Ahymsin Newsletter Banner: Left is Swami Rama, Center is Yoga Is Samadhi logo, Right is Swami Veda

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I suffered from mental anxiety and heart palpitation from the year 2009. From then I tried different yoga and meditations. I get benefit from that for some time but after some time like 6 months I again suffer from the same mental problems and heart palpitation which does not allow me to practice meditation. For that I was thinking to take mantra initiation so that by practising mantra meditation I can change my personality. I have been practising some mantras but I am not able to find out that which mantra will be suited to me. Please help me and guide me.


Stephen Parker (Stoma) and Carolyn Hume have answered this question.

From Stephen Parker (Stoma):

You have done well using your yoga practice to deal with anxiety. It is one of the most effective strategies there is for many reasons, both spiritual and physiological. For many people this is an on-going process that has better times and worse times, even with a mantra initiation.

A mantra initiation is an intuitive process where the “choice” of a mantra is up to the intangible guru-force which moves through the initiator. It isn’t made on an intellectual basis. We sit together in meditation within a common mind-field, a gentle request is made to the guru and then whatever mantra comes clear is what is given. If I know the person ahead of time, I may have an opinion about which mantra would be good for them, but when it comes to initiation, my opinion doesn’t count. I must pass along only what we are given. Sometimes the person recognizes that it is a sound with which they are already familiar. This may indicate that they have brought that mantra into this life with them and it is being reinforced.

What is most important is that the intangible link to the guru is established and/or strengthened in the process of initiation which makes it possible for the guru to use that mantra from within the mind of the disciple to guide them. Ultimately, one’s own ātman is the guru and the process of initiation and mantra meditation helps to awaken and fortify that presence within your mind. An external guide simply assists that process until the inner voice is clear.

From Carolyn Hume:

While it is true that heart palpitations can be caused by anxiety, it is also possible for there to be an underlying medical condition, such as thyroid problems, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation....  So you may want to consult a medical doctor to confirm or eliminate these as possible causes.
Taking a foundation course in our tradition and learning or practicing some of the practices under the guidance of a teacher, completing a course of classes in breathing, sitting, and other preparations of yoga meditation with the teachers may be helpful.  This could be a preparatory step towards mantra initiation. Preparations include: Joints and Glands Exercises, training the legs, sitting correctly: with a straight spine, relaxation procedures, diaphragmatic breathing, breath awareness, and breath awareness with so-ham.

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

Copyright © by AHYMSIN ®