“Just by repeating the name that which can not be understood will be understood. Just by repeating the name that which can not be seen will be seen.”
Mantras are tools capable of creating transformation. A definition of mantra (Sanskrit) is “to free the mind”. As one journeys from mantra toward freedom, the mind begins to expand and widen. It starts to understand the essence of the vibration of things.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” New Testament, John 1:1
Mantras help the mind to focus (memorization via discipline) and become one-pointed. Where repression (avoid or escape) is not the intent, but a stabilization to help us work through what needs to be worked through (and healed). As with yoga, the use of mantras eventually evolves to a more subtle practice, leading our attention inward where as the conscious effort and increased awareness allows for the internal arising of the mantra (and for the transformation toward self-realization).
“Among rituals, I am the ritual of mantra repetition.” Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita
There are various definitions and translations of mantras, but the true definition, the true meaning is the experience and awakening that is ultimately created within the individual.
Here are my Top 10 personal faves:
1. Vakratunda Mahakaya
Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvignam Kurume Deva Sarva kaala sarvada
The Lord with the curved trunk and a mighty body, who has the magnificence of a million suns, I pray to you oh Lord, to remove the obstacles from all the actions I intend to perform.
2. Gayatri Mantra
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, remover of pain and sorrow, the bestower of happiness, oh Creator of the Universe, may we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, may Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.
3. Mantra of Compassion
Om Mani Padme Om
With varying definitions, this mantra is said to bring joy and peaceful vibrations, invoke wisdom and compassion and to free us from any negative emotions of the mind and speech.
4. Mahamrityunjay Mantra
Om Trayambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urva-rukamiva Bhandhanaat Mrityor-mukshiya Ma Amritat
We meditate on Shiva, the three-eyed one, of sweet fragrance, who helps us grow spiritually. Like the fully ripened cucumber (is easily snapped) from its stem, may I be free from the bondage of death. May I not be without the nectar of immortality. We offer our worship to the fragrant three-eyed Lord Shiva who confers ever-increasing prosperity. Please liberate us from the clutch of death as effortlessly as an Urvaruka fruit (watermelon) is separated from the vine; please do not let us turn away from liberation.
5. Om Asatoma
Asatoma Sadgamaya Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya Mrithyor Maa Amrutham Gamaya Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi
Lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from death to immortality. May there be peace everywhere.
6. Five Syllable Mantra
Om Namah Shivaya
The five syllables of this mantra are said to represent the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) along with the first five chakras. The mantra is said to lead awareness in reverse order from manifestation back to the source from which it arose.
7. Peace Mantra
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Om, peace, peace, peace.
8. Medicine Buddha Mantra
Tayata Om Bekanze Bekanze Maha BeKanze Radza Samudgate Soha
The Medicine Buddha Mantra is said to be used for healing our selves and our World from the Great Illness: ignorance.
9. Ganesh Mantra
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
Om Salutations and Prostrations to Lord Ganesh – all obstacles and blocked energy in my physical and astral bodies please be released.
10. Om Mantra
Om or Aum
Om is the sound that is considered to have created the Universe and the vibration to which all mantras are derived. This mantra is used for balancing, focusing, healing and clearing.
Do you have another version of any of the above? Any other favourites?
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