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Chapter6:Mantrams,Affirmations

Mantrams,Affirmations
Mantrams
1

ThepracticeofmantramyogaiswellknownthroughoutIndiaasamethodofsuppressing
thewanderingtendenciesofthemind.Amantram,usuallygivenbyaguruoradaptedby
oneselffromabook,isawordoraphraseorevenawholesentencewhichthe
practitionerchantstohimselforwhispersorevenmentallyuttersagainandagain.Some
Sanskritmantramsarequitemeaninglesssounds,whereasothersarefullofmetaphysical
orreligiousmeaning.Whichoneisuseddoesnotmatterfromthepointofviewof
acquiringconcentration,butitdoesmatterfromthepointofviewofdevelopingany
particularqualityofcharacterordevotionalhomagewhichthemantramsymbolizes.This
mentalorvocalrepetitionistobedoneperiodicallyandfaithfully.
2

TheuseofmantramsisnotpeculiartotheHindu.ItisstillfoundintheRomanand
EasternChurches,intheSuficirclesandtheLamaisticprayers.
3

Themantramisastatementinwordsorasymbolinpicturewhichdeclaressometruthof
higherbeing,law,attribute,andhelp,orremindsoneofamoralqualitytobepractised,or
actsasausefulselfhelpselfsuggestion.Thewordscanbetakenfromanyinspired
scripture,writer,orpoetorcanbequotationsfromaphilosopherofinsightandusedasan
invocationoraffirmation.Theyshouldbetimely,fittedtotheimmediatespiritualneedof
theperson.
4

TheMeditationofConstantRemembrance:
Afactorintheintegralpath,besidesmoralreeducation,towhichwehavenotgiven
enoughweightinpublishedwritingsindeedhavehardlymentionedisselfrecollection,
thefrequentremembranceoftheOverselfatalltimesofthedayandamidstallkindsof
situations.Suchremembrance,duringthelongintervalsbetweenformalmeditations,is
anintegralpartofthisquest.Abriefsacredformulaexpressedinaninvocationor
affirmation,called"mantram,"ismostusefulforthispurposeandisgiventhediscipleso
thathisremembranceisautomaticallyarousedwhenhabitcauseshimtorepeatitswords
constantlyandmentally.Themantramisahandydeviceforattractinghimtothis
remembranceandmakingitsachievementeasierandsure.Aconstanttechnique
throughoutthedayisusuallylackingintheknowledgeandpracticeofWesternseekers,
sotheyneedtolearnitsefficiencyanduse.Thelonghoursbetweenmeditationperiods
arewasted.Asasisterexercisetotheordinarymeditations,itwillbeusefultomany
studentswhilstasameanstoreplacethemforthosestudentswhofindformalmeditation
toodifficultortooinconvenient,itismostvaluable.Itisequivalenttothe"right
mindfulness"oftheBuddhisteightfoldpath,totheSufi"Dikr,"andtothe"correct
polarization"inmodernpsychology.
Inchoosingasuitableformulaforhisownuse,thestudentshouldbearinmindthatitis
notonlyremembrancethatisneeded,butlovingremembrance.Themantramforsuch
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repetitionmustnotonlyremindhimoftheOverselfbutattracthimtoit.Hence,itshould
beonethatinspiresdevotionandupliftscharacter.Itshouldembodyspiritualizing
thoughtandgatherennoblingemotionaroundit.Itmayconsistofasinglewordnameor
attributeofGodorofachosenspiritualguide,butitispreferableandmorepowerfulto
useaphraseofthreetotensyllables.ThismaybeaninvocationtoDivinity,ortothe
guide,orbeabeneficentautosuggestion.Itisbetter,however,toreceivesuchawordor
phrasefromaqualifiedteacheratapersonalinterview,forhewillnotonlychooseone
especiallysuitabletothestudent'sspiritualneedatthetimeandthereforeaptandforceful
butwillalsoimparthisownpowerintoit.
Theformulamustberepeatedmanytimesadayandeverydayintheyear.Yetitswords
shouldalwayscarryvividmeaningandneverbeallowedtobecomemereparrot
utterances.Thereisnofixedtimeandnoparticularposturenecessaryforthepractice.It
maybemutteredhalfaloudintheearlierstages,butshouldbecomesilentandmentalin
thelaterstages.
Thepurposes,benefits,andresultsofthispracticeareseveral:
l.Ithasanintellectualeffectbyactingasareminderorarouserinabusymateriallife.
Thus,thefirsteffectistoarousethought,thesecondistostillit.
2.Theconstantrepetitionhasamesmericeffect:itlullsthesensesandthoughtsinto
semiinactivityandsetstheattentionfreetopassinwardtowardthesoulandeventually
inducesthecontemplativemood.
3.Itdevelopsanacute,growingselfconsciousnessoftherightsort,aconstantobsessive
suggestionthatthereisahigherself.
4.Itleadstothenecessaryconcentration,whichisadoortoinnerconsciousness.
5.Itsrhythmicactivityalignsandthenintegratesthedifferentpartsofthepersonality.It
alsoremovestheirrestlessness.
6.Itgraduallyestablishessubconsciousorientationtowardsthehigherself,whichkeeps
onbreakingintotheconsciousfieldtothedetrimentofthelowerselfthusitgives
directiontothoughtandpurificationtocharacter.Itenablestheseeker,therefore,togoon
witheverydayexternalliving,knowingthatGodisworkinginhiminternally.
7.Itbecomesafocusforcontinuousconcentrationduringactivelife,evenwhilstengaged
inwork,pleasure,orwalking.
Forgetfulnessofthequest,oroftheOverself,besetsmostaspirants.Hereisavaluable
remedy.Itbringsthechosengoal,orthereveredideal,constantlybacktotheirattention.
5

Practisingmantramconsistsofrepeatingaselectedwordoverandover,soakingoneself
init.Therearethreestages:(a)chantingthewordoutloud(b)whisperingit(c)
repeatingitmentally.Then,whenrepetitionceases,allthoughtscease.Throughthis
constantconcentration,themantrambecomesabackdroptoone'sdailylife.Justasone
canhumatunewhileattendingtootheraffairs,sothemantrambecomesaneverpresent
accompaniment.Whenoneturnsfullattentionontoitandconcentratesfullyuponitand
thenstopsallthoughtsstop.Thisisthepurposeofthemantram.Thisresultmaytake
weeksormonths.
6

Therearethreetypesofmantrams:
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(a)themusical(orbhakti)mantram(forexample,"JaiRam").Themusicalintonationsin
repetitionofaword(ortwowords)createanalmosthypnoticeffectasinaGregorian
chantorRavel'sBolero.
(b)themeaningfulmantram.Oneselectsawordrepresentingaqualityonedesiresand
chantsitslowlytoabsorbitsmeaningonemeditatesonthewordandthemeaningofthe
word.Eventuallythemeaningfloodsgraduallyintooneandheidentifieswithit.
Example:"IamBeing."
(c)themeaninglessmantram.Ausefultechniqueforintellectualswhowishtosurmount
thebarriersoftheintellectistochooseawordwithoutapparentmeaning"Krim"or
"Ayin,"forexample.TheworditselfbecomesasymbolofThatwhichisbeyond
comprehension.Itenablesonetogobeyondboundariesofthefiniteintellecttorelateto
Thatwhichisinfinite.Agoodexampleis"Aum"pronounced"Aahooommm."The
firstletterrepresentsthewakingstate,thesecondthedreamstate,thethirddeepsleep,
withtheirwide,thennarrow,thenclosed,sounds.
7

JapaisamantramspecificallyrestrictedinmeaningtoanameofGod.Likeallmantrams,
itisconstantlyrepeated.ItisnotonlyonewayofprayerfulremembranceofGodbutalso
asimpleeasymethodofovercomingthemind'stendencytowanderaboutandtobringit
intoconcentration.Itcanalsobeassistedbyharmonizingitssyllableswiththeincoming
andoutgoingbreaths.
8

ThedifferencebetweenpracticeofJapaandpracticeofmantraisthattheformeruses
onlysacredwordsornamesbutthelattermayusenonsacred,secular,oreven
meaninglesswords.
9

Therepeatedinvocationofasacredname,withtrustinitssavingpower,eventuallykeeps
awayallotherthoughtsandthusfocusesthemindinakindofconstantmeditation.Inthe
earlierstagesitisthemanhimselfwholaboursatthisrepetition,butintheadvanced
stagesitistheOverself'sgracewhichactuatesithisownpartbeingquitepassiveand
mechanical.
10

Amantraisashortdynamicsayingtoberepeatedtooneselfincessantly.Themonotony
ofthisproceduredoesnot,asmightbeexpected,produceaboringeffectbutrathera
lullingonewhichispleasant.
11

Itusesonethoughtinordertotranscendallthoughts,asinglevibrationofthemindin
ordertoattainastillnessneverordinarilyknownbythemind.
12

Byrepeatingthesamewordsinthesamerhythmfrequentlyduringtheday,theweek,and
theyear,themind'sresistancetotheideaenshrinedinthosewordsisslowlyworndown.
Atimecomeswhennotonlydothewordsrepeatthemselveswithoutconsciouseffort,
butalsotheirmeaningimpressesitselfdeeply.
13

Thisrepetitionmethodmayseemsomewhatprimitiveandcrudetothesophisticatedor
educatedmodernmind,andquiteneedlesslyredundant.Butitisbasedonsound
psychologicalpractice.Itisanappealtothesubconscious,nottothelogicalmind.Its
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kindredisthelullabywhichamothersingsandwithwhichshesoothesherchildtosleep.
14

Youmaydeviseyourownformula,affirmation,oratraditionalmantram,ifyouwish,but
theuseofonespeciallypreparedbyaMasterpossessestestedmerit.
15

Afitsubjectforthemantrayogameditationexerciseistheseriesofwordsdescriptiveof
theOverself'sattributes.Onewordcouldbetakeneachday.
16

Theideaisthatthisrhythmicincantationwillopenanavenueofcommunionwiththe
Overself.
17

Afurthervalueofmantramyogaisthatitkeepsthepractiserfromthinkingabout
himself.Thetwothingsaspecificmantramandapersonalmattercannotcoexistinhis
consciousness.
18

IndianandTibetanyogisparticularlyvalueandusetheOmmantrambecausetheyare
taught,andbelieve,thatitssoundwasthefirstoneintheworldcreationandthatits
repetitionwillbringthemindbacktothestillnesswhichexistedbeforethatcreation.
19

Theyogicclaimisthatthisomomomomsoundiscosmicitisthekeynoteofthe
spinningglobesinspaceitisthehummingvibrationofalltheworlds.
20

Vivekananda:"Wecannowunderstandwhatismeantbyrepetition.Itisthegreatest
stimulusthatcanbegiventothespiritualsamskaras[tendencies].Onemomentof
companywiththeholybuildsashiptocrossthisoceanoflifesuchisthepowerof
association.SothisrepetitionofOmandthinkingofitsmeaningarethesameaskeeping
goodcompanyinyourownmind.Studyandthenmeditateonwhatyouhavestudied.
ThuslightwillcometoyoutheSelfwillbecomemanifest.ButonemustthinkofOm
anditsmeaningtoo."
21

Thefirstrevelationofthedivineworldissound.Beforebeholdingit,onehearsitwithan
innerear.ThenameofGodhasnotonlythepowerofeasilywashingawayallsin,but
canevenuntietheknotoftheheartandwakenloveofGod.TobeseveredfromGodis
theonlyrealsin.
22

Amantrambecomesmostworthwhilewhenitishearddeepdeepdowninthepractiser's
being.Itwillthenproducetheeffectofprofoundinnerabsorption.
23

WhenonewhoseAtmaniscompletelywakenedsingsthenameofGod,thishasthe
powerofwakingasleepingsoul.Whathappenstheniscalledinitiation.Bylistening
devotedly,whileanothersingsthename,andbysingingitoneself,one'sheartisledback
toitsrealnature,whichislove.
24

OMmeans"Iampartof(oronewith)theWorldSoul."
25
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Partofhisendeavourshouldbetosetuparhythmicrelationbetweenthemantramand
hisinnerbeing.Ifhefaithfullyattendstoitspractice,thetimewillcomewhenitwill
voiceitselfwithinhimatregulartimes,suchasafterwakingfromsleepandbefore
enteringintoit.
26

AUMischantedonaverylownoteandextendedonasingleindrawnbreath.
27

Themantra"ShantamParamSukham"means"Serenityisthehighesthappiness."
28

Donotkeepallyourattentionfixedonthechangingscenearoundyou.Holdsomeofit
backfortheWordwhich,inyourconsciousness,standsfortheSupremePower.
29

Tochantmantramsortoaffirmdeclarations,withoutlookingtothekindoflifehelives,
isnotenough.
30

TheyareknowninTibetasdharanis,literally"mysticalsentences,"andinIndiaas
mantrams,literally"sacredsyllables"or"sacredchants."
31

ThosemantramslikeHrim,Klim,andsoforth,whichhavenosignificanceatallmaystill
bemeditatedonuntilthemeditatorrealizesthroughthemthattheentireworld
appearanceisitselfwithoutsignificancebecauseoftheVoidnesswhichisitsreality.
32

TheearthlysoundofthenameofGodisonlyavesselfortheshadowoftheSpiritual
Sound.EventhisshadowhelpstoleadthehearttoGod.
33

Thecontinualpracticeofthemantramleadsintimetotheawakeningofhisspiritual
forces.Theyriseupspontaneouslyfromtheirdeeplyhiddensourcewithinhimandbegin
tosaturatehismindandoverwhelmhisego.
34

BothpoetTennysonandmedicoCrichtonBrownepassedintothestateofilluminationby
thesamemethodsilentlyrepeatingtheirownnametothemselves.
35

Allmantramsconstitutedbymeaninglessormysticalwordsareintendedtocreatea
mentalvacuum.
36

ThewordOmisnottheonlyonewhosesoundisusedbyOrientalstoquietenthemindin
meditationandthereforeclaimedasaholyword.TheChinesehaveusedCh'an,the
JapaneseZen,theHindusSoami,theArabsSufiforthesamepurpose.
37

Theeffectofthisconstantdwellingonthemantramistocometorestwithinthemoodof
mindorthestateofheartwhichitsymbolizes.
38

IfasagebeonewhoexistsconstantlyintheawarenessoftheOverself,thenmantramcan
beaShortPathtechniquetoemulatehisawareness.Byputtingthecartbeforethehorse
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andaimingatimitatingthesage'sawareness,wecancomeclosertohisstateofbeing.
39

Thevocalchantingofamantrambelongstotheelementarypracticeofit.Inthemore
advancedpractice,nothingisspokenaloudandthemantramissimplyheldinthemind
constantlyrepeatingitselfasathoughtbutathoughttowhichwekindoflistenandfrom
whichweseemtostandapartsothatithasitsowninnervitality.Thismakesagreat
differencefromthespokenpractice,becausethelatterkeepsthemantramfixedwhereas
theformerleavesitflexible.
40

Inthemantram"OmManiPadmeHum,"inhaleafterthefirstword.
41

"Hum"inthefamousTibetanmantramstandsfortheheart,whereasthefirstword"OM"
standsfortheinnerreality,theunseenpowerbehindallthings.
42

GandhioftenprescribedthecontinuousrecitationofGod'sname.Buthealways
emphasizedthatithadtobemorethanmerelipmovementithadtoabsorbthe
practitioner'sentirebeingthroughouttheperiodofexerciseandeventhroughoutlife.
Whilerepeatingtheword"God,"hehadtoconcentrateintenselyongodliness.
43

Whentheincantatorywordsofamantrabyconstantpracticebecomefullyactivated,the
mantrabecomesfullyautomaticandcirclesroundandroundinsidetheheadortheheart
justlikearevolvingwheel.Atthisdeepstage,heisnotconcernedwithitstranslatedor
verbalmeaningbutonlywiththekindofconsciousnessitproduces.Fornowitisnota
matterofwhatheisdoingbutofwhatisbeingdonetohim.Themantrahasbroughthim
intoaregionofreleasedforceswhichareveryactiveinhim.
44

Themantrammustbeclearlypronounced.Itsmeaningmustbedevotedly,even
reverently,felt.
45

InSanskritmagicandmysticism,notonlyarecompletewordsandphrasesandeven
sentencesusedasmantrams,butalsocertainsinglelettersandsyllablesareused.Sucha
mantramiscalledaseed,anditcanbeusedeitherinwrittenformonpaperorin
pronunciationasasound.Thelettersalsostandassymbolsrepresentingcertainangelicor
otherhigherbeingswhoareinvoked.
46

Mantram=Allah(Aloninbreath,lahonoutbreath)
47

Thesemantramsarebroughtintorhythmicharmonywiththebreathingofthelungsorthe
beatingoftheheartorthechantingofthephrase.
48

Repeatedlysoundingthevowel"O"stimulatesthebonypartofthevoiceboxinthethroat
andmentallyassistsattentiontoconcentrate.ThemantramOm,sowellknown,isa
usefulendingtoallothermantrams.Ontheexpiringbreath,veryslowlylengthenedout,
itleavesaneffectwhichassiststhefulfilmentofthemeditationthatis,acalmingone.
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Themasterofthemantrambecomesasymbolofhelp,towhichthebelieverscanturnin
thoughtatanytimeoratthespecialtimesetasideforit.
50

Mantramicdenialsandaffirmationsshouldbeformulatedinasimpersonalawordingas
possible.Thiskeepsthereferencetoahigherpowerandawayfromtheego,withits
slenderresources.
51

Itisgoodpracticetousethemantramontheintakeofbreath,whendoingrhythmic
breathing.Deepbreathingforuseinrhythmicbreathingshouldbewithlateralexpansion
ofchest.
52

AstoryistoldofJowett,athinkerandamanofGod,thefamousandbrilliantOxford
UniversitytranslatorofPlato'sGreek,thatevenduringconversationswithothershe
would,whilekeepingsilentandlisteningtothem,movehislipscontinuouslyinprayer.
HewaspractisingaChristianformofmantram.
53

Ithasdoneitsdutyandserveditspurposeiftheinvocationoraffirmationceasesofitself
andintheensuingsilenceamysteriouspowerrisesandtakespossessionofhim.
54

MantrainSanskritmeanshymn,prayer,invocation,formulaformagic,secret,charm,
linesofprayertoadivinity.ItissomethingthatcreateslovingdevotiontoGod.The
mantrautteredandthedivinitycalleduponareidentical.Hencethereverenceforitand
theimportanceofitsbeingcorrectlyspoken,andthedangerofitsbeingmisusedfor
selfishpurpose.Itshouldnotbespoken,butsung.
55

Amantramdependsforitseffectnotonlyuponrepetition(whichbringsabout
concentratedattention)butalsoonitssound(whichbringsaboutasubtlermental
contact).Thelattermaybelowerpsychicorhigherspiritual,accordingtothewordused.
Thisisimportanttorememberforthoughanyoneoftheseeffectsjustifiescallingthe
wordorphraseamantram,bothincombinationprovideitwiththefullestpowerandthe
completefunction.
56

AMoroccanmantricdervishdance:Acoupleofhundredmenyoungandoldwere
arrangedinalargecircle.Whentheleader,whowassquattinginthecentre,gavea
signal,theyallleaptupandyelled,"Allah!"together,swayingfromsidetoside,stamping
theirfeet,andrepeatingthenameoftheirGoddozensoftimesuntiltheybecame
deliriouswithjoyandabsorbedintoahalftrancelikestate.
57

NicephorostheSolitarywrote:"Weknowfromexperiencethatifyoukeeponprayingin
thismanner,thatifyoupractisethe`PrayerofJesus'withattention,thewholehostof
virtueswillcometoyou:love,joy,andpeace."
58

Becausethemutteringoftheseejaculationsandthechantingoftheseincantationshave
beenpervertedintouseaspartofthetechniquesofprofessionalwitchdoctorsand
primitivemedicinemen,isnoreasonwhytheirproperuseforhigherpurposesmaynot
beachieved.
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59

TheArabicwordforGodAllahortheAramaic(Jesus'spokenlanguage)wordAlaha
formexcellentmantricmaterial.
60

Theendlessrepetitionofthesamewordisamostimportantfeatureofthepractice,for
whenithaspassedthroughthemindathousandtimesinlessthanaday,andthisfor
severaldays,intheenditbecomesfixedasapartofthebackgroundofallhis
consciousness.
61

WhetherheusestheHinduonesyllabledOmforsuchrepetitionortheMuhammedan
twosyllabledAllahforthesamepurpose,theresultswillbethesame.
62

Muhammed:"ThereisnoactwhichremovesthepunishmentofAllahfartherfromyou
thantheinvocationofAllah'sname."
63

Themantramisameansofawakeningthepowerofconcentration.Butallmantrams
differfromoneanotherandthusintroduceasecondaryeffectorinfluence.The
meditationistheprimarywork,theconcentrationbeingintendedtodeveloppowerforit:
theformofthemantramisshapedbyitsobjectcommunionwithGod,cultivationofa
virtue,andsoon.
64

Atimecomeswhenthereisnoneedtotrytopractisetheexercise,forthemantramwells
upofitsownaccord.Itthenrepeatsitselfautomaticallyandsilentlyinhismindalone.
Overandoveragain,likethechorusofasong,itcomestothefrontorremainsatthe
backofattention.
65

BhagatSinghThind:"Negationhastobenullified,youcannottakesinintoGod,butyou
cantakeGodintosin,andshortworkHewillmakeofit,ifyoudo.Ifyouareinthehabit
ofdoingsomethingthatyouknowisfoolish,andyoucannotshakeitoff,takeaChrist
intoit,holdHisNameofTruthintheveryheartofit,daretosaytheWordofLife,even
whenyouaredoingthefoolishthing.Forthatistheverytimewhenyoumostneedit,
thatisthemomentwhenyoucantestitspower.Onlysticktoit,repeatingitwithyour
wholeheartandmind,holdfasttotheNameofyourDivineSelfdoggedlythrough
anythingandeverything,lettingnooldfeelingofcondemnationsweepitoutofyour
mind,buthangontoitbyyoureyelids,ifyouaredrowneduptothat,andyouwillfind
Truthwillsetyoufree."
66

Tosomeextent,itsusehasapurifyingeffectonthesubconsciouscharacter.
67

Thechosenphraseorselectedwordshouldbedweltuponagainandagainuntilitis
firmlyimplantedintheeverreceptivesubconsciousmind.
68

TheAsiaticmysticsaptlynamethem"wordsofpower."Theybelievethat,ifintoned
correctly,theyhelptokeepawaythebaserinfluencesandtostimulatethefinerones.The
effectistemporary,ofcourse,butbyconstantrepetitionitmaybecomepermanent.
69
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MantrampracticewasgiventoIndianstohelpstopthoughtfromwandering,justasKoan
practicewasgiventoJapanesetohelpstopthoughtfromdominating.TheKoanmethod
crippledorevenparalysedtheintellectbutthiswasonlyinitsapproachtothespiritual
goal,notinitsworldlybusiness.
70

Thosewhoareunwillingtoengagethemselvesinthemetaphysicalstudiesandmystical
practicesmayavailthemselvesofthedevotionalattitudesanddailyreverentialworship
ofreligion,orrepeatconstantlytheaffirmationsanddeclarationsofmantrayoga.
71

Asinglewordlike"God"orasimplephraselike"Godinme"mustbespokenwiththe
lipswithoutintermission,orrepeatedinthemindwithintensiveconcentration.
72

Themurmuringofsuchaphraseoverandoveragainisausefuldevicetoconcentratethe
mentalwavesandtoturnthemintoaspiritualdirection.
73

Gandhi:"PersevereandceaselesslyrepeatRamanamaduringallyourwakinghours.
Ultimatelyitwillremainwithyouevenduringyoursleep."
74

ItisthecommonpracticeinalltheBengalidistrictsofIndiaaswellasinpartsofthe
Mahrattadistrictsforlargegroupsofpeople,aswellassolitaryindividuals,toengagein
theprotractedchantingofGod'snameorsomephraseincorporatingit.Thementallevel
onwhichitisdoneislikethatofhymnsingingintheWest.
75

TheMasterTaoCh'o:"Say,withoutinterruptionandwithoutanyotherthought,the
Buddha'sname,andyouwillenterthepresenceofBuddha."
76

Amantraisbestandmostcommonlymuttered,butbeginnerssingitaloud,whilethe
advancedrepeatitmentallyandautomatically.
77

Itislikearefrainthatkeepsonsingingintheheart.
78

Therepetitiousrhythmofamantramcan,withassiduouspractice,becomealmost
hallucinating.
79

Hemaymutterthemantramtohimself,movinghislipsinanalmostunhearablewhisper.
80

Hemustharnesshimselftothemainthoughtagainandagain.Hemustresolutelykeep
themantramachainedcaptive.
81

Themantraismentallyorvocallychantedsomanytimesthatthemindisbrainwashed:
itcanresistnolongerandfromthenonthephrasekeepsrevolvingbyitselfoverandover
againinconsciousness.
82

Itisclaimedthatordinarymethodsinvolveconsciousdeliberatethinkingbutthemantra
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methodofmeditationdoesnot.Itbypassesthemallanddirectlyreachesthoughtfree
stillness.
83

Onlyexperienceandusecanshowitsworthinrhythmicallydirectingawarenesstoa
certainfixedpoint,andkeepingitthere.Theword,phrase,name,invocation,sentence,or
imageprovideshimwithacertainpowerofconcentration.
84

Thewordsoftheinvocationstabilizeattentionandsteadyemotion.Theyholdthemindin
desiredstates.
85

Heusesthemantricrepetitiontoworkhimselfintothestateofraptconcentrationand
thentofeelhiswayintotheinnerself'spresence.
86

Itisusefultofollowoutthemantramsystemofmeditationwhentheordinarysystems,
involvingsetexercisesandformalperiods,havebeentriedandfoundprofitless.
87

BhagatSinghThind:"TheconstantutteranceofHolyNamewithouttheagencyoflipsby
Spiritcurrentdevelopsconcentration.TheHolyNamethatistaughthasresemblanceto
theSoundorcurrentemanatingfromthenervecentrewherethepracticeistobe
performed.ThisnervecentreisthefocusoftheDeity.Yourconstantrepetitionwillone
dayresultincreatingharmonywiththevibrationsinsideandbringyouintoaconditionof
concordwiththeDeitytherein.YouwillthenbeabletoparticipateintheessenceofHim,
andthatwillprepareyouforfurtherprogress."
88

However,prayermustbemasteredfirst.This,initspurestform,iscompletestillnessof
speech,thought,andbody.Onethoughtalonemustrepeatitselfagainandagain,suchas,
"Godiswithinme,"anditwilldriveawayallotherthoughts.Incidentally,thisis
Mantrayoga.
NoteacherisneededforMantrayogabecauseyouhavetodoityourself.Noristhereany
danger.Afterthe2045minutes'distraction,meditationmaythencomeinamoment.
89

BhagatSinghThind,SikhTeacher:"WiththeeyesofMindthediscipleseestheimageof
theguru,withtheearshelistenstotheHolyNameswithin,andwiththespeechofthe
mindinaudiblyherepeatsrhythmicallytheHolyMantramsgiventohimbytheguru.By
thisconstantdailypracticehemovestoaningatheringofhiswholebeingtowards
integrationandunity."
90

Thetimemaycomethroughpracticeandeffortwhenhewillbeabletomeetaperiodof
troubleoranxietymorecalmlybyhummingslowlyandrepeatedlythefamiliarformula.
91

Mantram=HolyWord,theMystical.Affirmation=SacredInvocation
92

Hewhosuffersfromincessantmentalactivitycouldharnessitandturnittoprofitby
Mantrayoga,whichsolvestheproblem:"Howtotransferattentionfromforegroundto
backgroundofmindandyetattendtowork?"
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93

ThevenerableheavilybeardedFatherJoseph,ofMountAthos,ateacherofothermonks,
claimsthatthe"PrayerofJesus"becomeswithtimeanunstoppingactivity,productiveof
enlighteningrevelation,andpurifyingfrompassions.Hisowndisciplesspendseveral
hourseverydayonthementalrepetitionofthisshortprayer.
94

Theconstantrecitalofthemantramisasimpleeffectiveexercisebutitcannot,byitself,
winthehighestgoal.
95

Therearemanywaysofmeditation,andthepracticeofmantramisoneofthemindeed,
almostthemostelementaryoneofthem.Yetitisusefulonitslevel.Butoneshouldnot
remainforeveronthatelementarylevel.Youmaygoonrepeatingtheword,thephrase,
butatimewillcomewhenitwillloseitspowertohelpyou,whenitseffectswillvanish
anditsverypracticewillbecomeboring.Useitasastepnotasastop.
96

Manyofthepeopleusingthismethodareaslikelytoachievespiritualilluminationby
theirbabblingofmantramsasadonkeyisbyhisbrayingofnoises.

Affirmations
97

WhatIndianscallmantraiswhatNewThoughtcallsaffirmations.
98

Whenallothermethodsofmeditationprovefruitlessortoohard,lethimtrythesimplest
ofallmethodstheSpiritualDeclarationandbringwordstohishelp.Theymaybe
reducedtoasingleonethenameofhisspiritualleader,orofamoralqualitytowards
whichheaspires,orofaninnerstatewhichheseekstoachieve.Ofthefirstkind,a
specimenisthename"Jesus"ofthesecond,"Love"ofthethird,"Peace."Orafew
wordsmaybecombinedintothephrasingofanyhelpfulstatement,
metaphysical/mysticalaffirmation,ordevotionalprayer.
99

TheDeclarationisaword,statement,orverse,affirmationorinvocation,whichis
committedtomemoryandthenoftenrepeated.Thepurposeistwofold:first,toachievea
stateofconcentrationsecond,todirecttheconcentrativemindupontheideatobe
expressed,soconstantlyorcontinuouslythattheideabeginstoinfluencehimdeeplyand
almosthypnotically.
100

Affirmationsareoftwokinds:thoseforuseinmeditationandthoseforconstant
repetitionaloud,whispered,orsilently.
101

Thesedividethemselvesnaturallyintotwomaingroups:thosebelongingtotheLong
PathandthosetotheShortPath.Ofthefirstkind,thereisCove'sfamoussuggestion:
"Everyday,ineveryway,Iamgettingbetterandbetter."Ofthesecondkindthereis
Jesus'figurativestatement:"IandmyFatherareone."
102

(a)Bothaffirmationsanddenialshavetheirplaceandusefulness.Philosophy,being
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integral,rejectsneither.Thefirstwouldseemillusoryiftheyaffirmwhatistrueonlyona
higherlevelofbeingwhilethepersonhimselfisunabletoriseabovethelowerone,asin
thestatement,"Iamdivine."Butstill,theirconcentrativeandsuggestivepowermay,
givenenoughtime,eventuallyhelphimtodoso.Thesecondwouldseemnonsensicalat
worstindismissingwhatstubbornlyremainsallthetime,ornarcoticatbestinlullingit
intobriefquietude,yettheBuddhadidnothesitatetorecommenddenialstohisdisciples:
"ThisisnotminethisamInot,"wasoneformulawhichhegavethem.Foreventhe
theoreticalseparationthusbroughtaboutbetweenthemanandtheweaknessorfault
deniedhassomeconstructivevalueandisthebeginningofamentalemotionalphysical
serieswhoseintuitionguidedtotaleffortleadstoasuccessfulresult.
(b)TheDeclarationhabituallyrepeatedandfaithfullyappliedcontinuallyrenewsthe
Idealforhim.
(c)Itisapracticeusefulforfillingunoccupiedmoments.
103

Theaffirmationistobefirmlyheldandunwaveringlytrusted.Heisnottoconsideritasa
statementofafaroffidealbutofapresentactuality.Heistoidentifyhimselfwithitwith
allhisbeing.
104

Theaffirmationcanevenbereducedtoasingleword.Thismakesiteasiertouse,and
concentratedineffect.SuchsimplicityismoreakintotheOverselfthantotheintellect
thereforethistypeofaffirmationshouldnotbedweltonanalytically,notexaminedand
probedwithalogicalscalpel,butmerelyheldclosely,repeatedslowlyandfrequently
untilthemindissaturatedwithit.Itmaybeusedbothinsideandoutsidethespecial
meditationperiods.Inthelattercase,itisdefensiveagainstattackfromlowerthoughts.
105

Thereisonehumanactivitywhichiscontinuous,rhythmic,natural,easy,andpleasant.It
isbreathing.Wemaytakeadvantageofitsexistencebycombiningitwithasimple
exercisetobringaboutakindofmeditationwhichwillpossessallthesefourmentioned
attributes.Theexerciseismerelytorepeatonewordsilentlyontheinhalationand
anotherwordontheexhalation.Thetwowordsmustbesuchthattheyjointogetherto
makeasuitablespiritualphraseorname.Hereisoneusefulexample:"GodIs."
106

"IampoisedintheConsciousnessofTruth."Repeatitaudibly,thencarryitintothe
Silence.
107

TheBuddhataughthismonkstoenterdailyintothefollowingmeditation:"Asamother
evenattheriskofherownlifeprotectsheronlyson,soletamancultivategoodwill
withoutmeasureamongallbeings.Lethimsuffusethewholeworldwiththoughtsof
love,unmixedwithanysenseofdifferenceoropposedinterests."
108

Thethoughtthusselfgivenwillbecometransformedintoanact.
109

Thedeclarationshouldbeaudiblyrepeatedifheisalone,silentlyifnot,oraudiblyafew
timesfollowedbysilentlyforsomeminutes.
110

Atafixedtimeeachdayrepeatthedeclarationforfiveortenminutes.
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111

TheeffectivenessofaDeclarationdependsalsouponitsbeingrepeatedwithawhole
mindandanundividedheart,withconfidenceinitspower,andsinceredesiretoriseup.
112

Declarations:
1."IambecomingasfreefromundesirabletraitsinmyeverydayselfasIalreadyamin
theOverself."
2."InmyrealbeingIamstrong,happy,andserene."
3."Iamthemasterofthought,feeling,andbody."
4."InfinitePower,sustainme!InfiniteWisdom,enlightenme.InfiniteLove,ennobleme."
5."MyWordsaretruthfulandpowerfulexpressions."
6."Iseemyselfmovingtowardthemasteryofself."
7."MayIcooperatemoreandmorewiththeOverself.MayIdoitswillintelligentlyand
obediently."
8."Icooperatejoyouslywiththehigherpurposeofmylife."
9."O!Infinitestrengthwithinme."
10."O!IndwellingLight,guidemetothewisesolutionofmyproblem."
11."IamInfinitePeace!"
12."IamonewiththeundyingOverself."
13."Everypartofmybodyisinperfecthealtheveryorganofitinperfectfunction."
14."Inmyrealselflifeiseternal,wisdomisinfinite,beautyisimperishable,andpoweris
inexhaustible.Myformaloneishumanformyessenceisdivine."
15."IamacentreoflifeintheDivineLife,ofintelligenceintheDivineIntelligence."
16."IneverysituationIkeepcalmandseekouttheIntuitivethatitmayleadme."
17."IlookbeyondthetroublesofthemomentintotheeternalreposeoftheOverself."
18."MystrengthisinobediencetotheOverself."
19."OInfiniteandimpersonalBliss!"
20."IamhappyintheOverself'sblissfulcalm."
21."GodiseversmilingonMe."
22."Godissmilingonme."
23."ThePeaceofGod."
24."IdwellintheOverself'scalm."
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25."IsmilewiththeOverself'sbliss."
26."IdwellinInfinitepeace."
27."Iamaradiantandrevivifiedbeing.IexpressintheworldwhatIfeelinmybeing."
113

Whatisnewerthananewdawningday?Whatachanceitoffersfortherenewingoflife
too!AndhowbettertodothisthantotakeapositiveaffirmativeDeclarationlike,"IAm
InfinitePeace!"asthefirstmorningthought,andtoholdit,andholdontoit,forthose
firstfewminuteswhichsettheday'skeynote?Then,whatevermatterstherewillbeto
attend,orpressingweightydutiestobefulfilled,weshallcarryourpeaceintothemidst
ofthem.
114

Afriendtoldmesomeyearsagoofaninterestingandusefulmethodofusingthese
Declarationswhichhadbeentaughtherbyacelebratedholymanandmysticinher
country,whenhegaveherthe"PrayerofJesus."ThisisaDeclarationwhichwaswidely
usedseveralhundredyearsagointheoldByzantinemonasteriesandevennowisusedto
alesserextentinBalkanandSlavonicmonasticcirclesinexactlythesamewayasin
India.Themethodistoreducethenumberofwordsuseduntilitisbroughtdowntoa
singleone.Thisreductionisachieved,ofcourse,quiteslowlyandduringaperiod
coveringseveralmonths.Inthisparticularinstance,therearesevenwordsinthePrayer:
"LordJesusChrist,havemercyonme."Theyareallusedforthefirstfewweeks,thenthe
word"Christ"isomittedforthenextfewweeks.Thephraseisagainshortenedby
detachingfromit,afterafurtherperiodhaselapsed,theword"Lord."Then"have"is
takenoutandsoonuntilonlyonewordisleft.TheDeclarationasfinallyand
permanentlyusedis"JesusJesusJesusJesus."Thismethodcanbeappliedtoalmostany
Declaration.Theselectedlastwordshouldbeaname,ifaddressedtoGodortoa
SpiritualLeader,or,ifthatisnotpartofit,adesiredquality.
115

Theuseofshortstatements,oftenstrangelyworded,madebyamastertoadiscipleasa
meansofgettingtheflashofenlightenmentflourishedinChinaduringtheTangdynasty.
ItwastakenuplaterbytheJapanese,amongwhomthemethod'soriginalname"kongan"
changedslightlyto"koan."Despiteextravagantclaimsmadeforit,thesuccessful
practisergotaglimpseonly,notapermanentandfullresult.Itisnotthesameas,andnot
tobeconfusedwith,themethodofmeditatinguponaffirmations,pithycondensedtruth
statements(calledMahavakyasinIndia)sincetheseopenlypossessameaningwhereas
koansareoftenillogicalandalwayspuzzling.
116

Philosophyusesthesedeclarationsguardedlyanddoesnotapproveofsuchpotentially
dangerousonesas"IamGod!"or"IamonewithGod."Instead,itusesthemoreguarded
oneslike"IaminGod"or"Godisinme,"andtheseonlyafterapreparationhaselapsed
withselfhumblingphraseslike"Iamnothing"and"Takemyego,swallowitup,OThou
Divinity."Otherwisethetruthishalfunderstoodandmisused,whiletherelationbetween
theOverselfanditsshadowselfbecomesasourceofmischievousillusionand
intellectualconfusion.
117

Itisbettertochooseadeclarationwhichpertainstohisimmediateneedthanonewhich
doesnot.
118

Anydeclarationbringsbeforethemindsomespecifictruthwhichitwantstorealize,but
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thegreatestone,andthemostpowerfulandcreativeone,isthatwhichaffirmsthe
divinityofitsinnermostnature,thepresenceofGodinsideitsownbeing.
119

Anaffirmationwhichproclaimsaspiritualreality,mayseemtobecontradictedbyouter
facts.
120

Deepwithinhimthereisanopeningouttotheinfinitebeing.Howthisopeningis
actuallyeffected,noonereallyknows.Onemomentheishere,thenextmomentheis
there.Itisthenthatthesespiritualdeclarationsbecomeperfectlytrue,completelyin
accordwithfact.
121

Hemustdeliberatelyejecteachnegativethoughtasitarises.Theeasierwaytodothisis
immediatelytoreplaceitbya"SpiritualDeclaration"ofanaffirmativenature.Thisis
quickerthanandnotsohardastryingtousewillpoweralonetogetridofthenegative
thought.
122

ThebestofalldeclarationsistheonewhichrepresentseithertheSupremePowerorelse
thehumanleaderwhomostinspiresustothinkofthatPower.Wecannotgohigherin
thoughtorcomecloserinawareness.WhatevernamewehabituallygivetothisUnique
Power,beitTruthorReality,AllahorJehovah,thatisthewordtouseasourDeclaration
unlesstheleader'snamehelpsusmore.
123

Ifhehabituallysuffersfromacertainmood,orifhemaybethevictimofitatthe
moment,itwillbeusefultochooseaDeclarationwhichaffirmstheoppositemood.In
despondency,forexample,hemayfindcheeringandupholdingsentencesforrepetition
inoneofthePsalms.
124

Thesymbolordeclarationmustbeonetowhichhecancompletelygivehimself,ifallits
effectivenessistoberealized.
125

Itisuselesstosaytoyourselfwhatyoucannotbringyourmindtobelieve,toaffirmin
yourmeditationwhatyourheartcannotpossiblyaccept.Donottrytoviolatelawsthat
youtrustbybeliefsthatarecontrarytothem.Insteadofprofitableresults,youwill
generateinnerconflicts.Ifyouraffirmationisnotinharmonywiththeorderofthe
universe,withthepossibilitiesandprinciplesofhumanexistence,youwillnotsucceedin
itsuse.
126

Ifanydeclarationseemsunnaturalandartificialandimpossibleinrelationtooneself,it
oughttobeabandoneduntilithasbeenpassedthroughaprolongedthinkingoutprocess.
127

Ifnoattemptismadetogainunderstandingof,aswellasgivefeelingto,theseutterances,
repeatingadeclarationmaybecomeartificialandmakinganaffirmationmaybecome
mechanical.
128

Heshouldclosehiseyes,repeatthephraseslowlyseveraltimes,andtrytopenetrateever
deeperintoitsmeaningwitheachrepetition.
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129

ThepracticeoftheseDeclarationsisadevicetorecalltothememoryofthemanhis
perfectandidealstatewhichhenotonlyhastoretainbutwhichinhisOverselfhe
alreadyis.Thisisameansofrecallinghimfromtheperipheryoflifetohiscentre.
130

Eachstirringoftheoldweaknessesmustbetreatedasacommandtonewefforts.But
theseshallbetowardrecollectionof,andidentificationwith,theOverselfnot
necessarilytowarddirectstrugglewiththem.Intheseefforts,lethimreiterateaspiritual
declarationholdingtothethoughtbehinditwiththedeepestintensity.Thesilentword
mustbecomethisspiritualwarrior'ssword.
131

Hedoesnotneedtopractisethedeclarationsinaconspicuousmanner,ordrawthe
attentionofotherstowhatheisdoing.Instead,workingquietly,hecanandshouldletit
remainasecretbetweentheOverselfandhimself.
132

Asinglewordnamingsomedivineattributeorhumanidealisanothergoodfocusfora
concentrationexercise.Itshouldbeslowlybutsilentlyrepeatedtooneselfatcertain
intervalswhilstitssignificanceshouldbeheldallthetimeinthemind.Everyotheridea
shouldbekeptout.Wordswhicharesuitabletoperformthisofficemaybesafelyleftto
theaspirant'stasteandmoodofthemoment.Hereareinstances:reality,truth,love,
being,illusion,goodness,pity,purity,andpeace.
Inthisexercise,herepeatsmentallyandslowlyoverandoveragainasignificantkey
wordlike"Reality"orapithyformulalike"Inmyhigherbeing,Iambeyondweakness
andsin."
Incessantrepetitionofabriefmysticformula,ashortholyphrase,willkeepoutallother
thoughtsandultimatelyevenlapseitself.Themindwillthenfallintostillness,theheart
beinundatedwithquiet.
133

Beforeattendinganyintervieworgroupmeeting,aswellasduringtheattendanceitself,
ifaclashofwillsistobeexpectedorsometroubleistobefearedorsomefavouristobe
requested,silentlypractisemantricaffirmationssuchas:"AllGoodiswithme,"or"The
InfinitePowerismyperfectsupply,"or"PerfectHarmonyisinme."
134

Thewaytousetheseaffirmationsdiffersfromonetotheother,accordingtoitsnature
andpurpose.Forexample,anaffirmationofcalmnessandpeaceneedsadifferent
approachmentally,emotionally,andevenphysicallyfromoneofpowerandstrength.
135

Thegeneralruleforusingtheseaffirmationsisfirsttositcomfortablyandrelaxthebody
ineveryway.Thenslowlyrepeattheselectedwordsforafewminutes.Layhold
intenselyontheirmeaning.Thepracticemaybedoneagainintheeveningwithanother
orwiththesameaffirmation.
136

Ofallaffirmations,thestudentwhohasevolvedtothehigherstagesofdevelopmentwill
selectthosethatconcerntheimpersonalratherthanthepersonalself.Thesearethe
ultimatetruths,theconclusiveformulaeofphilosophysuchas:"MindistheReal,"or
"TheEgoisillusory,"wherethemindcalmlyrestsonthefinalpositiontobeattained.
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137

Thestudentwhotakesoneofthesesentencesfromapieceofinspiredwritingisseeking
toreproduceinhisownfeelingsandthoughtstheinnerconditionwhichgaveitbirth.As
hepondersoverthephrase,heshouldnotonlyseektodistilleverybitofmeaningfromit,
butalsolethisinnerbeingpassivelyreceivethatmeaningbyotherthanlogicalways.
Thiswiderconcentrationuponitmaygraduallyopenupitscontent.Nevertheless,ifhe
returnstoitalongtimelaterperhapsafterayearortwohemaypenetrateabruptlyand
unexpectedlytoastilldeeperlayerofmeaningandwiththatexperiencethejoyofnew
revelation.
138

Selectanyphrase,sentence,orevensinglewordwhichmakesmostappealtoyouand
pertainstothegoal,ideal,orqualityyouwishtodevelop.Itmaybetakenfromabook(if
inspired)oryoumayconstructityourself.Examplesare:Iaminfinitepeace:harmony
harmonyharmony.ThisSpiritual"Declaration"istoberepeatedasoftenduringthe
entiredayasyouremembertodososilentlyandmentallywhenoutorwithothers,
whisperedtoyourselfwhenaloneandinyourownroom.Thismeansthattheremaybe
dozensofrepetitionsinoneday.Itisparticularlytobepractisedwhenanyprovocationor
temptationarises.Afterthefirstfewweeksthehabitshouldbecomeautomatic,whenyou
maytrytomakeitasilentoneatalltimes.
Youmay,ifyouprefer,useasthethemeforconcentrationthenameofyourSpiritual
Leader:"JesusJesusJesus,"forexample.Thisexercisemustbedoneveryslowly,the
phrasemustbelongdrawnout,and,intheearlystages,themeaningponderedon.
139

Eachaffirmationhedecidestoacceptshouldbeusedregularlyforaperiodoftwentyone
daysbeforechangingtoanotherone.
140

Affirmtruth,andletothersdenyfalsehood.
141

Itwilldoubletheefficacyofthisexerciseifitispractisedatthesametimeasandunited
withtheregularcyclesofbreathingactivity.Whenthetwoareasone,muchgreater
powerentersintothedeclarationorinvocation.
142

Thevalueofthesedeclarationsandaffirmations,theseideasheldandrepeated,isnota
totalone.Themethodtheyuseisonlyafirststepandaneasystep.Itisnotaself
sufficientmethod.
143

Icallitparadoxicalthinkingasopposedtologicalthinking."Iaminfinitebeing"isa
declarationwhichdoesnotfitintothelogicofconventionalexperience.
144

Tothinkonlyandcompletelyofthistruthattheverymomentwhentheego'svoiceor
passion'sdemandisloudest,isanecessarystepforward.
145

Inthebeginningofeachsessionitwillassistthenovicetoconcentrateifhewillsaythe
Declarationseveraltimeswithhislips.
146

Whenthisdelicateintuitivefeelingisverbalizedintoanintellectualstatementintheform
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ofaSpiritualDeclaration,thelattermayhelptoawakenanechoingfeelingintheheartof
onewhousesit.
147

ThewordsshouldbedescriptiveofsomeattributeoftheOverselforsomequalityofits
nature.Theyshouldalsoseparatetheaspirantfromhislowertendenciesoregoand
identifyhimwiththeOverself.
148

ThepracticaltechnicaluseofDeclarationsbelongsonlytotheelementaryorintermediate
stagesofthepath.Whentheirpurposeofremindingmanofhistrueselfisfulfilledby
everyevent,everyhappening,everysituationinaman'slife,thenheissaidtohave
reachedtheadvancedstageofmantrayoga.Atthisstage,thereisnothingtootrivialto
actasareminderofthehigherhelpfulnesstowhichtheQuestleads.Everythingcanthen
beacceptedaspresentedsymbolicallytothetraveller.
149

ThedeclarationisalsousedinIndiatopurifyaplace,toupliftthemind,toinviteGrace,
andtoabatesickness.
150

Heistoremindhimselfconstantlyofthegreatertruths,whetherheisathomeinhisroom
orabroadinthepublicplaces."BestillandknowthatIaminfinitepower"isonesuch
truth."BestillandknowthatIaminfinitejoy"isanother.
151

Thesetruthsarenotmeremetaphysicalstatementsthatraisethedustofargument,but
spiritualsignpostswhichguidemanintothetruewayoflife.
152

Itisusefultoprepareandkeepalistofthesesilentdeclarationsandselectadifferentone
foruseduringaparticularperiod,whetheritbeasingledayorawholeweek.Itcanbe
chosentofittheparticularneedsofthatperiod,andtheexperienceswhichareexpected
ordevelopedthen.
153

Anaffirmationshouldbesomeeasilyseized,easilyheldphrase.Itistobesaidoverand
overagain.Itisessentialthatthefullestfaithshouldbegiventoitbythepersonusingit.
154

"Iwilltrytoshowforthinmypersonallife,thought,andfeelingtheperfectharmony
whichalreadybelongstotheimpersonalOverselfwithinme."
155

Lettheminddwellconstantlyonthesegreattruths.Letthehandwritethemdownand
carrytherecordforstudyatoddmoments.
156

ADeclarationhascreativepoweronlyifthemindisfirmlyfixedonitsmeaningasitis
repeated.
157

"ThedivineSelfinmemanifestsitselfincontentmentandstrength."
158

Thedeclarationisasimpledeviceforachievingthreedifferentobjectivesatoneandthe
sametime.ItfacilitatesthecontinuousremembranceoftheOverself.Itholdstheideal
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andparadestheobjectivesofselfimprovementeverbeforeus.Itinspiresusasaformof
concentration,firstbykeepingusintouchwiththeOverselfandthenbygettingus
ultimatelyabsorbedinawarenessofit.
159

Thepracticekeepsawayotherthoughtsiftheyareofabaserkind,yetitdoesnotkeep
awaythosewhicharenecessarytocarryontheordinaryaffairsofeverydayliving.The
declarationstaysinthedeepplacesofthemindlikealittleislandofimmovablerock,
whiletheagitatedwavesofpersonalactivitiesswirlaroundit.
160

Lettheaffirmationriseintocentralconsciousnesseverymomentthatthemindisfreeto
attendtoit.
161

Whataffirmationshallheuse?Heshouldanalysehischaracterimpartiallyandcarefully
andlethisdecisionrestontherevelationofpositiveandnegativequalitiesthisanalysis
affordshim.
162

Theymayalsobetheoppositeofaffirmationsthatis,theymaybedenials.Anexample
is:"Iwillnolongerexpressnegatives."
163

Thesedeclarationscanbeformulatedinthefirstperson"Iameternal"orwithout
referencetoanypersonatall"Godisinfinitebeing."
164

Lethimcreatehisowndeclarationsordenials,tosuithisspecialneedsandindividual
aspirations.
165

Byaffirmingaparticularvirtue,heautomaticallyrepudiatesitsopposingevilquality.
166

Theseaffirmationsaretaut,compactstatementsoftruths.
167

Anaffirmationtakesageneralthought,idea,ideal,andturnsitintoapreciseone.This
helpsthosewhocannotfindtheirwayamongabstractions.
168

Herearesomeofthemoremetaphysicaldeclarationsformeditationaluse:(a)"Youare
meandIamyou"(b)"IWhoAm"(c)"WhatIhavebeen,Ishallbe"(d)"HeWhoIs."
169

Thekindofthinkingwhichmakesupthecontentofyourmind,influencesalways,and
createssometimes,thekindoffortunewhichmakesupthecourseofyourlife.
170

Someofthesedeclarationsarephrasedasautosuggestions,phrasedsoastohave
evocativeorcreativevalue.
171

Suggestionfromothersandexpectancyfromhimselfifstrongenoughhelptoshape
innerexperiences,buthisownworkisessential.
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172

Howmanyunacknowledgedsuggestionsdotheycarryaboutwiththem,aspartoftheir
ownnaturenowalthoughfirstputintotheirheadslongagobyothers?
173

Onceheperceivesthistruth,hegoeshisownwayanddoesnotallowotherstomakehim
avictimofsuggestion.
174

Thereactionofhisenvironmenttohisdominantthoughtisascertainastheoperationofa
lawinNature.
175

Tothedegreethatamanpractisesconstructivethinkingandharmoniousfeeling,tothat
degreewillhehelptodrawprogressiveeventsandhelpfulchancestohimself.
176

Thosewhoarescepticalofthehigheroriginofthisphenomenon,whoassertittobethe
workofautosuggestion,thatitisofamindabletoimpressitsownimaginingsupon
itselftosuchanextentthatitmistakesthemforrealities,arethemselvesguiltyofauto
suggestion,fortheyhaveimpressedtheirscepticaltheoriestosuchanextentupontheir
ownmindsthatthereisnoreasonforanythingelsethanthesecomplexes.
177

Ifthedominanttrendsofhisthoughtarebad,evil,ornegative,lethimcounteractthemby
repeatedly,persistently,andintenselydwellingontheiropposites.
178

Intheearlystage,whenconcentrationisneeded,hewillsucceedbestbygivinghis
attentionstrong,forciblecommands,bydirectinghismindtowardthechosentopicwith
positivephrases.
179

TheChinesenameforthesemutteredorchantedincantationsisveryapt:"TrueWords."
180

Assoonasthelightisputoutandyoupreparetosleep,giveacommandtothedeeper
mindtoworkontheproblemyoupresentitwith.Youmaystatetheproblemaloud.Then,
whenyouwakeupinthemorning,lookforthesolutionbeforeyoudoanythingelse.
181

Putintotheaffirmationalltheintensityandallthefervouratyourcommand.
182

Thecallto"praywithoutceasing"whichPaulmade,therecommendationto"thinkof
Buddha"whichtheLamasgive,andtheremembrancesofthenameofAllahwhich
MuhammedanSufispractise,aredeclarations.
183

JoyousnessisenjoinedinHinduUpanishadictexts.Itistobepractisedthroughself
suggestions(Svabhutivakyas).
184

Theseekerwillprofitduringhishoursofdistressordifficulty,whetherinwardor
outward,bypronouncingamantricaffirmationandthenmakinghisprayerofpetitionin
ageneralway.Aparticularthingshouldnotbeincludedintheprayer.Forexample,in
thecaseofanenvironmentalwant,theaffirmationcouldbe:"WithinmethereisallI
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need."Thiskindofpetitionisafarhigherformofprayerandafarmoresuccessfulone
thanthecommonbeggingforaspecificrelieforobjectorchange.
185

Witheveryintervaloftimethatheisabletoget,howevershortitbeevenafew
secondsherepeatsamajesticwordlike"Peace,"oranevocativesentencelike"Castthy
burdenonmybackandIshallgiveyoupeace."
186

Theaffirmationisusedinthreedifferentways.Itischantedaloud,mutteredor
whispered,silentlyandmentallyrepeated.
187

Whenanaffirmationisusedonlyinandformeditationexercises,itshouldbementally
pronouncedasfirmlyandaspositivelyandasconfidentlyaspossible.Itshouldalsobe
repeatedseveraltimes.Donotponderoveritsmeaningbutratherbecontentwithletting
eachwordsinkintothesubconsciousmind.
188

Theinstantvigorousandcontinuedpracticeofadeclarationmaychangethestateofmind
inafewminutesfromanegativeonethatisagitatedordepressedtoapositiveonethatis
reposedorcheerful.
189

Thereisanotherspecialvalueofthedeclaration,andthatisfoundduringthestrainsand
strugglesofliving.Ifestablishedpreviouslybyhabit,itwillbepresentandavailable,
readytouseatanymomentofneedorcrisis.
190

Thepowerofthedeclarationrisestoitsgreatestdegreewhenusedinmagicalrites,when
itissolemnlychantedbyasuitablyattiredpriestorwizard.
191

Thewholeofhisconsciousnessistobewithdrawnintothedeclarationandtoremain
withinit,ifheissittinginsolitudeatformalregularmeditationatthespecialtime,but
onlyapartofitifheisotherwiseengaged.
192

Theseshort,specificstatements,usedpersistentlyasautosuggestions,areusefultoall.
193

Heistolivewiththenameandqualitiesofhisidealeverbeforehim,forthepurposeof
drawinginspirationfromit.Heistorepeat,silentlyorvocally,ateverymomentwhen
thereisabreakinwhateverhehappenstobedoing,andevenasoftenashecanduring
theactitself,aspiritualdeclaration.Suitablephrasesorsentencescanbefoundinhymns,
bibles,proverbs,andpoems,andinthegreatinspiredwritingsofancientandmodern
times.
194

Thedeclarationmaybeintonedloudenoughtobeheardclearlybyhimselfbutbyothers
onlyasamurmur.Thisisintendedtoinduceaconcentratedstate.
195

Theyogiwhospendsyearsmechanicallymumblingtheaffirmationimpartedtohimby
histeacherwillnotgetsofarastheWesternaspirantwhoselectshisowndeclarationand
conscientiously,intelligently,workswithit.
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196

Thereisonecondition:thedeclarationmustnotbelongerthanasinglesentence,and
eventhatoughttobeconfinedtolessthantenwords.
197

TheSpiritualDeclarationistobecomehismagictalisman,tobeusedinprovocative
situations,irritatingenvironments,orunpleasantcontactswithunlikedpersons.
198

Heshouldmaketheseaffirmationsfirmly,intensely,andconfidently.
199

Thesepreciouswordsoughttobeprintedincapitallettersanddoublyunderlined.For,in
aworldofpoliteliesandprejudicedstupidities,theyaretheTRUTH.
200

Themorehecanputhislovingattentionintothedeclarationorbehindtheauto
suggestion,themorearehischancesofbeinghelpedbytheOverself'sGrace.
201

ASpanishfriend,whoputintohismysticismalltheardoursofhispeople,calledthis
practice"innerwork."ThemonksofMountAthos,whousehundredsoftimesadaythe
samedeclarationwhichtheRumanianmysticsused,callit"work."
202

Inthislovingremembrance,thisturningofthemindthroughdevotiontoitsparental
source,theQuestfindsoneofitsmosteffectivetechniques.
203

SufiDeclaration:"IamtheTruth!"
204

Equippedwiththisknowledgeandtheseexercises,theaspirantwillbeabletousewell
thoseidleminuteswhichwouldotherwisebewasted.
205

SimoneWeiltellshowthehighlyconcentratedrecitation,withallneededtenderfeeling,
ofadevotionalmetaphysicalpoembytheseventeenthcenturyEnglishman,George
Herbert,turnedherfromanagnosticintoamysticastheChristconsciousnesstook
possessionofher.Thisresultwasasunsoughtasitwasunexpected.
206

Thesacreddeclarationsaretobehummedinsomecases,chantedinothers,orspokenin
stillothers.
207

Theseinspiredsentencesorphrasescanalsobeusedasamuletsagainsthisowndark
moodsasstrongerhandstoholdontoduringdepressedmomentsorweakphases.
208

Thepracticeseemstohaveahypnoticeffectonthemindandtodrawhimwitha
magneticspelltotheideabehindthedeclaration,asthelatterisfrequentlyandsolemnly
repeated.
209

Itisfromthesedeclarationsthattheideawasderivedofmagicalincantationswhichwere
supposedtobringaboutextraordinaryresults,forsomemenwereablebytheiraidto
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induceatrancelikestatewhich,likethehypnoticstate,temporarilyreleasedparanormal
powersofmind.
210

Standinfrontofamirrorandpronouncetheconstructiveautosuggestiveaffirmations
withdramatic,intensefeeling.
211

Thesecretissimplicityitself.ItwaswrittendownbytheSufipoetShamsTabrizineight
littlewords:"KeepGodinremembrancetillselfisforgotten."Ifhekeepsthedeclaration
halfwhisperedonthetipofhistongueandjoyouslyfondledinhismind,itwillservehim
well.
212

Anaffirmationfixesattentionandelevatesemotion:thisisitsprimarypurpose,butit
mayalsoofferwisecounsel.
213

InthefinerhomesofJapan,thereceptionroomwillcontainasilkorpaperscroll
hanging,uponwhichsomemasterhasdrawn,incalligraphiccharacters,apithyandwise
affirmation.
214

Theseexercisescanusuallybepractisedwhereveramanhappenstobeand,often,
whateverhehappenstobedoing.
215

Thedeclarationcomesupfromthesubconsciousandgetsitselfutteredandrepeated.The
processofarticulationisapleasantone,sometimesevenanecstaticone.
216

Bylearningtolivewiththedeclaration,evenifitseemedremote,fantastic,and
impossibleatfirst,itwillcometoevokeaveritableecstasyofacceptance.
217

Thedeclarationsneedtobeponderedwithfaithandheldinthemindwithpersistenceif
theireffectivenessistobedemonstrated.
218

Theexerciseisapowerfulcounterweighttotherestlessnatureofourthoughts.Itforces
themtotakeanchorageinthedeclaration.
219

Thispracticemakesitpossiblefortheotherwiserestlessmindtothinkofonethoughtand
liveinonepurposeconstantly.Inthiswayitsteadiesthemindandkeepsitsattention
concentrated.
220

Thepracticealsohasapurifyingeffectsofarasitpreventstherisingofwrongthoughts
andhelpstheeradicationofthosewhichdoappear.
221

TheformulacanbeselectedfromanupholdingPsalm,liketheninetyfirst,orfromthe
BookofPrayer.
222

OneofthegreatMahavakyasis"AyamAtmaBrahma""ThisAtmanisBrahman."
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223

Whenthesedeclarationsarechanted,Orientalsfindthemtohelpbreathcontrol,whichin
turnhelpsmeditation.
224

Abookwhichistrulyinspiredwillcontainmanyasentencethatcanbeusedsuggestively
inmeditation.Lingeroversomeofthemaslongasyoucan.Itisnotmovementwhich
mattersherebutdepth.
225

Theeffectofusingaffirmationsandrecollectionsistotinthisnaturewithdiviner
qualities.Theseworkuponandgraduallytransmutehislowerones.
226

Whenheispractisedenough,hewillfindthatmeditationchargeshimwithaninward
glow.
227

Whathemeetswithoutwardlyaswellasinwardlyonthisquestshouldbetestedagainst
theseaffirmationsandscrutinizedinthelightofthesetruths.
228

Thisexercisecanbeusedwithsuccessonlyifthereistheutmostattractiontotheidea
phrasedorthefullestlovefortheDivineNameorspiritualleadermentionedinit.Ifthe
feelingisweak,theremembrancewillbefitfulandunsteady,thepracticewillonlybe
occasionalandhenceinsufficient.Ifthefeelingisstrong,themindwillbeabletohold
theideaorthenamemoreeasilyandunbrokenly,forthenitislikethefeelingwhich
existsbetweenapairofseparatedyounglovers.Theyareabletoremembereachother's
nameconstantly,toholdeachother'smentalpicturequitespontaneously.Theydonot
needtomakeanydeliberateeffortatall.
229

Ashepersevereswiththispractice,theintervalswhenheforgetstorepeatthe
Declarationgetfewerandfewerinnumber,shorterandshorterintime.Itsconstant
utteranceorremembrancethenbecomesmoreandmorearealizableaspiration.
230

Themomentanyactivityisatanend,hisattentionwillinstantlyreturntothedeclaration
andcontinuetheinnerworkwithit.
231

WhenhislastthoughtatnightandfirstthoughtinthemorningreferstotheOverself,he
mayappraisehisprogressasexcellent.
TheNotebooksarecopyright19841989,ThePaulBruntonPhilosophicFoundation.

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