Power of Mantra

For many, mantra sounds like a hex from Harry Potter. However, mantra is a scientific tool to literally cleanse our mind. How and from what?
The Sanskrit word Mantra मन्त्र is a composition of two words: manas (mind) and trai (cleanse, liberate). Therefore, mantra is a tool to calm down the thoughts in our mind. Now what is mind?
Generally the śāstra (yogic science) says, that mind consists of pranic body (prānamaya kośa), emotional body (manomaya kośa) and wisdom or intellectual body (vijñānamaya kośa). I don’t go into much detail on these, as it would take many pages of writing. The important thing to know is, that mind consists of different parts. As prāna, our vital energy, is the bridge between body and mind and all “bodies” remain in constant interaction, mantra also influences our physical body through prana in the form of sound vibration of our bodily functions.
Mantras were originally “composed” or expressed in Sanskrit. It is believed that Sanskrit is not man-made but was revealed to the ṛṣis (wisemen) during their transcendental meditations. Those of you, who are using mantra regularly for your own yoga practice can surely affirm this. Just like other ancient wisdom based disciplines, also yoga is experience based, even though, today, the neuro-linguistic effect of mantras is widely known and could be measured and proven through scientific experiments.
According to the Indian tradition, mantras are chanted to the dying as it is believed that the last thing you hear or think about will influence your future birth. Makes sense to me.
I personally like the approach of blending science and philosophy, however, I didn’t need any scientific proof on this one. Some of my life experiences were the best proof to me.
First time I started to work more intensely with mantras was during my pregnancy, when I used to chant Lalita Sahasranāma (thousand names of Mother Goddess) everyday. I was struck by the power of this 40 minutes chant as I approached birth with 0 worries and also 0 information. 🙂 That time my mantra was sufficient.
Later I used mantras to bring Gayatri and other babies 🙂 to sleep or chant when she was angry. It used to help not only the child but also the mother. 🙂
Second milestone in my life experience was when Gayatri was 4 years old and was admitted to ICU during our travels through Bhutan with acute pneumonia and her chance of survival was only 50%. When she stopped responding, I started chanting mantras. I don’t know how long I sat there that night beside her bed. But one thing I knew: the mantra gave me faith and strength and I think Gayatri’s subconscious mind reconnected with the vibrations chanted in the womb and next day she sat up on her hospital bed and asked for food. That time I knew the worst was over.
This is my personal experience with mantra.
Hari Om Tat Sat
🙏🕉🙏

IQ vs EQ

For years now, I have been moving between and living with two completely different cultures such as the traditional Indian and the modern Western. This made me think and rethink my own values, education and upbringing from many different perspectives. It becomes clearer to me, that the modern way of education and way of thinking is based on the model “either or” and strengthens mainly the IQ (Information based). In traditional societies the way of thinking is based on “it depends” and the education aims to strengthen the EQ (wisdom based). How often we encounter somebody bearing many academic titles, but who is unable to manage his own life and emotions? Somebody with a low IQ and a higher EQ can live a happy life, but not vice versa. The secret lies in the right blend of both depending on a person’s need and living conditions.

Sometimes it’s all about food

One of the reason, why the minds of Indians haven’t been much inflicted by the corona crisis, apart from their immense capacity of acceptance, is direct access to clean food – food being one of the basic human commodities, apart from shelter, medical care and education.
Let me give you an example…
When was the last time you or your children saw a grain of wheat? Do you know where the grains in your bread come from and how they were processed? Read more

Real life stories told by women themselves..

The other day, when I visited my husband’s ancestral home, I forgot my mobile at home. Luckily!
Instead of checking emails and scrolling on Facebook, I helped my 86 year old mother-in-law (Amma as everybody calls her meaning mother in Malayalam) to hang up her washed saris on the laundry line. Meanwhile we could engage in a conversation and I could once again listen to her life story. It goes like this…
She was principal of a primary school for 30 years Read more

YOGA is YOU

Today morning, after a few days of heavy rainfall due to the cyclone on the other coast of India, I ventured out to the beach in front of our house for a walk. After a short walk and some free movement on the beach I sat down to attempt meditation.  With deep conscious breathing my thoughts gradually started sorting out from the usual thoughts about duties, responsibilities, judgements etc. to the more reflecting ones.
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Awareness through his “corona art”

Arsha Yoga GurukulamOne local artist from Chennai spreads awareness through his “corona art”. This proves again that India stands for “Unity in Diversity”. In crisis, religion or caste step aside for the sake of joint effort, whereas Europe mostly worries about losing personal freedom. Read more

Intro or Extro – Which One Are You?

For many years, my husband was talking about extroverted vs. introverted people. For many years, my understanding of his talk was a complete opposite of what he meant…

Have I understood it now? Probably not completely, but some improvement is detectable. 🙂
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When One Night Seems Longer Than Your Whole Life

WARNING: This article is long, even I needed the patience to write down my whole experience, but there is an urge inside of me to process these events of the last days now from the comfort of my seafront garden.

April 5 – day 1

This day we set off on our long-awaited journey to Bhutan, a Himalayan country, where there is no GDP (gross domestic product) but just a GHP (gross happiness product). Read more

India – My Guru

The word Guru doesn’t exactly mean “just” a teacher as it is often translated. It comes from the Sanskrit: गुरु, where gu means darkness and ru means dispeller. Guru is the one who removes darkness of ignorance and lights up wisdom. A guru is the one who is knowledgeable, wise and authentic and guides others through his wisdom. In this regard India has been my greatest Guru so far.
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Golden Qualities of a Teacher

One thing I realised during the past 9 years of dedicated work as a co-founder of an ashram and a yoga therapist and what I call “ashram police”. No matter how long the list of the ashram rules and regulations is, there is always someone who will be an inspiration to make a new one, if you know what I mean 😉
Some people refuse to wear the training uniform altogether. Some make their sleeves and trousers shorter and shorter every day. Read more