Mantra writing is one of my favourite methods of sadhana. It is a powerful technology for aligning one’s mind body and soul with one goal.
It is also extremely flexible – one can take up sadhana to write any mantra (unless of course expressly instructed not to for reasons of secrecy by one’s Guru).
Mantra writing…how many, how quickly?
I am frequently asked how many times one should write a mantra to attain a goal. The answer is identical to how many times they would chant it. Ideally, one should strive to complete a puruscharan over time. Of course it takes longer to write than chant, so aspirants often cut the number down to an anusthan.
The scriptures say that anyone writing a mantra 10 million times (1 crore) will attain anything they are looking for.
Start slow and build up
My personal advice is to begin slowly – write a page or 108x of a short mantra – preferably a bija. Rama is the absolute ideal as it has immense power to overcome all negativity, obstacles, karma and problems in your life.
Then once a routine is set, increase this by a page a day. If enthusiasm takes you, there is no harm in writing more! But try to keep a steady minimum for daily writing.
Motivation is key
Rama is preferred as the mantra is a perfect compromise between the abstract (like Om or Soham, Aham Brahmasmi etc) and the conceivable (picture Lord Rama and all his perfect qualities).
However, if this still plots a path which is beyond your near term requirements, then by all means focus your needs on mantras like Kleem or Shreem for material benefits.
In any case, divinising one’s goals or placing the fruit of your labour at the feet of the Guru will undoubtedly pull you quickly to your destination.
Aspire to the supernatural
Siddhis are the manifestation of supernatural abilities in the aspirant. They are naturally made available to spiritual masters through the course of their pursuit of perfection, but the determined sadhak (aspirant) may gain the same or similar powers through japa and tapas (chanting and penance).
Siddhi does not occur overnight. Does the aspiring athelete break world records overnight? Is every cricketer ever to step onto the pitch automatically as skilled as Tendulkar? No.
Distinguished athletes’ abilities come from a combination of natural talent and countless hours of practice. In a similar manner, the spiritual aspirant is either advantaged through birth (had attained or came very close to attaining siddhis in a prior lifetime) or has worked very hard to receive them.
However, one does not need to be a Himilayan Rishi to manifest some of the minor powers; they are surprisingly easy to attain.
Classifications of Siddhis
There are three broad classifications of siddhis: the 8 primary siddhis, 10 minor siddhis; and a number of ‘micro’ siddhis. This series will look at each of these sets in turn.
The legendary ashtasiddhis are known to virtually everyone: both adults through scripture and children through hearing puranic tales.
Here is a list
- 1 Anima – Decrease one’s body size to atomic level or manipulate density to pass through solid matter. Demonstrated by: Hanuman.
- 2 Maghima – The opposite of Anima – increase one’s body size. Demonstrated by: Sri Krishna, Hanuman, various demons.
- 3 Laghima – Become lighter than air and fly. Demonstrated by Hanuman.
- 4 Gharima – The power to become heavier than any mortal. Demonstrated by: Angatha in the court of Ravana.
- 5 Prapti – Bring objects to your hand through space. Demonstrated by: warriors who have received divine weapons. One can invoke them by calling them to hand.
- 6 Agamiyam – The ability to leave your body and enter that of another. This power costs two lifetimes’ worth of punya (positive karma) to use. Demonstrated by: Adi Shankaracharya.
- 7 Esathwam – All earthly beings bow before you and do your bidding. This siddhi is granted by Shiva himself. Only those who reach the rank of Maharishis, Celestial beings and Siddhas can use this power.
- 8 Vasithwam – Total control of all things everywhere. This is the sole privilege and attribute of God.
Understand that such powers are virtually impossible to attain
Please do not be under the delusion that any of the ashtasiddhis are available to ordinary mortals. They are powers of the highest calibre with such universe changing attributes that they are unobtainable by those below the level of Siddha.
To fully convey this point, understand that (1) only the greatest of great characters throughout history such as Hanuman, Adi Shankarcharya and Sri Krishna were said to have such powers; and (2) looking through scripture you will clearly see, such powers were only ever demonstrated at the direct command of God.
Coming soon: Part 2
How do you know…?
Aspirants who have spent a long time practising mantras often ask how one knows that they are making progress.
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer and almost entirely subjective. However, there are some basic common traits for those moving from beginner to intermediate:
- When praying, a flower falls from a picture of a guru or deity. This can happen during a puja or yagnya, at home or in a temple. Your prayers or at least your basic wishes will generally be fulfilled.
- Dawn dreams. I have written a prior post on interpreting such dreams – see my blog for details.
- Siddhis begin to appear. This is particularly true of Ganesha bhaktas (devotees) and mantra sadhaks. Memory improves, one is so in-synch with someone during conversations that you read their mind to complete conversations. Your power of influence over others improves.
Planetary transitions have similar effects
Others feel more confident, empowered, as if everything in life is going their way. Whilst certainly a clear sign of blessings taking effect, such feelings are difficult to distinguish from favourable planetary movements.
Don’t take the easy way out!
The practice of worshipping demons, ghosts and lesser devatas (demigods) is rife even today in India and abroad.
The ‘benefits’ of such practices, if one may call it a benefit, is that the practitioner gains quick siddhis as very little sincerity or devotion is required. The downside however is one enters a binding contract with potentially negative consequences!
Self control is better than controlling other beings
There are various forms of known Tantric practices out there which can instruct one on how to gain the control of ghosts and demons to do your bidding.
This is highly undesirable for a number of reasons. If one is weak-minded enough to choose such a simplistic path to their goals, it is undoubted they can become corrupted by such power.
Moreover, there are more serious consequences: the captive spirit must be continually satisfied by your oblations and prayers. They are sustained in this way. If or when this ceases, some may turn violent and inflict mental and physical harm to the captor.
Lessor deities are a step up but still not the ideal
Similar practices exist to gain the favour of the Gandharvas (divine musicians), Apsaras (divine dancers) and Yakshas (divine artists).
There is extreme temptation for one to seek sensory satisfaction from these deities. However, the level and duration of the benefits are always in proportion to the level of deity you summon.
Once the benefits wear off, one will only waste time in performing yet another sadhana for further benefits.
Pray to the highest Gods
The higher Gods, those that offer Moksha as the end-goal are indeed the most desirable for a number of reasons; not least because Moksha should be the aim of all beings!
- Any siddhis and blessings gained are permanent, at least across a lifetime. If one had certain benefits in a prior life it is very easy for the aspirant to re-create the benefits in the current.
- Blessings will never have negative effects; everything that happens is for righteous and ultimately beneficial reasons.
- They offer protection at all times to their devotees.
- Partial sadhanas still yield partial benefits if incomplete or done incorrectly by accident.
- The benefits are broad and not just what you pray for. For example, one praying for fame will also see a proportional level of wealth, not just one or the other.
- Even more importantly than the prior point, peace always accompanies a blessing.
- Devotion (Bhakti) trumps all when it comes to pleasing the deity.
Look at your own life in understanding this idea. Is it not true that nothing worth having is ever easy to attain?
This post continues the series on the Benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa.
The final set of seven benefits
Here are the benefits from the final set of verses:
- Ability to bear physical pain: Verse 25 (Naasai roga harai…)
- Victory over enemies: Verse 30 (Saadhu Santa ke…)
- Siddhis (occult powers) and Wealth: Verse 31 (
- Ethical judgement: Verse 32-35 (Raama rasaayana… to Aura Devataa Chitta…)
- Mental peace: Verse 36 (Sankata katai mitai…)
- The Grace of Hanuman: Verse 37 (Jai Jai Jai Hanumaana…)
The method of sadhana for the Hanuman Chalisa
Aspirants often ask how many times to chant the Chalisa.
It is noted that 1, 3, 9, 11 and 108 times are the most auspicious numbers, although there is no real limitation or wrong way of chanting it! More importantly, dedication, regularity and devotion are key. The most auspicious times and days are during the twilight hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays, although again, this is a stotra one can learn and recite daily.
For those who want to attempt the higher number of repetitions but feel they are unable to get the pronunciation correct, I have updated the Listen to Mantras page on the blog (click here to access it) with a fast version (recited within 3mins). It is therefore possible to finish a full 108 within a few hours.
Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama!
Check my blog frequently to keep up to date with new articles on Hanuman!
One of the key pre-requisites of preparation to chant a mantra in which you want Siddhi is the Gayatri Maha Mantra.
The foundation of all
The Gayatri is an incredibly flexible and unbelievably powerful mantra.
One can build a tremendous amount of spiritual power through diligently reciting the Gayatri, then ‘spend’ this power through other mantras to focus on improving that particular part of your life. This will allow you to gain faster siddhi of any mantra and more spectacular results from your sadhana.
Typically, one should either recite the Gayatri at least 1008x daily in addition to any mantra, or finish an anusthan beforehand.
Read my prior post on supercharging your prayers with the Gayatri by clicking here.
This post continues the series on the benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa. We have so far learned that the hymn helps the sadhak with everything from dissolving bad karma to attaining the heights of fame!
The second set of severn verses
Here are the benefits from the next seven verses:
- Restores and improves career/social status: Verses 16-17 (Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin… and Tumharo mantra Vibheeshana…)
- Accomplish difficult tasks, break obstacles: Verse 20 (Durgama kaaja…)
- Protection from malefic effect of planets: Verse 22 (Saba sukha lahai…)
- Protection from Black Magic and spirits: Verse 24 (Bhoota pishaacha…)
- Health: Verse 25 (Naasai roga…)
- Rescue from crisis: Verse 26 (Sankata ten Hanumaana…)
- Fulfilment of desires: Verses 27-28 (Saba para Raama… and (Aura manoratha jo…)
More than a hymn
As discussed in the first post in this series (click here to read it if you missed it or wish to recap), the Hanuman Chalisa is far more powerful than a simple devotional hymn.
Sadhaks have long discovered that there are specific benefits to chanting certain verses.
The benefits were outlined in the prior post. This part looks at the verses behind the first seven benefits, as below.
The first seven verses and benefits
- Removal of bad karma accrued against Guru or fellow devotees: First opening verse (Shree Guru Charana…)
- Wisdom and strength: Second opening verse (Buddhi Heena Tanu…)
- Divine knowledge (Brahmavidya): Verse 1 (Jaya Hanumaana gyaana…)
- Remove bad habits and company: Verse 3 (Mahaaveera Vikrama…)
- Cultivates bhakti: Verses 7 and 8 (Vidyaavaana gunee… and Prabhu charitra…)
- Protection from snakes and bites: Verse 11 (Laaye Sanjeevana…)
- Fame: Verses 13-15 (Sahasa badana…, Sanakaadika Brahmaadi…, Yama Kuber …)
A powerful technology for all-round benefits
The Hanuman Chalisa has benefited millions across generations through its mantra-shakti and ability to incite the deepest devotion in the most intensely troubled sadhak.
But do not think it to be limited to merely improving your state of mind! It is indeed an intensely powerful stotra (hymn) which can endow the saadhak (spiritual aspirant) with real power – physical, metaphysical and spiritual; and both for daily life and also for esoteric purposes.
A quick recap of the basics….
We have already covered the basic benefits of the Chalisa – building character and Ram Bhakti. You can read the prior articles on Hanuman by clicking here and here; they provide a quick refresher on his attributes and the general benefits of Hanuman worship.
…then onto the master class!
The Hanuman Chalisa is a hymn of 40 verses adoring Hanuman and his great achievements in the context of the epic Ramayana. Each verse is also known as a chaupai (4 legged) and consists of a rhyming couplet.
It is the essence of the Sundara Kand of the Ramayana. In fact this is one of the very reasons for its unbelievable power to help any devotee – the Sundara Kand is prescribed to anyone with a strong will to make something happen which is beyond their control – one prominent example is hastening marriage.
There are of course a much broader set of benefits to reading or listening to the Chalisa daily – here is a full list:
- Removes bad karma of unknowingly insulting or harming a Guru or fellow devotee
- Wisdom and strength
- Divine knowledge
- Remove bad habits and company
- Cultivates bhakti
- Protection from snakes and bites
- Restores and improves career/social status
- Protection from malefic effect of planets
- Accomplish difficult tasks, break obstacles
- Rescue from crisis
- Fulfilment of desires
- Protection from Black Magic and spirits
- Ability to bear physical pain
- Victory over enemies
- Siddhis (occult powers)
- Mental peace
- Ethical judgement
- The Grace of Hanuman
This series will highlight which specific verses provide each of the benefits. within the Chalisa can be recited on their own as ‘mini-mantras’ to gain specific benefits.
Ignore the hype, here’s the review
In the first part of the series, we looked at the potential for inception through mantra. You can read the first part by clicking here if you did not have a chance to do so already, or wish to refresh your memory on the debate.
The general conclusion of the post was that having a limited degree of mental control over someone is possible – as clearly demonstrated by the practice of hypnotherapy – but doing so through mantra is highly unlikely, even if you had a ‘genuine’ mantra and attained siddhi (perfected the technique) due to the presence of individuals’ free will.
A more interesting and plausible idea is that anyone can influence those around them in a positive manner through a personality transformation.
What does this mean? The answer is simple and within everyone’s frame of reference. Haven’t we all met a person in our lives who was so charismatic, who held everyone’s attention perfectly, who spoke beautifully, articulately and intelligently to captivate an audience? I am sure we all know someone like this – be it our favourite school teacher, a great spiritual Master, or great political/military leader. Why can’t we be more like our role models?
A new story: change yourself to change the world
In this regard, the answer is: there is no reason why we cannot. The idea of ‘leading from the front’ – ie by example – is an age-old concept. If you can think of no other, one example is known to all – the great Mahatma Gandhi, who led India out of British Rule by setting a firm and clear example of non-violent protest through his own actions.
The methods of how we can change ourselves through mantra are outlined below.
One can affect a great transformation – spiritual and otherwise through the use of mantra. Chanting certain mantras can have a deep conscious and sub-conscious effect on our psyche to enact incremental positive changes which over time build up and transform us completely.
The transformations considered are: character, speech, mental strength and action. These four concepts are the cornerstones of great personalities.
Here are the mantras to gain such benefits:
- Character: Worship Hanuman and Rama to understand and become the ideal personality. Click here to read my prior articles on improving one’s character and another article on writing Rama nama.
- Speech: Worship Saraswathy to master the art of articulation – click hear to see a powerful mantra.
- Mental Strength: Worship Ganesha and Narasimha to improve mental control and increase determination to achieve anything. Click to see Ganesha’s gayatri mantra and here to see the Narasimha Gayatri.
- Action: Thoughts are meaningless within firm action to drive them into reality. Click here to read a post on worshipping Skanda.
Those who are serious and wish to undergo a full effective change in their personalities should attempt at least an anusthan of each mantra to see real differences.
Click here to read the first article in the series on Vashikaran mantras if you missed it.