Ambika Devi

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Which works better: Affirmations, Mantras, or Prayers?

For me, there is no delineation or difference between affirmations, mantras, and prayers. I easily see them as the same thing. However, when different masterful beings teach these phrases to us, they are often portrayed as everything from a magical incantation to an ancient puzzle.

When we cross-compare the varied choices we see that they all have similar intentions including soothing emotional stress and turmoil and manifestation of a new state of being.

A mantra is indeed a prayer, stamped with particular sounds, rhythms, and timing of use. This supercharges its potency. A prayer is what we learn through religious organizations appealing to the Divine Spirit and Omnipresence perceived by the particular lineage.

An affirmation is likely the most common version that you are familiar with composed of a string of words used to invoke change. This is likened to spell-casting which is why I believe it can be grossly misunderstood.

Since 1977, I have been working and teaching in the field of metaphysics and have learned different perspectives on the use of affirmation. It is common to formulate long and lengthy phrases that are written and repeated with virtually no successful outcome. I find this very sad.

I spent 21 years working in clinics, helping clients survive through physical body pain and diseases using holistic modalities to heal and move forward in their lives.

One of the biggest frustrations I experienced during those decades was witnessing many individuals coming to me too late. Many beautiful people with stage four cancer showed up that I was unable to help beyond giving them permission to stay home and die peacefully with their families and pets by their sides.

I had begun the study of astrology in my preteen years at the age of nine, grabbing a hold of my first book by Ruth Montgomery entitled, Strangers Among Us. I continued to consume philosophy, reading everything by Herman Hesse and many more great writers.

At age 16, I began studying Mandarin Chinese, and became fascinated with the, Tao Te Ching, also called the, Dao De Jing, by Laozi also written Lao Tzu. The phrase, “Becoming is the way of the Tao,” has always stuck with me. But, what is it that we are here becoming?

How can we invoke change urging our lives to take a more proactive trajectory?

One of the first books I was given when I attended school for the study of massage therapy is, Heal Your Body, by Louise Hay. This was my first formal step into the study of metaphysics.

Guided by this brilliant soul I began work as a detective with the pathology of diseases and went on to the study of blood types and genealogical effects on disease with Peter D’adamo and his book, Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. I had already spent five years as an apprentice, learning the art of acupuncture and was taught in a very old-school method by a Mr. Myagi type Japanese trained master.

Yoga has always been a part of my life and though many still view this as a stretchy-pants exercise program, it is a vast philosophy and science of life. Yoga’s purpose is the art of Meditation and gives us the tools to not just sit on a cushion, but also to get up and walk around in this state of being as well as sleeping in its higher practice state. 

The Quakers introduced me to the art of sitting in silence when I was six years old. I am grateful daily for this teaching. It is in silent contemplation—not focusing on anything—that the most brilliant ideas come to me. Just after a session of meditation and upon returning to the sensations of being inside a physical body, is when the best ideas flood in.

The first time I heard one of my Far Eastern teachers speak what seemed like a perfect affirmation to me, was in the early 1980s. I was sitting at Bante’s feet when he first spoke this phrase to a gathering of his disciples. You can find the full story about him and my experience told on the pages of my book, Unfolding Happiness.

That night, bathed in liquid green light—a favorite technique of his—we sat in silent meditation together as a group, inside a beautiful house nestled in the dark woods of New Jersey. As always, following our silent meditation sessions, Bante would take questions and answer them thoughtfully from his heart. On this night he responded to one of the group member’s queries, punctuated with this phrase,

Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.

One month ago, I began taking a course entitled, Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion, virtually with one of my great teachers from Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. I have been studying with them continuously since my graduation from their Teacher’s Training Course in 2010. This was my fifth Yoga teaching certification. My first was in 1978 and in the spring of 2010 I received my master’s degree in the philosophy and education of Yoga. from Hindu University of America. I continue to research, write, and speak on the topic to groups from executives to earth-loving keepers.

Through the teaching of Swami Sivananda and his expert disciples, I am continue to learn a greater depth of different scriptural writings and the principles of Yoga. In this present course, I am told that is the only curriculum Swami Sivananda ever created and taught that did not come directly from Yogic scriptures such as the ancient writing of the Vedas, the Mahabharata and its famous 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, or the sutras great sage, Patanjali. All of these are major cornerstones creating the Foundation of Yoga philosophy.

In this present class, we students are learning about Swami ji’s inspiration coming from the philosophy and research of the French psychologist, Émile Coué, who lived 1857-1926. Swami ji, says that it is an offshoot of Vedanta theory and practice. It is the words of Émile Coué that my teacher Bante was repeating.

Everyday, in every way, I’m getting better and better.

We can also find these inspiring words in the song, Beautiful Boy, by John Lennon.

Before you go to sleep

Say a little prayer

Every day in every way

It’s getting better and better

I am positive that Émile Coué is the one responsible for inspiring my teacher, Bante, as I know he lived in Paris back in the 1800s. Along with these luminaries and just like Coué, I too had discovered that the mind is responsible for disease and not the body.

It turns out that those who are considered New Agers and Hippies from the 70s, along with the yogis have been right all along!

These beings have been speaking the truth of, We are not these bodies, we are not these minds, for centuries. Perhaps you have come across this? I am hoping that I am helping to clarify this message with more clarity. What I am giving you is the ability to grab a hold of something that you can use to make profound changes in your life that you are going to notice at a rapid pace.

A word of warning before I give this magick1 to you.

I promise, that as you practice this phrase and the methods I am suggesting, that you are going to see swift and seemingly huge changes in your life. I want you to remember that change is not always comfortable. On the contrary, it can be very uncomfortable and pull things away from you sometimes faster than you are ready and willing to let go of them. I need you to understand this in order to be prepared for what is about to happen as you  move forward.

If it is evolution you crave, you must be ready, willing, and able to let go of what no longer serves you. Are ready to change your life now?

The phrase that my beloved teacher used, decades ago was a version that felt comfortable to him. It was fashioned directly from the words of Émile Coué, which are,

Day by day in every way, I’m getting better and better.

There are other paths I have crossed belonging to individuals using even more versions of this phrase touting its magical flair. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when my blessed teacher added something that Swami Sivananda suggested, to the phrase.

I have added it myself and now it is producing is rapid and noticeable removal of things that no longer serve me. I urge you to add this, if it feels comfortable to you. Here is the reconstruction that this illuminated teacher suggests,

Every day,in every way I am getting better and better.

Now, I know that some of you may not like the ‘G’ word. If so, you can leave it out. But I promise you, that when you add your divine connection to the omnipresence that it is going to turbo-charge your acceleration! I did not think to add it until just a couple of weeks ago, when my teacher gently offered this as a suggestion.

In my most recent lesson I learned that it is perfectly acceptable for me to tweak this phrase even further as I see fit. It is also possible to construct even more versions specific to perceived needs. However I can tell you, that this seemingly simple phrase is potent! Before I give you another that I created this week, I want to explain something about affirmations and why you may not be experiencing change from them.

All too often, the suggestions are more wordy and lengthy than needed. Try whittling them down and refining your thoughts when addressing self. I suggest using ‘I am’ if you can. This is one of the most powerful phrases we can say in any language, as it does induce change around our perceptions of ourselves.

Keep your affirmations in the present tense.

Placing your affirmation in the present tense is important. Therefore, I attract abundance or abundance flows freely to me becomes I am abundance. Craving the ability to overcome a disease becomes, I am health.

There is even more we can do to create greater and more rapid changes. Try adding the idea of speed, immediacy, and everlasting energy to your phrases. These are a must to see fast results!

The brilliant Émile Coué stated in his phrase, Day by day in every way, I’m getting better and better, is truly the only one we need. He calls this sentence, the master changer.

I have to admit that once I began adding the idea of placing myself in the hands of the Divine Omnipresence, that I immediately began experiencing exponential and rapid change. This included relationships that I had lost returning with great love and grace, as well as letting go of agreements and contracts that no longer serve my highest good.

This goes back to the warning I gave you earlier. You must be ready to let go if necessary.

If you are not ready to let go of what is hurting you, be careful. This magick, I spell with a ‘ck’. To me it is the most supernatural spell that we can cast on ourselves.

A phrase I penned this week in the work-shopping of ideas—guided by my teacher—is what I shall leave you with here. You are more than welcome to use it and share it.

My request though, is that if you choose to use it publicly in teaching or writing, that you respectfully state the history of where it came from and point people here to read this article letting them know that this is how you found it.

I believe that it is very important for us to always honor our teachers and the sources that change our lives by changing our mind-relationships. This is what, Be the change you wish to see in the world, means.

Here is the phrase I created this week:

Henceforth, growing rapidly day by day, this body, mind, and spirit increase in levels of happiness, health, strength, and abundance, filling me with more peace and greater levels of love and joy guided by your hands and your grace Sweet Lord, so that I shall forever remain one with you.

Many blessings, love, and magick always, Ambika Devi

1 I spell the word magick with a ‘ck’ rather than magic. The latter implies foolery and prestidigitation.

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