Question: Will you please speak about mantras?
Sri Chinmoy: Mantra is a Sanskrit word. In Indian philosophy, spirituality and the inner life, mantras play a considerable role. A mantra is a syllable divinely surcharged with power. This power can be utilised for a divine purpose or for an undivine purpose once it is attained through chanting.
Mantras are of two types. One kind of mantra is called dhvani-antak, which means 'with sound'. This mantra comes into existence from sound. The other kind of mantra is called varnantak, which means 'lettered'. This mantra is called a soundless mantra. When two things are struck together we hear a sound. But we hear the sound of AUM, the anahata nada, in the inmost recesses of our hearts. Ahata means struck; anahata means unstruck. Varnantak and anahata are the same.
At times we will discover that we hear the word we have been repeating even after we stop. If we continue repeating 'God, God, God,' for some time, when we stop, we will hear the same name of God being repeated inside our heart. The mouth is not functioning, but the inner being has started repeating the mantra naturally and spontaneously.