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On the path of spirituality and mysticism, a mantra or mystic syllable is a 'must' for various reasons. The Supreme Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave the Swaminarayan mantra on the thirteenth day after the demise of His Guru, Ramanand Swami. The Swaminarayan mantra has spiritual force and divine power. It has the power to manifest right knowledge, spiritual light, and divine bliss in the heart of an aspirant.
The mantra is composed of two words - 'Swami' and 'Narayan', which respectively signify Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and Purna Purushottam Sahajanand Swami. The conjunction of these two words imply the relationship between a devotee and his Supreme Lord. It suggests the upasana of Akshar and Purushottam i.e. the ideal Devotee and the Supreme Master. The Swaminarayan mantra, when understood in this sense, suggests that an aspirant has to become like Aksharbrahma and worship the Supreme Parabrahma. In short, it explains the eternal and inseparable relationship between Akshar and Purushottam.
When recited loudly it emits a sound that is at once divine and brahmanising. Its continuous loud recitation helps in concentration, meditation and attainment of ecstatic bliss of the Divine. The mantra is the embodiment of God and His divine power. Therefore, when recited in chorus, rhythmically and melodiously with musical accompaniments, before the murti of God or in a mandir, it purges the mind of all impure thoughts and distractions. It creates a divine atmosphere around singers. Thus the Swaminarayan mantra is identical with the spirit of the Lord.
The effects and impact of this mantra are very subtle, sublime and divine. Its power of spiritual influence is incomprehensible. To a man of undivided devotion, its power is revealed by God at His sweet will, especially when He is pleased by mantra-recitation and showers His grace on a devotee. The strength of its power is now known to a scholar or a yogi. But it is also commonly experienced by a devotee. The experience of the divine power of mantra-recitation is the unfathomable bliss and presence of the Divine in the heart. Consequently, the devotee's interest and involvement in the world declines and he withdraws himself from the objects of enjoyment.
The Swaminarayan mantra liberates one from all sins, done consciously and unconsciously in this life and previous lives. It is the Supreme mantra with the most subtle and purificatory effect.
Its single recitation equals the recitation of other mantras a thousand times.
Its recitation accomplishes all wishes. It yields good health, a peaceful life, material prosperity and worldly wisdom to a man of worldly desires. It helps in preserving health and curing illness. It helps in gaining peace of mind from fear, tensions and worries. It helps in resolving conflicts. It helps in overcoming obstacles and hardships in life. It helps in putting an end to pains, miseries and sufferings.
However, to a spiritual aspirant it helps in getting rid of his faults, vices and insufficiencies. Its recitation helps in concentration and meditation. It alone helps in disentangling oneself from the cycle of births and deaths.
When it is recited uninterruptedly, keeping God alone in view, its spiritual effects are great and indescribable. It dispels the darkness of ignorance and enlightens the soul by the light of spiritual wisdom. It fills the heart by the bliss of the Divine!
When it is recited by the instructions of a God-intoxicated Sadhu (Pragat Brahmaswarup) its effects are all the more powerful. When it is recited incessantly, keeping the mind fixed on God, manifesting in the person of the God-intoxicated Sadhu like Pramukh Swami Maharaj, then it brahmanises the soul. It lifts the soul to the level of Aksharbrahma. It yields the identity with Aksharbrahma. It makes a jivanmukta (liberated in the embodied state) and graces one with a place in the divine abode called Akshardham, in the service of the Supreme Bhagwan Swaminarayan, eternally.
It is the mantra recited by the most fortunate and spiritually pious aspirants.
It liberates even a sinner on his death-bed, if he happens to listen to it but once with reverence!
Its recitation liberates one from the influence of evil spirits. Its recitation drives away the ghosts, demons, witches and other evil spirits. They cannot harm the reciter of this mantra. Even the messengers of Yama (the god of death) cannot come near its reciter.
Therefore, let us recite the Swaminarayan mantra day and night, in all our activities, keeping Shri Hari and Pramukh Swami in view.

Other Articles by Dr. Ramesh M. Dave

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