You can choose from numerous mantras for yoga and meditation. Here are 10 most important mantras that you should consider and memorize.
Om or AUM is the first sound when the universe was created. You can feel the sound’s energy coming from your pelvic floor muscles going up to the top of your head by pronouncing each syllable (A-U-M) properly. The Om’s repetitive sound unblocks the chakra or core of spiritual strength in the human body. It generates communications on the same wavelength with other persons.
Shanti is a chant for peace. You pronounce it as “Sarvesham svastir bhavatu | sarvesham shantir bhavatu | sarvesham purnam bhavatu | sarvesham mangalam bhavatu ||” Translated into English, it means the following:
May there be well-being for all.
May there be peace for all.
May there be wholeness for all.
May there be happiness for all.
Utter the mantra as “Om bhur bhuvah svah | tat savitur varenyam | bhargo devasya dhimahi | dhiyo yo nah prachodayat ||.” It refers to the Earth, Heaven, and the Whole Between. It is the excellent divine power of the Sun. “May we contemplate the radiance of that god. May this inspire our understanding.” Gayatri is among the oldest Sanskrit mantras. It underscores that creation is united regardless of multiple forms. Chanting Gayatri calls upon sunlight and helps us rise above sufferings.
The pronunciation goes like this: “Om gam ganapataye namah | vakra-tunda maha-kaya surya-koti-sama-prabha | nirvighnam kuru me deva sarva-karyeshu sarva-da ||.”
It serves as welcome to Ganesha. The translation is “Oh Ganesha, god with a curved trunk, of great stature, whose brilliance is equal to ten million suns. Grant me freedom from obstacles, in all things, at all times.” The first line is called Bija or seed mantra that you can intone separately. The reason for chanting is to hail Ganesha as the god of wisdom and success and remover of obstacles. It is advisable to start your day by invoking him.
Patanjali is author of the Yoga Sutra. Here is how you can recite this mantra: “Yogena chittasya padena vacham malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena | yo ’pakarottam pravaram muninam patanjalim pranjalir anato ’smi ||.” It is chanted in English as “With palms folded together, I bow respectfully to Patanjali, the best of sages, who dispels the impurities of the mind with Yoga, of speech through Grammar, and of the body by means of Medicine.”
By reciting this mantra, you appeal to Patanjali, a forefather of yoga tradition. It is frequently chanted before starting Iyengar Yoga classes or chanting the Yoga Sutra. You honor the ancient tradition and express gratitude to the lineage of teachers. This chant reminds us yoga’s goal of purifying the mind, Ayurvedic medicine heals the body, and our speech and breath are essential.
Mangala mantra is a prayer for tranquility. In ancient scripture, it is “Svasti prajabhyah paripalayantam nyayena margena mahim mahishah | gobrahmanebhyah shubham astu nityam lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu ||.”
By translating, it reads, “May the rulers of the earth protect the well-being of the people, with justice, and by means of the right path. May there always be good fortune for all living beings. May all the inhabitants of the world be full of happiness.” It denotes good fortune for all. The chant is for you if you dedicate your practice or meditation to another person.
It is an anthology of very old Indian philosophical and religious manuscripts. Say it as “Om saha nav avatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha viryam karavavahai | tejasvi navadhitam astu ma vidvishavahai || Om shanti, shanti, shanti ||.”
It is quite simple to chant: “May we together be protected, May we together be nourished. May we work together with vigor, May our study be illuminating. May we be free from discord.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace!” This mantra is recited repeatedly at the launch of a collective study or activity. It is a good choice for anything from a yoga practice or welcoming a new opportunity (personal relationship or job).
It is one of the oldest Sanskrit texts. The incantation is short, “Asato ma sad gamaya | tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | mrityor ma amritam gamaya ||.” If translated it reads like this: “From the unreal to the Real, lead me. From darkness to Light, lead me. From death to Immortality, lead me.”
It signifies peace and freedom. This word has various meanings for different people although it provides a sense of amazing lightheartedness.
This refers to Sanskrit passage that explores knowledge of self. You can learn it easily. Just pronounce: “Purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udachyate | purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate ||.” It means “That is whole. This is whole. The whole arises from the whole. Having taken the whole from the whole only the whole remains.”
This text communicates the underlying idea that one and many are the same. It is the same for visible and invisible as well as microcosm and macrocosm. In short, we are one. This mantra helps refocus your thoughts if you are alone and feel misunderstood.
Translate it as “Truth is my name.” Pronounce it simply as “Saaaaaaaat | Nam ||.” Sat is said eight times longer than Nam. If you want the mantra to spread out from the base of your backbone to the center of your head, utter the Sat 35 times longer than the Nam. It is used in Kundalini Yoga practice. Sat Nam is a technique in finding your sixth sense. This Gurmukhi mantra belongs to Sat Kriya meditation to bolster sexual energy if practiced daily for three minutes.