सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "mantra"







In General

A mantra is a potent sound represented by a syllable or a word or string of word recited repeatedly for spiritual purpose. It can be loud or mental chanting. In mental incantation, a sound (word) is uttered silently. OM, the Pranava Mantra is the most simplest of all. ‘Om Namasivaya’, ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’, ‘Sri Ram Jayaram Jayajaya Ram’ are some of the popular mantras

Generally, as per tradition the mantra is given to aspirants by the guru, after some form of initiation. A Mantra is Divinity. So, with each mantra the Divine Power manifest itself in the sound body of mantra. Mantra got Nama(name) and rupa(object) which are inseparable. While chanting of mantra the imagination of divinity is required. So, the spiritual aspirant could endeavor to realize his unity with the Divinity by Mantra chanting.

There are two kinds of Mantra’s, the Tantrik Mantras and the Vedic Mantras. Tantrik mantras are the ones we call Beeja Mantra’s (eg: hrim , aim , srim , kling ) whereas the Vedic Mantra’s are the ones that are followed under the Vedic system ( eg: Tat tvam asi ). The Bija mantras correlate to the 7 chakras and to the main Hindu deities. Vedic mantras follow Vedic representation of deities in symbolic form.

Another classification of mantras divide them into Saguna (with form), and Nirguna (without form) mantras. The Saguna mantras invoke the forms of the individual deities or personalized aspects of God. It is said that the recitation of the Saguna mantras gives rise to the actual form of the particular deity, thus manifesting its power. The Nirguna mantras originate from the Vedic texts and are thus the oldest mantras. As no deities or personalized aspects of God are invoked with these mantras, they are very difficult to interpret and are considered to not have a specific form or meaning to them. These mantras are said to have their identification with all the creation, and contain the fundamental truths in yogic philosophy. For example, Soham is one such Mantra of a Vedantic nature. It means: "I am He". This signifies the identity of Jiva and Brahman. It is said that the mind must be very strong to be able to concentrate on the abstract Nirguna mantras, and thus they are not recommended for beginners.

See also: Mantra, the six parts of


RigVeda is divided into 10 Mandala and each mandala into several sukta and sukta into mantra. So to RV mantra is a poetic couplet. Each vedic mantra has got a particular viniyoga, or method of usage.

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