…. The Name of the Divine is in itself a power, if it is taken with the right faith and in the right attitude.
Namajapa has a great power in it.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p327
The word is a sound expressive of the idea. In the supra-physical plane when an idea has to be realised, one can by repeating the word-expression of it, produce vibrations which prepare the mind for the realisation of the idea. That is the principle of the Mantra and of japa. One repeats the name of the Divine and the vibrations created in the consciousness prepare the realisation of the Divine…
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p322
As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be used—each has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Himself and the Ashram: CWSA, Vol. 35, p825
…. sound always has a power; it has much more power than men think. It may be a good power and it may be a bad power. It creates vibrations which have an undeniable effect. It is not so much the idea as the sound; the idea too has its own power, but in its own domain—whereas the sound has a power in the material world.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 7, p343
…. I didn’t even know what a mantra was. I had gone to a lecture given by some fellow who was supposed to have practiced “yoga” for a year in the Himalayas and recounted his experience (none too interesting, either). All at once, in the course of his lecture, he uttered the sound OM. And I saw the entire room suddenly fill with light, a golden, vibrating light…. I was probably the only one to notice it. I said to myself, “Well!” Then I didn’t give it any more thought, I forgot about the story. But as it happened, the experience recurred in two or three different countries, with different people, and every time there was the sound OM, I would suddenly see the place fill with that same light. So I understood. That sound contains the vibration of thousands and thousands of years of spiritual aspiration—there is in it the entire aspiration of men towards the Supreme. And the power is automatically there, because the experience is there.
The Mother – Agenda: Vol. 4, p131
In this regard, we can say that the active power of words comes from three different causes.
The first two lie in the word itself, which has become a battery of forces. The third lies in the fact of living integrally the deep thought expressed by the word when we pronounce it.
Naturally, if these three causes of effectiveness are combined, the power of the word is considerably enhanced.
1) There are certain words whose resonance in the physical world is the perfect vibratory materialisation of the more subtle vibration produced by the thought in its own domain.
2) There are other words which have been repeated in certain circumstances for hundreds of years and which are instinct with the mental forces of all those who have pronounced them. They are true batteries of energy.
3) Finally, there are words which assume an immediate value when they are pronounced, as a result of the living thought of the one who pronounces them.
To illustrate what I have just said with an example, here is a very powerful word, for it can combine the qualities of all three categories: it is the Sanskrit word “AUM”.
It is used in India to express the divine Immanence. There, it is associated with every meditation, every contemplation, every yogic practice.
More than any other sound, this sound “AUM” gives rise to a feeling of peace, of serenity, of eternity.
Moreover, this word is instinct with the mental forces which for centuries all those who have used it have accumulated around the idea that it expresses; and, for Hindus especially, it has the true power of bringing one into contact with the divine Essence it evokes.
The Mother – Words of Long Ago: CWM, Vol. 2, pp66-67
…. The function of a mantra is to create vibrations in the inner consciousness that will prepare it for the realisation of what the mantra symbolises and is supposed indeed to carry within itself. The mantra OM should therefore lead towards the opening of the consciousness to the sight and feeling of the One Consciousness in all material things, in the inner being and in the supraphysical worlds, in the causal plane above now superconscient to us and, finally, the supreme liberated transcendence above all cosmic existence.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p323-34
OM is this imperishable Word, OM is the Universe, and this is the exposition of OM. The past, the present and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be, is OM. Likewise all else that may exist beyond the bounds of Time, that too is OM.
Sri Aurobindo – Kena and other Upanishads: CWSA, Vol. 18, p193
As when the mantra sinks in Yoga’s ear,
Its message enters stirring the blind brain
And keeps in the dim ignorant cells its sound;
The hearer understands a form of words
And, musing on the index thought it holds,
He strives to read it with the labouring mind,
But finds bright hints, not the embodied truth:
Then, falling silent in himself to know
He meets the deeper listening of his soul:
The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body’s self
Are seized unutterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change;
He feels a Wideness and becomes a Power,
All knowledge rushes on him like a sea:
Transmuted by the white spiritual ray
He walks in naked heavens of joy and calm,
Sees the God-face and hears transcendent speech:
An equal greatness in her life was sown.
Sri Aurobindo – Savitri: CWSA, Vol. 34, Book Four, p375