Mantras, Explained and Why Mantra Meditation May Be for You

In the beginning was the word. There is power in words, and there is power in repetition of sounds. Everything is energy and vibration. Through the pathway and practice of mantra we can connect with the subtle body into a natural spaciousness and bliss state.

Vibrations not only affect us on the physical level, but also emotionally, mentally, and on human consciousness.

mantra meditation

As humans, we identify with the external and the impermanent parts of who we are – our careers, our challenges, our illness, our wealth, our lack, our “good” qualities, etc. This is maya or illusion.

We are not this body. We are not the lawyer or the writer or the homemaker or the homeless. We are not our broken marriage. We are not MS. We are not the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly but we are the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.  Having a meditation practice helps put some distance from the outside noise, by dialing down the inside chaos. We learn that our outer world reflects our inner and with time, we experience the inside and the outside as one.

Meditation has also been shown to have numerous health benefits including rewiring the brain, pain reduction, and general well-being.

A mantra meditation is based on repeating a chosen mantra. Through the use of a mantra, we can be transformed. The repetition helps us focus, turn inward into our universe, and tap into the entire stream of human consciousness.

Manoj and Jyothi Chalam expained at the Hanuman Festival that the mantra drops into the space between thoughts. This is consciousness. As we focus on the mantra, this gap increases and our eyes open up to the archetypal energies of the mantra. From the universal and collective mind, we then pull this energy into our subconscious mind. We are then able to create in the outer reality this inner reality.

Instead of focusing on our anger or frustration, we can re-direct our sense of lack on a powerful mantra to open up a greater perception of what is really going on, and not be trapped by our own distortions and filters.

What is a Mantra?

The word itself comes from the Sanskrit words – “manas” meaning “mind” and “trai” meaning “to protect” or to “free from.” A mantra is a word or phrase to set us free from the mind which keeps us trapped in illusion.

There are many beautiful and powerful mantras from the Sanskrit language, an ancient root language whose words closely approximate their vibrational meanings. When a combination of sounds have a vibration that relates to an aspect of of humanity and divinity it is said to have a vibrational meaning.

If you have time, do delve into the amazing amount of writing on sounds and their powers. It is fascinating and reminds us to be more cognizant of our soundscape – the more obvious jackhammering outside on the street or the more subtle hum of electronics in the house. We are being affected on some level by these sounds/vibrations, many of which are discordant.

There are many different types of mantras. Seed or root mantras are those that represent various aspects of divinity. Some people also believe that there are neutral mantras, as well as masculine and feminine ones. Mantras ending with hum are usually masculine. Those that end with svaha, feminine; and namaha, neutral.

In Power vs Force, David R Hawkins writes about the levels of consciousness, also known as the Map of Consciousness. From 0 to 1000 (Enlightenment), this map shows what the different levels of consciousness mean and how they relate to each other. 200 is the fulcrum  – the point between falsehood and truth, and between force and power. Being at 200 and above allows us to see truth over falsehood, with greater discernment and clarity as our consciousness increases.

David R Hawkins has calibrated many things, from people to books, to words. According to compilations of his calibrations from his books and lectures, Om Mane Padme Hum is at 700. From Power vs Force, for energy levels 700-1000 Enlightenment, “this is the level of the Great Ones of history who originated the spiritual patterns that countless people have followed throughout the ages. This is the level of powerful inspiration; these beings set in place attractor energy fields that influence all of mankind.”

At an even higher level is the mantra Om. Some people use Aum but this only calibrates at 65, below the level of truth, and definitely below the level of Love and Peace. Om which calibrates at 740 is believed to be the sound, from which all things came to be in existence, according to ancient Indian belief.

Starting Your Mantra Meditation

For anyone who wants to meditate but cannot focus, a mantra meditation can be very powerful. Simply choose a mantra that speaks to you and repeat it either silently or out loud.

It does not have to be a Sanskrit or mystical word. Perhaps shims, pronounced she-mah, the Hopi word for Love. Or “Love and Gratitude”, which according to Dr Emoto, contains the vibrations that create the most beautiful and harmonic water crystals.

Start where you are, and build up to 30 minutes, then one hour and beyond. You can choose to use a mala for this meditation, and count with each bead, saying the mantra 108 times or in multiples of 9. A mala is a string of beads traditionally used to count mantras. Choose one that you resonate, with its combination of sacred woods and healing crystals.

The number 108 is believed to be a sacred number, signifying spiritual completion, and appears throughout life. The sun’s average distance from the earth is 108 times the sun’s diameter. The same seems be true for the moon and the earth’s relationship. The 54 letters in the Sanskrit language, with each of their masculine and feminine aspects, equate to 108. It is said we have 108 major energetic lines from the heart chakra.

If this is too mystical, perhaps just see the mala with its 108 beads as a handy way to keep track of the number of mantras, and then see how it goes.