Mantra is a syllable, a word, or a set of sacred words without a literal or specific definition. The basic principle of a Mantra is that sound is vibration and every vibration generates energy. Thus, a Mantra creates energy by altering the place and space where it manifests. Each Mantra is a sound pattern that synchronizes the mind with the universal energies in the same way as Laya yoga does.
The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit. Man means “mind” and tra, “free”. Therefore, Mantra literally means to free the mind. By concentrating on my Mantra, I release my mind and approach higher states. There are others who claim that the word mantra comes from matrana, which means advice or suggestion.
A well-known Mantra is AUM. According to Hindu philosophy, AUM is the primordial sound from which the entire universe was created. Interestingly, this universal sound is also mentioned in the Bible. John 1, 1-4 reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The word was in the beginning in God. Through the Word all things were made; without the Word nothing was made that has been made. In the Word was life, and that life was the light of men.”
Mantras, whether a word or phrase, are repeated aloud, in a low voice, or mentally, until the mind and emotions are transcended. By constant repetition of the Mantra, the practitioner absorbs the power of the energy that resides in the Mantra. The chanting of Mantras generates powerful vibrations that can even restore cells and tissues in our bodies. These vibrations are beneficial for both the singer and the listener.
Mantra yoga is widely used in Bhakti yoga, Laya yoga, and Tantra yoga.