When a thought arises in the mind, it is not easy to get rid of it. The thought keeps coming back over and over again, and if you decide to do something else, you will feel uneasy until you finish with that thought. It becomes irritating like a grain of sand in the eye.
Similarly, if you are unhappy about something, that sadness does not easily leave you, whatever you do to get rid of it. Even by listening to inspiring discourses that sadness does not go away. Many times you tell your mind that something is trivial and not to worry about it. But the mind or intellect does not pay any attention. So we can chant a mantra. Our mind takes the form of the mantra that we repeat.
“Manah trayate iti mantrah” – means a mantra is that which is brought to mind again and again. And to practice this mind and the mantra should not be separate. The mind should become the mantra. If the mind thinks of something else while chanting the mantra, the mantra will not be effective. The mind should be filled with the mantra. The moment that happens, the mind is free from worry.
A worry is something that is not in place. It is neither here nor there. A mantra is necessary to drive out worries. A mantra has strength and spirit. When these are present, the mind becomes the power of the mantra. The power of the mind and the power of a mantra are the same.
“Chittam mantrah” – Mind should become the mantra. The power of every mantra can be felt in the form of vibrations. When an atom explodes, its impact spreads not only for many kilometers, but the effects remain for many years – all this from the explosion of an atom! The mind is a thousand times subtler than an atom. Imagine the power of the mind when it becomes quiet. When the mind becomes quiet again and again, this is called mantra. Mantra is the cure for the mind.
Whether the mantra is “Om namah shivaya” or “Rama, Rama,” the effect of the mantra depends on how it is pronounced and invoked.
You can control the mind by using a mantra. With the help of a mantra, the mind loses its smallness and becomes vast; the mind that is dissatisfied becomes content; and the mind that is constantly disturbed by desires is released from them and finds fulfillment.
Although a mantra may be the same, its value is different when given by a Guru. Then you feel the power of the mantra.