Updated: May 11, 2021
What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a sound that is associated with a meaning and is used to alter someone’s mood or vibration. For example, when a parent soothes a restless child with phrases like, “Hush, it’s okay. You’re safe… go to sleep”, this is a mantra. It’s used to alter a child’s energetic state from anxiety or fear to one of calm and peacefulness. Mantras can be used similarly for spiritual growth.
Mantras are documented to have been used since over 3,000 years ago in the spiritual practices of Hinduism and Buddhism. For this reason, most of the mantras you’ll encounter within spirituality, are written in Sanskrit. If you are not familiar with Sanskrit, I suggest researching the meaning of a new mantra (the literal translation), and then reflecting on a specific meaning that you have a personal connection to. This will help you to form a strong energetic connection with the mantra, and it will have a greater impact on you when using it for spiritual practice.
There are many types of mantras: for chakra healing, to honor a deity, or to align yourself with a specific frequency. When you first become aware of how healing mantras can are, it’s typical to want to do a bunch of them. Mantras for abundance, protection, healing... the more the merrier, right? Not exactly; while there’s no set rule regarding how many you can practice or use at a time, I recommend using only as many as you are able to focus on at a time and allow yourself to fully connect with the frequency of the mantra.
What are Some Ways to Use Mantras?
The possibilities of how to use a mantra are endless. You can chant them, sing them, listen to them and even use them during energy workings. I love working with water, so I’ll often chant a mantra into my bathwater and allow the energy to flow over me while I soak and meditate on the meaning of the mantra. You can also whisper your mantra into a glass of water and allow the energy to flow inside of you as you drink, and then radiate the energy from the inside out. The more you use mantras, the more creative you’ll become as you incorporate them into your workings.
It’s a wonderful idea to practice chanting mantras during meditation. I recommend using a mala necklace with 108 beads to help you keep track of your count. This number, 108, is sacred within the realm of spirituality and is related to the average distance between the Sun, Moon and Earth. From a very practical point of view, I find that chanting a mantra 108 times allows sufficient time to truly settle in, achieve a meditative state and fully connect with the mantra.
Rudraksha beads, are seeds from the Elaeocarpus ganitrus tree and are commonly used to create mala necklaces. They have a wonderful healing energy that is very helpful during meditation, or anytime.
I created the video below, with a mantra for Lord Ganesha, a deity who is known as "The Remover of Obstacles". He clears our path, paving the way for us to move forward and he helps us to live above suffering. I've chanted it 108 times; feel free to chant or sing along, or to just listen as you connect with the vibration. The mantra is "Om Gan Ganapata Ye Namaha" and means , "I honor Lord Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles."
I hope that you’ll enjoy incorporating mantras into your spiritual practice.
Here's a video about mantras, that you may find helpful as well.
Photo credits: Pixabay.com