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A mantra is a sacred word or phrase with a powerful vibration that’s repeated during meditation. Mantras come from an ancient tradition where sacred sounds are used to shine a light on aspects within us that we want to heal, transform, or understand better.

Mantras are thought to have a vibrational power – through the way they are pronounced, how they sound and the meaning that they represent. Variations of mantras can be found in many different cultures and religious traditions around the world, however in this post I wish to shine a little more light on a specific type of mantra: the Sanskrit Mantras

Sanskrit as a Vibrational Power Language

Sanskrit, is an ancient language found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Today it represents a cornerstone of Indian culture and literature. Originating around 1500 BCE, it’s celebrated for its precise grammatical structure, its sound vibration and, due to its age, is considered to be a precise root language, favouring its use in rituals.

Although found across many languages, cultures and religions, the actual word “mantra” is a Sanskrit word and made up of two parts:

Man – mind

Tra – vehicle/instrument

Put together, a mantra can be interpreted as a vehicle for crossing the mind. In the yogic philosophy a Sanskrit mantra is seen as a vehicle that allows us to break through the often disturbing nature of the mind with its constant mental fluctuations.

Through working with a Sanskrit mantra, the repetitions can bring a sense of ease to this turbulence through helping the mind to focus, and thus calm down. From this, the state of meditation may be achieved and through that we may potentially experience the silence of our being, and glimpse our true nature, Samadhi.

The History of Sanskrit Mantra

The oldest written record of mantras in the world are the Sanskrit mantras, which originate from Hinduism, and are over 5000 years old. Each sanskrit mantra is an opportunity to turn inward and focus on an element of our human experience that we want to illuminate, unfold, or understand deeply. Consciously repeating the mantra helps us to calm the mind, open our heart, and connect with our higher nature, with each other, and with the divine.

In the hindu tradition, chanting Sanskrit mantras is known as Sadhana. This is a spiritual practice that enables us to dive deep inside and unlock the door to our own heart – which is the door to our soul and the bridge to the endless stream of pure love that we are all a part of.

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5 Sanskrit Mantras for Daily Practice

1. Om (ॐ

Have you ever heard someone chanting “Om” in a yoga class and wondered why, or what it means? Om is like the heartbeat of the universe. It is considered the primordial sound: the sound of the universe itself and symbolizes the essence of existence.

There are three parts to it: A-OO-UM with each part representing the beginning, middle and end of existence. Or otherwise known as the Hindu holy trinity: creation (Brahma), manifestation (Vishnu) and destruction (Shiva).

Om is a sound that’ said to connect us to everything around us, and can help reinforce our sense of place within the cosmic dance of life.

2. Om Mani Padme Hum (ॐ मणि पद्मे हूँ)

This Sanskrit mantra translates to “the jewel is in the lotus,” signifying that beauty and knowledge can emerge from challenging circumstances. It’s said that the entire teachings of the Buddha can be found within it and thus it’s all about transformation, inner freedom and finding light amidst adversity.

One of the most important chants within Tibetan Buddhism, this Sanskrit mantra is associated with compassion and is linked to the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Chanting it is said to  encourage kindness and resilience within the practitioner. 

3. Gayatri Mantra (ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः…)

This is one of the most powerful and respected Sanskrit mantras within Hinduism. It honours light and awakening. By chanting it, one seeks to illuminate their mind with Divine light – awakened wisdom.

It can be a beautiful mantra to recite at the beginning of one’s day, to help set the tone for what is to come, and to use as a red line which one can return to, to help foster clarity and discernment

4. Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (ॐ त्र्यम्बकं…)

Known as the “Great Death-Conquering Mantra,” this Sanskrit mantra is said to act like a spiritual shield, offering protection, healing, and courage, particularly in the face of mortality.

It is another treasure that dates back to the Rigveda, and is closely associated with Shiva. It is often chanted to invoke health, resilience, and longevity in the practitioner.

5. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु)

Coming from Hinduism, but often associated with Buddhism, this touching Sanskrit mantra expresses a universal wish for the happiness and freedom from suffering for all beings. Chanting it can help us connect to compassion and the interrelation of all sentient beings.

While its exact origin is challenging to pinpoint, its spirit resonates with the teachings of the Upanishads, emphasising the unity of all life.

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Fusing a Sanskrit Mantra Practice into Life:

Chanting Sanskrit mantras doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions or meditation sessions. You can seamlessly integrate them into your daily routine to cultivate a sense of peace and well-being throughout the day. Here are some simple ways to incorporate mantras into your life:

  • Morning Ritual: Start your day with a morning mantra, setting a positive tone for the day ahead.
  • Mindful Activities: Chant mantras during yoga or meditation to deepen your practice and enhance focus.
  • Mantra Meditation: Dedicate a few minutes daily to mantra meditation, allowing soothing vibrations to bring calm and clarity.
  • Intention Setting: Use mantras to align with intentions before tasks, staying focused and motivated.
  • Stress Relief: Turn to mantras during moments of stress, letting their rhythm soothe your mind.
  • Bedtime Routine: Wind down with a bedtime mantra, promoting relaxation for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Conclusion:

Each of these mantras serves as a trail to meditation, offering a pathway to inner peace amidst life’s chaos. Whether seeking calm, strength, clarity, protection, or simply spreading positive energy, Sanskrit mantras provide an adaptable toolkit for spiritual growth.

So, the next time you find a quiet moment, consider chanting one of these mantras. You may discover a newfound sense of peace and understanding within yourself. Remember, it’s about embracing small steps on your personal road towards happiness and wisdom. Happy chanting!

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