HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Mantra"

Word

Mantra

Sanskrit

मंत्र

IAST

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

Veda

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.

Related entries found !

Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana
Mantra , Six parts of A Mantra, in the Hindu religion, has the following six parts. It has got a Rishi to whom it was... Read More
Mantra Yogaमंत्र योगmantra yoga

The Mantra is a potent sound represented by a syllable or a word or string of word...

Read More
Mantra, Yantra and Tantra

The Mantra Yantra and Tantra are the three aspects (phenomena) of Agama. Mantra, Yantra and...

Read More
Mantradrishtaमन्त्रद्रष्टृmantradraṣṭṛaThe Vedic rishis don’t consider themselves as the author of the mantra they have published to the... Veda Mantras are eternal truth which exists in Paramevyoman. Rishis have access to some of the... Read More
Mantrakrutमन्त्रकृत्mantrakṛt

Composer of Mantra

Read More
Mantrapala , a minister of King Dasaratha A minister of King Dasaratha. King Dasaratha had eight ministers. A verse in Mahabharatha says ... Read More
Agni Mantraअग्नि मन्त्रagni mantraHymn to Agni The first mantra in Rik Veda is for Agni so also the last. There are 2000 other mantras in R.V.... There are many Agni mantras other than those said in Vedas. Agni sahasranama is one such.Read More
Ashirvachan Mantraआशीर्वाचन मन्त्राःāśīrvacana mantra

The blessing mantra are called Ashirvachana or Ashirvada Mantras. There are lots of such...

Read More
Bija_Mantraबीज मन्त्रbīja mantra

According to Tantra there are seven Bija_mantra with Aim, klim, Hrim being the most important...

Read More
Gayatri Mantra Practice

Gayatri is to be received as a diksha (initiated into mantra) from an elderly person who is...

Read More