A Mantra is a sound or a certain utterance or a syllable which is having potential of freeing ones mind from its obsessive state.
Nowadays, as everything rests upon proofs, evidences and scientific verifications and certifications; in that context, we can link mantra to vibrations. Our modern science sees and experiences everything around us either in state of matter or energy, and hence, existence as reverberations of energy or different levels of vibrations are very much practical. In that reference, we can deduce that the entire existence is a kind of sound or a complex amalgamation of sounds which in turn establishes a logic that the whole existence is an amalgamation of multiple mantras.
Our ancient and Vedic texts consists of numerous shlokas and mantras of which few have been identified which could be like keys, which if used in a certain prescribed way, can open up a different dimension of life and experience within human body and mind.
Every mantra activates a particular energy in a different part of the body. It is scientifically proven in segments of research on psychology that repetition of any sound results in dullness of mind. Mantra being a syllable, it’s repetition without necessary awareness can convert a mind to be a dull one, but once done with exact understanding and proper awareness, it could be a powerful mean. In correlation with science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage as it is a subjective science.
Mantra can be prominently defined as Mananat Trayote Iti Mantrah which means, through mantra, one is able to manage dissipation of the mind and is also able to manage to distress his or her mind. Mantras are vibrations and every vibration has a frequency. Certain forms of sound vibration relaxes, whereas certain vibration stimulates. This is evident in music, as some types of music brings peace and some makes the listener move and dance.
Mantra is subtle as the sound vibration of mantra works at the pranic level in the body. For proper understanding, let’s take the mantra Om Namah Shivaya as instance. From the religious perspective, Om Namah Shivaya means I Salute Shiva, whereas from Yogic perspective, following is the inference ~
OM is the Seed mantra of Beej Mantra of Agnya Chakra, the sixth centre.
NA is a sound of the Fifth centre, the Visuddhi Chakra.
MA is a sound of the Fifth centre in the throat.
SHI & VA are the sounds of the Second centre, the Swadhisthana Chakra.
YA is the sound of the heart, the Anahada Chakra.
These are the sounds which constituently formed the Mantra and which corresponds to different chakras in the body. Therefore, in Yogic terms, when Om Namah Shivaya is chanted, it affects and alters the behaviour of the Shakti or power in these psychic centres, while the mind focusses on the image generated within due to one’s cultural beliefs.
Every mantra is having a specific meaning, a specific way of recitation and a specific vibration set. As it is already a proven fact that origin of mantras dates back to the Vedic Era and Vedas are its main source, hence, if we think practicality, Sanskrit or Devanagari was the ongoing linguistic trend of that era and Shruti gyan, meaning learning from hearing and Smriti gyan, meaning learning by remembering and recalling, were the most popular modes of education. Hence, all these shlokas and mantras were given the form of hymns and verses in the language prevalent in the society of that time to facilitate better learning which in turn led to spiritual development as well.
Thus, each Mantra has a meaning which is very prominently and precisely embedded in the mantra itself, but, the power of mantra resides within the yogi or the Human reciting the Mantra.