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  • Ganesha Siddhi Mantra Japa Invitation

    Posted on January 1, 2014 by in Uncategorized
    Hi-Ki-Yoga---the-Way-of-Shibumi---Yoga-Explorer's-Day-(241113)-RC3-1431

    Ganesha – Remover of Obstacles – focus of Shibumi Yoga Centre‘s
    ‘Ganesha Siddhi Mantra Japa’ meditational practise.

    Ganesha Siddhi Mantra Japa Meditation Practise

    As you might have picked up from our posting: Shibumi Yoga Centre – Yoga Explorers Day (241113), Ros and I (yogini rosalind widdowson & swami tantramurti saraswati) are concentrating on the meditational practise of mantra japa (repetition) of a Ganesha siddhi (power) mantra (mind-liberator) to the point of mantra siddhi (empowerment) at 125,000 repetitions.

    We have committed to daily practise (usually the same time of day) of at least two malas-worth (set of meditational prayer beads) of chanting and are carefully monitoring our consciousness for signs of its effectiveness.  A small number of sincere practitioners have received personal instruction and initiation and have similarly committed to regular personal practise and observation.  The aspiration is that we encourage each other and build a satsang (fellowship with truth) of vibrational energies.

    Mantra Initiation, Authority & Lineage

    Swami-Nischalananda

    Swami Nischalananda – Mandala Yoga Ashram

    Paramahansa-Satyananda

    Guruji – Paramahansa Satyananda

    I first received initiation into this form of the powerful siddhi (power) mantra from my gurubai (spiritual brother) Swami Nischalananda Saraswati of Mandala Yoga Ashram, Wales, and by lineal extension from our guru (bringer of light) Paramahansa Satyananda.

    A group of us learnt this mantra as long ago as 1986 in order to aid the ashram’s request for ‘change of use’ planning permission, as I recall.  Perhaps as a young swami I had the idea that divine forces might be whispering into the ears of the planners an exhortation to grant permission (along the lines of Paramahansa Yogananda’s extraordinary mystical interventions).  Now, possibly with a more matured view, I would turn the telescope around and see it as removing obstacles from my own consciousness that form blocks to being a fit recipient of grace, to being a clear channel of receptivity.

    Through the intervening years I have often utilised this mantra in my meditations and, I am pleased to report, with some success.  At the moment Ros and I are making the commitment, over as long a time as it takes, to attain mantra siddhi (reaping the rewards of concerted regular mantra japa practise).  This does not all come in a rush at the end of a process but, as experience and testimony demonstrates, through a series of progressive illuminations and wisdoms that establish themselves in consciousness.  Some of these realisations we will attempt to share, by way of encouragement to fellow practitioners, through our on-line spiritual diary practise reports.  We hope to demonstrate the efficacy of one of yoga’s spiritual technologies – mantra japa meditational practise.

    What is Siddhi?

    Siddhi(s), from the Sanskrit word for perfection, accomplishment, attainment or success, are powers generated, granted, earned or acquired through a sadhana (spiritual practice) such as meditation. The term ‘magical’ or ‘supernatural’ are often applied to these unusual skills, faculties or capabilities.  Yogis and tantrics who have attained this state are known as siddhas (accomplished ones).

    What is the Ganesha ‘siddhi’ mantra?

    Utilised in Hinduism and Buddhism particularly, and our ‘condensed’ version with its particular cadences and inflections, is a particularly powerful and effective mantra because of its multiple use of bīja (semi-vowel ‘seed’ sounds): Aum, Shreem, Hreem, Kleem, Glaum, Gam,  and Swaha (arguably).  Ganapataye is a name of Ganesha from the word Ganapati (door warden).  Bijas carry connections to spiritual principles.  They are not mere symbols of something else but are the actual vehicles for changing and expanding one’s consciousness.

    Ganesha-Mantra-card-2

    A (very) rough English transliteration of the Ganesha ‘siddhi’ mantra.

    (above) One mala’s Ganesha Siddhi Mantra Japa practise (15 mins approx).  Repeat as required.
    Recorded at the Shibumi Yoga Centre (240114) by swami tantramurti saraswati, yogini rosalind widdowson & yogini ‘salad’.

    The Ganapati Mool (root) Mantra is:
    Aum Shreem Hreem Kleem Glaum Gam Ganapataye Vara Varada Sarva Janamme Vashamanaya Swaha.

    Tuning In – The Cosmic Radio

    The analogy I find most helpful (from our experiences in the modern age) is that of a radio station.  The radio station is not the writing or printing of its broadcasting frequency any more than the energy of a mantra is its written form.  We know that a multitude of radio stations are broadcasting radio waves containing information, music, talk, news, etc.  However, if we do not possess the requisite receiving equipment (a radio, tv, computer, phone, etc.) we will remain entirely unaware of it.  If we tune into it we have access to a wealth of riches that primitive man would have found entirely magical.

    Mantra is the equivalent to being given the exact frequency of a radio station.  Through appropriate self-preparation such as authentic source information, skilled tuition, utilising our physical and energetic bodies as resonant platforms, and the perseverance of regular and diligent practise, we can gain access to a storehouse of information, knowledge and understanding that is positively awesome in its potential.

    Pranava – the Great Aum

    The mantra aum (first found in the Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads) contains the three most basic sounds the human body and voice box can utter – aaah, oooooo, mmmmm – and a concluding silence (bindu).  Traditionally all mantras start with the sounding or repetition of aum and often conclude with it.  The repetition of the mantra aum (variously amen and amin), whether physically, mentally or ultimately with spiritual resonance is a complete practise and a safe method of meditation.  Beginning with aum and dissolving in aum, the mantra comes full cycle.

    I offer this analogy.  The mantra aum (also Om) is like the milk the mother cow gives to her calf.  The milk contains a rich and varied source of all the nutrients and protective substances that a calf needs to grow.  It is a complete and sustaining food.

    The Differentiated Bija or Seed Mantras

    From the complete sound of Aum comes a series of bija or seed mantras that are secondary, differentiated elements, in much the same way as whole milk may be processed into its constituent parts to produce products such as yoghurt, cream, butter, cheese and ice cream.  These more specific seed sounds (although they do not have precise meanings), carry connections to spiritual principles and personalities (such as Ganesha) and are specifically utilised for targeted effects such as dispelling fear, anxiety and depression.

    How important is it to pronounce the Ganesha Siddhi Mantra correctly?

    Well, it won’t kill you if you get it wrong, that’s the good news.  It’s not unsafe if you don’t get the pronunciation absolutely correct, it just decrease its effectiveness.  However, an English speaker not trained in the subtle pronunciations of Sanskrit would likely sound coarse and clumsy to a proficient speaker of an Indic language.  For instance, although we have transliterated the mantra on the card above into an approximation of the Sanskrit, the ‘eem’ sound is closer to ‘ing’, sounded nasally.  Sanskrit is an ancient language with many more subtle pronunciations than are required in the English tongue.  If you are unused to the chanting of Sanskrit, then personal transmission from an authoritative source is essential.

    But that needn’t be a deal-breaker for a sincere student.  Options for refining pronunciation include: listening to and imitating a recording of a competent and knowledgeable practitioner, learning at least the basic intonations of Sanskrit (very useful for the aspiring yogi), taking one-to-one instruction from your guru or yoga teacher (best), or trusting that attunement to the sublime sounds will naturally come about through refined practise that reveals and releases both knowledge and a spiritual energy (ultimately inevitable).

    How do I chant the mantra?

    There are three recognised methods of reciting mantra:

    ucchahi (vocally) – effective, very useful in establishing pronunciation and for initial group practise and as a form of pranayama (breathing),

    upamshu (sub-vocal, soft recitation) – this is more effective and will probably be the secondary stage of practise.  Just be careful it does not become ‘mumbling’.

    manasikam (within the mind) – this is the most effective.

    Swami-Tantramurti's-mala

    Swami Tantramurti’s ‘Hare Krishna’ tulsi mala

    When sitting for formal practise a posture that ensures the spine is in a relaxed and in an upright position to allow for the free-flow of breath and circulation of subtle energies is essential.  Classical meditational asanas (comfortable seats) such as sukhasana (easy posture) or padmasana (lotus or half lotus) with the buttocks raised slightly to take the weight off the groin and knees is prefered.  Alternatively, sit comfortably on a straight-backed chair with your spine leaning two centimetres forward and free from the back of the chair, if possible.  Remember it’s the practise that’s the most important, not the sitting posture.

    It’s very helpful to use a japa mālā (prayer beads – literally ‘garland’) that is practised in sets of 108 repetitions.  One round of a mala will take approximately 13 minutes.  Eyes may be open (sometimes distracting), half-open (defocussed) or closed.

    What is a Japa Mala and how do I use it?

    Swami-Tantramurti-practising-japa

    Swami Tantramurti practising Japa Meditation – left hand is in gyan mudra.

    A mala traditionally consists of 108 beads strung together with knots with a sumeru, bindu, stupa or guru bead (the 109th) outside the garland, marking the counting/turning point.  Some traditions specify use of the right hand only (the left being associate with the ‘toilet’ hand) with the thumb flicking from one bead to the next with each repetition. The mala is draped over the middle finger, the index finger representing ego and thus avoided.  Use of a mala bag prevents the mala being dropped or sullied by contact with the floor.  There are smaller malas of 54 (more manageable with the larger beads such as rudraksha – medicinal seeds) or wrist malas of 27.  The set I use (pictured above) is a tulsi mala I bought many years ago from the Hare Krishna devotees in London.  By tradition, eight repetitions or beads are discounted and offered to God or guru.  That makes it easier to record each mala’s practise as 100 repetitions.

    Malas are made of a variety of woods, seeds, stones, bone, ceramics and crystals and are favoured by various practitioners for their efficacy.  Ros uses a rosewood mala, purchased at the Satyananda Yoga Centre, London, which is recommended for use with a Ganesha mantra.  If you intend to practise for mantra siddhi (mantra empowerment) of one particular mantra then I suggest you purchase a new mala for that purpose.  It will become spiritualised by your practise and can even be passed on as an act of grace or kindness to a fellow practitioner to give them a head start.  Some gurus gift empowerment by such means.  The following site in the USA offers a wonderful selection of malas.  http://www.yogabasics.com/japamalabeads/

    Ros-Widdowson's-rosewood-mala

    yogini Rosalind Widdowson‘s rosewood mala

    Just remember, keep it simple.  It’s not what you buy, but how you use it.  Please don’t get hung up on mere counting and repetition, it’s establishing the mantra in your heart and transcending the mind to reside in turiya (the experience of pure consciousness) that brings the benefits.

    Daily mindfulness or dedicated mala practise sessions?

    Hare-Krishna-devotees

    Hare Krishna devotees (harekrishnas.org)

    Our friends at ISKON (the ‘Hare Krishna’ devotees), if I understand it correctly, have set 16 malas as the minimum daily practise requirement.  That’s 1,728 daily repetitions of the Maha Mantra:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

    With their discrete use of a japa mala bag and counting beads their practise extends day-long and is, in effect, a continuous rolling meditation.  Constantly revisiting a mantra is like keeping a top spinning by means of regularly revisiting it before its energy decays into inactivity.  Whilst specific times of day can be set aside for formal practise, this continuous revitalisation and reconnecting with a continuous vibrational energy is the true goal of mantra japa.  If the accent is merely placed on those sessions of mantra japa practise with the aim of ‘knocking off’ a few more prescribed malas in a ‘countdown to enlightenment’, one is clearly missing the point.

    Can the Ganesha Siddhi Mantra be practised by a beginner?

    I would not recommend this mantra to a beginner in mantra practise, or one who had not practised the basic techniques of meditation.  It will bring up for examination, observation and processing a range of emotional and mental  issues you may be unprepared to deal with.  Regular practise with the mantra, ‘aum’, or the mantra of the breath ‘so-ham’ is advised before undertaking more complex and powerful mantras.  However I would never dissuade a sincere aspiration to practise, and for seasoned practitioners this is a very effective sadhana (disciplined and dedicated practice or learning).

    Iconography

    Ganesha statue with rakhi bracelets

    Ganesha statue with rakhi bracelets

    The presence of this depiction of Shri Ganesha does not imply worship of a Hindu deity, but rather offers us an iconic representation of a particular energy form utilised by yogis and tantrics.

    It is not strictly necessary to have a statue or painting of Ganesha present at all, it’s merely an aid if you are interested to learn key features relating to the mantra.  Its use is a visual ‘mnemonic’ device that aids information retention and transfers information to long-term memory. It seems the human mind more easily remembers ‘relatable’ information than abstract or impersonal ones.  If you break down the various elements of the image it offers a veritable storehouse of information.  For instance; does Ganesha’s trunk bend firstly to the left or right and why is that important?  Why four arms, and what is he holding in them? (postings to follow)

    How may I join the Shibumi Yoga Centre’s Ganesha siddhi mantra japa meditation satsang?

    A number of hi-ki/shibumi students are now regularly chanting this mantra and reporting beneficial results in their daily lives (comments and posts to follow).   Should you wish to join our group’s endeavour and establish yourself in a powerful personal practise, we are offering personal visits to the Shibumi Yoga Centre, Kidderminster, to coincide with practise times or by a Skype connection (to account contact: tantro) for instruction and initiation.  In the near future we hope to be able to offer Skype conferencing facilities or Google+ hangouts.  You may email me at: tantro@gmail.com.  If you would like to follow our endeavours on-line or on Facebook (coming soon), look for these headed posts:

    Ganesha-'daily-practise-diary'-strip

    Caveat (beware)

    Please accept that I do not put myself forward as an ‘authority’ on any of the subjects outlined above, I’m merely a practitioner with some experience formed through years of practise.  It is always a difficult task, as a person of two cultures, Occidental (Western) and Oriental (Eastern), to balance understandings and attempt to be a bridge between them.  As ever, I invite comment and participation from my gurubai and other yoga & tantric practitioners.  May your Ganesha siddhi mantra japa meditations be rewarded with illumination and success.

    Hari Om Tat Sat, Swami Tantramurti Saraswati.

7 Responses so far.

  1. salad says:

    I have been practising the ganesha mantra for a few weeks and I’m dedicated to practising this on a daily basis. I found I have gone within myself and notice changes in my thought patterns, my stress levels have reduced, though I find myself emotional at times for no apparant reason. Maybe the mantra is unleashing deep seeded emotions that I didn’t let go of at the time I should have. I find I’m more creative, artistically, musically, and poetically. I have more patience with dealing with everyday life. Maybe the mantra is working through my own personal blocks that have effected me for many years unconsciously.

    I find myself stepping back to allow the mantra to work and go where it is needed…….my intention is to affirm this mantra well and put my trust into its “magic” to see where it will flow.

    I feel very honoured to have been taught the Ganesha mantra by Tantro who passed it to me while I was going through tricky times. I really feel it has helped me find my way into the light, out of the darkness.

    Anyone who practises mantra will interpret their experiences differently to how it relates to them personnally. I feel the mantra starting to become part of me now, it is alive within me and I can feel it.

    I have joined Ros and Tantro on many occassions during chant and have also taken up the 40 day mantra marathon with them started 1 st January 2014.

  2. Deb says:

    Chanting this amazing mantra has become an important part of my day…

    I use it at work whilst walking. The power of the mantra brings everything alive, making me feel a part of everything around me, bringing a huge sense of peace and belonging.

    I use the mantra at home whilst sat in the small space I have set aside for quiet and meditation. Tantro has mentioned that the mantra draws you into it. I have certainly found this to be the case. I look forward to the peace it brings as the sounds resonate and vibrate. After a busy day the mantra is like a healing balm.

    I also try to spend time with Tantro and Ros when we chant the mantra together. This is when the mantra really comes alive. It becomes a living thing between us…powerful and very beautiful. It changes and flows and as it does there is an overwhelming feeling that we are moving together, carrying and supporting each other… flowing together.

    Thank you Tantro and Ros. Thankyou Lord Ganesh.

  3. tantro says:

    Emma O’Brien

    I’d love to hear how people are getting on with this, it’s something I’d thought of doing but felt I would struggle with the commitment and so dismissed before trying. I’ve read that if you miss one you need to start over or it doesn’t work. On reflection, I’m now thinking that taking any time out in the day will be beneficial for me however/whenever/wherever and that doing it silently is also an option. My focus for this year is ‘slow’ – taking time, doing things at the right speed (whether that is fast or slow) and being present in the moment – I think that the discipline of taking time out to practice meditation will really help – I’m going to take the step and see where it leads!

  4. salad says:

    I have been practising this powerful mantra for approximately 7 weeks. Since 1 st January 2014 I have been keeping a record of my daily chanting. I have reached 2,772 repetitions.

    I have had all mannor of different experiences. My visions during mantra and meditation have increased . I often see geometry shapes that shift very quickly from one to another. Because of this I am now exploring sacred geometry and it’s meaning.

    I accept what comes to me in my life now……knowing that it’s an experience and lesson of some sort. I am meeting people of a spiritual connection and my view is expanding on a higher conscious level.

    Stress levels are non existent, (at the moment). Obstacles that appear are merely lessons or something that may require more thought rather than an emotional response, or outburst.

    I feel quite tranquil and light……flowing gently through my day, rather than rushing and getting impatient!.

    I find I am fluent verbally with the ganesha mantra and have taken my concentration further by mentally affirming the sacred words, which Is harder then one may think. Once the mental affirmation is fluent and unwavering, I am looking forward to learning the full sacred ganesha mantra.

    My respect for this mantra has risen and I feel a love, a bond and a closeness with ganesh, I also feel humble and enlightened.

  5. Nick says:

    I have used this for years and it works very well. Some days I do more than others, but if I am on the train etc, I say it.

    Nick

  6. Jude says:

    I have been taking part in the chanting of the Ganesha ‘siddhi’ mantra since early December when Tantro and Roz invited me to join them in the practice. I am so glad that I have committed to it as it has an alchemy about it that I feel connects me to what is sacred.

    Although on some days I haven’t managed to do the practice, I still think about the sacred nature of it in order to kick-start the process, as Tantro says, and keep it going within me. I don’t know how many repetitions I have done or how many times I have sat, but I feel a commitment to daily practice is important in terms of strengthening the power of the practice. I don’t think people should be too worried if they miss the odd day. The important thing, I feel, is to keep coming back to it with awareness and in a sacred manner.

    The repetition of the mantra, as with all mantra work, helps to still the mind and in doing so reveals the Self and helps connect us to it. By sitting for just a few short minutes with this mantra we are giving ourselves time to connect with who we really are and space to be and appreciate that sense of self, away from all the myriad tasks and confusions that we can get caught up in. I have found that chanting the Ganesha ‘siddhi’ mantra, perhaps because of the symbolism and philosophy involved with him, brings a clarity and a dropping away of things that aren’t important so that maybe the way forward becomes clearer.

    Obviously everyone’s experience is different, and it is interesting to read how people are finding the experience. Personally I don’t think it’s an easy path and things are cropping up which need dealing with and a lot of processing. But then maybe that’s the thing with obstacles.

  7. Alistair says:

    Since Tantro kindly shared this version of the Ganesha mantra with us, my partner Csilla, who like Ros specialises in Yoga for Pregnancy, and myself have been chanting nearly every day with beneficial effect.

    Our studio in Newry, Northern Ireland had been recently going through some challenging times, but as we started chanting, many new possibilities started to appear. I have also found that I have been able to increasingly observe with interest what is happening around us, allowing it to take its natural course without so much concern for the result.

    I’m reminded of the words of T.S.Eliot: “………take no thought to the harvest, But only of the proper sowing”. Choruses from ‘The Rock’.

    Thanks Tantro and Ros for sharing this.