Mantra Initiation: ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’
Om Namo Narayanaya
The mantra of Visnu (also known as Narayana) is chanted to invoke His all pervading power of mercy and goodness. It is through His grace that righteousness is able to prevail. Repetition of this mantra confers infinite love, prosperity, power, glory, wisdom, and total liberation. It gives the ability to dissolve obstacles resulting from egoism and ignorance. It is a mantra of peace, bringing balance to an off-centered world. – (Taken from the Sivananda Yoga Teachers’ Training Manual)
We were given several days to choose a mantra that would be blessed and sanctified by the Swami. I didn’t need the three days to choose my mantra. I knew mine was Om Namo Narayanaya even before I had been given the meaning. It simply spoke to me. It was also the mantra of Swami Visnu-Devananda.
The day before the mantra initiation we were told that these was a really serious occasion and part of becoming closer to the Sivananda family. Additionally, we were told if we have doubts about the teaching of Vedanta and Swami Sivananda that we should not do the initiation. This really concerned me because I had a lot of doubts about the teaching and thought it ridicules that in two weeks to assume that we had completely accepted everything we were learning.
Later on that day, I brought up my concern with one of the Gurus, to which I got a very compassionate response. He said that the mantra was a big deal and that everyone should be encouraged to take that step. He went on to say that he still had doubts about the teachings and that if anyone didn’t they were lying. A Mantra he said is there to help you, give guidance, comfort, love, strength and focus. That was all I needed to hear.
The next morning Mantra Initiation was at 5AM. We met with the Swami for no more then five minutes and repeated our mantra together. His eyes pierced through mine with a forceful energy of compassion, love and wisdom.
That night at meditation I began to tear up. I was not sad, nor did a negative thought pass through my mind. It was as if I was experiencing a cleanse or purification. A reconfiguring of the new energy within me and a release of sorrow and negativity although unconscious.
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