In the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, no definite mantra is given. However Sri Aurobindo has written in many places that mantra japa can be helpful. For people like me, who are starting on the path, mantra may be useful for progress or even to make myself ready for the path. In this post, I have culled some relevant extracts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo on the use of mantra and also the mantras that have been written or endorsed by him. This may be useful for those who are inclined to follow this path.
There is no mantra given in this Yoga. It is the opening of the consciousness to the Mother from within that is the true initiation and that can only come by aspiration and rejection of restlessness in the mind and vital.
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.
OM is the mantra, the expressive sound-symbol of the Brahman Consciousness in its four domains from the Turiya to the external or material plane. 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. The last is usually the main preoccupation with those who use the mantra.
In this Yoga there is no fixed mantra, no stress is laid on mantras, although sadhaks can use one if they find it helpful or so long as they find it helpful. The stress is rather on an aspiration in the consciousness and a concentration of the mind, heart, will, all the being. If a mantra is found helpful for that, one uses it. OM if rightly used (not mechanically) might very well help the opening upwards and outwards (cosmic consciousness) as well as the descent.
We do not usually give any mantra. Those who repeat something in meditation call on the Mother.
On the difference between calling The Mother and Sri Aurobindo Mira:
There is not necessarily any difference of Force. Usually the Mother’s name has the full power in it; but in certain states of consciousness the double Name may have a special effect.
On repeating the name of Krishna:
There is no harm in that; it is not incompatible or inconsistent with this Yoga.
On whether mantra can change physical consciousness:
I do not believe a mantra can change the physical consciousness. What it does, if it is effective, is to open the consciousness and to bring into it the power of that which the Mantra represents.
On mantra japa leading to mechanisation of the sadhana and becoming dependent on the mantra to come in contact with the Divine:
It depends on the way in which the japa is done.
If rightly done, the mantra is a means of opening to the light and knowledge etc. from above and it ceases as soon as that is done.
On the natural function of the japa:
….it can do its natural function of creating the right consciousness — for that is what the japa is intended to do. It first changes the vibrations of the consciousness, brings into it the right state and the right responses and then brings in the power or the presence of the Deity.
THE MANTRAS WRITTEN BY SRI AUROBINDO