Mantra meditation just means that you pick one word, or a short phrase, and you put that on repeat in your mind. A mantra is a tool that you can use when you meditate to bring stillness in your mind. You silently repeat the mantra in your mind and the repetition helps you disconnect from your thoughts. The mantra can be in Sanskrit, English or any language that works for you. For me personally it helps to recite a mantra in Sanskrit. Not only is Sanskrit called “The language of Vibration”, it is also considered a divine language, spoken by gods and capable of connecting us with the transcendent Self. But mainly I find that if I choose a mantra in a language I understand, my mind tends to wander, I have stories attached to the words and it just makes it harder for me to stay in my meditation. But with that said, pick whatever works for you!
Repeating a mantra is called Japa Meditation (mantra repetition). Singing a mantra is called Kirtan (chanting). Chanting is a beautiful and fun way to connect to spirit and also help balance the throat chakra. You can choose any language for your mantra, but if you say it in Sanskrit it becomes a powerful sound and a vibration that you can use to enter a deeper state of meditation. And maybe the most important reason – Sanskrit is an ancient language which means that it is not the language of your pain or your drama. It’s not a language where you can hate or bash yourself or others. The words are not associated with any of your old stories, so therefor you are elevated above all of that instantly. And know that if you don’t know the meaning of the mantra, it really doesn’t matter. The sound is more important than the meaning. Mantras can be viewed as ancient power words with subtle intentions that help us connect to spirit, the source of everything in the universe. As you experience deeper meditative states, all thoughts and worries drop away and you experience the quiet that always exists beneath the noisy internal dialogue of the mind. In this stillness you may feel oneness with all life and profound peace.
Here are a few of my favorite mantras:
Om (A-om) The most elemental sound, representing the infinite universal consciousness. It’s the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process. Listen: Peaceful Om’s with Desert Dwelllers here.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (Om Shan-tee Shan-tee Shan-tee) Translation: Peace. Mantra for Peace in body, speech, and mind. Listen: Om Shanti Om with Deva Premal here.
Om Namah Shivaya (Om Nahm-ah-ha Shi-wha) Translation: I bow to Shiva. I bow to my truest, highest self and I honor the divinity within myself. Listen: Om Namah Shivaya with Krishna Das here.
Sat Nam (Saaat Naaam) Translation: Truth is my name, I see your true nature and I recognize the divinity within you. The most commen of all mantras in the Kundalini yoga tradition. It can be used as a greeting, as a part of many kriyas and meditations, and as a closing to class. Listen: Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam with Snatam Kaur here.
Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah (Om Shree Gane-sha Nahm-ah-ha) Translation: I bow to the lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. A mantra for success, prosperity and knowledge. Listen: Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha with Suresh Wadkar here.
Om Sri Hanumate Namah (Om Shree Hah-noo-mag-teh Nahm-ah-ha) Translation:Salutations to the conscoius prana (life force). A mantra to give you spiritual healing and the strength, courage to face anything over time. Listen: Aum Hanumate Namah with Ajit Kadkade here.
Om Mani Padme Hum (Om Mani Padme Hung) Translation: Praise to the jewel in the lotus. A mantra for blessing and compassion. Listen: Om Mani Padme Hum with DJ Drez and Marti Kikko here.
Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah (Om Gam Gah-nah-paht-ah-yeh Nah-mah-hah) Translation: I bow to Ganesh. A mantra to removing all obstacles and to pray for blessings and protection. Listen: Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah with Deva Premal here.
Ad Guray Nameh, Jogad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Devay Nameh Translation: I bow to the True Wisdom. A mantra chanted for protection. Listen: Aad Guray Namey Jai-Jagadeesh here.
Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad (Ek Onnng Kaaar, Sat G’roo Prrasad) Translation: There is one Creator, Truth revealed through Guru’s grace. of all Creation. A powerful mantra to attract positivity. It is usually chanted in reverse (Ek Ong Kar, Sat Gur Prasad, Sat Gur Prasad, Ek Ong Kar). Listen: Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad with Jai-Jagdeesh here.
So Puruk (So Purr-ok) Translation: The marriage mantra and soulmate mantra. Mantra for women to this to bring a man into their life or to help the men they have to become all that he can be. Listen: So Puruk with Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa here.