(Last Updated on : 16/07/2011)
Types of mantras
include those that vary with their pronunciation. These can either be monosyllabic or in verse form. Mantra literally means thinking that protects or liberates. Mantra meditation is an ancient practice to achieve spiritualism. It can be attained by the way of chanting the different types of meditation mantras. Mantra is the powerful verse, which has a sound effect that heals mind and body and takes them to a higher level of consciousness, which ultimately lead to attain spiritualism.
Types of Mantras
There are two types of mantras depending upon their pronunciation. They are monosyllabic and verse. The mantra in which one syllable is used is called monosyllabic mantra like Bija mantras. When more than sixty syllables are used in a mantra it is called verse mantra. An example of verse mantra is Gayatri Mantra.
Gayatri is the feminine form of 'Gayatra', which is a Sanskrit word, which means song or hymn. In Hinduism
, the Gayatri Mantra is attributed to Vishwamitra
. The Gayatri Mantra
itself is considered as the goddess as its epitome, which represents Prabrahaman. Goddess Gayatri is the incarnated form of the mantra. She is also considered as 'Veda Mata', the mother of all Vedas and companion of Lord Brahma
. Beyond the entire theory, the ultimate eternal truth is all pervading Parabrahman. The Gayatri Mantra is considered not only as goddess, but a depiction of the Brahaman himself in the feminine form. Goddess Gayatri is thought to possess all phenomenal attributes of Brahman, including all the features of past, present and future as well as three spheres of existence namely Swarga
, Martya and Patal. Goddess Gayatri is also worshipped as the Hindu Trimurti deity combined as one. In Hinduism, there is only one creation who can bear with the brilliance of Aditya
and that is Gayatri. Some also consider Goddess Gayatri to be the mother of all gods and the apogee of Goddess Laxmi, Parvati
and Goddess Saraswati
Gayatri is depicted as a goddess seated on a 'red lotus', suggesting wealth. The Gayatri Mantra is a highly venerated mantra in Hinduism. The Mantra is in second highest position to the Om Mantra
. The Gayatri Mantra starts with the prefix 'Om Bhur bhuvah Shaha', which is taken from Yajur Veda
. This mantra is found in all four Vedas. This Mantra is also known as 'Savitri
'. However in Atharva Veda
, Gayatri Mantra
is a little different. Gayatri mantra is also considered as the heavenly awakening of mind and soul. It is the way of reaching most supreme form of survival and the way to be unified with the ultimate supreme power the 'Brahman'. The Gayatri Mantra is considered by many as the most powerful way to attain god. Traditionally Gayatri Mantra is chanted everyday to develop intelligence, knowledge and wisdom and to expand the consciousness. It is also said that the sages who utter Gayatri Mantra all the time has enhanced and sharpened intelligence and awareness.
The Om Mantra is among the most significant mantras in Hinduism. Om is considered as the amalgamation of all mantras, that ultimately leads to an enlighten state of realisation. The conventional method of chanting Om Mantra can be classified in three ways: verbal, whispering and mental. Mental repetition is the strongest way for Om Mantra, if the mind is steady and free from other thoughts. There should be no distraction in mind during the chanting of Mantra so that the attention is not diverted. One should concentrate and mind should become internalised. And this should be specifically noticed when chanting the mantra mentally.
Further, it is believed that the vibration produced by chanting Om in the physical universe communicates to the first vibration that first occurred at the time of the creation. The Om sound is also called 'Pranava', which means it sustains life through maintaining 'Prana
' or Breath. The three sounds in Om symbolise dreaming, waking and deep sleep positions and the silence surrounding 'Om' stand for the 'Turiya' state. This state is the fourth phase, which is represented by the silence. This state is the attainment of perfect bliss, when the individual self recognises the own individuality with the supreme.
It is very common to chant the Om Mantra mentally but if the mind is drifting off and one loss the consciousness of the mantra then it is better to do the mantra meditation by whispering the Om Mantra. This helps to maintain awareness. The whisper is the simple movement of lips and should be perceptible to only the person who utters the mantra, and not to others. If the person is still unable to concentrate the mind and feels sleepy then he or she should start chanting the mantra verbally. But still there are some people who cannot hold their mind steady at one point even with the verbal repetition of the mantra. For them visual symbol of the Om Mantra is used. The sound of Om represents the four states of Brahman but the symbol Om written in Sanskrit language
represents the totality of the mantra. The larger lower curve depicts the material world of the waking state and the upper left curve represents the deep sleep state. The confluent point of these two states represents the dream state that lies between the deep sleep state above and waking state below. The symbol's point and semicircle are separate from the rest and rule the whole. The point symbolises the Turiya state of absolute consciousness. The open semicircle represents the infinite.
Mahamritunjaya Mantra is one of the more effective ancient Sanskrit mantras. This mantra is considered as a call for enlightenment and is a practice of cleansing the karmas of the essence at a deep level. The mantra is also said to be quite useful for mental, emotional and physical well-being. This mantra is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The mantra is
"Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat".
There is a literal meaning for each word. Most important part of the mantra is the vibration that is created during the chanting of the Mantra. The combination of sounds in any mantra forms a particular vibration in the body. Human body also has a vibratory frequency. The mantra vibration comes in harmony with the body's vibration. Maha Mritunjaya Mantra brings a feeling to let the healing powers of this mantra to act on the bodies of those who are suffering from pain. The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra brings the personal well being of the devotees around.
On the basis of meanings, mantras are divided into Saguna Mantras (mantras that signify a specific god or goddess) and Nirguna Mantras (mantras that are formless and conceptual representing the whole universe). On the basis of quality, the different types of mantras are Sattvic Mantras, Rajasic Mantras and Tamasic Mantras.
There are other mantras that are also important in Hinduism. The Maha-Mantra for Lord Krishna
is: 'Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare'
The other Mantras are: Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Sri Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Namah, Om Sri Krishnaya Namah
The Mantra for Sri Devi is: Om Sri Durgayai Namah Lord Ganapati Mantra is: Om Sri Ganapataye Namah Sri Hanuman Mantra: Om Sri Hanumate Namah Mantra for Lord Hari: Om Namo Narayanaya (Ashtakshara), Hari Om, Hari Om Tat Sat Jugal (Combined) Mantras are: Sita Ram, Radhe Shyam, Radhe Krishna Sri Kalika Mantra is: Om Sri Kalikayai Namah Sri Laxmi Mantra: Om Sri Maha-Lakshmyai Namah Mantra for Lord Shiva: Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra and Om Namah Shivaya (Panchakshara)
The Mantras for Lord Rama
are: Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram, Om Sri Ramaya Namah, Sri Rama Rama Rameti, Rame Rame Manorame, Sahasranama Tattulyam Rama Nama Varanane, Om Sri Sita-Ramachandradhyam Namah , Sri Ram etc. Sri Saraswathi Mantra is: Om Sri Sarasvatyai Namah Lord Subramanya, Kartikeya Mantra: Om Sri Saravanabhavaya Namah Sharangati Mantra (for surrender): Om Sri Ramah Sharanam Mama, Om Sri Krishnah Sharanam Mama, Om Sri Sita-Ramah Sharanam Mama Sharada Mantra is: Om Sri Bala-Parameshvaryai Namah Tripurasundari Mantra is: Om Sri Tripura-Sundaryai Namah.