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A man's quest for knowledge and power distinguishes him from other living creatures on earth. And this eternal search led to the evolution of primitive man and to his subsequent great civilization. Whereas Man's scientific discoveries and advancements are a relatively recent phenomenon, his earlier forays into the world of knowledge were through religion, or spiritual practices, or through witchcraft. These ancient rituals were practiced almost all over the world in different forms. In India, the science of Mantras and Yantras has been practiced since the Vedic times. What are Mantras and Yantras? Why are they known as the signs of power? How can these be used for improving one's lot and influence the course of events and destiny is what we propose to discuss.

The word Mantra means 'thought form' -- the image in our mind. And by giving it a 'word' or 'words' and reciting it, this 'thought-form' or 'image' becomes 'alive'. These sacred utterances used in worship are called Mantras.

The Knowledge of Mantra
The Mantras represents subtle forms or bodies of things and are permanent, indestructible formulas from which the impermanent physical forms can always be derived. There is no limit to human power and anything that human mind can conceive can ultimately be realized by him. There are men who are great visionaries, who first conceive of an idea, and then work towards its fruition -- whether such person are scientist, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, or seers. Here we shall try to restrict to the practice of  Mantras and  to the  followers of the occult. Mantras essentially represent a deity an image of the cosmic force. This subtle energy gets activated through the recitation of the mantras. Mantra is a bridge that links the worshippers and the worshipped. Hence Mantra is the essential mode of worship and it also becomes the most effective tool for magic. Whether it is the call of a muezzin to the faithful or the ringing of the bells in a church or a temple or chanting of the Mantra, the sound itself lifts the believer towards the higher self. These sound elements of language are permanent entities, independent of the evolution of language, and are of everlasting significance. The Tantrics attribute to them as having independent existence and describe them as possessing life and power.

The power of Mantras
Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness. They give us the power to

  1. Communicate with spirits
  2. Cure diseases
  3. Exorcise devils
  4. Ward off evils
  5. Attain liberation
  6. Influence others
  7. Gain wealth
  8. Acquire supernatural powers
  9. Worship a deity for exalted communion and for attaining blissful state.

The recitation of Mantra
In the recitation of Mantras the sound is very important. Sound can bring transformation in man while leading him to power and strength. In fact it wouldn't be wrong to state that the sound is power. Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe or fear, and so on.

The State of Mind
It is important that one must have faith in what one believes in. Whatever spiritual method one may choose, it is primarily through faith aided by trained will and imagination, that one achieves one's objectives. A sound body, and claim mind are essential for the attainment of spiritual goal. Hence, the practitioner of Mantras needs to be a practitioner of yoga, physical exercise and meditation to attain calmness of the mind. Once you are free from all worries and have achieved stability in your mind and body, you will derive maximum benefit through the recitation of Mantras. You must have a definite object in view and strong imagination fired with the vision of the thing desired, and then direct your will to achieve the goal.

Aum: The Power of the Cosmic
As stated earlier, that whatever be your faith, or religion, it is your belief and concentration on the object desired that will bring success. In Hinduism, Aum is the basic Mantra. In fact it is the source of every Mantras. It is made of three letters, 'A', 'U', 'M', representing the trinity or the three tendencies-- the revolving, the cohesive and the destructive. In cosmology-- the three qualities that are envisaged are the centripetal--attraction--i.e. attraction towards the center the centrifugal--force i.e. moving away from the center, and their equilibrium, from which originate the revolving impulse and the movement of all spheres.

'A' represents the revolving tendency (rajas), the state of wakefulness, the power of action, also known as Brahma.
represents the cohesive tendency, power of concentration, ( sattva), the power of thoughts also known as Vishnu.
represents the disintegrating tendency, the dark void (tamas), the state of sleep, the power of consciousness, also known as Shiva.

In common parlance, we understand these qualities as Sattvic, Rajasic, and Tamasic. Aum is also believed to represents Cosmic Energy or Cosmic Being, pervading space, time and forms. The recitation of this mantra, leads to mental peace, liberation from bondage and it leads to a blissful state.