TM Mantras -- What Difference Does Their Meaning Mean?
The important point for me about the meanings of TM mantras is that on my TM teacher training
course I was directly taught by my course leaders to say that TM
mantras have no meaning (in the Fiuggi notes for the 1st lecture and
in the 2nd preparatory lecture notes).
The assertion that they have no meaning or religious connotation
is/was false. Whether you split hairs as to whether they are hindu
gods or vedic dieties is a distinction without a difference. Many,
many, many people would be indignant to find out that the mantra they
learned in the '70s for 25 or so bucks was in fact religious in nature
Whether you or I would be upset is really moot. The point is the TM
movement as represented by its legal agents, that is TM teachers,
insisted that the mantras had no meaning. They do. And at least one
reported mantra, "ram," is pretty clearly the name of a recognizable
god (Rama -- Gandhi on his death uttered "He Ram!" in the belief that
by saying the name of God he would be guaranteed eternal bliss).
Look, I've got no problem with uttering "shri ram namah," "shri buddah
namah," or "shri allah namah" until the cows come home. And the really
old-time TMers who may very well be muttering "shri ram namah" in
their meditations may or may not have a problem with it. God bless
But ifI were a rabbi/priest/mullah instructed in TM and just now
finding out that I've been repeating a sound sacred to a vedic diety for
the last so many years -- all the time assuring superiors and
parishioners that there was nothing religious about TM, I might very
well be fairly pissed and chagrined at this point to find out I had
been inadvertently telling an untruth.
I know such religious people. Believe me, theyare pissed.
The real question is, why can't the TM movement just say things
straightforwardly, outright and simple? For instance, "Yes, in some
cultures, the mantras that we use are considered religious. We don't
think they have any religious connotations, but our Shankaracharya
tradition has found these mantras to be effective. If you are
uncomfortable repeating what some religions consider sacred sounds,
perhaps TM is not for you. Thank you for your interest. If youdon't
mind, or even find this interesting, we will be holding instruction on
Saturday at 8 a.m. Please bring 3 fruit, 6 flowers, and a new, clean,
unused, white handkerchief." I didn't find any such speech in my
Fiuggi Lecture notes. Did you? Did any TM teacher?
Why does the TM movement hide behind word games?
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