting as one of their primary practice.  But, this idea did not come from them.  The origins of Namasmarana or chanting aslo has nothing to do with Iskcon or their Krishna mantra in particular, it was there for a very long period before Iskcon or even Sri Chaitanya.   I can understand why some do not like Iskcon or it's philosophies or practices.  But, none of this has any sort of relevance to the original question on this topic.  Iskcon has its plus and minus like any other religious organization out there.   I will leave it at that.

 

Chanting is just one of the methods to practice Namasmarana.   There are numerous other ways or methods to practice Namasmarana.  The basic idea of this practice is to build single or one pointed intense devotion or love towards God (one's deity) or object or worship.  Such single pointed devotion can act as a meditation in its own right and cut through all karmas or obstructions.  To illustrate the effectiveness of Namasmarana as a practice, there are many examples of great sadhus and saints that attained realization through this practice.  Starting with Hanuman from Ramayana who practiced the constant remembrance and chanting of his beloved deity Rama, there are several others including Radha, Sant Kabir, Tulasi Das, Andal, Nandi, Chaitanya, Arunagirinatha.  The list can go on.  

 

Getting back to the origins, as stated this idea of most effective practice for Kaliyuga originated from the Puranas that are part of scriptures.  The Hindu scriptures are made up of Shruti (Vedas -- that were heard or revelations), Smriti (Upavedas, Dharma Sutras, etc.), Itihasas (Historical accounts such as Ramayana and Mahabharata) and Puranas (Stories or events that happened long time back, but the morals are considered to be still relevant today).  The Itihasa and Puranas decodify the other scriptures and explain with illustrations and stories -- showing how to apply the lessons from Sruti (vedas) and Smriti in the daily lives.  The Puranas are comprehensive and they play a key role in illustrating and explaining the core scriptures. There are 18 major Puranas that are voluminous and over 100 smaller ones.  Sri Veda Vyasa is the one who compiled the Vedas into 4, wrote commentaries such as Brahma Sutras.  He is also credited as the author of the Mahabharata and the 18 major Puranas.  This practice of namasmarana also is not specific (or owned by) any one tradition such as Vaishnava or Shaiva traditions.  There are numerous examples to illustrate this (namasmarana is universal to all traditions) from various major puranas such as Bhagavat, Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Devi (Shakti) Bhagavat Purana, Vishnu Purana, etc.  In the southern Shaiva traditions, there are the 63 Nayanmars (63 great devotees of Shiva), many of whom followed Namasmarana and chanting as the primary method of worship.  So, are the 12 Alwars (12 great devotees of Vishnu) from the southern Vaishnava traditions, all of whom practiced this.  There are several Devi's (Shakti) devotees also, who practiced namasmarana.

 

It is these Puranas that illustrate the glory of Namasmarana (or chanting) as a practice and state that it is the most effective practice for the Kali Yuga.  Chanting has been there from Vedic times, but it was not the primary method of worship during the vedic times.  In fact all the scriptures of sanatana dharma are chanted.  Including the 4 vedas, smrithis and even Bhagavad Gita, which happens to be part of the Ithihasas.  During the Vedic times, the Yagna or havan (fire rituals) was the primary method of worship.  Michael has explained the yugas really well above.  Starting with the Satya yuga, the most effective practice as described for the first yuga was Tapas or performing Austerities for a long period of times.  Even the Asuras (demons or demi gods) were described to be performing lengthy austerietes to attain powers in this yuga.  In Treta yuga,the Yagna or Havans (fire rituals) were the primary method of worship.  This is described as the most effective method of worship for Treta yuga.  In the Dwapara yuga that followed, Puja (Ritual worship with flowers, mantra, etc.) was described as the most effective method of worship.  In the end, Kali yuga where the relative lifespan of humans is supposed to be shorter compared with other yugas for various reasons, the Namasmarana or just to be in the constant remembrance of God (or one's deity or object or worship) is said to be the most effective method of worship.  The other methods are not discredited, or said not to be effective.  It is stated, this is enough and this is more effective than others.

 

If we look at this carefully, we can also see that the evolution has played a role in the way worship or spiritual practices have evolved over the millennia.  Starting with tapas (or austerities) performed for years, decades or lifetimes in the first yuga, it became a little easier with Yajnas (elaborate fire ceremonies) in the second yuga.  It got more easier and accommodating in the third yuga with puja (ritual worship with flowers, chanting, etc.) as the preferred method of worship.   So, it is logical in a way to simplify further concluding, the constant awareness of one's deity or object of worship (God) can also be effective for our times.  The evolution of Vedic community vs. the emergence of Tantra and Tantric community has also played a huge role in the changes that happened in the society, including the method of worship.  There was no deity or idol worship during the Vedic times (Puja as performed these days was in essence not a Vedic ritual in many ways).  The Gods were invoked and worshipped only on fire ceremonies or Yagnas before this period.  With the emergence of Tantra, came the idol or deity worship and the Temples and elaborate rituals associated with them.

 

It makes sense that one does not (necessarily) need to engage in tapas or elaborate rituals in order to invoke Gods or deities -- connect, interact or pray to them.  Not that they are not effective or don't have their own place in the worship or the religion.  Depending on their preference and what they see as best, there are those who still engage in tapas (or austerities) for years and decades, many of the elaborate fire rituals or yagnas are still performed, the temples and pujas still remain one of the primary method of worship these days, along with the chanting, namasmarana, etc.  Anyway, to answer the question, this is how the method of worship has evolved over time in the Hindu religion.  The topic asked someone to elaborate and I did,  hope this helps :)

 

Edited by s1va
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even our scriptures, have laid tremendous emphasis on the sadhana of Namasmarana as mean of securing all that is worthwhile in the here and hereafter.

The Aditys Purana declarers :- "Singing of the Name of Hari will fetch in this life virtue, destroy all sins, bestow all one's desires, in this life and in after life lead to Moksha."

The Brahamanand Purana explains the Power of the Name:- "All the fourteen Lokas cannot commit as much sin as what a single Name of God can destroy."

The Vishnu Purana considers the people of Kali Yuga luckiest, for through Namasmarana they can attain what people in Krita could get through contemplation, in Treta through Yaga and in Dwapara through Puja.

In the Padma Purana Lord Shiva Himself Promises:- ­"The direct vision of God Himself to any sadhaka who incessantly repeats the Name."

In the Adi Purana Lord Krishna says :- "I do not dwell in Vaikuntha, or in the hearts of Yogins. I stand there where my devotees sing My Name.‚ÄĚ

Tbe Upanishads have stated :- 'Poojakotisamam stotram, strotrs kotisama Japah'. That is equal to crores of strotras, which are themselves crores of times more potent than the Pooja of the Lord.

Even the Sukhmani - the holy book of the Sikhs considers the praising of the Name as the highest of all practises for it simultaneously slakes the desires of the restless mind and imparts an all seeing vision. Death loses its terror and Nama helps the soul through the valley of death.

Sri Chaithanya Mahaprabhu, that harbinger of Light and Love, that greatest exponent of Bhakti, in a beautiful poem says √Ą "O Children of men ! I too sea¬≠rched from end to end I searched; I did not find ! Then with Nama, the Nama alone, I went into the heart and then I saw the Beloved."
 

 

This article has actual scriptural references from Puranas and Upanishads about Namasmarana. (  From Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings on Namasmarana, The Supreme Sadhana. )

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On 1/2/2018 at 0:22 PM, dmattwads said:

Anyway the reason I brought up this topic and the reason I posted in the Hindu section is as follows.... For several years now my primary practice has been Buddhist meditation. While doing it I enjoy it though after repeated observation over a length of time I began to notice that a little after doing Buddhist meditation I would feel anxious or agitated or unpleasant in some other way. I don't think this is the case with most people but it does seem to be the case with me. I did experience a lot of childhood trauma so I don't know if that is a factor or not. I'm actually quite disappointed that this seems to be the pattern as I have enjoyed Buddhist meditation. The reason for posting this in the Hindu section is that I found that first of all Hindu mantras seem to help me deal with the unpleasant side effects after meditation and when I do mantras as a stand alone practice for what ever reason I don't seem to experience the after effects as I do from meditation. I was hoping someone might be able to shed some light on this.

 

I went through something very similar to what you have described with meditation practices.  While doing it I used to enjoy and go into deep states easily, however like how you mentioned, I would observe later, unease, agitation, a low level irritability and several other unpleasant things.  Many times they were overwhelming.  Yes, this is not the case with most people.  I was really frustrated with this problem for over a decade.  Not just with Buddhist meditation, this happened with any type of deep meditation practice that I undertook.  The reason why the mantra chanting did not produce the same after effects in your case, is not because it is Hindu mantras vs. Buddhist practice.  But, japa or chanting is a milder in clearing or removing the karmic obstructions vs. meditation practices.

 

When we meditate, we are in some ways bringing the subconscious things to the conscious layer.  Or untangling stored karmas, that are to do endured later, bringing them into the surface, to resolve them in the now.  Sometimes, things can get overwhelming with this.  In certain people, I am not sure because of higher sensitivity, this process of untangling or bringing things from subconscious to the conscious, brings way more things than the person can handle at the current moment resulting in unpleasant outcomes.   In some, even a small intervals of deep meditation can bring out huge stuff into surface and cause a wide range of unpleasant things -- for whatever reason.  I was one of those affected by this.  This can be disappointing, not able to meditate consistently.

 

All of this changed for me over the years.  Most of my waking time is naturally in a meditative state these days.  I can also do meditation as practice for any length I want without encountering issues these days.  What changed?  Many things and I went through some dramatic transformations in the past year.  Anyway, the best thing that helped me with this, is in Merging and the guru yoga, thread Jonesboy has described, how some can share silence with others.  I would suggest reading through this thread and ask any questions that you have, either there or here.  There are group meditations also led by certain people, who can share their presence, being part of this can help alleviate some of the issues, (right away in some).  This is something you might definitely want to try and see if it helps you.  Since I have gone through what you have described, I can say it helped me in big ways.  I was hesitating to share this here for certain reasons.  Then, I decided I had to, knowing this can help someone.  Good Luck.

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This was my gut feeling as well that meditation was digging up too much, too quickly. A couple weeks ago I did the Zhunti mantra extensively and had a similar experience. Considering the purpose of the Zhunti mantra is to purge karma as well it seemed to confirm to me this was the problem again. 

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1 minute ago, dmattwads said:

This was my gut feeling as well that meditation was digging up too much, too quickly. A couple weeks ago I did the Zhunti mantra extensively and had a similar experience. Considering the purpose of the Zhunti mantra is to purge karma as well it seemed to confirm to me this was the problem again. 

 

That makes sense.  In some yoga & meditation circles, they call this as overload.  The issues resulting from such (clearing) overload can linger for days, sometimes for weeks, if too much was undertaken in short period of time.  The challenging thing is, what is normal for most, can be too much for some resulting in such unpleasant outcome.  It is always best to take it easy, when it comes to practices.  Start slow with practices and gradually increase the times.

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On 1/31/2018 at 7:07 PM, s1va said:

 

That makes sense.  In some yoga & meditation circles, they call this as overload.  The issues resulting from such (clearing) overload can linger for days, sometimes for weeks, if too much was undertaken in short period of time.  The challenging thing is, what is normal for most, can be too much for some resulting in such unpleasant outcome.  It is always best to take it easy, when it comes to practices.  Start slow with practices and gradually increase the times.

 

This seems to be not unlike something I read a while back https://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-practice/mantra/om-chanting/ about using the pranava (om) to chant and meditate on. Since it is Brahman, one is meditating on that, the highest of all principles. This article says (and I've heard this before) if one is not spiritually adept or advanced enough, the energies may be too much. Not to mention that the goal is jnana and moksha, which one may not be ready for, or desiring at that point in their life.

Edited by Jainarayan
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5 hours ago, Jainarayan said:

 

This seems to be not unlike something I read a while back https://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-practice/mantra/om-chanting/ about using the pranava (om) to chant and meditate on. Since it is Brahman, one is meditating on that, the highest of all principles. This article says (and I've heard this before) if one is not spiritually adept or advanced enough, the energies may be too much. Not to mention that the goal is jnana and moksha, which one may not be ready for, or desiring at that point in their life.

 

Chanting or meditation on pranava (om) is considered different compared to chanting or meditation on other seed syllables or mantras.  There seems to be two set of opinions on this practice.  Generally, this is discouraged as you pointed out.  We are talking about the contemplation just on the pranava (om) as it is, without prefixing it to other mantras.  The prefixing is generally considered not only safe, but claimed to make other mantras safer than if they were used without the pranava prefix. 

 

I think the reason for concern with meditation  -- on (om) pranava -- is because of the potential resulting action.  There are seed syllable or sound associated with each of the chakras.  Chanting or meditation on these sounds are described to help with the opening of the associated chakra.  The chanting or meditation on pranava is associated with the opening of the crown chakra.  Some associate it with the opening of the 3rd eye.  Not everyone may be ready to open their crown chakra or even play around with it.  Going to the crown directly, when other important chakras such as heart is not open, can produce instabilities.  Hence the caution and warnings generally given with the chanting or meditation on the pranava. 

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15 hours ago, s1va said:

 

...The prefixing is generally considered not only safe, but claimed to make other mantras safer than if they were used without the pranava prefix. 

 

Most definitely agree! Come to think of it, I can't think of a mantra that doesn't have the pranava prefixed to it. Just a wild guess on my part that it is the prefixed pranava that makes a regular verse a mantra. If one wanted to compose a prayer using gayatri meter, it might only be a prayer unless it began with om, making it a mantra. I don't think people should make up their own mantras.

 

For example, there is no gayatri (that I found) for Nataraja. but if one does this:

natarajńĀya vidmahe

mahńĀdevńĀya dhimahi

tanno shiva pracodayńĀth¬†it is a prayer. But¬†

om¬†natarajńĀya vidmahe

mahńĀdevńĀya dhimahi

tanno shiva pracodayńĀth is a mantra. Just a wild guess.

 

Quote

 

I think the reason for concern with meditation  -- on (om) pranava -- is because of the potential resulting action.  There are seed syllable or sound associated with each of the chakras.  Chanting or meditation on these sounds are described to help with the opening of the associated chakra.  The chanting or meditation on pranava is associated with the opening of the crown chakra.  Some associate it with the opening of the 3rd eye.  Not everyone may be ready to open their crown chakra or even play around with it.  Going to the crown directly, when other important chakras such as heart is not open, can produce instabilities.  Hence the caution and warnings generally given with the chanting or meditation on the pranava. 

 

Ah ha! I didn't know about the chakra-opening part!  :)  

 

I see bija mantras all over the internet by writers saying "oh use this mantra for such-and-such deity to get such-and-such results. Yeah, well... I would not use a bija mantra unless initiated by a guru, which I do not have. I have also read that by prefixing maha to Kali's name, as in om sri mahakalikayai namah, as compared to om sri kalikayai namah should not be used by the uninitiated because it invokes her ugra form. Supposedly you can get more than you bargain for with her energies. 

Edited by Jainarayan
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Sadyojata, Vamdeva, Tatpurusha & Aghora are the four faces,

The fifth is Ishana, unknowable even to the seers

 

Shiva_Pashupati.jpg

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43 minutes ago, 9th said:

 

Shiva_Pashupati.jpg

 

Pashupati! Shiva, Lord of Animals. One whom I pray to for animal welfare. A little something I composed (well ok, I found the core of it and tweaked it):

 

O Pashupati, Lord of Animals, You have given us care over all living things; protect and bless the animals who give us companionship and delight, make us their true friends and worthy companions.

 

Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death.

 

We entreat for them all Your mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. May those who abuse, abandon, mistreat and neglect our animal friends know your fierce justice. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to receive your blessings. ŗ•ź

 

Image may contain: outdoor
 
om pashupataye vidmahe
mahadevaya dhimahi
tanno shiva prachodayath
 
"Om Let me meditate on the Lord of Animals
May the Great God give me greater intelligence
May Shiva enlighten my mind."
 
om pashupataye namaha
 
"Reverence to the Lord of Animals."
 
Gods know we need it to treat animals better. 
Edited by Jainarayan
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1 hour ago, Jainarayan said:

 

Most definitely agree! Come to think of it, I can't think of a mantra that doesn't have the pranava prefixed to it. Just a wild guess on my part that it is the prefixed pranava that makes a regular verse a mantra. If one wanted to compose a prayer using gayatri meter, it might only be a prayer unless it began with om, making it a mantra. I don't think people should make up their own mantras.

 

For example, there is no gayatri (that I found) for Nataraja. but if one does this:

natarajńĀya vidmahe

mahńĀdevńĀya dhimahi

tanno shiva pracodayńĀth¬†it is a prayer. But¬†

om¬†natarajńĀya vidmahe

mahńĀdevńĀya dhimahi

tanno shiva pracodayńĀth is a mantra. Just a wild guess.

 

 

Sorry, I can't agree with the part about mantras being prayer unless they are prefixed with om.  This is not accurate.  In fact, the prefixing of the OM (pranava) to mantra came at the later time, after the Rig vedic time and probably after the (Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas also).

 

If you actually see the original Rig vedic verses, the mantras are not prefixed with pranava in most of the places.  This is the same with yajur veda and others.  What is a mantra by definition? All verses in the 4 Vedas are considered as mantras.  To put it in another way, for any sound or word to be accepted as mantra, it should have occured on one of the 4 Vedas.  Slokhas are prayers that occur outside the Vedas (Vedas contain Samhitha and Upanishads),  such as in Sutras, Ithihasas or Puranas.  For instance Vishnu Sahasranama is very potent form of Sloka or prayer.  It contains mantras from Vedas, but it is not considered a mantra by itself.  For another example, let's look at the Sri Rudram, which is very popular from Yajur Veda.   This praises Shiva or (Rudra) with his names and his glories.  The entire Sri Rudram is mantra and chanting is said to bring so many benefits.  We see the pranava or 'om' added at the start of rudram and in few places these days.  In original yajur vedic text, one won't find pranava anywhere.

 

The most famous panchakshara mantra of shiva is made of 5 syllables, hence the name pancha-akshara-mantra.  There is no pranava in this mantra.  That mantra is Na-ma-si-va-ya (Nama-Sivaya).  It is one of the most powerful mantras from the veda that occurs in Sri Rudram.  Some people add the 'om' to it these days, that will make it a 6 syllable mantra against it's name of panchakshara.  I read that Sri Rudram occurs in the geometric center of the 4 vedas, and this panchakrasha mantra of Shiva occurs on the geometric center of Sri Rudram, therefore this mantra is considered the heart of Vedas.

 

The actual Gayathri mantra, does not only have pranava or 'om  part of it, even the vyahruthi (Bur, Bhuva, Svaha) is also not part of the original Gayathri mantra as it occurs in Vedas.  It was later added by Maharishi Vishwamitra.  The Original Gayathri  (Savitr) for moksha, is a 24 akshara mantra, that starts from 'tat....  pracho...t.  The original powerful Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, "Trayambakam ....  Urvarukam ... tat.', does not contain pranava either.  But, the original is considered very potent, and there were reasons, why the pranava and vyahruthi was added later.

 

This may sound surprising.  This is a complicated topic.  I am sorry, it is not my intention to debate with you.  I am also not saying it is wrong to chant Gayathri with the pranava or the vyahruthi (Bur, Bhuva, Svaha).  It is best to chant mantras as one was initiated on them.  I chant Gayathri with the pranava and Vyahruthi.  If you need more information, I can point out some resources or you can do your own research to find what I am stating pranava is accurate.  My astrology teacher has written about this extensively on his book.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, s1va said:

 

Sorry, I can't agree with the part about mantras being prayer unless they are prefixed with om.  This is not accurate.  In fact, the prefixing of the OM (pranava) to mantra came at the later time, after the Rig vedic time and probably after the (Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas also).

 

I believe you, that's why I said it's just a guess on my part. It was just a wild-ass guess. ;) 

 

Quote

 

If you actually see the original Rig vedic verses, the mantras are not prefixed with pranava in most of the places.  This is the same with yajur veda and others.  What is a mantra by definition? All verses in the 4 Vedas are considered as mantras.  To put it in another way, for any sound or word to be accepted as mantra, it should have occured on one of the 4 Vedas.  Slokhas are prayers that occur outside the Vedas (Vedas contain Samhitha and Upanishads),  such as in Sutras, Ithihasas or Puranas.  For instance Vishnu Sahasranama is very potent form of Sloka or prayer.  It contains mantras from Vedas, but it is not considered a mantra by itself.  For another example, let's look at the Sri Rudram, which is very popular from Yajur Veda.   This praises Shiva or (Rudra) with his names and his glories.  The entire Sri Rudram is mantra and chanting is said to bring so many benefits.  We see the pranava or 'om' added at the start of rudram and in few places these days.  In original yajur vedic text, one won't find pranava anywhere.

 

The most famous panchakshara mantra of shiva is made of 5 syllables, hence the name pancha-akshara-mantra.  There is no pranava in this mantra.  That mantra is Na-ma-si-va-ya (Nama-Sivaya).  It is one of the most powerful mantras from the veda that occurs in Sri Rudram.  Some people add the 'om' to it these days, that will make it a 6 syllable mantra against it's name of panchakshara.  I read that Sri Rudram occurs in the geometric center of the 4 vedas, and this panchakrasha mantra of Shiva occurs on the geometric center of Sri Rudram, therefore this mantra is considered the heart of Vedas.

 

The actual Gayathri mantra, does not only have pranava or 'om  part of it, even the vyahruthi (Bur, Bhuva, Svaha) is also not part of the original Gayathri mantra as it occurs in Vedas.  It was later added by Maharishi Vishwamitra.  The Original Gayathri  (Savitr) for moksha, is a 24 akshara mantra, that starts from 'tat....  pracho...t.  The original powerful Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, "Trayambakam ....  Urvarukam ... tat.', does not contain pranava either.  But, the original is considered very potent, and there were reasons, why the pranava and vyahruthi was added later.

 

This may sound surprising.  This is a complicated topic.  I am sorry, it is not my intention to debate with you.  I am also not saying it is wrong to chant Gayathri with the pranava or the vyahruthi (Bur, Bhuva, Svaha).  It is best to chant mantras as one was initiated on them.  I chant Gayathri with the pranava and Vyahruthi.  If you need more information, I can point out some resources or you can do your own research to find what I am stating pranava is accurate.  My astrology teacher has written about this extensively on his book.

 

 

Good info, thanks. :) 

 

No, I don't see it as a debate at all... just more information to learn. Btw, I chant the Gayatri Mantra as you do. I'm not initiated, but nowadays virtually everyone and anyone is said to be able to chant it.

Edited by Jainarayan
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