What Is Mantra?
Mantra is the repetition of a word or phrase that is spoken in the mind, out loud, or through singing. This can be in any language. Mantras originate from many traditions, and we can even create our own mantras in our native languages by repeating words as affirmations, thereby calling those energies forth.
Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means “tool of the mind” or “divine speech” or “language of the human spiritual physiology.” Mantra helps create space around us so that we feel lighter, feel less stress, and feel more centered, peaceful and energized.
Sound is vibration and vibration is powerful.
Yogi Bhajan from the Sikh tradition says this: "Every element of the Universe is in a constant state of vibration manifested to us as light, sound and energy. The human senses perceive only a fraction of the infinite range of vibration, so it is difficult to comprehend that the Word mentioned in the Bible is actually the totality of vibration that underlies and sustains all creation.
“A person can tune his or her own consciousness into the awareness of that totality with the use of a mantra. By vibrating in rhythm with the breath to a particular sound that is proportional to the creative sound, or sound current, one can expand one's sensitivity to the entire spectrum of vibration. It is similar to striking a note on a stringed instrument. In other words, as you vibrate, the Universe vibrates with you."
One way to experience mantra is to sing Kirtan. Kirtan is from a tradition in India in which Mantra is sung as call-and-response. Kirtan can be sung at home without others. However, singing together is a beautiful way to experience Mantra.
See opportunities to sing with others on the Portland Community Kirtan Facebook page.
Visit the Lyrics, Mantra & Poetry page to read examples of mantras and their translations.