Mantra refers to a sound, or a certain syllable or utterance. In present times, modern science sees our existence as reverberations of energy, which are based on different levels of vibrations. Wherever there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. So, this, in turn, means that our whole existence is a kind of a sound or even a complex amalgamation of sounds, thus, we can assume that our existence is an amalgamation of multiple mantras. Out of these, only a few mantras or a few sounds have been identified as of now, which could be treated like keys. If you use these mantras in a certain way, they can become a key to open up different dimensions of life and experiences within your being.
A mantra is a sacred sound or word usually in Sanskrit that is believed to provide spiritual, psychological, or physical benefits to a person who chants it. This way, they are very much comparable to spells, and prayer formulas, though there are important differences between each of these.
There are mantras for almost every occasion or problem.
For example, there are mantras to cure health problems, to improve happiness and boost confidence, protect oneself from enemies, mantras to cure insomnia, etc.
Mantras are known to be more than 3000 years old. Over the centuries they have been used in most religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, and today they are used in self-improvement where they are commonly known as affirmations.
One can find similar concepts in the Japanese Shingon, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Taoism.In other words, mantras are common the world over.
How do Mantras work?
As discussed above, there are different definitions and theories of precisely what a mantra means. Unsurprisingly, there are also various understandings about how mantras work.A fascinating fact about sounds is that they themselves reverberate in our mind and body. So when one speaks people are actually creating physical events in the mind and body.
It is believed that mantras are based on the sounds of nature, and when one creates vocal sounds he produces physical events in his body. When one recites a mantra, he is creating a physical event that is like nature’s echo in the mind and body.
Another aspect of mantras is that one can meditate on them. This puts our consciousness inside the mantra chanting, or to say it in another way, it puts one’s consciousness inside the echo of nature.
Sum all of this up, and one may realize that when chanting a mantra one creates a physical echo of nature in the mind and body. It is then possible to place one’s consciousness inside that echo of nature by meditating. Our entire being is affected by the mantra we chant. And that is where the power of mantras comes from.
Let’s evaluate the classic example “Om” (prounounced as Aum).The entire sound of Om is a sonorant. It does not feature plosives and is neither fricative. It is a completely “open” sound. Try chanting it you will know what we are trying to say.
Some popular and powerful mantras
- Gayatri Mantra
Oṁ Bhūrbhuvaswaha Tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥa prachodayāt
- Pavamana Mantra
asato mā sad gamaya, tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, mṛtyor māmṛtaṃ gamaya.
- Shanti Mantra
Oṁ Sahanā vavatu
Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ.
How to Chant Mantras?
- Find a mantra you would like to chant and try to understand its meaning. Understand its rhythm and its correct pronunciation.
- Meditate and concentrate on your third eye position, this clears your mind and makes you ready for the chanting.
- Begin chanting the mantra with the right rhythm and musical tone.
- Continue the full round, which is mostly 108 repetitions.
- Sit still for some time after completion.
- Express your gratitude to the mantra and the Gods.