The word “mantra” is a combination of two Sanskrit root words: “man” meaning the mind and “tra” meaning instrument or tool. Therefore, a mantra is an instrument (tool) of the mind, a sound or vibration (with or without specific meaning) that enable you to attain a deep state of meditation and consciousness either alone or during a religious ritual. Mantras are central to the practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, giving people access to the divine and to personal and spiritual transformation. “Om” (or “Aum”) is the most basic mantra sound vibration and is believed to be the sound of the universe.
Mantras can either be repeated silently or out loud to clear the unwanted chatter that takes place in your mind so that you can achieve the goals and intention of your meditation session. These melodic repetitions or chants are usually spiritual words or groups of words that can elicit deep spiritual connection to the divine and bring inner peace. You may even become more grounded, calm and at peace in your reality.
Other benefits of mantras include physical healing of certain areas of the body (used in conjunction with the chakra vibrational sounds), cleansing thoughts and emotions, creating a more balanced state and spiritual connection (becoming closer to a god or deity). For example, the mantra, “Om Sri Maha Saraswatjai Namah” (ohm shree muh-HAH suhr-uh-swuht-YAI nuh-muh) gives off the vibrations of openness, wisdom, intelligence and academic success. Keep in mind that thousands of mantras exist and each gives off different vibrations.
To experience the best results, take the following steps when practicing mantras. Clear your mind, take deep breaths, clarify the intention of your meditation, begin to speak the mantra, internally first if necessary, then externally, and stay in touch with the meaning of the mantra. If the mantra applies to the chakra vibrational sounds, concentrate on the location of the chakra you are focused on.
If you prefer not to practice with ancient traditional mantras, you can create your own personal mantra. It is more like an affirmation; however, it can work in the same way. You can use your personal mantra to affect change in your day-to-day life. It has been suggested that you make a short list of your intentions or manifestations. Come up with a comforting and nurturing phrase or sound that you can repeat that will help you to eliminate negative thoughts, energies and outcomes. Choose any sound or group of words that makes you feel at peace. It may take you a while to do so, but you will know when you have found the phrase or sound that is right for you.
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