Meditation is one of the main aims and tools in yoga to help us reach Samadhi* (“ectasy”), the final stage of the eight limbs in the path of yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and ultimately attain Moksha** (“liberation”). There are so many kinds and techniques of meditation, coming from different cultures, different philosophies, that use different “aids” to help achieve concentration and one-pointedness focus. Ayurveda uses mantra meditation as a powerful tool, not only to quiet the mind and connect to the Divine, but also at a physical level to bring and maintain balance in the different bodily systems and organs. Repeating mantras either silently or singing them helps focusing and calming down the mind chatter. You don’t specificly need to dedicate a particular time of the day to your Japa – mantra repetition , you can practice it while driving, cooking, cleaning your home, at the start of your day or before sleeping. There are specific mantras to help pacifying each dosha. Try using these bija (seed) mantras in your meditation:
-Ram (pronounced Rahm) is the mantra for Vata. It helps to boost the immune system, and it alleviates fear and anxiety.
-Shrim (pronounced Shreem) is the mantra for Pitta. It promotes general health and harmony.
-Hum (pronounced Hoom) is the mantra for Kapha. It is both stimulating and clearing.
*Samadhi (Sanskrit: समाधि) is a Hindu and Buddhist technical term that usually denotes higher levels of concentrated meditation, or dhyana, in Yogic schools. In Hinduism, it is the eighth and final limb of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.It has been described as a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object, and in which the mind becomes still (one-pointed or concentrated) though the person remains conscious. In Buddhism, it can also refer to an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience . (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
**Moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa) or Mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति), literally “release” (both from a root muc “to let loose, let go”), is the liberation from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth or reincarnation and all of the suffering and limitation of worldly existence after the realization that the Atman is in fact Paramatman in Advaita philosophy. Its meaning is similar to that of Nirvana in Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Here’s another interesting article about Bija mantras, from DailyOM (http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2005/411.html)
Sounds Of The Chakras
Within each human being lies the power to affect change through the power of a chant, the spoken words, or even a gentle whisper. The body’s chakras or energy centers, so closely intertwined with their corresponding regions of the body, can be represented in sound, which parallels the energy pattern of the chakras and is symbolic of their essences. These unique sounds are the bija, or seed, mantras. The mantras are the one-syllable seed sounds that, when said aloud, activate the energy of the chakras in order to purify and balance the mind and body. When you speak the bija mantras, you resonate with the energy of the associated chakra, helping you focus upon your own instinctive awareness of your body and its needs.
OM is the most renowned and expansive of the bija mantras. It is the mantra of assent and the form of creation, causing energy to surge upward and outward.
KRIM (pronounced as ‘kreem’) stimulates and transforms the lower chakras, awakening and purifying the body.
SHRIM (pronounced ‘shreem’) is associated with the head and third eye and, while promoting health, can be used to flood the senses with delight and beauty.
HRIM (pronounced ‘hreem’) holds creativity and healing powers. Speaking it has the power to awaken and purify the heart.
HUM (pronounced ‘hoom’) destroys negativity and inspires vitality throughout the body.
In traditional Hatha Yoga, the seven cleansing bija mantras associated with the chakras are: LAM for the earth chakra (1) VAM for the water chakra (2) RAM for the fire chakra (3) YAM for the heart chakra (4) HAM for the throat chakra (5) AUM for the third eye (6) AH for the crown chakra (7)
But the seed mantras, which are vessels of a self-generating power, are by no means truly rigid. The meaning of each seed mantra can be subtly changed through their intonation and the intention of those who speak them. When you chant the bija mantras, either one at a time or in sequences most often beginning with OM, your mind will be gradually become attuned to the mantras’ finer frequencies until the source energy is reached and the mantra becomes the seed of spiritual energy of the chakras.