Yoga and Prayer

I was searching for the prayer that was repeated throughout the three weeks of training. If I don’t understand it, I will never appreciate it, I will never master it and it will never be part of me and my life. So the search starts
“Om .. Om… Om.. Om ..
Asatoma Sat Gamaya —> Lead us from the Unreal to Real
Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya —> From Darkness to Light
Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya —> From Mortality to Eternity
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti “ —> Om Peace Peace Peace
Asa To Ma Sadgamaya is a Mantra Chant. Sounds really religious with “Mantra” and “Chant”. Does that mean practicing Yoga make me more religious for the fact that I believe in God but I have no religion. Seems that I cannot forgo this part as entering into a professional yoga teachers’ program means I cannot forgo anything that is supposed to be the integrated part of it. Then what is Mantra ? How can we respect people who want to learn Yoga but not the prayer part of it? For the first few days of my training, to be honest, I kept quiet – just for the sake of respecting others’ beliefs. But my state of mind keeps asking myself.. Why and what are those Mantras, why the chant and why starts the class with a Prayer.
The search begins…..
• Mantra is a set of words with a religious significance and power. Generically mantra refers to sacred words or syllables used repeatedly in religious and ceremonial rituals. Mantras, frequently common in Hinduism and Buddhism, also are found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Catholicism there are the prayers such as the Our Father -Pater noster and Hail Mary – Ave Maria, which might be considered mantras in essence. In Buddhism mantra may be a syllable or syllables which represent the cosmic forces, aspects of Buddhas, or the name of Buddha. The mantra is repeated during meditation. Meditation is a statement of mind, spirituality is a state of being, and religion is a form of worship control.
So Mantra is everywhere, in almost every religion and so why should I be so obstinate that I should or should not have it being part of me – the real fact is that every morning during that few mins of prayer, I found some peace .. I agreed with the fact that the mantra did guide me with some inner peace.
The search continues …
• The term “mantra” is derived from Sanskrit – man, “mind” and tra “to deliver”. Mantras are sounds or words in the State of Mind – to cut through discriminating thoughts so that mind can become clear.
• Mantra repetition simply means repeating a sentence or group of words that have a phonetic significance. Just that’s it.
• Mantra is intrinsically related to sound. Mantra is sound, and sound is reverberating in everything in this universe. When water flows, the gurgling sound it makes is mantra. When wind blows through the trees, the rustling sound it produces is mantra. When we walk on the earth, our footsteps produce sound, and that too is mantra. Within human beings there is a self-born, indestructible sound which repeats itself constantly, along with our breathing and this sound is also a mantra.
The bottom-line is I found my own belief that guide my state of mind with inner peace.. Have you ?

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