By Narinder Kaur
“Just see how powerful a mantra can be. All the stars and the Universe are very powerful, I am not disagreeing with the powers. But, by chanting a mantra, just see how powerful you can be.”
Mantra can find you. It may come subtly, like a note slid under the door, but vibrated boldly, it can rearrange an essence. It is to be experienced, not just studied or memorized. It is ancient and futuristic. Its power invites reverence.
On an especially dark night just before morning, weeping into my sheepskin, locked in my mind, mantra found me again. Thankfully, my soul knew to reach out for this key being offered—a mantra that would free me from the prison of misconception. It was a visceral feeling of what to do next: find a particular song my teacher used to play in class many years ago.
I searched through my music and found the recording. It was Guru Ram Das Rakho Sarnaaee with Mata Mandir Singh’s music, a tune I knew well, though I didn’t know the meaning of the mantra.
Stumbling over the sounds as though fumbling with a lock, I slowly began to chant with clarity. Chanting the mantra clearly, the right combination was matched and the door of my mind swung open. The spirited hand of Guru Ram Das pulled me back up to my dignity and embraced me with pure Love.
The sun rose.
Later that day I looked up the translation of the mantra. The poem spoke to me about drinking the poison of illusion, and that calling out to Guru Ram Das for sanctuary would be the antidote. Even when I didn’t know the meaning of the sounds, my being understood the vibrations and I found golden stillness.
I now know the power of mantra well and am in deep gratitude for the chance to know it.
When teaching mantra, I try to spare technical explanation. I’d rather spend time giving students the chance to hold the sounds and guide them to their own powerful experience. The sacred science of Naad Yoga is True. A teacher can listen with a subtle ear to the students learning the vibrations.
He or she can then hear when the key has been duplicated. This is when the mantra has gone from thoughtful attempts to inward knowing. It is a great joy to hear stories from students of how they used mantra and what happened when they did. We smile together and are happy to share thankfulness.
One of the first mantras I pass on to new students is the Mangala Charan mantra. It gets a lot of positive feedback. It has a cadence that sets quickly in the memory. It will open many doors by projection and also lock doors for protection. It is so empowering! What an honor to get to pass on these teachings.
And, always, Sat Nam: the seed mantra of Kundalini Yoga. When it links with the breath we no longer need to search. It is the master key, so perfectly fitted to unlock any destiny. We are so blessed by it.
We don’t need to understand how mantra works, we don’t need to know the meaning of the sounds with our intellects. Mantra breaks the echoing thoughts in the dark before morning and its vibration reverberates the Infinite. The spirit in us confirms!
Narinder Kaur lives in Atlanta with her husband Brahamjot Singh. She is an artist, a Kundalini Yoga teacher, and a Home Funeral Guide. www.twocrowsyoga.com