The Sanskrit word mantra can be directly translated as “vehicle of the mind”, with man standing for “mind” and tra for “vehicle”. In line with an esoteric etymology, however, the word mantra means protection of the mind, with trana standing for “protection” and manas for “mind”. Mantras are usually a primordial sound regularly used by yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jain practitioners while meditating. These words are often a syllable, word or verse considered to be sacred.
(Relax and chant while being comfortable in your yoga leggings. You can find comfortable leggings here.)
Mantra or Japa Yoga makes use of these primordial sounds to further absorb the practitioners’ minds in their meditative practices. When the mantra is chanted and repeated out loud the method is referred to as baikhari. When chanted and repeated on a low voice that is meant to be heard by the practitioner only, the method goes by the name of upanshu, and when the mantra is chanted and repeated silently in the practitioner’s mind it is called manasic.
Some people frequently like to include mala beads in their Japa Yoga practice so that they can keep count of their repetitions. Mala necklaces are generally made of 108 beads plus one guru bead, totaling 109. The counting starts with the bead placed next to the guru bead, and after pronouncing the mantra, one proceeds to the next bead repeating this action again and again until reaching the guru bead once more. At the end of every round, the guru bead is not counted as a sign of respect, and the new cycle begins with the bead counted last during the previous round.
According to Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, although mantras are a tool for developing a clear and calm mind they eventually become the goal of our journey. All of a sudden our minds turn steady and we end up personifying the mantra itself and taking away all the detractive thoughts and impressions rooted within ourselves.
If you are interested in putting Japa meditation into practice, a few mantras you can take into account are the following:
It is pronounced So Hauhm and standing for “I am (that)”; with “that” standing for all expressions of life and the overall creation.
Om Kriyam Namah
It is pronounced as Aum Kree-yahm Nah-mah and standing for “my deeds are in alignment with cosmic law”.
Sat Chit Ananda
It is pronounced as Saht Cheet Anahn-dah and standing for “existence, consciousness, bliss”.
It is pronounced as Ah-hahm Brah-mahs-mee and standing for “I am the universe”.
Om Bhavam Namah
It is pronounced as Aum Bah-vahm Nah-mah and standing for “I am absolute existence. I am the field of all possibilities”.