Mantras can excite the emotions
and give suggestions to the mind. Mantras affect both the
one who chants them as the one who hears them. The word mantra
comes from the Sanskrit "mantrana", which means
advice or suggestion. In a sense, every word is a mantra.
In our daily life we use words to get everything done, obtain
everything we need. Each mantra or word is a sound pattern
that suggests to the mind the meanings inherent in it, and
the mind immediately responds.
According to Ramana Maharshi, repetition of
with attention directed to the source of the sound, completely
engages the mind. This is Tapas (penance). The source is not
in the vocal chords alone, but also the idea of the sound
is in the mind, whose source is self. Thus the practice of
mantra repetition is more than a suggestion, a bit of advice
or an idea. It is a means of getting in touch with our self.
Mantras may be used for religious worship, for
japa (repetition), for healing, to help spiritual evolution,
for purification, for making offerings and in Mantra
Yoga. Some mantras are only chants or expressions of nearness
to the Divine. But some saints who were inspired by divine
love and unshakable faith used these mantras in their own
spiritual practice and their followers afterwards started
using those mantras, calling them mahamantras or great mantras.
Primarily it is faith which creates the effect
of mantras. Melody, intonation, pronunciation, whether silently
or aloud, all are important in the recitation of mantras.
Moreover, the beat cycle in which mantras are recited is important,
but it changes according to the state of consciousness of
the one who is chanting. An increase in the speed of chanting
increases the speed of mind, heartbeat and respiration. The
beat cycle of the mantras affects the emotions.
A fast speed sometimes creates a continuous
vibration and when it is done in groups it creates a good
effect, because the mind works in synchronization with the
beat cycle and has no time to fantasize. Fast chanting of
mantras exhausts the mind, heart and breath and relaxation
comes after the chanting is over.
Slowing the beat cycle of mantras also creates
the same continuous vibration, but it slows down the speed
heart and breath while the chanting is going on. It induces
a hypnagogic state, but it is good only when the chanting
of mantras is done individually. A medium-speed beat cycle
is good for group and individual chanting of mantras. It does
not disturb the heartbeat or breathing pattern and makes the
mind more awake, alert and conscious.
The place from which the sound emanates influences
its' tonal quality. Deep tones are produced by the vocal chords
in conjunction with the abdominal region, middletones in conjunction
with the chest, heart and throat regions and high-pitched
tones in conjunction with the upper region of the body. Indian
classical music uses all three regions in a gradual order,
but the middle region is used most and produces a greater
emotional impact on the listeners.
Following are some of the main mantras used
in Mantra Yoga. Their pages open in a new window so that you
can let the mantras play in a loop while you continue visiting
our website :
Bookmark this page because we are preparing
to add more mantras here.