Japa - Talk II - Page 2 of 6|
SOUND AS A TECHNIQUE
A common practice among many meditators, in the west is to chant invocatory syllables, called bijaksaras [Srim, Hrim, etc.] traditionally used to invoke pariticular deities for purposes of meditation. When these sounds or any other single syllable words, such as Ram and Syam are chanted, the mind is naturally going to have a pariticular occupation. Because the chant is repetitive, chain thinking is eliminated.
That any sound will work as a technique was demonstrated by one scientist using a meaningless sound and recording changes in various human functions. While the subject chanted this sound his thought processes and metabolism slowed down significantly. His blood pressure also came down and his heart beat rhythmically.
Since the person was sitting quietly, his mind occupied with the repetition of the meaningless sound, these findings are not surprising. Had he thought of some problem he was having, he would have began to fume and his heartbeat would naturally have increased. Based on the results of his study, the scientist wrote a paper in which he concluded that a special chant or mantra is not required and that repetition of any sound, even a meaningless sound, could produce the benefits he had recorded.
As a technique, any sound that is repeated will work in the same way as any other sound. But in what way will it work? For some time, no doubt, the body and the mind will be quietier. But, then, you may become amused that you are sitting and chanting a meaningless sound. Is it not amusing to set aside a time each day to chant gring.....gring..... gring so seriously?
I know I would be amused. Something would tell me, "Idiot! What are you doing?'' Then I would say , " Be quiet. You are always criticzing. You don't believe in anything. Keep chanting." Again, gring.....gring.....gring.
"What is this gring?" someone would ask from inside. "It 's a meaningless sound," would come the reply. Then," A meaningless sound? Why are you chanting a meaningless sound?" It's calles...Be quiet. I told you not to criticize." Gring....gring.....gring.....gring. Then again from inside, "Did you pay for this? Why don't you change gring into zring or some other
sound?" Why not?"
"Be quiet! This sound was specially chosen for me." Gring....gring.....gring. It would be very difficult for me to chant this meaningless sound.
Anything you do should be meaningful. It is very difficult, therefore, to seriously sit and chant,a meaningless sound.You may not know the proper meaning of a chant, but you need to know that it is meaningful. If it is the Lord's name, you may not understand its full meaning, but because you know it
means the Lord, you have enough understanding to chant it seriously.