The Bija Mantras: Unity and Community

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When I think of the purpose of the Bija Mantras (seed mantras), it reminds me of the translation of Yoga, yoke or union. The reality of Prana (life force) is we are connected, everything has a relationship to us, even if it seems distant. I’ve been having a lot of conversations about community recently. So many feel lost and without a home, and some find their way to my classes, and others find different spaces, and others have yet to find their community. There is a definite disconnect in our society, we have become self-absorbed, instead of self-focused. And what I mean by that is a lot of the suffering that occurs is a result to our attachments to what we consider makes us a worthy human being. Which in the long run is temporary, and changes. When we seek our worth outside of ourselves, it only leads to disappointment.

By having self-focus, I’m talking about Svadhyaya self-study. Finding the purpose behind your actions, and determining what actions no longer serve. What can you change? What needs to stay the same? And what needs to be just accepted as it is? Release your sense of control because it’s an illusion and causes suffering. Embrace Ishvara Pranidhana and surrender to a power greater than yourself. Everything in our lives, is temporary we can only do our work or calling and then rely on the universe, powers that be, or our community to step up or step aside. We can choose our reaction, but at some point, this is all we can do. We can also use tools to help us increase our self-awareness, our compassion, our connection to others and being open to hearing what our dharma or purpose is.

True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. — Aadil Palkhivala

When we take a moment to get quiet. When we take a moment to balance. When we take a moment to be. We can tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, turn off all the swirling alarms, bells, and whistles in our sympathetic nervous system and return to homeostasis. Over the past seven weeks we have focused on what each Mantra means, the sound, what Chakra it correlates to and the science behind chanting.

Now, we bring them all together in one list

Lam – 1st Chakra – Muladhara – Translation: root support
Vam – 2nd Chakra – Svadhishthana – Translation: one’s own
Ram – 3rd Chakra – Manipura – Translation: city of jewels
Yam – 4th Chakra – Anahata – Translation: unstruck
Ham – 5th Chakra – Vishuddha – Translation: exceptionally pure
Om or U – 6th Chakra – Ajna – Translation: command
Om – 7th Chakra – Sahasrara – Translation: thousand-petaled

Take a moment, sit back and chant all seven mantras with your eyes closed three times. Play with saying it aloud and silently to yourself. Notice, which feels more nourishing, or if they are the same, or if it doesn’t resonate with you. Science shows, that chanting stimulates the hypothalamus to release endorphins and turn on the homeostasis systems (endocrine and nervous). When we feel good, it’s easier to make connections, it’s easier to walk in our truth (Satya), and it’s simpler to find our community and a sense of purpose.

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