Mantras are sacred words or phrases that are typically repeated many times. For Hindus, mantras are often chanted during puja, or worship ceremonies. Buddhists may chant mantras during meditation.
Year founded
1500 - 600 BC

Whats are Mantras?

Mantras literally mean the liberation of the mind, "man" comes from manas (mind - to think) and "tra "means instrumentality, tool, protection, liberation, tuning. The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic Sanskrit in India

Mantras are sacred words or phrases that are typically repeated many times. For Hindus, mantras are often chanted during puja, or worship ceremonies. Buddhists may chant mantras during meditation, while Sikhs may chant mantras as part of their daily devotional practice. There are mantras for specific purposes, such as attracting wealth or improving health. But mantras can also simply be used as a way to connect with the divine.

As Julie Hemmings explained: "Mantras are considered to be incantatory sounds, mystical energetic vibrations, sacred utterances, ritualised secret sound symbols, mathematical formulae, protective sheath, meditative tool, an audible prayer, a living symbol of the divine, and the key to unlocking the mysteries of existence"

What language are Mantras in?

Some mantras are in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Others may be in Tibetan, Pali or another language. But mantras don't need to be in a foreign language to be effective. Many mantras can simply be repeated in any language. And some mantras are said to be so powerful that they can be effective even if they're merely whispered.

What are the benefits of chanting mantras?

A small study from 2011 showed chanting om ( and by extension mantras) has a stimulating effect on the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is critical to the parasympathetic nervous system and is often referred to in yoga.

People sing mantras for many different reasons. Some use mantras as a way to connect with a particular deity or saints. Others find that chanting mantras helps to still the mind and experience inner peace. Still others use mantras as a type of self-healing, repeating positive affirmations that can help to improve health and well-being. Whatever the reason, chanting mantras can be a powerful and transformative experience.

What can you expect from a Mantras class?

You do not need to know mantras before class as teachers usually talk the student through them. Material can either be distributed to students before the class by email, or teachers will paste the words in the Zoom chat.

Mantras are most often practised sitting upright but sometimes lying down. Mantras can be incorporated with asanas (for example the sun salutations - most poses come with a mantra). In the west, Mantras are usually in sanskrit but in Kundalini Yoga you could be using Mantras in Gurmukhi.

Some teachers will focus on the meaning of a mantra, some teachers will refer to the sounds and vibrations or pronunciation.

A typical class will start with explanations about the mantras, then the mantras will be repeated several times, followed by a period of silence to let them sink in.

Most famous Mantras in the UK

The most famous Mantra is the Om chanted three times at the beginning of the practice and sometimes at the end, in many yoga types. In Iyengar yoga you will chant the Om, followed by the Iyengar favourite mantra "Yogena Cittasya". Kundalini yoga has the "Sat Nam" mantra, while in an Ashtanga class you'll be chanting "Vande Gurūṇām".

Here is the list of the most famous mantras in the UK:

gayatri mantra
om namah shivay
mahamrityunjay mantra
om namah shivaya
om mani padme hum
ganesh mantra
aditya hrudayam
shani mantra
om bhur bhuva swaha
sri suktam
saraswati mantra
om chanting
tarak mantra
hare rama hare krishna

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