Mantras are powerful sacred sounds that have a deep spiritual significance. Mantras often have ancient origins and are to be repetitively chanted or listened to. This allows us to become attuned to the sound vibration and experience specific spiritual effects, deep states of meditation, and expanded consciousness.
Within this article, we will explore the topic of mantras, including more on how mantras work and how they can be used. We will also introduce 6 powerful mantras from various origins, and the purpose and benefits of these mantras.
How does a mantra work?
The word mantra is a Sanskrit word that translates as “an instrument or vehicle of the mind“. The primordial sounds of mantras are of a vibration that helps us to experience spiritual and psychological alignment. The repetitive chanting of a mantra works as a point of focus for the mind that can help us to easily enter a deep state of meditation as well as attune our vibration to the sound vibration of the mantra.
Mantras and similar concepts of sacred sound are used in many cultures and religions most notably in Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Different mantras may or may not have a literal meaning as the focus of the mantra is not really the psychological understanding but rather a deeper spiritual level experience of the powerful sound energy.
How can we use mantras?
We can include mantras into our daily practice in a few simple and enjoyable ways:
In most traditions, mantras are chanted out aloud as a focused sound meditation. The meditation is focused on the mantra and the concentrated sound vibration produced from chanting creates powerful aligning energy. This practice is sometimes combined with meditative breathwork.
Mantra can also be used in meditation by focusing and chanting the mantra mentally or internally. This can help with stilling the mind and resonating with the energy of the mantra inwardly.
You can choose to listen to recordings of mantras while you work, relax or meditate. Of course, the most optimal state to work with mantras is during meditation but listening to sacred sounds at any time can still have a positive impact on your subconscious mind and energetic state.
Mantra can be recited while holding mala or Japamala beads, which are special beads intended for this purpose. A mala usually has 108 beads that are crafted from wood or semi-precious materials. Using a mala can serve as a point of focus and intention for your mantra meditation practice.
Mantras and their benefits
There are so many powerful and beautiful mantras throughout the different lineages and in this section, we will introduce a few of the popular mantras including the uses for these mantras and the meanings (for the sake of interest as the focus of the mantra is not really the literal translation but the energy of the sounds)
Known as ‘the primordial sound’, it is significant of the natural creative cycles of life and death. You can read more about the details of the Om mantra, its benefits, and different ways to chant this mantra in our Wednesday Wisdom Blog article entitled: The Benefits of Om Chanting Meditation.
The benefits of chanting Om include calming and regulating the nervous system,
deeper presence and clarity and even balancing your hormones.
‘OM BHUR BUVAH SWAH, TAT-SAVITUR VARENYAM, BHARGO DEVASYA DEEMAHI, DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT’
This powerful mantra is one of the oldest Sanskrit mantras, it translates to the following:‘ we meditate on God, the creator whose divine light illuminates all aspects of mind, body, and soul. May this light enlighten us’. The benefits of working with this mantra include experiencing positive energy, better focus, and memory, and it is said to reduce stress and improve breathing.
‘OMGAM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA’
This Hindu mantra is a salutation and invocation of Lord Ganesha. A mantra for seeking the blessings of Ganesha, which includes removing obstacles and blessing new beginnings. It is also a great mantra for protection and removing fear from the heart and mind.
Green Tara Mantra
‘OM TARA TUTTARE TURE SOHA'
This is a Hindu and Buddhist mantra connected to the Goddess Tara. She is associated with compassion, enlightenment, liberation, and manifestation. This mantra is helpful in moving through mental and emotional blockages as well as experiencing a state of inner peace.
This mantra is one of the most important mantras in Sikhism. It is a mantra that focuses on revering God, the divine creator, and divine qualities. Chanting this mantra is said to eliminate negative energy, increase power, confidence, illumination, and experience a close connection or oneness with the divine.
Om mani padme hum Mantra
‘OM MANI PADME HUM'
This is a really popular Tibetan Buddhist mantra that translates as “praise or behold the jewel is in the lotus”. This is just one layer of the meaning of this mantra as it is said to, upon meditation, reveal many of Buddha’s key teachings. This mantra refers to the life of the lotus; it is a flower that grows in and rises up from muddy and murky water in order to surface and bloom beautifully. This mantra is said to help us move through the murky and muddy layers of life towards enlightenment. The benefits of reciting this mantra include a greater experience of presence and stillness as well as helping us let go of everything that needs to be released.
These are just a few mantras, there are so many amazing mantras to choose from and we suggest you continue your research into the mantras that pique your interest. You can choose a mantra that you feel intuitively drawn to or that you feel holds the benefits you seek. You can easily find mantras online and listen to them to get a better idea of the pronunciation. You can spend some time listening to a mantra or put them into practice by activating your throat chakra and chanting to resonate these powerful sound vibrations through your being.
__Written by Music Of Wisdom team