What are mantras? And why do we chant them?
The word mantra itself is broken down into two parts: “man” meaning mind and “tra” meaning ‘to free from’. Therefore, a mantra is a powerful sound vibration that you can use to enter into a deep state of meditation- literally a tool to free the mind. It’s usually a group of words, sounds or syllables in Sanskrit (the sacred language of ancient India) believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. The earliest mantras were developed in Vedic Sanskrit in India. It is a sacred utterance, that when spoken or chanted, it directs the healing power of Prana (life force energy) and can be used to energize and access spiritual states of consciousness.
Usually, the use of mantras should be done on a regular basis for several months for its desired effects to take place. In this sense, a mantra can be thought of like a seed for energizing an intention. Just like how you may plant a flower seed with the intention for it to blossom, you can plant a mantra seed with the intention for it to one day bear the fruit of your intention.
Sometimes before a yoga class, the instructor will invite the students to set an intention for their practice. Mantras such as “I am focused” or “I let go and surrender” can help the practitioner cultivate and maintain a connection to the desired state that they wish to be in during their practice. Like how Asanas are postures for the body, think of Mantras and how they are postures for the mind. They can be thought of as simple prayers or even energetic sound formulas. The more we chant one particular sound vibration, the more we tune ourselves to that vibration. Also, immersing yourself in the silence that follows after a chanting, brings us closer towards inner peace.
“A mantra is not just something to chant. It is not chanting. A mantra is something to let sink deep in your being, just as roots go deep into the earth. The deeper the roots go into the earth, the higher the tree will go into the sky.”
With all this being said, we would like to share with you the mantras on the bracelets that we have at Shambhala Barcelona. We have three mantras that we use for our colorful bracelets, that come for free with each purchase!
· Mantra for Healing : RA MA DA SA, SA SE SO HUNG
Ra – Sun
Ma – Moon
Da – Earth
Sa – Impersonal Infinity
Sa Se – Totality of Infinity
So – Personal sense of identity
Hung – The infinite
This mantra taps into the energies of the sun, moon, earth and infinite spirit to bring deep healing. Use this mantra to pray for healing energy for our friends, family and ourselves. When chanting this mantra, mentally visualize the person/ people that you want to heal as you send energy to them for their well-being. Imagine them healthy and strong and in an aura of healing white light. <3
· Mantra for Compassion: OM MANI PADME HUM
Om – vibration of the universe
Mani – Jewel
Padme – Lotus
Hum – represents the spirit of enlightenment
The literal translation is “Behold! The jewel in the lotus”. They say the teachings of Buddha are contained in this mantra and to know this phrase is to know enlightenment. The syllables are said to remove the attachments that cause suffering such as jealousy, desire, prejudice, possessiveness and hatred. While establishing generosity, ethics, patience, perseverance, concentration and wisdom.
· Mantra for Peace: LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU
Lokah – realm, all universes existing now
Samastah – All beings
Sukhino – centered in happiness and joy
Bhav – the divine mood
Antu – may it be so, it must be so
The meaning is “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” By chanting this mantra, we move from our personal self and radiate a prayer of love for the world around us. It is a reminder that we are a part of the universe and can positively impact all of creation.
We chose these mantras so that you can chant them yourselves and have them on you as a reminder to keep these intentions in your mind. Guru Jagat teaches “To vibrate these sounds within the body, we raise the frequency of our beingness.” We say these words not only for personal power but that they may raise our vibration. Mantras speak to the universe and soul. They are the pathway to raise our vibration and radiate love from us and to bless others. We can change the world in ways that may seem subtle, but with a continuous effort of consciously giving to others our love, we can bless all beings and our beautiful mother earth. <3