Meditation Techniques

Mantra Meditation: Instruments of Thought from the West


1361849486009_mantraMantras are undoubtedly the most well-known form of meditation, originating from the Transcendental Meditation of the West. It’s most basic form is the Om or “Aum”, which is said to be the source of all mantras according to Hinduism. This mantra is believed to be the word that began everything—the primitive sound of the Universe created by cosmic vibrations that resulted in all creation.

Words can hold profound frequency and vibrations, enabling them to be very controlling. Since they are a form of energy produced by thoughts, words can powerfully bring life to everything that exists only in the wraithlike realm.

What is a mantra?

It is a word or phrase that brings about greater cognizance; opening the doorway to a deeper understanding of oneself and the laws of nature through recital.  Mantras are recited repetitively to attain unity with the deity and principles of the particular mantra. The sounds and vibrations produced by the practitioner’s recital awaken his or her spiritual life force and chakras.

What are the mantras appropriate for meditation?

Holy texts like the Bible, Quran, Adi Granth, Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga Sutra and others contain verses that are considered to be powerful enough for mantra meditation.

Here are some examples:

1.      Ma-ra-na-tha

–          The final instruction of St. Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians and also of St. John’s in the Book of Revelations. Thus, the last word, the final teaching of the entire Christian Bible is “Maranatha,” which is Aramaic for “Come Lord”.

2.      Allah Hu

–          It is the traditional Sufi chant meaning “God is”.

3.      “Asato mā sad gamaya,

Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya,

mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya

Oṁ śānti śānti śāntiḥ”


From ignorance, lead me to truth;

From darkness, lead me to light;

From death, lead me to immortality

Om peace, peace, peace

4.      “Sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ

Sarve santu nirāmayāḥ

Sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu

Mā kaścit duḥkha bhāgbhavet.”

May all be happy. May all be healthy.

May we all experience what is good, and let no one suffer.

5.      Om mani padme hum

–          Customarily means, “in dependence on the practice of a path, which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha,” according to the XIV Dalia Lama.

6.      Ek Om Kar, Sat Nam, Karta Purkh, Nirbhao, Nirvair, Akaal moort, Ajuni, Sai Bhang, Gur Prasad

–          Sikhism’s mool mantra translates into One God, the true name, the creator, without fear, without hatred, timeless, self-existent, made known by the Guru.

It is not necessarily needed for the mantra meditation to possess a deeper meaning or significance in any way. To do meditation, transcendental meditation practitioners use monosyllables like ing, im, aing, aim, shring, shrim, shiam and shiama.

Each one of us is born with a unique sound that is to be found within ourselves. This sound is called the beej (seed) mantra—derived from the sound of each individual’s nakshatra-pada. Prior knowledge of the nakshatra-pada permits a person to create mantras that are unique to the individual; one that is in harmony with the universal forces.

How do I perform mantra meditation?

First and foremost, a mantra meditation cannot be completed without a mantra. Choose the one that suits you well and then begin the session by observing a minute of silence with your eyes closed. Start chanting the mantra gently for 10-15 minutes, then finish off by sitting for a couple of minutes in silence. It is recommended to perform a mantra meditation twice daily, for 15-20 minutes.

Visual meditation, object-focused meditation, walking meditation, or body scanning meditation would best compliment this kind of meditation practice.

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