The Magic of Words and Sound

There is a further basic power of the magicians that you must now study. It is called Mantra-Yoga, and is considered an important part of Yoga teaching which is concerned with the use of words and sounds in magical manifestations.

Incantations have always had a part in magical practice, much of which is based on superstition, but the Yogis in the performance of Mantra-Yoga look behind the surface usage of words and verses as "charms" calculated to work wonders, and search out the true scientific principles underlying the use of words and sounds in a magical way. In Mantra-Yoga they offer careful instruction in the efficient employment of such words and sounds for the purpose of obtaining the most powerful psychological results that influence.

As a magician initiate you must learn of Mantra-Yoga.

Mantrams hold two meanings to the Hindus, one that is religious and one that is magical. The latter pertains to our particular interest in this book. The occult definition of mantrams alludes to: "A definite succession of sounds, repeated over and over again in succession, which synchronizes the chitta or 'mind stuff " or "A series of words uttered rhythmically for the purpose of concentrated meditation."

Throughout all history, "the spoken word" has held a prominent place in ceremonies of magic. The masses interpret such as being in the nature of charms and incantations possessing magical power in themselves, but the inner magical teaching shows their true power to be mainly psychological in nature. "Affirmations" in magic affirm the power of the spoken word, and have been used by mystics for ages. It is a complicated subject, yet an important one to the magician, so I asked Sadhu Parimal Bandu to explain the matter in relation to the magic of India. These are the Avatar's comments:

"I will give you a variety of concepts from which you may draw knowledge of this subject. Look again upon the chitta, as the stilled lake of mind-stuff, ready for pulsation to come upon its surface, and hear in words and sounds their

A teeming market in a village in India. In places such as this is seen the wonderful native magic of India.

Performing magicians in India. These are the famous Banjara mystifiers of Andhra Pradesh, who are extremely popular in India.

basic vibration which can form ripples upon the lake. As soon as that sound enters your ears, there is a corresponding wave of the vrittis produced in your chitta along with that sound of the word. Let us say that the wave of vrittis in the chitta represents the idea of a 'cow,' the form or meaning as you know it. That apparent 'cow' that you know is really that wave in the chitta or mind-stuff, and that comes as a reaction to the internal and external sound vibrations, and with the sound waves dies away.

"Or it can be expressed this way, in looking upon mantras as a series of words uttered rhythmically. Such series of words are developed formula which have been worked out by the Hindu masters, and the effect of these words on the body is to produce a certain result. The power of these words seems to create a sort of rhythm in the body which is quite remarkable. And, if I were to speak along the line of a western psychologist, I can add, also, that words, in themselves, have a power, meaning, suggestive and/or autosuggestive effect upon the mental states; the aroused mental state then producing the decided effect upon the body. In many cases, the virtue is found not to abide alone in 'the spoken word,' but rather in the mental state aroused by the latter.

"I will likewise call your attention to the fact that your being is restless; it is in constant motion, and every vibration of the being produces a corresponding change in the consciousness. The mantram provides a way to check the constant vibration of being into unity, then consciousness may be stilled. Accordingly, look upon mantram as a mechanical way of stilling the body, and through the body the mind. In other words, instead of using mental powers, you save these for other purposes, and use mantram for stilling the being."

Here in these words of the Sadhu, you have the three fundamental secrets of the powers of mantrams, (1) in the vibratory elements of a certain cadence of sounds, and (2) in the suggestion/autosuggestion effects arising from the meaning of the words, which in creating certain mental states tend to set into operation the powers of the mind, (3) in a mechanical method of "stilling" the being. These are all important factors to an understanding of mantrams and the power of words in relation to successful magic.

It is interesting to observe that not only are mantrams found in Hinduism, but in Buddhism, in Roman Catholicism, and among the Moslems. In all of these widely divergent practitioners of mantrams, it is held that a mantram cannot be translated, for when the specific succession and order of the sounds, for which it has been designed, is altered, the mantram is destroyed. In this, we find an explanation of the importance of the correct handling and saying of "magic words," spells, and incantations by the magician if such are to be effective in some types of magics.

While mantras are frequently used in conjunction with religious ceremonies, there is nothing particularly religious about them. Mantra is a power which lends itself impartially to any use. Mantras have been used in many types of ceremonies, and in various types of magic from black to white. In relation to Yoga, it is an inspiring influence, and is expressed as being thought—movement vehicled—by and expressed—in speech. The Yogis say, "Mantras provide an objective means of arousing Kundalini. The substances of all mantras is feeling-consciousness."

In my personal study of mantrams, I am inclined to regard them as a sort of "energized thoughts" or "vitalized ideas" expressed in words charged with power. I fee 1 that it will be found that the essence of the powers of mantras will be recognized as being in the energized and vitalized thought or idea inherent in the words; the words themselves being but the form.

The vibrations are in the thoughts and feelings, not alone in the sounds, or form of the words. In music, the sounds, cadences and such forms of expression undoubtedly arouse feelings and emotion in us—there can be no doubt of that. But, is it not equally true that these sounds and musical measures are, in themselves, but representations in outward form of feelings and emotions which were previously in the souls of those who composed them. Ask yourself this question, "What do we mean when we say that a musician 'puts soul into his music,' or that a composer has 'expressed his soul' in his composition?"

I am sure you appreciate the point in this showing that the original essence and spirit of the mantrams, as of music, are in the mind, feelings, or soul of the human being who designed them. Thus, these words, phrases, verses, sounds when repeated in mantrams and heard by other persons tend to arouse and awaken similar and corresponding feelings, emotion and mental states in them. All feelings, emotions, and other mental states have unquestionably a magic or psychical power. This magic or psychic power, aroused and directed by the mantras, is that power which some students seek to attribute directly to the vibration of the words.

Swami Vivekananda says, "Repeating the Vedas, and other Mantrams, by which the Sattva material in the body is purified, is called Svadhyaya. There are three sorts of repetitions of mantrams. One is called verbal; another semi-verbal; the third mental. The verbal or audible is the lowest, while the inaudible (mental) is the highest of all. The repetition which is so loud that anybody can hear it, is the verbal. The next one is where the vocal organs only begin to vibrate, but no sound is heard. One might say that this is verbal but of a type where another man sitting near cannot hear what is said. The third and highest is the mental repetition of the mantram, at the same time thinking of its meaning. This is called 'mental muttering' and is of great power."

There is profound knowledge in the above statements, audible mantram being placed in the lowest classification, partially audible mantram in the intermediate, and mentally repeated mantram in the highest. The concept is obviously that the real virtue of mantrasuabides in the thought, feeling, and idea rather than in the mere verbal form or sound expressing them.

Of the verbalized Hindu mantrams, the paramount form is expressed in the syllable, "OM!" This is regarded as a highly sacred mantra, and I will have more to say about it in a moment. Other sacred matras used in India are "Om, Tat, Sat Om" meaning "0 Thou Self-existent One," and "Tat Avam Asi" meaning "That Thou Art."

The Buddhists, in like manner, have their favorite mantram in their familiar "Om Mani Padme, Hum" meaning "Oh, Jewel of the Lotus, Amen." The Mohammadens have their sacred mantram in "La Allah ilia Allah" meaning "Allah is the only God." And in relation to religious mantras, the "Hail Mary" of the Catholic Church has high reverence.

The sacred syllable of "Om" is considered by the Hindus to be the mantram of mantrams. They regard it in reverence in Mantra-Yoga, and state, "The manifesting word of the supreme Purusha is Om!" There is a mantram termed the Gayatri which is a holy verse from the Vedas, it reads: "We meditate upon the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds." To this Gayatri, the syllable, "Om" is joined at the beginning and the end.

Yogis in the practicing of Pranayama will repeat three Gayatris, beginning and ending with the syllable, "Om"—using certain symbolical words, instead of counting "one, two, three, four, five, six" in pranayama breathing. In your own practice of Pranayama, it is well that you join the mental repetition of the word "Om" to the Pranayama. Let the sacred word flow in and out with the breath, rhythmically and harmoniously. It will add a rhythm to your being.

Sadhu Bandu, says, "Around this word 'Om' are centered all the different religious sects of India, and all of the various religious ideas expressed in the Vedas are gathered in this one word. It has around it various significances, which can be accepted by everyone, east or west. Remember, one moment of company with that which is Holy makes a ship to cross the ocean of life. So in the repetition of'Om' and thinking of its meaning, you are keeping good company in your mind. Study and then meditate, and meditate when you have studied. Thus light will come to you, and the self will become manifest. One must think of this 'Om' and its meaning too; the first manifestation of this repetition and thinking of "Om" will be that the introspective power of your mind will be manifested more and more, and all mental and physical obstacles will begin to vanish."

You will note that the Sadhu emphasized the "thinking of the meaning" of the mantram, in connection with its repetition. All through the study of Mantra-Yoga is found the inevitable combination of repetition and thinking, which is the inner secret of the use of mantrams.

It is not to be wondered at that, that the sacred mantram of "Om" (pronounced "AUM") will have a most powerful psychological effect upon the mind of anyone understanding the significance of the thought expressed in the term. It expresses the thought of the One Supreme Power in the Universe, which is held to be mirrored in the soul of the individual just as the Sun is mirrored in the falling rain-drops or in the drops of dew gathered upon the leaf of the Lotus. It is held that meditation upon this ONE in Om will bring the light in the dew drop in touch with the light of the Sun. The mantram of mantras will arouse mind, thought, emotion, feeling, and will to their highest stages of power, all of which are objectives of the magician. It brings into being the psychical energies of man.

Ohashnuhara, in teaching of Yoga, writes, "In the pronunciation of'Om' as 'AUM' the effect will be found to be instantaneous and little short of magical. The vibration of this sound arouses the body, setting the whole system atingle until the polarization of the body is altered, and, of course, purification from an occult standpoint is achieved.

"The vibrations aroused are so powerful that they shut out all self-influence, attracting the finer and purer influences, sounds and vibrations which will awaken the occult forces possessed by the student, making him a new

Ritual to the Lord Rama during the Diwali Festival (The Festival of Lights). Every home is lit up with little oil lamps. It is an occasion for great rejoicing, and marks both the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after fourteen years in exile in the forest and the beginning of the new year.

and infinitely more powerful being; the power to attract good from all things and to find good in all things.

"But I must warn, do not pronounce the sacred word except when your thoughts are pure and your desires are holy, and never utter it in flippant company. Remember, the sound when working in the harmonious, builds, but when working in the inharmonious tends to destroy. Everything that is pure is harmonious and attracts the good; while that which is impure is inharmonious and attracts the opposite pole."

As has been mentioned, the correct pronunciation of the Hindu Sacred Mantram is always "Aum." The "Aum" sound consisting of three sound-elements, each shading into the one following it, the last sound being a decreasing hum. The "Ah" shades into the "Oo," and the latter dies away in the decreasing and long-drawn-out final "Mmmm" or humming sound proceeding from the closed lips. The combined sound is that of "Ahhh-oooo-mmmmm." The mantram is best sounded by the exhaling breath of a cycle of rhythmic breathing. The breath, however, should be exhaled through the mouth, instead of the nostrils.

As Sadhu Parimal Bandu explained it, "OM (Aum) is a fundamental sound. The first letter, A, (pronounced 'Ah') is the root sound, the key, pronounced without touching any part of the tongue or palate. The second letter, U, (pronounced 'Oo') rolls from the very root of the end of the sounding board of the mouth. The third and final letter, M, (pronounced 'Mmm') represents the final sound of the series, being produced through closed lips. The student should dwell upon the final M, making it vibrate in the throat like the hum of a bee, prolonging the sound for as long as he is able to do on the one inhalation. Thus OM (Aum) represents a large gamut of sound production by human beings. It may be considered as a matrix of speech, and denotes the basic sound foundation for a wide range of words that can be spoken."

In Yoga, the three letters of the sacred A-U-M signify the principles of the creation. A signifies preservation, U signifies destruction, and M signifies regeneration. To the Hindus, the Wayshowers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are represented in this. In the same manner of symbolism are the three-fold elements of Nature, as are also represented the three states of consciousness. The Yogi says that as the vibrations of the sacred word speed faster, he is carried in spirit to the divine centers of his being, the power of vibration pierces the material nature of his being, and by transition through his subjective mind it reaches the eternal principle within his heart and awakens it to life.

Of such is the Mantram of Mantras—the Sacred Word—the OM of the Yogis. It is submitted for your consideration, and it is suggested that one never lose sight of the fact that the inner element of the mantram is the thought or idea sought to be expressed in it; that is the"soul" of the power generated by it, the puter element or verbal form being merely the "shell" within which lies the kernal of the process. The power so evoked is "mental power," and not merely the physical power of sound-vibrations; the effective vibrations being mental vibrations, not physical ones. As mentioned, such is the inner secret of Mantra-Yoga.

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