A mantra is invested to the extent that it is passed from spirit to spirit. Openness to receive it is part of whether or not the mantra can be invested. The next thing is the nature of the spirit of the being that’s investing it.

That is, I can’t teach you a mantra that I myself don’t do. However, if I’m doing a mantra, and it works for me in a way that immediately moves me into a psychic space while also keeping my center, what I transmit to you when I teach the mantra is also my own ability to use it.

One of the horrendous things that one goes through is teaching beyond where you’re at, of knowing something intellectually and trying to transmit it. What you end up doing is destroying its usefulness for the other person. They were given a mantra, but they didn’t open themselves to the person who gave it. In turn, the person that gave it really wasn’t doing it high enough. The result is that they got a mantra, but it didn’t work and now there’s resistance to using mantra in the future.

It’s like Valmiki, who wrote the Ramayana. He was given the story of Ram, and the mantra of “RAMA RAMA RAMA,” but when he got it, he heard it as “MARA MARA MARA,” which is the name of the devil. For 20 years he went around all day saying “MARA MARA MARA,” and he became enlightened. It had been invested with such purity, and he was using it with such purity, that the spirit was passing through that vehicle.

That’s called transmuting energy. When you’re pure enough, you can take anything that comes in, and you can make it into something else, because of your ability to transmute.


-Ram Dass