The last few years have been taxing in so many ways. Many of us have found gifts within the challenges, while others have had more than they can bear. We have experienced beyond comprehension fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, intense heat and freezing cold. I feel that our dear Mother Earth is calling out to us to care for her, and that her suffering is so deep that it is impacting us all.
When we consider the macrocosm of life, each of us is one tiny but important cell that makes up the whole. Just like one ailing cell can make the entire being ill, what we think and do impacts everything else around us. Although we may often feel helpless, I believe we hold the health of the world in our hands.
My late guru in mantra, Namadeva Acharya, would encourage us during natural disasters to say a “stack” of mantras every day for at least 40 days, to help the healing of Mother Earth. I thought perhaps some of you might care to join me in extending the power of mantra, sacred sound, toward the healing of the world, which in turn, will impact the healing of us all. (mantras are below)
How to repeat a stack of mantras
Most mantras come from the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures known to humans. Certain mantras are chanted 108 times, one after another, in a technique called “stacking.” Each mantra sets the stage for the next one to build the strength of the mantras. They need to all be done in one sitting, and in the order provided, for 40 days. Why 40 days? Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. There were 40 days of rain when Noah built the arc. The gestation period in humans is 40 weeks. 40 is a powerful number – a number of stability (like a 4-legged table). There is no need to stop repeating the mantras after 40 days, it is just important to reach the 40 days. (Note: If you miss a day, start over at day 1).
Each mantra defines and activates a quality of the Divine. The Divine is “unmanifested”, meaning it has no form, so it is difficult to comprehend. Therefore, each mantra relates to a deity, or god or goddess, that is the Divine manifested into form. Different qualities of the Divine are given to each deity for us to realize these qualities within ourselves. If you are uncomfortable saying the mantra in Sanskrit, then you could repeat the description of that mantra instead.
Grab your mala beads
You’ll need your mala beads or rosary. (If using a rosary, you will go around it twice for each mantra.) Hold the beads in your right hand, hanging them over the middle finger at the level of the heart. Let the remainder of the mala rest in the left hand at the height of the navel. The index finger should not touch the beads as it has the energy of the ego. Start at the “meru”, which is usually a larger bead with a tassel attached. For each repetition of the mantra, pull a bead toward you with the thumb. Eventually you will have repeated your mantra 108 times, returning you to the meru. When you come to the meru bead, pause and reflect, thanking your Guru’s and teachers for their guidance toward enlightenment. Then turn the mala around and go the other direction. This symbolizes the freedom from the repetitive, unhelpful cycle we are going through. To turn the mala, tuck the thumb under the string, flip the beads into the crook of the thumb, tuck the middle finger under the mala, and you are ready to continue from the meru into the next round of 108 repetitions. Here is a short clip on how to use the mala.
The Stack of Mantras for Healing the Earth
Try not to let the mind wander. When it does, bring it back to the mantra. “Feel” the meaning of each mantra, giving it your full attention. I have broken each mantra into syllables to help your pronunciation, and added a short recording of each mantra here. If this seems like too many mantras, choose one or two to start. It all helps!
Om Vigh-na Na-sha-na-ya Na-ma-ha (a is always said like the “ah”)
To relieve energy blockages to help work with the energies of the various species: wind, water, plant, bird, mammal, fish, and human.
Om U-cchi-sta Ga-na-pa-ta-yei Na-ma-ha (U is said like the “oo” moon)
To destroy negativity
Om Va-kra-tun-da-ya Hum (u is said like the “oo” moon)
To correct something that is not working properly.
Om Dhum-ra Ke-tu-ve Na-ma-ha (ke is said like “kay”)
To bring difficult circumstances under an umbrella of peace.
Om Ga-na Dhyak-sha-ya Na-ma-ha
To bring healing to a group. In this case, the groups of various species which have been harmed by the violent weather, storms, fires, etc.
Om Kship-ra Pra-sa-da-ya Na-ma-ha
For immediate assistance.
I hope you enjoy this practice. It is a wonderful way to focus the mind on how we may somehow contribute to the healing of our beautiful Mother Earth. Here is a short recording of each mantra to assist you. If I am short of time, or want to do extra, I take my mala beads when I walk the dog!
Marion Mugs McConnell was a devoted student to Namadeva Acharya and continues the sacred practice of mantra repetition. This stack of mantras was created by Namadeva Acharya. He encouraged us to share this practice with others. The image of the world in our hands is a free license from pixabay. The image of using malas is of Mugs.