Mantras & Chants

Mantras & Chants

You must have heard certain sacred sounds produced by priests while conducting a religious ceremony. These phrases are believed to have certain psychological and spiritual powers that energize the environment and bring positivity into the surroundings.
These sounds are widely known as Mantras. A mantra is a sacred hymn that originated around 3000 years ago from Vedic Sanskrit. These are melodic phrases that enhance the spiritual self of an individual.
In today’s world, mantras are considered to be powerful meditational tools. Most of the mantras are either chanted aloud or spoken softly in order to create a trance-like state for the reciter. Continuous repetition of mantras leads to spiritual awareness in a person and leads them on to the path of truth, love, and peace.
Mantras are commonly used during certain meditational practices to instil calmness in the mind of the person reciting it. It helps in creating a shield of positive energies around a person through its vibrational sounds.

Benefits of Mantra

Mantras deeply affect our physiological and psychological states. The sounds produced by chanting mantras possess the power of transforming our emotions and take us to a higher level of spiritual awareness. It may have a lasting impact on our relationships, career, happiness, finances and health as well.

There are many healing effects that are associated with the vibrations produced by the chanting of mantras. It goes deep into the body and heals each and every cell and energizes it with divine power.

Here are some other benefits of chanting a mantra:

  • Mantra chanting clears the clutter of the mind and calms down the nervous system.
  • It slows down the heart rate and results in decreased levels of blood pressure.
  • By relaxing the mind, it leads to lower consumption of oxygen as well.
  • Chanting of mantras helps in regenerating the body through deep sleep.
  • Many psychiatrists believe that mantra chanting helps in reducing stress and eliminating the risks of getting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

According to a research conducted at China Agricultural University, it was observed that when Buddhist mantras were repeatedly played on loudspeakers placed in a field, then there was a rise in the crop yield and the grain size. Meanwhile, the other crops in the nearby fields that were out of reach of the mantras had to struggle with pests and this resulted in reduced crop yield.

The Relationship Between Mantra & Mind

The word ‘mantra’ has its roots in the ancient Sanskrit language. It is a combination of two Sanskrit words - ‘man’ which means ‘mind’ and ‘tra’ which means ‘tool or instrument’. Thus, mantra refers to a tool for thinking. It is used to align the thoughts and feelings of a person and bring them to the same pace.

Our mind is always in a state of activity and recitation of a mantra acts as an instrument to bring it to a standstill for relaxation. The vibrations of a mantra delve deep into our conscious mind and it makes us feel a subtle power that takes us into a deeper state of awareness on a spiritual and mental level.

A mantra is just like a seed that is planted in one’s consciousness so that it blossoms into a beautiful flower and energizes the senses with the powers created by its strong vibrations. Most mantras are melodic phrases that do not have any particular meaning. Their sole purpose is to musically uplift the senses of an individual.

Astrological and Religious Importance of Mantras

Every mantra is associated with a divine force that gives it power. The vibrations of a mantra energize our body on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Also, the chakras and Nadis of our body correspond to the vibrational effects of the mantras.

It is said that the chanting of a mantra can enhance the power of chakra and facilitate the process of healing in the area that corresponds to that particular chakra. Every chakra has a particular mantra associated with it that can be chanted so as to surge its life force energy.

Faith and devotion are the guiding factors that make a person believe in the divinity of a mantra. There is a divine force that presides over the universe and it is this force that we are appealing to by chanting a mantra.

Mantras form an essential part of every religion and its effects can actually help one win over the stars as well. It is believed that mantra chanting helps us to connect to the divinity of the universe through the creation of sound waves that carry our messages. It calms our mind and helps us attain the state where we can feel our inner consciousness.

The 40 days concept of Mantra

Many astrologers suggest that we must recite a mantra 108 times a day for a cycle of 40 days. The reason behind this is that 40 days are required to make a shift in the consciousness of a person and make something a part of your daily life. The number 108 refers to the number of nadis that need to get energized in order to feel the blissful aspects of a mantra.

The Science Behind Mantra

A mantra is a sound phrase that is mostly used to practice meditation. The impact of a mantra is not based upon its literal meaning but rather on their vibrational effects. These vibrations create electromagnetic waves in our surroundings and facilitate the conscious state of mind.

These waves rejuvenate the mind and make it quiet. Experiencing the mantra and feeling it deeply makes way for a state of internal awareness. This process provides an internal focus to the mind and also increases the concentration power of the person chanting it.

It has been discovered on a scientific level, that memorizing Vedic mantra leads to an increase in the size of certain regions of the brain that are associated with the cognitive abilities of an individual.

The sounds and vibrations produced by a mantra energize the mind and stimulate many parts of the brain. These regions release chemicals that create a relaxed and peaceful state of mind for the person and prove to be beneficial for the person who recites the mantra.

The Roots of Mantra: History and Meaning

The vibrational sounds came into existence with the dawn of the universe. These sounds form the basis of a mantra and help in purifying our astral mind and body. It cleanses our soul and washes away the negativities that create obstacles in our path to spirituality.

Most of the mantras are written in the ancient Sanskrit language because the Sanskrit letters produce pure vibrations of the chakras and thus, help in meditational practices. There are many other languages as well in which mantras have been written. Language is only a medium and the main focus of a mantra is on the feeling and positive sounds that are produced on their recital.

Types of Mantras

Mantras are of very different types. It is said that we have over 70 million mantras. Every mantra has a unique vibrational quality that has the power of the deity that guides it. If a mantra will work on a person or not depends upon their temperament and not because of the superiority of one mantra over another.

One of the most sacred mantras that is respected all over the world is the Hindu syllable - “Om”. Its significance lies in the fact that it is a beej mantra, that is, a seed sound that forms the basis of all the mantras.

It is said to be the sound that has created the entire universe. It consists of all the positive vibrations that have the power to expel out the negativity of the universe. “Om” is the energetic root that increases the intensity of a mantra. When one recites this word (as “Aum”), it uplifts the magnetic effect of the mantra and produces tremendous amounts of positive energies through waves.

A beej mantra adds a vibrational effect to the longer mantras. It is believed that it has potential energies of various forces that act upon the mantra and invokes the particular deity to whom it is dedicated.

“Om” is a universal beej mantra that has found a place in various religions all over the world. It is said to create the highest plane of consciousness and a state of self-realization for those who chant it regularly with complete faith.

Similarly, there are other bija mantras to invoke different energies of the world. For instance, “Aim” is the bija mantra to invoke the Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati and “Shreem” is used to invoke the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. There are many other bija mantras like “Kleem”, “Kreem”, “Hreem” and so on.

How to Start a Mantra Practice?

Chanting a mantra is a simple yet effective technique that can bring upon a positive change in the life of a person. One can chant a mantra suggested by a guide or choose a mantra that appeals to them. A mantra can be chanted as many times as the person wishes to do it.

The number that is considered to be apt for mantra chanting is 108. A person can chant the mantra 108 times by using a string made up of 108 beads. This process could form a part of a personal prayer session or a meditation practice. It is also known as the mantra japa mala.

There are many ways in which a person can practice a mantra. Based upon the usual practice, these can be broadly classified under four heads:

  • Casual practice
  • In this practice, you chant a mantra without the involvement of any strong emotions or feelings. This process creates no powerful vibrations and therefore, is not at all beneficial. If you do not know the meaning or purpose of a mantra then know the meaning and its essence then go ahead with reciting the same.

  • Chanting by mind
  • This is a practice where you do not have any doubts in your mind and aim to chant the mantra with complete faith. In this process, people are not completely absorbed into the mantra and therefore, it is a very slow process and the intensity of the vibrations is also not very strong.

  • Chanting by heart
  • It is the most profound type of chanting that provides good results as the mantra is recited with full faith and powerful emotions. This recital leads to the creation of strong magnetic waves that draws tremendous amounts of energies from the cosmic powers.

  • Chanting from the Naval centre (Prana)
  • This is the toughest type of chanting where you get completely drowned in the vibrations of the mantra. It was practised by the ancient sages who attained a position where they were no longer aware of their surroundings. In this type of mantra chanting, you are willing to even sacrifice your life to achieve your goal. The vibrations created by this recital are so strong that no universal power can stop you from fulfilling your desire.

    Thus, we may conclude that the sound waves and vibrations produced by mantras are not only useful for human beings but also for plants and animals. Therefore, we must try to indulge in the mantra chanting activities on a regular basis in order to improve our inner beauty and the surroundings in which we live.

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