The Zhunti Mantra
There are many mantras, from many different schools, that you can use in your cultivation practice. However, most of these mantras can only be recited according to very specific rules and under certain particular conditions. Most times those conditions are very strict.
For instance, some mantras can only be used if you are vegetarian (you must also refrain from eating onions, garlic, leaks, etc. which will lead to an increase in sexual desire). Some mantra techniques require that you abstain from all sexual activity. Some mantras can only be recited at certain times and places. Other mantras are limited in that they cannot be used when you are in a filthy or smelly location (as this drives away the protecting devas), or during a woman's period of menstruation.
There are all sorts of various restrictions for mantra recitation, called "japa practice" in Hinduism, but the Zhunti mantra is free from all such restrictions. So is reciting the Christian rosary to still your thoughts, which is a type of mantra practice as well. The same goes for reciting the prayer of Jesus while visualizing little flames in your heart.
The Zhunti mantra can be used anytime, anywhere, in any situation. It is one of the few mantras which can be taught to others without restriction, and no particular ceremony is needed for its recitation though a special sadhana is available.
In this preliminary contemplation (sadhana) the accompanies Zhunti practice, you first imagine the universe as a vast region of empty space. From within the stillness of this great void, you next imagine that a great wind slowly begins to stir until a giant revolving wind is formed which runs throughout the entire cosmos. The friction of this wind then produces a great fire which engulfs the whole universe, and because of this fire element, water starts to congeal and form. The water then solidifies into a solid diamond earth as clear and bright as crystal. From within this diamond earth, you imagine that an 8-petalled red lotus flower arises, on top of which sits the Zhunti Buddha reciting the Zhunti mantra.
This is the Zhunti visualization sadhana, and another article on my site explains it clearly. In fact, that article has a scanned in image of how to hold your fingers in a particular mudra, while reciting the mantra, to help open up the heart chakra.
Unlike the mantras of the lower heavenly beings found in many cultivation schools, even without this sadhana this mantra's workings are so powerful and its effects so refined that it functions on a level beyond comprehension.
The Zhunti mantra comes from Zhunti Buddha, who is called the "Mother of the Buddhas" since innumerable, countless Buddhas have achieved self-realization through using this mantra. Vairocana Buddha is like the "Father of the Buddhas," whereas Zhunti is called the "mother." Like a great mother, we can say that this mantra, introduced by Master Nan Huai-chin to Taiwan, has helped give birth to many fully enlightened Buddhas. The ability to lead so many others to enlightenment shows the inconceivable power of this mantra.
At the mundane level, the Zhunti mantra is recited by people who wish to change their fortunes and destiny, such as seen in the story of Yuan Huang of the Ming dynasty. Yep, keep reciting the mantra with whatever you want fixed clearly in your mind and it helps you attain it ... so be careful what you wish for. You cannot eliminate bad karma in one stroke, but this mantra will help your karma be worked out in such a way that it's not so damaging in terms of long term repercussions. Various Indian mantras can help you seemingly end a particular karmic situation, but it's not over. The Zhunti mantra, on the other hand, helps you work it out so that it's done for good.
That's what you want. Think about it.
At the supramundane level, the Zhunti mantra is the chief mantra recited by those who wish to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. The reason for its popularity in cultivation is that it is one of two mantras capable of opening up a practitioner's heart chakra.
This mantra thus enables an individual to quickly realize the great prajna transcendental wisdom, which explains its great effectiveness. Therefore it is even sanctioned in the Zen school, which typically abstains from depending upon any external cultivation crutches other than directly looking into the true nature of the mind. The mantra phonetically runs as follows:
After 1,000,000 repetitions, the mantra recitation can be shortened to:
The mantra pronunciation goes as follows (don't worry about getting it exactly the same as there are various pronunciations based upon language differences, such as English vs. Chinese vs. Sanskrit): Zhunti Mantra
CD AVAILABLE: If you want to learn more about the Zhunti mantra on CD (and the Lotus Buddha mantra), you can listen to an mp3 I've produced that's available from Kunaki and answers all the questions I get sent by people, including pronounciation, and the rules for mantra recitiation in general. The mp3 is more than 75 minutes long (which is the timelimit for a CD to be able to play in your car or anywhere else) so can only be played on your computer. You can find ALL my meditation CDs at Kunaki, and check back often to browse the list because I'm always adding new topics by public demand.
Usually one starts to receive auspicious dreams when they get up to about 100,000 recitations of the mantra, though what they are and when they appear are different for each individual.
My teacher first HATED -- absolutely HATED -- this practice when he was first taught it in China years ago, and so he knew from this response that it was quite powerful. I had the same experience ... I HATED the practice but kept with it, knowing that what you usually hate as a cultivation practice is the type of practice that's usually going to help you. Not always, but usually.
That's why I always tell people to meditate with some method they love and hate. The "love it"one keeps them going, the "hate it" one helps them stretch their muscles and make progress.
Isn't that the way it usually is? You may hate brushing your teeth, but it's good for you.
Try the Zhunti mantra practice:
"Namo Sadoh Nah
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