Mantras are invocations, phrases or just words of significance.
Through repetition they take on additional power moving through verbal or physical vibrations to mental, telepathic
and spiritual dimensions. In yoga most mantras are either in Sanskrit or ancient
Sounds chanted or heard, create vibrations within the body which affect particular parts and organs
of the body.
lungs, heart, liver, stomach
diaphragm, liver, stomach
chest, lower throat
ribs, alimentary canal
throat, palate, nose, sinuses
AUM is the basis and framework of all mantras. Within
Aum are all sounds and vibrations. The three elements of aa, uu and mmmm signify
the waking state, dream state and deep sleep state.
NIRGUNA Mantras are said to be abstract or without form. These
usually simple mantra assert the unity of all. Bija mantra are also included
in this category.
I am That I am
TAT TWAM ASI
That Thou art
BIJA mantras are known as the seed mantras. These are
pure simple sounds that again resonate within the body at particular frequencies and points of the body. The chakras along the length of the spinal cord are each said to resonate to a particular bija mantra. In Indian tradition these seed mantra are also linked with particular deities, or
Shiva and Sadashive
Kali, Brahma, Mahamaya
Kamadeva, Krishna, Indra
SAGUNA Mantras are also called the Deity Mantras as they are often involved in invocations and conceptions
of a particular aspect of the deity. Although all mantras can be used by non-initiates,
in tradition mantras are given to a sanyasin by the guru, giving the mantra additional power.
Mantra and meaning:
Aum Ganesha Namaha
I invoke and honour Ganesha the remover of obstacles. Traditionally the
first mantra used in any ritual.
Aum Surya Namaha
Honour to Surya – Sun deity and male force
Aum Ganga Namaha
Honour to the female force, here Ganga
Aum Namah Shivaya
Honour to Lord Shiva. For Saivite Hindus this is the most powerful mantra
Aum Namo Narayanana
Honour to Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu, salutations
Aum Ramaya Namah
The title Sri can be used before the name of the deity to denote respect and honour.
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
My Lord Rama, My Lord Krishna
Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi,
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
Let us contemplate that most excellent light of the Divine Savitri, that He may inspire our vision.
Asatoma Satgamayam, Tamasoma Jyotirgamayam, Mrthiyorma Amrytamgamayam, Aum Shandhi Shandhi Shandhi
Lead us from death to life
From darkness to light
From sorrow to joy/bliss
Aum Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva
Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat
We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva who is full of sweet fragrance and nourishes human beings. May he liberate me from bondage, even as the cucumber is severed from the vine.
In addition there are many prayers and sayings in English and other
languages which can be used.
SOUND IN YOGA
From silently watching the sound of the breath, to ecstatic chanting of sacred
hymns, sound is used in yoga for many purposes. Soothing sound affects the mind beneficially.
- the inner sound that is heard when the psycho-energetic currents are purified. This
sound is said to originate in the centre of the spine. Yogis practice shanmukhi
mudra, the 6-openings seal, to listen to the inner sound. This is not the sound
of the breath or heart beat. In shanmukhi mudra:
the thumbs cover the ears
index fingers close the eyelids
middle fingers close the nostrils
fourth and little fingers close the lips
japa: Pranayama involves the creation of sound as the air enters and leaves the
body. These sounds create the mantra of Soh Ham (I am That). Even when we are asleep or mentally engaged in other tasks this `Ajapa` mantra is being created and repeated. Repetition of a mantra is called `japa`.
Some techniques positively use sound as an integral part of their practice:
Sitkari, the Hissing breath, caused by exhaling through the mouth.
Bramhari, the Humming Bee
breath, on the exhalation a low humming is created in the back of the throat.
Simhasana, the Lion pose,
can use a roaring sound on the exhalation.
yoga uses sound in the chanting or singing of hymns, Kirtan.. These are often
led, with devotees repeating the line.
uses sound when japa mantra is repeated orally. However we are told that the
sacred sound OM or AUM, is more powerful when only whispered, and even more powerful when repeated silently, mentally. Om
is said to tbe the sound vibration from which the whole universe was created.
Mantras are invocations, phrases or just words of significance. Through repetition they take on additional power moving through verbal or physical vibrations to mental,
telepathic and spiritual dimensions. In yoga most mantras are either in Sanskrit
or ancient Tamil.
Sounds chanted or heard create vibrations within the body which affect particular
parts and organs of the body: thus `ee` as in tree affects the skull, `ea` as in weather the throat. The sound of `o` as in
Om affects the lower lungs, heart, liver and stomach etc..
consists of four parts. The sound aaaaa should feel as though it begins in the
solar plexus / manipura chakra. As the sound rises into the heart region, anahata,
and throat, vishuddha chakra, it changes to uuuu. Entering the back of the mouth
it changes to the quiet mmmm, becoming a nasal vibration as it passes over the upper palate, and out of the body. AUM is the basis of all mantras. Within Aum are all sounds
and vibrations. The three elements of aa, uu and mmmm signify the waking, dream
and deep dream states. Ultimately Aum takes us through the `veil of illusion` to the state of transformation.
namah Sivaya, honours Shiva, and is the most revered mantra of Shaivism
Rama, Hari Rama, Rama, Rama, Hari Hari. Hari Krishna, Hari Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hari Hari, is known as the Maha mantra
or Great Mantra and forms part of the Kali Santarana Upanishad. Swami Sivananda
decreed it should be chanted ceaselessly in his ashram in Rishikesh. Hari, one
of Vishnu`s or Krishna`s many names. Rama was an avatar of God Vishnu,
mantra is used daily by Hindus all over the world every day and dates back to Vedic times:
Om, Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhi Mahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
Let us contemplate that most excellent light of the divine, Savitr (the Sun
God or Creator),so that he may remove all sin and ignorance, and inspire our visions.
To help us in the practice of mantra japa techniques such as the use of finger
counting or mala (beads) counting may be used. Usually mantras are repeated for
multiples of 108 or fractions thereof – 27 or 54.
While it may be true that anyone can use mantras to affect their body/mind,
in yoga it is felt that only when a mantra is given to a disciple as a part of initiation does it become fully charged. Traditionally at initiation the disciple is given their personal mantra by the guru,
a mantra which remains secret.
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