Mantra & freedom from suffering

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ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ (maňtra)

Meaning: noun: Mantra, formula; instruction, teaching.

Quote:

ਦੁਖੁ ਕਲੇਸੁ ਨ ਭਉ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਹੋਇ॥

dukh kales na bhau biaapai gur maňtra hirdai hoi.

Suffering, agony and fear do not cling to one who has the mantra of the Guru within one’s heart. -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 51

Message: Freedom from suffering

Is there really no suffering when we remember the Divine?

No, not really. Pain is experienced as long as we are humans though it affects us less when we remember our Creator.

In spirituality, real suffering is separation from the Divine.

In Hinduism, mantra means a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated in prayer and is believed to have mystical powers.

In English, this however refers to an often repeated word or phrase that is closely associated with something; a slogan, a byword, or a watchword, etc. ‘Just do it’, for instance, in Nike, a manufacturer of sports goods.

Gurbani asks us to attune ourselves to the true word of the Guru, contemplate it in our mind, and shed other clever tricks and ideas that clutter the mind.

This can be done not by merely repeating a word mechanically but by remembering the message behind a phrase or a sentence.

A word by itself can’t stand alone and loses its meaning in the absence of a phrase or a sentence. When we read the different sentences in a hymn, we get a better picture of the message of the Guru.

This is especially found in the refrain (sentence or verse followed by the rahau) in a hymn. The rahau asks us to pause and reflect on the verse preceding it. The rest of the verses elaborate and also give illustrative examples to make the message clearer.

By continually acquiring and implanting the message of Gurbani, the mind is stimulated to adopt healthy thoughts that lead to good conduct.

Steadily, our unhealthy tendencies fall off. Thus, we overcome pain, sorrow, anxiety or fear.

Etymology: From Sanskrit mantra (thought, prayer, spell, formula, counsel), ultimately from Indo-European root man (to think).

 

Source: AWAT, Vol. 4, Iss. 33, Pt. 3 (Aug 16, 2017)

 

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