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Chapter 28: Meditation: An Unburdening of Repressions

If you give your mantra to someone he may experiment with it, but that key will not suit that lock. And sometimes, when you force a wrong key into a lock you can destroy the lock, you can disturb the lock. You can so much disturb it that even when a right key is found it may not work. That is why mantras are to be kept absolutely secret. They are not told to anyone; that is a promise you make. The master gives you a key, it is a key only for you. You cannot go on distributing it - for many that would be harmful.

You will be allowed to give keys only when your lock is totally opened. But then you will not give this key to anyone. Then you will have become capable of entering into the other. Then you will be able to feel the lock and devise a key for it.

The key is always devised by the master. If there is a heap of keys, one who doesn’t know may think all keys are the same. There may be only very small differences, minute differences, and even the same word can be used differently. For example, Aum. This has three sounds - “A-U-M.” If emphasis is given on the “U,” the mid-sound, it is one key. If emphasis is given on the “A,” it is a different key. If the emphasis is given on the “M,” it is still a different key; it will open different locks. That is why there is so much emphasis on the exact use of the mantra as it is given by the master.

So the master gives the mantra in your ear; he chants it exactly as it should be used. He chants it in your ear, and you have to become so alert that your whole consciousness comes to the ear. He chants it, and then it enters into you. You have to remember it now - the exact use of it.

That is why individuals must keep their mantras secret; they should not be made public. They are dangerous, and if you are initiated you know it. If a master has really given you a key, you know it. You treasure it like anything; you cannot go on distributing it. It can be harmful for others and it can be harmful for you also - for many reasons.

Firstly, you are breaking a promise, and the moment the promise is broken your contact with the master is broken. You will not be in contact with him again. If the promise is kept, there is a constant contact.

Secondly, if you give the mantra to anyone and talk about it, it comes to the surface of the mind. The deeper roots are broken, it becomes a gossip.

Thirdly, if you can keep anything secret, the more you keep it secret, the deeper it goes. It is bound to go deeper.

It is said of Marpa that when he was given the secret mantra by his master, the promise was there that the mantra would be kept absolutely secret. “You are not to talk about it,” he was told.

Then Marpa’s master appeared in his dream and he said, “What is your mantra?” Even in the dream Marpa kept his promise, he refused to tell it. And it is said that because of the fear that someday in a dream the master may come or send someone, and he may be so asleep that he would break the secret and the promise would be broken, he stopped sleeping altogether. He would not sleep!