A Mantra is a word or a group of words spoken, chanted or sung that can create physical or spiritual transformations. Spoken words have certain vibration frequencies that can alter energy. In many cultures Mantra’s are so prevalent and important because they are formulas of invocation. The word "mantra" is derived from two Sanskrit words. The first is "manas" or "mind," which provides the "man" syllable. The second syllable is drawn from the Sanskrit word "trai" meaning to "protect" or to "free from." Therefore, the word mantra in its most literal sense means "to free from the mind. Mantras, or simple chants, are short phrases packed with energy and intention —specifically designed to generate powerful sound waves that promote healing, insight, creativity, and spiritual growth. Sound is just a vibration in a medium such as air and water. In fact, modern physicists state that all matter in the entire universe may be observed as vibrations of energy. This theory is in congruence with the ancient Hindu assertion that the universe is vibratory in nature with sound being the very basis of all creation. Hence, it can be inferred that one form of vibration (sound) can affect another form (matter).These powerful vibrations can help to influence the mind and aid the process of self-realization. Mantras can also have the following purposes:
Achieving a single-minded focus
Developing devotion to God
Protecting oneself from misfortune
Obtaining material gains
Here are few important aspects when using a mantra:
Repetition: A mantra can be repeated hundreds, thousands, or millions of times, depending on the individual's spiritual practice. Typically, aspirants repeat mantras in multiples of three with 108 being the most common multiple used (for numerological reasons).
Counting: It is important to focus on the meaning of the mantra rather than just count the number of times it is repeated. One can use a bead necklace known as a mala consisting of 108 beads. The number 108 has significance for several reasons; 108 is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. The number of Upanishads is 108. The number of delusions that one has to conquer to attain enlightenment are said to add up to 108. eShop
Usually held in the right hand, the mala is placed over the middle finger and flicked by the thumb. The index finger that we use to point is not used, as it represents the ego, which must be transcended to achieve self-realization. The mala is believed to retain some of the energy of the mantra, and hence the same mala is used for a mantra.
Visualization: Mantras can be associated with a particular deity. They include certain sounds associated with that deity. Many spiritual practices combine visualizing the exact form of the deity with repetition. In addition, the aspirant can also visualize the letters of the mantras. Visualization is necessary to bring about concentration and intent focus.
These mantras can be repeated aloud or in silence and can be used by people of any religion or spiritual practice. There are no strict rules regarding how to say or chant a mantra, one can sit, stand, or walk while practicing, but the best effects are gained when the chanting is done softly and gently and in a quiet and peaceful state. Although it is not important to dwell on the meaning of the mantra, the process should be a conscious one. During the practice one may notice his attention easily focusing on the vibration of the sound within the body. A very peaceful and relaxing state will result when this is done properly. The chanting should be smooth and repeated somewhat in a monotone to fully appreciate the vibrations, but the rate of speed may to one's choosing.
Below is a list of basic but very powerful mantras that you can start with.
This basic mantra which in Hinduism is known as the ‘pranava mantra,’ is considered the source of all mantras. The idea behind this is the Hindu philosophy of nama-rupa (name-form), which supposes that all ideas or entities in existence have name and form. The basic name and form is the primordial vibration of Aum as it is the first manifested nama-rupa , God. Before existence and beyond existence, there is only One reality, God, and the first manifestation of God in existence is Aum.
OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
This is one of the most famous mantras in Tibet is the mantra of Padmasambhava and is called the Vajra Guru Mantra. Like most mantras, it is in Sanskrit, the ancient sacred language of India. The mantra of Padmasambhava is the mantra of all the buddhas, masters, and realized beings, and so uniquely powerful for peace, for healing, transformation and for protection.
TADYATHA OM BEKANDZE BEKHANDZYE MAHA BEKHANDZYE RADZA SAMUDGATE SVAHA
Medicine Buddha Mantra
OM MANI PADME HUM
"The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful,
because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say
the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the
practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics,
and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and
patience. Päd, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom
AUM GAM GANAPATYE NAMAHA
Ganesha Mantra. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings, patron of arts and sciences, and the God of intellect and wisdom.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
This mantra will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the Divine Vehicle.