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1.29 The Power of Mantra

Updated: Sep 2, 2021


Tatah pratyak-chetna-adhigamah api-antraya-abhavah ch.

ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च॥१.२९॥

Tataḥ pratyakcetana̅dhigamo’pyantara̅ya̅bha̅vaśca ||1.29||

That (recitation of AUM) reveals the true inner Consciousness and also removes all obstacles.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | Chapter 1 - Samadhi Pada | Sutra 29 | Commentary

Recite AUM as a call to the Divine Consciousness in you. This simple method will reveal the highest.

Every person has doubts and feels sadness, misery and frustration that shakes us from our centre. In fact, even happiness and joy can shake us from our centre. There are a lot of days we question the meaning and purpose of everything in our lives; it is easier to question something that is shrouded in mystery and apparent contraindications. People, environment and circumstances affect the mind no matter how strong we are. It is the nature of the world and the mind. Some aspirants interpret the knowledge of the scriptures poorly; they expect to never go through another fluctuation of the mind ever again once they start practicing some technique. Such people may have started the technique for this end only – they are escapists. There is no escape – the only way is through. One can reach the eye of the storm only be crossing the eyewalls. One becomes centered when one goes through all kinds of experiences (pleasurable and painful) and gradually learns to respond and not react externally, and keep the peace intact within.

The method of reciting AUM is not only for those who cannot put effort to attain success on this path, it is also for those who are putting their intense desire and effort into it. The Japa (recitation) of the mantra removes obstacles that may arise in the path of Yoga. A Mantra roughly translated also means ‘That which takes the Mind Beyond’. A Mantra is like a vehicle which carries the mind across all the Vrittis. It purifies it of impressions and concepts and helps it achieve clarity. It should be incorporated by everyone in their Sadhana. Ishwar Pranidhana is not only for those with a weak resolve or unfavorable circumstances as various commentaries infer: it is for every practitioner because Surrendering to God is needed to progress on the journey.

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