Mantras are the repetition of words and phrases of special significance, and can be said either out loud or internally. All of the spiritual paths have some version of mantra. Many of the spiritual traditions say that the universe began with a word, or sound from God.
Mantras are a way of introducing and focusing this vibration, or sound, in ourselves.
Sound is a form of vibration. In fact everything in the universe vibrates at a certain frequency. Thus, by repeating a mantra we introduce the vibrational frequency of that mantra into ourselves, so that we too begin to resonate with the words and vibration of the mantra.
By saying a mantra you are literally tuning yourself to resonate at the same vibrational frequency as God, or the specific deity associated with that mantra, or the healing power or intention of that mantra.
Eventually, as you come to resonate at the same frequency as the mantra, the mantra gains its own momentum. At that point, as they say in Sufism, “you stop doing the mantra, and the mantra starts doing you”.
There is a science called cymatics, where a substance such as sand or milk is put on a tray and frequencies are played and the substance makes geometric patterns, and as the frequencies change, the image changes. That is how our reality is created by sound.
We may have all sorts of chaotic and negative thoughts in our minds, by focusing on the mantra, you create a new healing pattern. Some mantras have a central idea or quality, others are archetypical beings such as Budchas that you tune into in your consciousness. There is something called neuroplasticity, where we have hardwired patterns in our brain, but these can be replaced with new patterns. So it you have a mental habit of being judgmental, then when you say for instance a Chinese mantra to Kuan Yin, a being of compassion, you get a new pattern forming of unconditional love.
Many famous mantras have been given by millions of people over hundreds or thousands of years. Not only do you get the vibration of the mantra, you attune to the momentum of the millions of hours of devotion that have been given in that same vibrational sound. Often it is enlightened beings who have heard the mantra originally, so you can benefit from those beings as well.
There are mantras from most of the worlds traditions. There is the Jewish Shma which I grew up with “Shma israel adonai elohenu adonai echad” Here O Isreal the Lord is God the Lord is One. The Christan can repeat phrases that Jesus spoke (but of course he didn’t speak English) You can chant “I AM the way, I am the Truth, I AM the Life, I am the resurrection and the life.” There is the famous Islamic mantra La illaha, il Allah. There is not God but God.
I would like to teach you some you may not have heard of, mostly from Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I have been using them for over 35 years to great pleasure and benefit. If there is any negative energy, I know of many tools to clear them, and first among them is mantras.
Of course you have all heard of the primary mantra of the universe which is the OM vibration. Which can also be spelled A U M. So chanting that can tune you into the ultimate spirit.
I have been in large groups of thousands of people chanting this and it is transcendent, you really feel you are all one.
Many mantras start with Om
The famous Tibetan Mantra is for the opening of the heart chakra and has to do with the being and quality of compassion. It is Om Mani Padme Hum. which roughly means Hail or homage to the jewel in the lotus, which is our eternal being focused in our heart chakra.
“OM Mani Padme Hum” 4x
Here is a Buddhist mantra about transcendence. It goes Gate gate paragate, para sam gate bodhi swaha. It means roughly Gone, Gone, gone beyond, enlightenment hail.
“Gate gate paragate, para sam gate bodhi swaha” 4x
There is the Golden Mantra of Padma Sambhava who brought Buddhism to Tibet that has many power syllables. There are mudras or hand gestures that go with this that I can teach another time, but first memorize the mantra
Om ah hum vajra guru padme siddhi hum. It is loosely meaning Full master teacher, who arose from a lotus, please grant me the ordinary and supreme accomplishments. Padma Sambhave is a fully enlightened being, you tune into his energy and consciousness by giving this mantra.
“Om ah hum vajra guru padme siddhi hum” 4x
These mantras were all from the sanskrit, which is a spiritual language that masters have realized through deep meditation on spirit, and they could even name the sound of each petal of each of the chakras.
Here is a Chinese one I give often to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Namo Guan Chi Yin Pusa
Namo means homage to or take refuge in, Guan is to observe or care for, Shi is world, yin is sound or voice and Pusa is bodhisattva or being of great compassion and wisdom.
“Namo Guan Shi Yin Pusa” 4x
Here is a brief English one that is simple to say and remember. When you give mantras, it is meditation because it helps you to focus on this one moment. You can add feeling and visualization to it once you memorize it. So for this one visualize being pure expanded white light.
“Light I Am, Light I AM, Light I AM, I AM, I AM”
Lets give it four times “Light I Am, Light I AM, Light I Am, I AM, I AM” 4x
We will close with perhaps the most famous mantra from India and one of the oldest, thousand of years old.
Om Namah Shivaya
Om- Before there was a universe, there was a vibrationless void of pure existence. Out of this void came the vibration which started the universe, which is known as Om.
Namah- This literally translate to bow.
Shivaya- This, of course, Shiva; who is really more than the god of destruction, although he does destroy the false ego, it means the inner self.
When understood fully, it means “I bow to the inner Self”.
This mantra like many can also be sung
“Om Namah Shivaya” 12x
So I hope you have more appreciation for this ancient science of the spoken word, which is the basis of creation and the recreation of ourselves and the world. There are many more and we can learn about them more in the future.