Mantra Chanting is an important topic in Sri Lalita Sahasranama. So far we have discussed the creation and evolution (of an individual soul), the relevance of Vedas and Agamas, Dharma (righteous deeds) and the goal of life which is liberation. Chanting mantra as a spiritual practice is most essential for the evolution of an individual soul.
Worship helps you to attain liberation very fast, and chanting mantra is most suitable for that. In the 1000 names of the Divine Mother this is mentioned briefly in the mantras like “hrīmkārī, hrīmatī” etc.
For a spiritual practitioner material possessions are not important. His wealth is his mantra. He gains as much as he chants his mantra. It never goes in vain. So we will discuss that in detail here. There is a mantra in Lalita Sahasranama
om hrīmkāryai namaḥ
(who is in the form of the syllable hrim.)
This mantra is also there in many other hymns. Like ‘Hrimkara Mantrojwala’ in the hymn Meenakshi Pancharatna. This is discussed in more detail in Lalita Trishati. Lalitha Trishati is the 300 names of the Divine Mother. In those three hundred names 60 mantras are about the syllable ‘Hrim’.
In the first 100 names, the mantras from 80 to 100 is about the mantra ‘Hrim’. After that mantras from 200 to 220, and the last 280 to 300 are about ‘Hrim’ mantra. So mantras from 80 to 100, 200 to 220 and 280 to 300 are about ‘Hrim’. From this we can understand the importance of this mantra.
‘Hrim’ is the fifth syllable in the form of worship called Sri Vidya. So this mantra is present in Sri Vidya also. We can see in various temples that this mantra is inscribed like ‘Om Hrim Parashakthyai Namaha’ or ‘Om Hrim Namah Shivaya’. The relevance of Lalita Sahasranama is that many mantras from this hymn are used by spiritual masters for initiating their disciples.
Another meaning of the word ‘Hrim’ is shame. Dignified people will surely feel ashamed if they knowingly did something that they should not do. Because of this feeling of shame we understand our mistakes and would never repeat them. This is one meaning of the word ‘Hrim’.
In the mantra ‘Hrim’, there are 3 notes – ‘h, r, i’ followed by ‘m’. All these seed letters include in the mantra. In general, these syllables denote the three qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas followed by that which transcends all these – The Self.
The mantra also denotes the principles of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara and the most exalted Divine Mother and creation, preservation, destruction and Pure Consciousness. Thus these seed syllables are very meaningful.
We must not think that these syllables are meaningless sounds. All the seed syllables have particular meaning. Suppose we take some medicine. The doctor prescribes some medicine. We do not care about components of the concoction. We take it as prescribed by the doctor. And we surely have its benefits.
Like that we receive mantra from the Guru and we practice it as instructed by the Guru. The guru explains the meaning of the mantra and how to practice it. Because the guru is so pure we also receive a fraction of their immense energy.
Those who practice the chanting of mantra will be able to attain liberation in this life itself. Thus this mantra teaches us the importance of the practice of mantra. This mantra – Om Hrimkaryai namah of Lalita Sahasranama helps us to understand the importance of chanting mantra.
By the spiritual practice of the mantra we are freed from all types of fears. Fear here means worldly fear. Chanting mantra relieves us from the distress of worldly life. At the same time, it releases us from the cycle of life and death. It is also said that whoever sings its glory are freed from worldly pains.
Amma gives a beautiful example. We write a notice on the wall, “Stick no bills”. This one sentence written on the wall keeps the rest of the wall without any writing. Like that, we receive a mantra and chant it. We meditate on its meaning.
This thousand Names of the Divine Mother is a garland of mantras. Different names are given as per the letters of the mantra. Spiritual practices of goddess are called ‘Vidya’. When it is more than 24 letters it is called a chain of mantras. This thousand names of Divine Mother are a chain of mantras.
We chant it, meditate on its meaning. Because of this we are relieved from worldly fears. Even if we know that we have Amma’s blessings. Amma will always protect us, mantras liberate us from this world. This mantra, ‘om hrīmkāryai namaḥ’ helps us to proceed in the spiritual practice.
To Be Continued……