Whole Life Magazine

August / September 2017

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Page 16 of 35

THE POWER OF MANTRA By Amy V. Dewhurst I n the vibrational language of Ancient Vedic Sanskrit, the word "mantra" is composed of two parts: 1) "Man" which translates as "to think" or "manas" mean- ing "mind-heart" 2) "Tra" which translates as "tool" or "to protect" On a super practical level, mantra protects our mind from its ever-evolving, often all-over-the-place, thoughts, fears, doubts, and daydreams. By repeating sacred sounds (instead of affi rmations, or everyday words), mantra moves us out of a "thinking mind" into the meditative state of a "feeling mind." It's from this "feeling mind" we can connect to the deepest parts of ourselves. Mantra consists of bija (seed) sounds, lengthier more melodic phrasing for praising, or verses from The Vedas (holy texts). One of the most well-known (and well-loved) of these is called The Maha Mantra and it goes like this; HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA, HARE HARE, HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE When chanting "HK, HK, KK, HH, HR, HR, RR, HH" your tongue hits the meridian points on the roof of your mouth that tells your brain, to tell your glands, to produce serotonin and melatonin; the hormones attributed to happiness. Now you know why the guys wearing saffron robes singing it in subway stations are always smiling! While the original act of mantra dates back to sometime between 1000–500 BC, The Maha Mantra was popularized by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in approximately 1500 BCE. Believ- ing the benefi ts should be available to all castes, Chaitanya brought chanting from inside the temples out into the streets. Some thousand years later, a householder in India entered into his sanyasi state, and sailed across the seas to spread the holy name. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada arrived in New York Harbor in 1966 with one mantra on his mind. By 1967, he and a group of new students set up in a Lower East Side storefront previously called "Matchless Gifts," the irony (and awe) not lost on those who entered. Within the walls of the small space on Second Avenue, Prabhupada taught the Maha Mantra. Its ecstatic effects radiated out into the streets. The electricity of this "mind-heart-tool" zipped and zapped its way from Sea to Shining Sea, into the heart of San Francis- co's Haight-Asbury during the Summer of Love. Students there anxiously awaited the arrival of "The Swami" from New York City. Countercultural icon, Allen Ginsberg accompanied Pra- bhupada, who even at the airport sang, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." The fl ower children fl ourished in the magic of the mantra and sowed its sweet seeds into the fabric of the hippie scene. The Maha Mantra has since been represented in movies, television, DVDs, books, radio, records, tapes, CDs, and MP3s. Examples of mantra are available on iTunes, YouTube, and every steaming service in between (Hint: Listen to the Beatles later albums and solo stuff!). Of course, there's nothing like experiencing its potent effects in person! Southern California seekers are invited to join the Ratha Yatra Festival of The Char- iots on August 6th in Venice Beach (free to all) and Bhakti Fest on September 7th in Joshua Tree. Both events give you an opportunity to learn the Maha Mantra from multiple leaders. As Prabhupada would say, "Chant and Be Happy!" To learn more about the Ratha Yatra Festival visit https:// festivalofchariots.com. To learn more about Bhakti Fest visit http://bhaktifest.com. Amy V. Dewhurst is the VP of an undisclosed international corporation; the author of Heartbreak Yoga; co-producer of Shyam's Lila and Taos Hanuman; and a producer of Bhakti Fest. She builds brands and produces seva projects globally. Chant and Be Happy! Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom are here to guide humanity along the path of cooperation and sharing, to help us solve our many crises - social, political, economic and environmental. www.shareinternational.info/WLT 888.242.8272 sharing • justice • peace The World Teacher for all humanity is here now yoga & spirit storefront previously called "Matchless Gifts," the irony (and Photos: Michael McCleaf ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICE! Have you considered advertising in our Professional Services Directory? Call now to be in our October/November issue! sales@wholelifemagazine.com 310.425.3056 August/September 2017 17

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