For all in the householder stage of life meditation on OM "does not give good effects, it will be responsible for decline and misfortune," says Shankaracharya Brahmananda Saraswati, aka Guru Dev. (Mason 2009:323-24).
OM (Aum) is used as a mantra. Mantras are sounds - syllables and medleys of syllables. Such sounds, syllables, words, or groups of words are considered capable of "creating transformation". Their uses and types vary - Mantra use is an essential part of the Hindu tradition and a customary practice within Buddhism too. (118)
There are very many mantras. The Sanskrit word mantra(m), comes from 'man' and 'think' and 'tra' (tools or instruments). Thus, the mantra is the tool of thought. Mantra Japa is repetition of mantra. These ways of repeating the mantra are considered the topmost ones: by thinking; by uninterrupted inner repetition. The effecs of a bija mantra (seed mantra) are said to develop more readily in deep meditation. Simply by uttering the bija mantras that are written in Tantra, one cannot have the greatest results. But if the mind is focused well enough and long enough in a deep, interior state, then the mantra becomes awakened, effective, it is held. (cf. introduction by the First Publisher, p. 128)
The beneficial effects of the mantra and how it is used, may it at last get strong enough to counteract the influences of routines, company, destiny and whatever? There could also be better ways to solve some situations or tangles one is in, for that matter.
There are simple mantras and there are more complex, involved mantras. Many mantras are devised by way of formulas that consist of "building blocks" of standard Sanskrit words and phrases. Such mantras fairly often contains a root mantra that relates to the aim of chanting, or to whose presence is invoked.
Namah implies "I honor and salute".
Shri denotes success.
Jai means victory to, i.e., hail.
Phat (start with an f) is said to shoo disturbing influences, and subdue demons.
According to such a pattern, [An invocation mantra] + Shri Ganeshaya + Namah involves [that invocing mantra] and salutations to the one involved. In this case: Ganesh, the elephant-headed remover of obstacles.
The above is how many longer mantras are built up by joined parts.
There are simpler mantras or ways to use mantras for deep meditation too, and without OM. Transcendental Meditation is ◦well researched..
Mantras serve different ends. Many are for developing the enlightened mind. And here are some by which gurus like Lahiri probably fight - such mantras are at any rate used by yoga magicians, for attaining wealth, long life, and eliminating enemies. Examples from Lahiri's much larger mantra collection:
To "increase cows": [An invocation mantra] Kshong Namaha. (p. 125)
Mason, Paul. 108 Discourses of Guru Dev: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 1. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.
Satyeswarananda, Swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. III: The Upanisads: The Vedic Bibles. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.
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