I call upon God’s Name, and on my own.
Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning the utterance of a sacred word, sound, or various syllables. Many religious sects use mantras. Nichiren Buddhism chants “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō,” as a means for coming out of one’s suffering. Tibetan Buddhists consider all of Buddha’s teachings on enlightenment to be contained in the phrase, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” a collection of articulations invoking the original sound of the universe and the removal of earthly attachments to allow wisdom to emerge. Lastly, many yogis and Hindus use mantras as a means of connecting to the Divine and to summon specific qualities of certain gods or goddesses. It is also a practice among yogis and Hindus to simply chant the word “Om” repeatedly to recall the essence of the original moment and sound of creation.
Christianity is even no stranger to the art of mantras; whether it is the call and response of praise and worship or the stating of the rosary performed by many Catholics (Although some may argue this one, I believe it is a form of mantra). Even if one is not religious but merely understands the power of positive affirmations, that too is its own mantra. I personally enjoy the affirmation given in the book, later translated to a movie, by Kathryn Stockett, The Help,
“You is smart.
You is kind.
And you is important.”
Repeating mantras, whether as a stated word or in chanting form, makes a connection between the body and that of something much greater. As we use our vocal chords, internally, our body vibrates with sound as we use the breath to feed our invocation. It awakens our chakras, impacting mostly the throat chakra as the sound is released. Depending on the sound, there is the potential to ignite the root chakra all the way to the crown chakra. Kirtans, a call and response form of a chanting usually done in a gathering, is a great way to witness the vibrations of the body as one repeats holy mantras to awaken the soul body. If you have not listened to many mantras, I encourage you to investigate further to see if this is a means of awakening to the Divine that works for you. To get you stared, here is a version of “Om Mani Padme Hum,” by Deva Premal, a well-known musician of meditative and new age music.
No matter your religious affiliation, or non-affiliation, I believe we are all privy to the power that comes from repeating a sacred sound, whatever “sacred” means to us. Today, the Course gives the invitation to partake in a mantra, of sorts, by repeating God’s Name, the name that is also ours. We have recited many prayers and statements in previous lessons, however, you will notice that in Lesson 183 there is a certain power that arises in the Divine body as we utter those three letters, G-O-D.
“No prayer but this is necessary, for it holds them all within it. Words are insignificant, and all requests unneeded when God’s Son calls on his Father’s Name” (ACIM Lesson 183 10:2-3).
It is tough to contain something so big, grand, and universal in just three letters. How can something so big, be in such a small word? Perhaps, it is like the saying, “Never choose a book by its color?” In this instance, never estimate the power of a word by how many letters it has.
However, let us try to not get bogged down with the name “God.” It is merely a formality. Recognize if it is a word that resonates with you but also be aware of any attachments to it. What we are experiencing today as we utter our mantra, is the feeling invoked behind it: the energy beyond the words. To further add to this idea of non-attachment to the word, “God,” think of all other languages and cultures that do not use that specific word, instead, they have a word of their own. Even in English we have various forms of God: The Almighty, The Godhead, The Comforter, Most High, and Abba (no, not the famed group who sings “Dancing Queen”). In Hebrew it is El-Shaddai. The God of Islam is Allah. And in Spanish, the word for God is El Dios. Thus, as we learned at the beginning of our walk together, let us not get caught up in limiting such forces by names. For the purpose of our collective journey, it is helpful to have a common name by which we can all understand certain energies. However, let us not forget that the energy we are invoking today is beyond any word, in any language, in any sect, and in any culture. It just Is (another word in which only two letters describes something so infinite).
“In this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal. In our Father’s Name, we would experience this peace today. And in His Name, it shall be given us (ACIM Lesson 183 11:6-8).
Today, we use God’s Name, recognizing that we are created in Her eternal likeness, name and form. We are saying only the One Name of All, which includes you, me, and all of our brothers and sisters. We raise our voices and ignite the vibrations in the body as a means of witnessing how the world around us falls away as we come back to the space from which everything arises, the spaciousness of remembrance.
“Let all thoughts be still except this one. And to all other thoughts respond with this, and see God’s Name replace the thousand little names you gave your thoughts, not realizing that there is one Name for all there is, and all that there will be” (ACIM Lesson 183 8:4-5).
There is something in the utterance of the word God, or whichever word you would like to use to describe the Eternal Grandness. In chanting Her name, our Name, we are invoking something far greater than ourselves, a sacredness that emerges beyond any word or music. It is said, “In the beginning there was Word.” True. Yet before word, the summation of a collective of sounds, there was purely just sound. A cry of love so innocent as it arose out of stillness and silence.
In our practice, the utterance of our holy mantra invites us to experience that which is beyond word and sound. A place only you can go for yourself. May you revel in the calling of Your Name. May you witness your majesty and your divine peace. It is this you will bring back to you bothers and sisters to share. Om Shanti Shanti Om. Peace, peace, and perfect peace. Namaste.