What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a sacred sound, a syllable, word, or phonemes, or a group of words in Sanskrit, Pali, and other languages that is thought to have religious, magical, or spiritual powers by people who use it. A syntactic structure and meaning can be found in some mantras, but not all of them can be found in others. The first mantras were written in Vedic Sanskrit in India. When you say the word (Aum, Om), it is used as a mantra. It is thought to be the first sound that was made on Earth. When the sound of aum is made, it makes a sound that reverberates through the body. This makes the body and mind calm. As they get more complex, mantras are melodic phrases that have spiritual meanings. These meanings include a person’s desire to know the truth and live in the light. Some mantras that don’t have a literal meaning are both musically uplifting and spiritually meaningful. People who follow the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism use mantras in different ways. In the Shingon tradition in Japan, the word “shingon” means mantra. Some of the same hymns, antiphons, chants and ideas are found in Zoroastrianism, Taoism and other religions as well. Mantras are very important in tantra. In this school, mantras are seen as a sacred formula and a deeply personal ritual that can only be used after you have been initiated. In other schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, becoming a member is not required.