Interview – The use of Mantras and Shabbads in Kundalini Yoga for cleansing and healing

By Patwant Kaur

Photo: Camila Muradas


1 – How do Kundalini Yoga mantras work in the human psyche?

According to the teachings of Kundalini yoga the mantras have a structure, power and effect on the mind through the vibration of sound, according to laws of physics and metaphysics. Through the mind we perceive, we analyze the world and we have emotions, thoughts and feelings. In this way, our mind creates automatic habits and patterns, and many of them cause us to act and react in a limited, uncontrolled, and emotional way.

When we chant and repeat a mantra, we regain control of our mind and experience a subtle adjustment that works in three ways: it brings focus, it raises the frequency so that other thoughts can be elevated. And  lastly it provides a new pattern, model or impression to the mind.

The result of this is that we gain clarity, focus and a more flexible, quiet and peaceful mind. We create a new standard that favors more intelligent actions and behaviors in the face of real-life demands and challenges.

2 – What is the importance of chanting the mantras at the opening and closing of a Kundalini Yoga class?

The opening mantra is an Adi mantra which means first or primordial. It is a connection to our highest being, our inner teacher, and to all the knowledge passed to us through the Golden Chain of the teachers who came before us.   The meaning of the mantra is “I greet the universal energy and the divine path that leads me from darkness to light.” At the end of the lesson we also chant the Sat Nam mantra three times. We close the work of the Kudalini Yoga reminding ourselves that our true  identity (Sat) is the vibrational identity of the Infinite (Naam), we are divine beings. This mantra is used to increase intuition, balance and fate.

3 – What is the difference between a mantra and a shabad?

Mantras are drawn from the shabads. They are like capsules of knowledge.Mantra is a vibrational formula that takes the mind to a certain frequency by imprinting affirmations and qualities to it. The Shabad Guru is the sound that cuts through the false identifications of the ego, bringing an infinite teaching and a spiritual knowledge to the daily and real experience of our lives.

4 – Mantras have the ability to promote cleansing and healing. How does this happen in our subconscious?

 When we repeat the sound structure of the Shabad Guru, this frequency will systematically transform the habitual patterns of thoughts. This current of sound causes the release of thoughts and feelings stored in the subconscious that are changing as the Shabad establishes itself in the nervous system, transforming and vibrating a new pattern in us. Meditation and the specific repetition of primary sounds and phrases cleans the subconscious and refines our minds, releasing us from unconscious conditions and reactions such as fear, aggression and blockages. You enhance and awaken dormant inner qualities and capacities and break free from patterns of obsolete behavior and habits.]

5 – The main mantras are repeated and what changes is the interpreter and the rhythm. How can the teacher use these differences between the rhythms for choosing mantras? Should the choice go against Kriya’s goal or should the teacher be intuitive only?

The mantras do not change. Interpreters create versions of melodies and rhythms as a support for mantras. Words bring strength and musicians have to be careful that music does not override or inhibit the strength of the mantra. Music is like a “backdrop” to the mantra.

The choice of the mantras versions depends on the impact and the work that is to be  done. If the teacher wants to favor the experience of chanting strong, with the navel point to generate heat and strength he should use a version that brings these aspects. This is  called Jaap (repetition). Otherwise, if he who offers the lifting experience, there are simpler versions that touch the heart. This is  called Bhajan (singing). There are also versions that lead us to the experience of Suni-ai, which broaden the connection and the listening of inner subtle knowledge. This choice on the part of the teacher involves practice, training, knowledge, sensitivity and intuition.

6 – What are Aquarian mantras? Why are they special in the process of transition from the ages of Pisces to Aquarius?

Aquarian mantras are a powerful sequence of sounds, which are vibrated as a tool for cleansing the subconscious and raising the vibrational level of our mind. They are special to modern times because of their ability to elevate people’s collective consciousness, harmonize, and bring mental balance to those who meditate together on the strength of the Naam (vibrational identity of the Infinite).

7 – What is Naad?

Naad is a science of thousands of years working with the movement of language, language and chemical changes in the brain. This science is based on the knowledge of how to vibrate the essence of sound so that we have the experience of the Infinite.

8 – Can you talk about the work of the Nam Simram Jheta group?

 Jetha (group) started work with Shabad Guru in 2011 when we were invited to perform at Aquarian sadhana at a White Tantra Yoga event. We are teachers of Kundalini Yoga and musicians and we draw inspiration from the teachings of the Sikh Dharma tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Our main intention is to serve the Siri Guru Granth Sahib (book of poems, mantra and Shabads) and Sangat in the Gurdwaras (meditation ceremonies in the current Sound of the Shabad Guru). Our goal is to serve through the sacred sound of the Shabad Guru for the sake of upliftment, healing and inner development of people.

Jiwan Preet Singh Khalsa is a music graduate and teacher of Kundalini Yoga. He is currently studying for neuroscience and coordinates work and programs of Mantra Yoga, Naad Yoga and Shabad Guru at ABAKY (Brazilian Association of Friends of Kundalini Yoga). Contact:







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