The Power of Mantras – A Story

Lord Siva was once expounding the intricacies of Yoga and how it could ultimately result in enlightenment through correct understanding of Jnana. One Jnani who was listening to the discourse with all attention was thoroughly impressed as it appealed to his sharp intellect. But this understanding made him vain as he took pride in his knowledge. He then looked around and was amused to see lots of people eulogizing Siva and chanting aloud: ‘Siva Sambho-Siva Sambho’. The Jnani was quite annoyed with the crowd. He turned to the Lord and asked: Oh Lord, you have given such a great discourse explaining various philosophical issues critically. How is it that you are tolerating or even encouraging the ignorant masses who are chanting ‘Siva Sambho’ madly as though possessed? Should you not put an end to all this nonsense?

Siva smiled and replied: This is a ‘mantra’ they are chanting.

Jnani: What can the mantra do in the absence of proper understanding, my Lord?

Siva: Let me demonstrate to you what it can do. Please do as I tell you. Can you see a tree and a leaf over there?

Jnani: Yes I do – what about it?

Siva: Can you see a small worm crawling on the leaf?

Jnani: Yes – I do

Siva: Go near it and say this mantra- Siva Sambho

The Jnani did as he was told and to his dismay the worm fell dead instantly. The Jnani was  taken aback and looked at Siva confused.

Siva said: Don’t worry- continue to do what I tell you.

Siva, then, pointed to a butterfly asked the Jnani to go near it and chant the same mantra.

This time the Jnani was reluctant. He said: My Lord, I am not going to do this experiment again. I don’t want to be instrumental in killing another living being. Siva said: Don’t worry- just go ahead and do as I tell you. The Jnani went ahead and uttered the mantra in spite of himself. And predictably this time the butterfly also fell dead instantly. Now, even as the Jnani was shaking with fear and guilt, a man with an infant came to see the Lord to take His blessings. Siva looked at the Jnani and prodded him again to chant the mantra to the infant. This time the Jnani was determined not to yield and even told the Lord: What is the earthly use of such a mantra which makes living beings dead?  Saying so, he refused to oblige.

And……… surprise of surpises, at that very moment, the infant got up told the Jnani: Please chant the mantra for my sake, for, on the two previous occasions that you chanted the mantra, I evolved from a worm to a Butterfly and then to a fine human being. If you chant this mantra again, it will give me a chance to become divine.

For the Jnani it was indeed a humbling experience!

Siva, then, explained that mantras have the power to do creative destruction. They have the power to destroy our lower nature represented by all negative tendencies and help us to evolve towards divine nature.

PS: I heard this story on a TV Channel on the Shivratri day.

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Published in: on March 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. i wouldlike toadd astory about naradha who approached lord vishnu and asked him if their is anybody who is more devoted to the lord tahm himself.The lord asked him to go and meet a farmer. Sage naradha cameto earth and observed the farmer. The farmer assoon as he got up chanted the mantra OM NAMO NARAYANA THREE TIMES and then wentabout duringis daily chores and again when he retired to bed at night chanted the mantra three times the sa
    and went to bed The sage was confused and asked the lord how the farmer is more devoted than him since he chants the mantra more than the farmer to which the lord asked him to do as told by him. narada was given a cup full of oil and was asked to go around the lord three times but not a drop shouls spill.the sage did accordingly by concentrating so hard that nota drop of oil wasspilt. On completion of the task the lord asked him how many times did he think or chant the mantra while going sbout with the task given to him to which the sage replied noteven once because hewas so concet. he was so much concentrated with the task assigned to him. He also realised what the lord has taught him through the task and felt humble.


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