Doraisamy Iyer was a tall patriot who gave up his legal practice to settle down at the feet of Sri Aurobindo. The mantra known as Sri Aurobindo's Gayatri among His disciples was written by Sri Aurobindo when Doraisamy wanted to perform upanayanam to his son. When he was past 90, an American who passed his house heard many Shastris chanting. In reply to his query, someone near him answered that chanting of the Vedas at the time of one's death would lead the soul to moksha. A little later, the same American saw Doraisamy slowing walking on the beach holding the hand of a young lady who served him with devotion. Vedic chanting can give a further lease of life.
On the farm of an orthodox Brahmin the heap of straw near a haystack caught fire while the wind was blowing towards the haystack. He began to chant a mantra and the wind changed its direction.
There is a mantra for every known human act. It is said there are 14,600 mantras. From the bite of a poisonous reptile, to finding a lost object, tradition has a mantra. Chanted as it should be, it delivers its goods. As Sri Ramanuja succeeded where his guru failed to free a woman possessed by an evil spirit, the power of the mantra issues from the purity of the one who chants.
Not only are mantras powerful, but every ritual of any religion is full of power. Every religion has its version of such chanting.
A man committed suicide in an office. It became a haunted house. Employees were scared. A priest was sent for and he conducted his ritual ceremony. The place was no longer haunted. 'Of what use are these mantras for us?' a young aspirant for a job may ask. 'Will it get me admission?' another may join him in asking thus.
Whether there are mantras to solve the problems of modern young men or whether some of the old mantras can readily serve that purpose is not my issue here. What is a mantra? How can I avail of such a power to meet life and its problems?
The words welling up from inside the soul of a realised person is a mantra. Anyone who believes in him can use that mantra to attain the same realisation. The spirituality I have been speaking about is the response of one's inner Spirit in response to his calling. Using another's mantra is to be religious. Seeking one's own soul is spirituality.
A young girl came to a meditation centre along with a group of people. When she wanted to return it was late at night. Those who brought her had left without her. She had to return home. In her panic, she powerfully called the inner Spirit. A light appeared before her. Panic dissolved. She walked into the street. The ball of white light turned golden and started moving as if it was guiding her. It disappeared when she reached her house.