Question on using multiple mantras

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Injrabodi
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Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Injrabodi » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:33 pm

Last year after having it suggested to me by multiple parties I began to practice recitation of the Cundi dharani as a part of my sadhana, primarily during formal sitting sessions, but also throughout the day when I'm able to keep accurate track of my count, as well as for prostrations. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Cundi dharani places great emphasis on the number of recitations one does, with supposed auspicious events occurring at specific landmarks.
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra02.html

Anyways I've found it very hard to keep accurate track of my recitation number throughout the day. During formal meditation it's very easy, as I merely use my mala, however while out and about on my normal day it's very tough to keep count. I've came up with a way to use my fingers while doing most actives to keep count, and I've timed my mental recitation a number of times so I can place solid estimates on periods of time spent in mental recitation- however with distractions and variances in tempo it's tough sometimes for good accuracy (so I always round down, or don't count questionable periods at all).

Would it be appropriate to use the Cundi dharani only during formal sitting, and when going throughout my day to instead use the Mani mantra? I've heard it said before that a mantra is like one's wife and it should be used monogamously as such, and that using more than one is counterproductive and merely confuses the mind. Maybe I can just have two wives :rolling:

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Ayu
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Ayu » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:30 pm

I don't believe in this "two wifes" saying, because all yidams are one essentially.

But anyhow, I think your question could best be answered by a teacher who can look into your eyes. Because I think, this is not a one size fits all problem. For different persons the answer could be differently, I bet.
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Injrabodi
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Injrabodi » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:03 am

Ayu wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:30 pm
I don't believe in this "two wifes" saying, because all yidams are one essentially.
Very true from what I've read. If I recall correctly the Mahavairocana Tantra says that prostrating to any Buddha is equivalent to prostrating to all Buddhas.
Ayu wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:30 pm
But anyhow, I think your question could best be answered by a teacher who can look into your eyes. Because I think, this is not a one size fits all problem. For different persons the answer could be differently, I bet.
If it was possible for me to meet a flesh and blood teacher at this time I would. However they're all hours away and I'm bound to my present location through my terms of probation.

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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:52 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:33 pm
Last year after having it suggested to me by multiple parties I began to practice recitation of the Cundi dharani as a part of my sadhana, primarily during formal sitting sessions, but also throughout the day when I'm able to keep accurate track of my count, as well as for prostrations. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Cundi dharani places great emphasis on the number of recitations one does, with supposed auspicious events occurring at specific landmarks.
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra02.html

Anyways I've found it very hard to keep accurate track of my recitation number throughout the day. During formal meditation it's very easy, as I merely use my mala, however while out and about on my normal day it's very tough to keep count. I've came up with a way to use my fingers while doing most actives to keep count, and I've timed my mental recitation a number of times so I can place solid estimates on periods of time spent in mental recitation- however with distractions and variances in tempo it's tough sometimes for good accuracy (so I always round down, or don't count questionable periods at all).

Would it be appropriate to use the Cundi dharani only during formal sitting, and when going throughout my day to instead use the Mani mantra? I've heard it said before that a mantra is like one's wife and it should be used monogamously as such, and that using more than one is counterproductive and merely confuses the mind. Maybe I can just have two wives :rolling:
I use one of these to keep count of mental recitations during my daily activities. When people ask me what I am counting I tell them my steps... towards enlightenment, that is ;) ... but they don't need to know that.
tally counter.jpg
tally counter.jpg (10.94 KiB) Viewed 1274 times
Of course you can recite and accumulate more than one mantra. Most people have more than one daily practice.
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TrimePema
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by TrimePema » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:33 pm
Last year after having it suggested to me by multiple parties I began to practice recitation of the Cundi dharani as a part of my sadhana, primarily during formal sitting sessions, but also throughout the day when I'm able to keep accurate track of my count, as well as for prostrations. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Cundi dharani places great emphasis on the number of recitations one does, with supposed auspicious events occurring at specific landmarks.
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra02.html

Anyways I've found it very hard to keep accurate track of my recitation number throughout the day. During formal meditation it's very easy, as I merely use my mala, however while out and about on my normal day it's very tough to keep count. I've came up with a way to use my fingers while doing most actives to keep count, and I've timed my mental recitation a number of times so I can place solid estimates on periods of time spent in mental recitation- however with distractions and variances in tempo it's tough sometimes for good accuracy (so I always round down, or don't count questionable periods at all).

Would it be appropriate to use the Cundi dharani only during formal sitting, and when going throughout my day to instead use the Mani mantra? I've heard it said before that a mantra is like one's wife and it should be used monogamously as such, and that using more than one is counterproductive and merely confuses the mind. Maybe I can just have two wives :rolling:
What do you mean by "keep track during the day"? I assume you mean outside of formal meditation.

Mantras can be recited at any time provided you aren't doing it in a distracted way, but I've been told (this may or may not apply to you, idk) that the only time mantras can be "counted" in terms of accumulations is during a formal session.

If you are accumulating 100,000 om mani then you would not count the X you said during the day, at work, in the car, watching TV etc. since that is not done in meditation, but rather in post-meditation.

You can have as many "wives" as your guru gives you.

What I mean is not that you shouldn't recite while going about your normal day, but rather that they don't count towards formal accumulations. For instance, in ngondro sometimes 1,200,000 vajra guru mantras are accumulated but they cannot be accumulated outside of the formal practice. But also for another example, if one says 6,000,000 vajra guru mantras in this lifetime, it is said one will become inseparable from Guru Rinpoche. But the 6,000,000 doesn't need to be counted in order for it to happen, whereas the 1,200,000 needs to be counted in order for one to be confident that one has completed 1,200,000 recitations...

The auspicious events will just happen regardless of if you are keeping count yourself. Depending on your past lives, they might happen faster than those markers as well.

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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by hermitseb » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:48 pm

The kind elder kagyu monk who lives near me practices all sorts of mantras throughout the day, almost nonstop, some of which were given as practice by Tai Situ Rimpoche, so this would suggest to me that on an official basis, at least in some lineages, there is no problem. Mostly, I agree with the above poster whom suggested this is a individual thing, that a teacher would evaluate for you, based upon your needs.

He uses a mechanical clicker for counting, click click click click heh - He would even do so while driving, when he used to drive.

:twothumbsup:

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by 明安 Myoan » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:16 pm

Specializing in one can make it easier for the mantra to become a source of refuge in difficulty. And there will be difficulty in this world. Finding that the mantra actually brings benefit when you need it helps build faith.

Other mantras and practices can support the main mantra or have specific uses. That's how it's presented in some Pure Land schools anyway.

Outside of accumulations, I think counting helps ward off laziness/fickleness. It can remind us of the mantra more and more in daily life. But the counting isn't as precise as accumulations, because of distractions and demands.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:06 pm

With most things in Vajrayana there are lots of "right" answers across an entire spectrum of options, so whether you should focus on one or many is hard to generalize. That's one reason it's worth establishing trust in a teacher, doesn't have to be ' the one', just someone whose opinion you trust, with some bonafides. Doesn't have to be in person either.

I've seen this sort of thing answered completely differently depending on the individual asking.

Ask the monk maybe, see what he says. You don't have to consider him the ultimate authority but if you have a resource so near....
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Injrabodi
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by Injrabodi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:57 am

TrimePema wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 am
Mantras can be recited at any time provided you aren't doing it in a distracted way, but I've been told (this may or may not apply to you, idk) that the only time mantras can be "counted" in terms of accumulations is during a formal session.
If you are accumulating 100,000 om mani then you would not count the X you said during the day, at work, in the car, watching TV etc. since that is not done in meditation, but rather in post-meditation.
That makes a lot of logical sense when you phrase it that way, and practicing accumulations in this manner will bring quite a lot of relief. The dharani felt natural to repeat a long time ago, however the attempt at counting outside of formal practice was the unnatural, mechanical issue I was encountering. This would solve the problem entirely though.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:06 pm
Ask the monk maybe, see what he says. You don't have to consider him the ultimate authority but if you have a resource so near....
That's a good idea, and I haven't visited in a while anyways. Multiple people in here have suggested directly asking a teacher in person, so getting the Shaivite renunciate's advice on the matter would be helpful. I'm no expert on the topic myself, obviously, but I believe he's involved with Sri Vidya somehow. So maybe I could get some good mantric advice there.

Thank you all very much for your advice in here.

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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by hermitseb » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:33 am

This may perhaps be helpful - I have every now and then heard teachers say that just saying a mantra is not useful, just making mouth sounds - one also has to do the visualizations and so on that go with the mantra.. I can only imagine that unless one has been doing it for quite a long time, doing this while doing other things is probably not very easy.

I mentioned a monk above who did so while driving - he was doing 10 million repetition sets of various mantras, upon the instructions of his Teacher Tai Situ, so I can only assume that he's able to multitask in that way by that point! He is also a very sharp and joyful elderly man, despite all sorts of age related body dysfunctions, which probably helps!

Very inspiring :)

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:23 am

Does anyone here have familiarity with the Cundi dharani? There is of course this short sutra.

Not all dharanis/mantras are the same in how they're used or said to work.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

TrimePema
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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by TrimePema » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:30 am

Injrabodi wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:57 am
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:48 am
Mantras can be recited at any time provided you aren't doing it in a distracted way, but I've been told (this may or may not apply to you, idk) that the only time mantras can be "counted" in terms of accumulations is during a formal session.
If you are accumulating 100,000 om mani then you would not count the X you said during the day, at work, in the car, watching TV etc. since that is not done in meditation, but rather in post-meditation.
That makes a lot of logical sense when you phrase it that way, and practicing accumulations in this manner will bring quite a lot of relief. The dharani felt natural to repeat a long time ago, however the attempt at counting outside of formal practice was the unnatural, mechanical issue I was encountering. This would solve the problem entirely though.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:06 pm
Ask the monk maybe, see what he says. You don't have to consider him the ultimate authority but if you have a resource so near....
That's a good idea, and I haven't visited in a while anyways. Multiple people in here have suggested directly asking a teacher in person, so getting the Shaivite renunciate's advice on the matter would be helpful. I'm no expert on the topic myself, obviously, but I believe he's involved with Sri Vidya somehow. So maybe I could get some good mantric advice there.

Thank you all very much for your advice in here.
This is a short mantra. You can say it easily during the day while you are walking around etc. but the general instructions I know for doing such a thing are 1) to generate bodhichitta while you do that and 2) not to worry about counting them 3) always remember to dedicate even the smallest merits to the benefit of all beings and your buddhahood.

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Re: Question on using multiple mantras

Post by moonbun » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:49 pm

Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:23 am
Does anyone here have familiarity with the Cundi dharani? There is of course this short sutra.

Not all dharanis/mantras are the same in how they're used or said to work.
I first read about it from here, and from this old defunct site which can be accessed thanks to the waybackmachine. It was also a topic here regarding dreams.

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