The First Sound: Om
Om is traditionally believed to be the first sound at the creation of the universe. To perform this mantra, you should chant from the back of your throat and the bottom of your palate, letting the sound vibrate down through your pelvic floor and through the top of your head. It is said to help with all of the chakras, but especially the throat chakra, and to assist in clearing routes of communication and unblocking misconceptions between yourself and others.
Universal Compassion: Om Mani Padme Hum
Translation: The jewel is in the lotus
“Om Mani Padme Hum” is a very commonly used mantra, especially in Hindu and Indian Buddhist traditions. It connects one with the embodiment of compassion and awakens us to the oneness of all life. While there are many ways to interpret this mantra, its six syllables are deeply intertwined with Buddhist philosophy, being connected with the Six Paramitas of generosity, ethics, patience, diligence, renunciation, and wisdom. Like invoking the Mystic Law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, reciting this mantra with intention can help one to awaken one’s inner Buddhahood and develop a closer relationship with the universe.
Peace Mantra: Om Santih Santih Santih
Pronunciation: A-U-M Shanti Shanti Shanti
Translation: Om Peace Peace Peace
The Peace Mantra refers to the Sanskrit word for “peace” or “calm” and exhorts us to seek within ourselves for the state of divine, unadulterated relaxation that was ours forever before our entanglement in karma.
Truth Mantra: Sat Nam
Pronunciation: Saaaaaaaat* | Nam || Sat is extended eight times longer than Nam. If you really want the mantra to radiate from the base of your spine to the center of your head, make the Sat 35 times longer than the Nam.
Translation: Truth is my name.
This is a mantra best associated with Kundalini Yoga, a type of yoga which blends breathing exercises, mantras, dynamic posing, and meditation to help practitioners find their inner balance. This mantra is focused one helping you strengthen your intuition. Other yogic mantras can be used to reinvigorate sexual energy or release blocked chakras.
Siri Gaitri Mantra: Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung
Pronunciation: Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung
Translation:Sun, Moon, Earth, Infinity,
All that is in infinity, I am Thee.
Another Kundalini yoga mantra, this mantra moves healing energy within and without to calm and restore the senses. The position of one’s body is just as important as the sound: to properly practice the Siri Gaitri mantra, sit with your elbows bent and tucked in firmly alongside the ribcage, and place your palms facing up, with forearms extended.
Green Tara Mantra: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Sura
Translation: I prostrate to the Liberator, Mother of all the Victorious Ones.
Tara is a female bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who represents the virtue of work and perseverance. While Tara exists in at least 21 forms, Green Tara, her most well-known form, is associated with peace and protection. Chanting the Green Tara mantra is not simply just asking for her blessings and help, but asking for her assistance in liberating ourselves from mental delusions and negativity. We ask that Green Tara help us move toward enlightenment, both for our own sake and for the sake of all sentient beings.
Divine Love: Aham Prema
Translation: I am Divine Love
Meaning, “I am Divine Love,” Aham Prema connects us to the divine love residing within all sentient beings. Acknowledging that we are all born of love and made for love helps to reduce tension, increase compassion, and reduce conflict between ourselves and others. Both a great mantra to chant during practice and one to invoke during moments of stress, Aham Prema reminds us all to walk our path with love each day.
Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dav Namo
Pronunciation: Oong namo | Gurudav namo ||
Translation:I bow to the creative energy of the infinite.
I bow to the Divine channel of wisdom.
Another Kundalini Yoga mantra, this mantra is meant to develop trust and communication between the student of yoga and the Divine. It is also a wonderful mantra to invoke when you are stuck in a creative endeavor or need inspiration to move your life into a new direction.
Neti-Neti Mantra: Neti, Neti.
Pronunciation: Neti neti
Translation: Not this, not this.
This last one is for times of struggle and means “not this, not this.” This mantra is meant to help you take your stand against turmoil and push yourself into a new and more encouraging direction, reminding you that you always have the power to change your life.
What mantras do you love to employ? How have mantras changed your life? Let me know!