Why use mantras?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Su DongPo
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Why use mantras?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:28 am


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby CSEe » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:38 am


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:43 am


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby CSEe » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:58 am


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby purple rose » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:09 am

Last edited by purple rose on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Rearranged quotes

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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:31 am

Well, Yidam (meditational deity) practices are intended to produce in the practitioner a change in the mind linked to the quality represented by that deity, such as Compassion for Avalokiteshvara.

In this case the practice is that leading to far-reaching discriminating awareness, and the deity Prajnaparamita.

A mantra for me is a condensed representation of the practice used for that deity, so as such it is a practice involving the same process. There is visualisation and repetition in a highly concentrated form, to which the mind responds.

It is not necessary to chant, IMHO. Silent mantras are just as effective. I find being in a group of people chanting is a powerful expoerience, and may be distracting as much as it is useful.

The above is obviously predicated on receiving transmission of that practice and mantra in order to undertsand the process and be accurate. However, some say that some mantras may be performed by anyone and that they will derive benefit and blessings. ;)

My favourite site for mantras is: http://www.visiblemantra.org/
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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:43 am


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:52 am

As little I know, mantras have two uses: as mnemonic devices and as magical words. But the Heart Sutra itself is a short reminder of the prajnaparamita teachings. Thus the dharanis and mantras in a sutra are said to be equivalent of reciting the whole text, just like in the Nichiren school they say that Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is same as reciting the complete Lotus Sutra.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:53 am

I have to say that I find it a cumbersome matra, but maybe it was not originally recorded as Sanskrit scripture?
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Su DongPo
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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:16 pm


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:27 pm


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:10 pm

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:19 pm


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:35 pm

"but as a request to Avalokiteshvara rather than an expression of my own magical power."

Magical use of mantras is quite apparent in Buddhism just as well as throughout India. And using an external being to affect things is still within the realm of magic, although it can be very well within the boundaries of religion (in many cases it's hard to make a distiction).
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby ground » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:10 pm

Sorry but I think the term "magical" is completely inappropriate.

Kind regards

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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:22 pm

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conebeckham
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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:42 pm

Mantra is associated with speech, speech is associated with "wind," wind is associated with mind. This is a condensed summary, as one way to answer the question, "Why use mantras?"

The PrajnaparamitahridayaSutra is said to have an even shorter version....

Ah.

Mantras are also said to be the condensed meaning of tantras...in this case, the mantra is in a sutra. (This, to me, is an interesting question--how does a well-known sutra have a mantra associated with it? But that's a tangent....)
I think the meaning of this mantra does condense the sutra--it can be translated. It can be a mnemonic device, and a tool for contemplation of the meaning of the sutra.

Also, although I become a bit "uncomfortable" with the idea of "magic" and mantras, I have to admit that it's an easy association to make, especially if one actually reads the tantras and takes them at face value--ChakrasamvaraTantra and HevajraTantra, just as two examples, do include instructions for rituals utilizing mantra for various purposes, and, taken literally, they are similar to "magical rituals" as we might understand them in the West. In particular, the rituals regarding the "Four Activities"--pacifying, magnetizing, enriching, and destroying--could be seen this way.


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:58 pm

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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby DGA » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:00 pm


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Re: Why use mantras?

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:46 pm

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