Mantras are chants, or more specifically, energetic vibrations of words that connect us with the vibrations of the True Self, the Universe, the One. The word mantra comes from Sanskrit. Its two syllables can be broken down as: man – to reflect, to think, to be aware; and tra – an instrument which saves. Mantras are instruments that save us from the ego’s perception that each of us is separate from everyone and everything. Chanting mantra is a meditation practice to help bring us to the awareness that we are all Consciousness, the True Self, the One.
Religions and spiritual practices all over the world incorporate some from of chanting, singing, and music from the simple mantra of Aum, to devotional hymns to a specific god, to the transcendental vibration of the beat of a drum. They are all vibrations of energy just as we and everything else in the universe are vibrations of energy. The divine vibrations of mantras help us to connect to the divine vibrations of the True Self, the All, the One.
The luminous being of the perfect consciousness which is non-different from the entire cosmos and which is inherent in the multitude of words whose essence consists in the knowledge of the highest non dualism is the secret of mantra.
– Shiva Sutras
Here are three mantras that can help us connect to the Divine Consciousness:
1) Gayatri Mantra
The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most ancient mantras known. It comes from the Rig Veda, which is an ancient Vedic collection of sacred hymns from around 3000-3500 years ago. It was given by the Supreme Being to the Rishi (Sage) Vishvamitra, who recorded the Gayatri Mantra in the verses of the Rig Veda to share with all of humanity.
The Gayatri Mantra is said to bring wisdom and enlightenment, and to purify both the singer and the listener. We could say that it is a gift from the Universe to help us humans gain clarity and awareness. Since this mantra addresses the Sun-god, it is often recited at sunrise and sunset, but the vibrational energy of the mantra is sure to be a beneficial meditation practice any time of day.
Om bhur bhuvah svah / tat savitur varenyam / bhargo devasya dhimahi / dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Om earth, heaven, light (created) by God (Savitr/Surya/Sun-god), whose excellent glory we may attain, and who may enlighten our prayers (minds/meditation).
To listen to the Gayatri Mantra click here.
2) Mantra to the Divine Mother
The next mantra is a mantra to the Divine Mother. Most religions, whether monotheistic or polytheistic, have a figure who represents the Divine Mother and Mother Earth, such as Gaia, the Virgin Mary, Frigg, Demeter, Tara, Pachamama, Isis, Prakriti, and Shakti. Ancestral spirits, the souls of mothers, grandmothers, etc. who have past, can also represent the Divine Mother.
The Divine Mother represents the the creative force of the Universe and on the mundane level, the creative force of motherhood and nature. The Divine Mother nourishes and sustains life. She is the cosmic mother of time and space, the dynamic action of the Divine Oneness. She is an aspect of and the creative force of the Divine Oneness manifesting as Nature and Life.
This mantra to the Divine Mother was written by Shri Aurobindo, based on a traditional Indian chant:
Om Anandamayi, Chaitanyamayi, Satyamayi, Parame Swari.
Om, She full of Bliss, She full of Consciousness, She full of Truth, She who is Supreme.
To listen to this mantra to the Divine Mother click here.
3) Twameva Sarvam Mantra
The Twameva Sarvam mantra, sometimes called the Twameva Mata mantra after the first two words, is a another beautiful Vedic meditation chant. Twameva Sarvam means: You are all in all (everything). This mantra is a meditation on the True Self, the Ultimate Reality, the Universe, the Oneness of All.
Twameva mata cha pita twameva, Twameva bandhu cha sakha twameva, Twameva vidya dravinam twameva, Twameva sarvam mama deva devah.
You are my mother and my father, You are my friend and my companion, You are all wisdom and all wealth, You are all in all, the utmost Divine.
To listen to the Twameva Sarvam Mantra click here.
Who is this Self on whom we meditate? Is it the Self by which we see, hear, smell, and taste, through which we speak words? Is Self the mind by which we perceive, direct, understand, know, remember, think, will, and desire? These are but servants of the Self, who is pure consciousness. This Self is all in all.
– Aitareya Upanishad
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Great article, Julie! I didn’t know this: “The word mantra comes from Sanskrit. Its two syllables can be broken down as: man – to reflect, to think, to be aware; and tra – an instrument which saves. ” thanks! I have been using the Gayatri mantra with breathing after I read that Ramana suggested that: one Gayatri length exhale / one Gayatri inhale / hold for two lengths…. With Love, tomas
Thank you Tomas! That’s awesome that you use mantra also as a pranayama practice! Namaste!
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Thank you for sharing such a lovely and insightful post. I am not so familiar with mantras and chants so for me this was a gift of knowledge I shall embrace and I look forward to more of your wisdom shared! Thank you 🙂
Thank you for such kind words (vibrations)! 🙂 I plan on posting at least a few more mantras soon.