Mantras of the Indian Sanskrit language are energy-based sound formulas. Learn how this ancient spiritual technology can benefit your life.
Advanced Tools of Consciousness
Mantras and sutras are Sanskrit terms. They are essentially vibrational energy formulas. Most other languages create words based on their meaning, whereas mantras are based on their energy. We can vocalize them or use them silently. Mantras are sounds that vibrate with the human nervous system’s energy centers known as Chakras.
“The ancient rishis discovered these laws of sound alliance between nature and man. Because nature is an objectification of Aum, the Primal Sound or Vibratory Word, man can obtain control over all natural manifestations through the use of certain mantras or chants.” ― Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi
We don’t know how they work. Science is still trying to determine the exact mechanisms that make them work. We know its effect on our physiology, consciousness, and awareness.
Many cultures around the world have used these vibrational energy formulas for centuries. They generate and enliven both physical and spiritual energy. These formulas are fundamental tools for exploring and altering consciousness. Mantras have some unique characteristics:
- They are language-independent, pronunciation remaining the same in all languages.
- Most come from the Sanskrit language, but they are considered a direct translation.
- The sounds of the language are only coincidental to the meaning in language.
How Tools of Consciousness Work
The discovery and development of mantras pre-dates written history. So, no one can say for sure who or how they found or developed. Almost all historians agree that Hinduism’s Brahmin priests are the first to compile and use the Vedic oral tradition’s secrets. These priests used them in their priestly duties to maintain the cosmos and sacred order (Rta or dharma).
Eventually, mantras and sutras became known to the general population. What’s important is that they understood the power of words. And they learned and how they shape reality. Thus, making them tools of consciousness to raise the vibration of everyone. Consciousness is like a rainbow with many different colors that fade and overlap.
What matters is that these tools work; they produce the desired result. They are like most medical treatments. No one knows how many medical therapies work, but we know they do. All one can say for sure is that there is a result when done correctly. Sometimes this result is experiential, and sometimes it is also physical.
If you are starting your spiritual journey, these tools are a must. Find one that resonates and follow the guidelines for its use. It’s also essential to understand the difference between a change in consciousness and an emotional reaction. It’s the difference between enlightenment and enchantment.
How Mantras and Sutras Differ
We find sutras in both Vedic and Buddhist traditions. The Buddhist tradition borrows many Hindu mantras but adds many of their design. In Vedic tradition, Sutras are precepts of knowledge, and we can trace the meaning of the word or phrase.
As a result, Indian Sutras, like that of the teachings found Patanjali’s Siddhis are potent tools of consciousness. They often use sutras with mantras. The Mantra connects you with pure consciousness, and then the Sutra prompts a specific response at the transcendent level. The transcendent is pure consciousness, the source of our being. Introducing the Sutra at this level is the most effective way to get a result.
The term Sutra in Buddhism refers to the discourse of the Buddha. This dialogue is what makes up the introductory text of Buddhist scripture.
The Siddhis of Patanjali uses sutras, which is one of the advanced levels of meditation. One needs a solid practical foundation of practice using Japa or some other similar meditation form before learning.
One gains this level of grounding and centering after about a year of daily practice. Without this foundation, using sutras will be ineffectual at the least. A qualified instructor will only teach these types of advanced techniques when the student is “ready to learn.” It is especially true for practices that open the third eye.
Catalog of Mantras
Here is a short collection of some of the most valuable mantras. We will spell them phonetically and then show a rough translation or use. Remember, Sanskrit Mantras are energy-based sounds, not language-based.
The simplest mantras are the “seed sounds.” These are the root sounds that form many of the longer mantras. Hindu tradition associates an anthropomorphic deity with each seed sound. It gives the seed sound a personification to help one visualize and remember the meaning “behind the sound.” It doesn’t matter if you call these beings “principles,” “ancestors,” or “gods and goddesses.” What is essential is the power they represent.
You can chant these seed sounds or repeat them mentally. The use of these seeds is best when following a 40-day approach. This method prescribes using the mantra for 40 days straight. Many teachers recommend chanting the mantra at least108 times. Some prefer doing it all day.
Dum, pronounced “doom”: This is the seed for Durga’s feminine principle, which invokes protection from that which is feared.
Eim, pronounced “I’m”: This is the seed sound of the feminine deity Saraswati who prevails over artistic and scientific endeavors, music, and education. The same principle governs the development and manifestation of spiritual knowledge, good education, memory and intelligence, and musical skills.
Gum is pronounced just like chewing “gum”: Is the seed sound of Ganapathi, son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganapathi is another name for the deity Ganesha. This deity removes obstacles, brings success in endeavors. It is perfect for those who are just getting started with mantras and testing them.
Haum pronounced “how’m”: This is the seed sound for transcendental consciousness and the masculine principle associated with Shiva.
Klim, pronounced “kleem”: This is the seed mantra for the “principle of attraction.” It is sometimes combined with other mantras to attract an object of desire. As you chant the mantra, Klim, focus your power upon the desired condition.
Krim pronounced “kreem”: This is the seed sound associated with Kali, the primordial feminine energy. Her power burns away the negative ego.
Om pronounced “oam”: It is a sound that refers to our Soul, or rather the essence of reality sometimes called Brahman. It encapsulates everything in the universe, truth, divine, supreme spirit. The syllable is at the beginning and the end of chapters in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other Hindu texts. It is the introduction to many mantras as a way of saying,” Hey Universe; it’s me, a part of you.”
Shrim, pronounced “shreem”: This is the sound for the feminine principle of abundance. It is associated with the deity Lakshmi. People use this for abundance: financial wealth, good health, friends, enough food to eat, inner peace, the love of children and family, and so forth.
Mantras for General or Physical Help:
Om Kshraum Narasimhaya Namaha:
Pronounced, “om, throum, nara-ish myha, nam aha.” It means, roughly, “I salute and manifest that energy that destroys the seemingly indestructible.” The seed sound “Kshraum” rhymes with “how’m”; the “ksh” is aspirated but not vocalized. As the seed mantra for Narasimha, this sound releases and unlocks things that need releasing. It overcomes and defeats seemingly indestructible negative energies.
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha:
Pronounced, “om, gum, gana-pat-a-yeh, nam-a-ha.” It translates as “Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles.” Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, is also a remover of both inner and outer obstacles. Ganesha represents the unitive principle in earthly affairs. His mantra specifically helps to harmonize humanity into a spiritual force that can better withstand everyday negative influences. Use it to remove any obstacle.
Om Shri Shanaishwaraya Swaha:
Pronounced,” om, Shri, Shana Ishwar-aya, swa-ha.” This mantra roughly means “Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.” Systemic disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome usually involve the spleen. As an added benefit, this mantra addresses issues of the skeletal system. Ganesh (or Ganapathi) is the supreme remover of obstacles. His mantra is, therefore, helpful in removing those blockages that cause illness.
Mantras for Attracting Abundance:
Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha:
Pronounced, “om, shrim, ma-ha, laks-me-yah-he, swa-ha.” This mantra means, “Om and salutations to She who provides great abundance.” Hinduism’s feminine trinity includes Lakshmi, Durga, and Saraswati. These three represent the primary modes in which spiritual power manifests. Lakshmi is the leader of this trio. If you are younger than twenty-eight, replace Swaha with Namaha at the end of the mantra.
Om Dum Durgayei Namaha:
Pronounced, “om, doom, dur-ga-he, nam-a-ha.” This powerful mantra means, “Om and salutations to She who protects the pious.”This mantra always ends with Namaha, regardless of your age.
Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha:
Pronounced, “om, I’m, Ahara-swat-he, swa-ha.” It translates to “Om and salutations to She who presides over the manifestations of divine speech.”
Om Sri Dhanvantre Namaha:
Pronounced, “om, Shri, Davan-van-tree, nam-a-ha.” This one translates to “Salutations to the being and power of the Celestial Physician.” Ancient Vedic records describe a healer called Dhanvantre, the “Celestial Physician.” His mantra helps us find a path to the appropriate healing method for any health problem.
Om Ram Ramaya Namaha:
Pronounced, “om, ram, ram-eye-a, nam-a-ha.” This one translates to “Om and salutations to the energy of Rama.”Rum ( or sometimes spoken as Ram) is the seed sound for the solar plexus chakra: the locus of tremendous, dormant healing energy. This mantra begins to awaken and activate the entire chakra.
The most potent healing mantra is a “freight train” mantra because of its length. Those who need healing learn it quickly, and many have experienced extraordinary results. It is outlined below it two stanzas. You can sound this one out using the cues above.
Om Apadamapa Hataram Dataram Sarva Sampadam
Loka Bhi Ramam Sri Ramam Bhuyo Bhuyo Namam-yaham
It roughly translates to “Om,0 most compassionate Rama! Please send your healing energy right here to the earth, to the earth (twice for emphasis). Salutations.”
Mantras and sutras are essential tools of consciousness. They are vehicles that allow our awareness to traverse the depths of our subconscious mind. And they can connect us with pure consciousness and nature. They help us speed up healing and learning. The short catalog of mantras in this article will provide a solid foundation for your inner work.
“The mantra that you’re given in Transcendental Meditation you keep to yourself. The reason being, true happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within.” ― David Lynch
Find a Yoga practice that’s right for you. You’ll be glad you did.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia