Sanskrit mantra is a powerful tool for self-development, healing and manifestation. The word mantra has been translated in several ways, including ‘divine speech’. Sanskrit has been called the Deva Lingua- literally ‘language of the gods’. Like Latin it is technically a ‘dead’ language as it isn’t spoken in day to day life, however its sacred use in Hindu and Buddhist teachings and practices continues to this day.
Because some Sanskrit mantras are so ancient they have accumulated potent power through the thousands and thousands of people who have chanted them over millennia. When you use them you tap into this power- do so with discernment and wisdom! Remember the old adage “Be careful what you ask for you might just get it!”
Mantras work best if used as a spiritual discipline. They work through repetition. Choose a time or times of the day that you will use for your mantra practice; morning and/or evening are good and dawn and dusk- the meeting of night and day- are especially potent times.
You may also choose to say your mantra when undertaking routine jobs or housework. A lovely spiritual friend of mine worked in a factory for many years. Under the noise of the machinery she would chant the Gayatri mantra all day long and bless every product that passed through her hands- even the most mundane job can become a spiritual practice if you intend it!
Where will you say your mantra? Is it for use at your altar? Whilst you are exercising? Bathing or showering? You can fit mantra into many activities- it’s good to get a routine going so that it becomes natural.
How long are you going to work with your mantra? Traditionally mantra is undertaken as a forty-day discipline, but twenty-one days is also effective as a shorter commitment.
It is easiest to keep track of your mantra repetitions by using mala beads. I’ve provided instructions for making beautiful crystal malas here. Decide how many malas you will say and how many times you will say them per day.
Mantras for Specific Purposes
Mantra can enable your chakras process more energy. They increase your ability to handle greater spiritual power.
Each chakra has its own seed sound- make the ‘a’ long as in ‘ah’:
Solar plexus Ram
In addition there are the fifty letters in the basic Sanskrit alphabet which correspond to the fifty petals of the six chakras from base to brow. Chanting mantras will vibrate the matching chakra petals and ‘tune’ them into a higher energy state. The crown chakra is the thousand-petalled lotus. You pronounce the fifty seed syllables of the lower chakras twenty times to fill the thousand petals. You can hear all of the seed sounds chanted and chant along on Layne Redmond’s CD Chanting the Chakras: Roots of Awakening.
I used the following mantra to great effect to remove to remove inner conflict & energy blocks in my life:
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
(Om Gum Guh-nuh-puh-yuh-yei Nahm-ah-ha)
This is Ganesha’s mantra. He is the elephant-headed deity known as remover of obstacles. Be aware that the way he works to do this is powerful & may not be as predicted, but it will be for the highest good of those concerned. I called upon Ganesha once to remove difficulty in a relationship & he simply removed the relationship! Looking back it was for the best- but it hadn’t been what I had in mind!
For Spiritual Development
Here’s one of the best known and most beautiful mantras:
Om Mani Padme Hum
It translates as ‘the jewel of consciousness is in the heart’s lotus.’
By chanting this mantra you will not only be furthering your own spiritual progress, you’ll also be serving humanity as a whole.
Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing by Thomas Ashley-Farrand breaks down the mantras syllable by syllable with great clarity and explains how they work. I heartily recommend this book to anyone serious about pursuing mantra work. He provides many more mantras for specific situations.