Mantra – Meaning and Effect
Every one of us has experienced first-hand how powerful and magical words can be. We use our language intuitively and unconsciously, just as we learn from an early age. Those who are aware of the power of words and know how to use them mindfully can use them to achieve wonderful effects on their well-being. Reciting a mantra can help us to improve our mood and to overcome the small and big hurdles of everyday life a little easier. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the meaning, history and effect of mantras.
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What is a mantra?
The term mantra refers to a sacred syllable, a song, a verse or a saying that has a special effect on humans or other living beings. The mantra as an important instrument of power is known from the spiritual world, various religions and is even used in a modified form in scientific methods of psychotherapy. Mantras support healing, inner peace and help us to draw strength.
Originally, the word “mantra” comes from Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language, and translates as saying, hymn or song. The sacred laws of Hinduism are written down in this language. A mantra has a connection to the sound vibration of the Vedic texts, an ancient Hindu collection of scriptures. If you look at the word in its individual components, you find the two syllables “Manas – spirit” as well as “Tram – protection”. A mantra is therefore something that wraps itself around our mind like a protective shield, making it resilient and strong. A powerful image, isn’t it?
Even though mantras are an integral part of many religions, they are much older than these. Already more than 10,000 years ago, shamans and other peoples made use of the sound of the syllables to put themselves into higher states of mind and to support their traditional rituals. It is not only in shamanism that mantras are chanted by different peoples together with drums or other instruments, because the right sounds can further strengthen the magic of the words.
What does a mantra mean to the world of spirituality?
Many people use a mantra without knowing it. They are phrases that we repeat to ourselves every day. If we use the beliefs unconsciously, sometimes the effect remains hidden from us. This can be changed through mindfulness in dealing with the words and oneself and thus positively influence one’s own mind. In yoga or meditation, a mantra can have a calming effect or help set an inner focus.
We know how helpful it can be in stressful situations when the right person says kind words to support us or bring us out of an upset. But we can also give ourselves comfort and healing. With the help of mantras, which we recite either quietly in our mind or energetically in a loud voice, we can achieve great things and give ourselves support, peace and strength. Without any outside help.
A mantra can cleanse the mind so that unconscious belief patterns are overwritten by positive thoughts. If you want to break through the sometimes self-created walls inside you, you can choose a suitable mantra and meditate with it or sing it out loud while dancing or playing the drums. The profound sound experiences that come from chanting mantras can give us love, serenity and connection with ourselves. They can also ignite our very own self-healing powers, trigger certain emotions and promote the opening of mind and heart.
When is a mantra used?
The fact that a mantra can influence the body, the mind and the soul means that it is mainly used when people want to strengthen their well-being. If the focus is missing, certain sacred syllables have the effect that people can find a clear concentration on something again.
A mantra can be used in different rituals.
Among the best known are the following:
- Shamanic chanting with drums
- Painting mandalas or other spiritual practices
But mantras can also be chanted in everyday life – whether while cooking, in the shower or in the car. A mantra always has an effect on your well-being and you can use it whenever it is good for you.
Which mantras are the most popular?
There are over 70,000 mantras that have accumulated for thousands of years in various ancient and modern scriptures. Due to the huge selection of different mantras, every person can find the right one for him or her. The following lists a small overview of the traditionally most important of them. There are the so-called moksha mantras and the siddhi mantras.
A moksha mantra is a mantra that can lead to enlightenment, self-realisation, God-realisation and liberation. In addition, they can also be used for initiation. The most well-known mantras that belong to this group are:
- Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
- Om Shri Hanumate Namaha
- Om Aim Saraswatyai Namaha
- Om Sharavanabhavaya Namaha
- Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha
There are many more, 18 moksha mantras in total, which can be a valuable part of meditations.
In spiritual groups, a very special power is attributed to the well-known mantra Om. It belongs to the moksha mantras. The sound of Om connects the visible with the invisible. Om unites everything in itself, the outside as well as the inside, separateness and connection.
Whoever chants Om releases a vibration in the entire body. In addition, the person thereby connects with the divine being. It clears the space within and without, i.e. the mantra can be used to purify many different things.
The Siddhi mantras also generate a special power. The word Siddhi stands for success and perfection. When chanting these mantras, the aim is to achieve the correct sound as well as the correct vibration in order to transfer the vibrations perfectly to the body and soul.
How do I find the right mantra for me?
There are thousands and thousands of mantras. For every form of energy that a person needs, there are already many suitable ones to choose from. But the most important thing is to find a mantra that fits your own vibrations, sensations and emotions. Each person reads and interprets the different words individually and associates different things with them. The words you want to wrap your mind in should feel soothing and powerful to you and carry the right meaning for you.
You may choose a mantra that has been around for a long time, but you may also get creative and create the exact mantra that you want to use for yourself and that is tailored to you. You can use a new mantra every day or use the same one for a long time. It can be simple words, longer sentences or even freely invented sounds and syllables if they make you feel power and love. When you have found the right mantra, you will feel the powerful effect it has on you.
Maybe you will find a mantra that will stay with you for a lifetime.