King Janaka Learns the True Meaning of Mantra

About Ian Arnold

bio photo Copyright SYDA Foundation

Ian Arnold was introduced to the Siddha Yoga teachings in 2011. He serves as a writer in the SYDA Foundation Content Department, both as a home sevite and as a visiting sevite at Shree Muktananda Ashram. He also offers seva as an audio engineer and a musician at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in New York City.

Ian holds a BA in music and consciousness studies from New York University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he works as a tutor and freelance musician, composer, and writer.

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Since reading this story and the shares about the story, I have been contemplating what it means to be That. As I did my morning arati, I imagined myself as the flowers and other objects on my puja and then my boom box that plays the mantra.
Later, as I sat and re-read the shares about this story, I longed to have the experience of being That, wondering what it felt like.

I remembered an experience I had during darshan with Gurumayi of being the love that I saw in Gurumayi and in Baba’s photo.

Then I understood that the experience of I am That is an experience of total love, the love that is everything, and I understood I am that love; I am That.

Thank You, Gurumayi, for this contemplation and this experience. 

a Siddha Yogi from Maryland, United States

As I read the story of how King Janaka learned the true meaning of mantra, I remembered an experience I had while reciting Shri Guru Gita in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
That morning, the Sanskrit words suddenly became the sweetest nectar, coming directly from a place deep within me. "I" was no longer chanting. The chant was coming forth from the Self; the words themselves were the Self.

a Siddha Yogi from Ajijic, Mexico

Reading this powerful story reminded me of an experience I had some years ago during a Shaktipat Intensive that was focused on the So'ham mantra. As I meditated with So'ham, I kept encountering what seemed like a wall that prevented me from going deeper into the Self. I tried repeating So'ham silently but with great force, thinking I could break down the wall through the force of my effort. It didn't work.
Then I realized I could simply relax and listen to So'ham repeating itself along with the movement of my breath in and out. As I did this, the wall dissolved and I felt I was floating in a gently undulating sea of light. I felt I was that sea of light. This Intensive transformed my experience of So'ham, my experience of meditation, and my experience of my Self.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this story, which reminds us so clearly of who we truly are.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

What a perfect and profound teaching. When I read this story, I came to the realization that I've been acting like King Janaka.
I want to make a shift from shouting what I believe I will achieve to knowing, in my heart, who I truly am.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your grace that allows me to perceive the Truth and for your many ways of revealing my true nature to me.

a Siddha Yogi from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Inspired by this beautiful story, I repeat the mantra with the knowledge that I am the Truth. I find myself relishing each syllable. The sound texture and form of each syllable emerges from a vast and perfect space within me.
I am in awe, aware that with each repetition I am acknowledging that I am one with the universe. I am that which has no beginning or end.
As I continue this practice, I settle into the simple, unquestionable Truth of my own divine nature. It is blissful, spacious, and full of infinite possibility.
I am grateful for this story—a sweetly profound invitation to enter the company of the Truth within.

a Siddha Yogi from Hampton, Australia

This story revealed to me how, in everyday speaking, I often say words without understanding their innate meanings and connotations. My habitual pattern of speaking without intention is transported to my repetition of the mantra as well.
This story helped me to understand that in order to repeat the mantra with understanding, whether inwardly or outwardly, I need to be more aware of my everyday speech. Then, by consciously using language with true intent, I will naturally repeat the mantra in the same way.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, United States

I smiled when I read the story because it reminded me of my habitual way of doing mantra repetition. So many times I have noticed myself repeating the mantra without awareness.
What has worked for me is to ask myself, “Who is the one that is repeating the mantra?”. The moment I do this self-inquiry, I have found that my focus shifts to the silent one within who is listening to the mantra. With this subtle shift, my awareness dissolves into that silence.
I am going to follow Ashtavakra’s instruction to repeat the mantra knowing I am already the Truth.
Thank you, Gurumayi ji, for making these invaluable teachings available through the Siddha Yoga path website.

a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

King Janaka's longing touched my heart and refreshed my own longing to know and live the highest Truth.
So I began doing japa with the approach taught by Ashtavakra. As I continued doing japa with total conviction, I was filled with sweet tenderness. I felt woven into and totally connected to the world around me.

a Siddha Yogi from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The story helped me recognize how I sometimes repeat the mantra in a loud, fast inner voice as if I’m pushing myself!
I appreciate being reminded to adopt a gentle, kind approach toward repeating the mantra and toward myself in general. I feel myself soften.
I am filled with gratitude for my Guru who, like Sage Ashtavakra, teaches with humor and compassion.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, United States