What is Mantra Yoga?

An overview of Mantra Yoga the science of sound.

Those who are considering taking up a mantra practice often wonder how it works. The simplest answer to this would be: Practice and find out.

Yet it is evident that the modern mind differs radically from that of our predecessors. Earlier such practices were deeply rooted in the family traditions of every household, irrespective of the dharma or tradition they followed, irrespective of which part of the world they lived in.

Modern life has changed the traditional way of life rooted in daily routines and simple practices. Most highly educated and intelligent young people, who have lost touch with these old traditions and practices, are unwilling to consider these practices and rightly so, unless one can provide a convincing overview.

How Mantra Yoga works

Mantra Yoga, a branch of Tantra, is the science of sound. This sophisticated though esoteric science presents a practical aspect of understanding our world, its evolution and its structure. What sets it apart from most metaphysical philosophies is that it traces out not only the path of evolution from the subtle to the gross but also the process of dissolution i.e. the path travelling back from the gross to the subtle most, leading ultimately to the deep profound silence or the highest within.


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For example: Imagine you are walking along a river, slowly returning to its source.

What happens as you follow a large winding river? Initially the river is quiet. No sound. But as you continue back tracking, you will leave the plains and come to mountainous landscape. Here the river crashes down on rocks below; the river is loud.

What happens as you continue right up to the source? At the source the river springs forth from the depths of the earth, silently.

So it is with mantra meditation. The mantra is the sound we follow back to the source. Ultimately all seekers seek to return to the source. Mantra Yoga, the science of sound is the "highway" to the source. Following the sound one returns to That, from which all manifests.



Mantra Meditation and the Mind

The mantra takes us through the layers of the mind. In Yoga psychology the three levels of consciousness are:

  1. Vaisvanara: the conscious mind is also called the waking state
  2. Taijasa: the active unconscious mind or subconscious mind is also called the dream state
  3. Prajna: the latent unconscious mind or unconscious mind is also called the deep sleep state

The thoughts of the mind are like the waves of the river. The deeper feelings and emotions are the currents in the river. And the ancient impressions of the mind may be likened to the riverbed.

Mantra Meditation and the other shore

Consider the mantra to be a boat that takes you across the ocean of thoughts and ideas. It guides you through the storms of random images, deep feelings and old memories. It provides you with safe passage across the treacherous sea of ancient impressions. You have reached the other shore. Your mantra has accomplished its task.

Source Guide

Path of Fire and Light (Vol 2): A Practical Companion to Volume One


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