(This post is re-posted from my old blog, as a series of #lifejacketmantra approaches for those just getting started in the wonderful world of Sanskrit mantra!)
Planetary movement may be beyond our control, but our perspective is absolutely
within our power!
When Mercury (the planet of communication and intelligent discrimination) goes
retrograde, we’re told to expect communication and technological difficulties, avoid
signing contracts, and be extra careful not to make mistakes.
I’d like to invite you to lift your perspective on this astrological event which occurs
several times per year, so you can start seeing it as an extraordinary blessing rather
than an inconvenient curse! The key is – you guessed it – mantra meditation.
Here’s the value of higher perspective:
When Mercury goes retrograde, it appears to be moving backwards from its normal
course from the perspective of someone sitting on Earth. If you have a higher
perspective, and can see the solar system from above, you can see the elliptical
dance of each planet around the sun in constant motion. You can appreciate the
complex harmonic movement of each sphere in its orbit. Only from Earth does it
appear to be going backward. Can you see the parallel between our own limited, earth-bound identity and the empowered, expanded awareness?
How mantra fits in:
There is a Sanskrit mantra for Mercury, which you can chant as a heartfelt, reverent
connection to the divine personality that is Mercury. (Just like you might chant to
Gaṇeśa, or Lakṣmī) When we chant this mantra, the unique vibrations of the
Sanskrit syllables start to harmonize us with the higher wisdom of Mercury (Mercury is associated with called “Budha” in Sanskrit बुध). You might say that by chanting the mantra, we’re connecting to Mercury’s higher self.
Through direct vibrational connection via the mantra, we can begin to understand the
role that Mercury’s unique energy plays in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately,
we can lift up to the higher perspective to see the movement of the spheres rather
than falling victim to an apparent retrograde! (Certain events may still occur, but
keep reading to see how mantra can potentially ameliorate the effects and/or help
you see the “negative” as a blessing.)
The main Mercury (Budha) mantra is:
Auṁ Buṁ Budhāya Namaḥ
But before you launch into thousands of repetitions during this retrograde period,
desperately hoping to nip in the bud any potential difficulties, remember that Mercury
is just the messenger! Which leads us to…
During Mercury retrograde (or any other challenging astrological period), you can
also rev up with your primary “liberation” mantra practice (such as Auṁ Namaḥ
Śivāya, the Gāyatrī, etc.). These types of mantras appeal to “the big Boss,” the Lord
of the Universe, the Light beyond Light… And if you’re cool with the Executive, any
little flubs with the messenger are either:
It’s wonderful to tune in to Mercury through the main mantra in Approach #1,
especially during the retrograde period. However, I’d strongly recommend consulting
a Vedic Astrologer before doing any lengthy discipline with any one planetary
mantra. (Contact me if you want a recommendation.)
An alternative approach, if you like the idea of chanting planetary mantras to
harmonize with the planets’ “higher selves,” this opening verse from the hymn to the
9 planets (Navagraha Dhyānaślokam) covers all of your bases and can be safely
meditated upon by anyone:
Ādityāya Ca Somāya Maṅgalāya Budhāya Ca
Guru Śukra Śanibhyaśca Rāhave Ketave Namaḥ
Which approach should I use?
I’d suggest Approach #2 as your priority, with #3 as general planetary "insurance," and
an extra dose of #1 when Mercury issues are really in your face.
Remember that the point of any and all mantra practice is not to ask for certain
outcomes, but to raise your vibration, which increases your internal mental harmony,
and therefore your external harmony (being in the right place at the right time, being
“in the flow”). Einstein’s quote “You can’t solve a problem from the same mind that
created it.” perfectly describes why mantra meditation works.
The Divine Play is certainly unfathomably complex, and sometimes the veil of
ignorance is drawn over our eyes, perhaps because the joy of lifting it produces a
special kind of sweetness.
So, if things go wrong, you get duped, or your hard-drive crashes and you didn’t
have a backup, don’t take it personally. Rise up and be grateful for the chance to be
alive and play your role in the divine drama. Every moment is a chance to harmonize
with life rather than fight it, and mantra meditation is one of the most sure-fire ways
to maximize Grace in every experience that life brings.
If your phone mysteriously crashes or the internet is down, it’s a chance to go within
and perfect your inner communication and sharpen your intuition!
From the innermost pulses of your mind, to the movement of the heavenly spheres,
to the right timing of your day-to-day activities, it’s all about vibrational harmony.