Ever find your mind jumping from place to place, worrying about yesterday, today, and tomorrow while you meditate? If this sounds like you (and it probably does– this is how the human brain operates), using a mantra during meditation can help to quiet that chatter and also help you attract positive vibrations!
Even though mantras can be many words long, the best mantras consist of a single word. Chanting a single word mantra over and over again can give you powerful results.
In this article, let’s look at how mantras work and how you should use one. We’ll also look at several examples of one word Sanskrit mantras and their meanings, along with several one word English mantras that you can use, as well.
What is the significance of mantras?
To understand the true meaning of mantras and their usage, it’s imperative to realize that in countless belief systems around the world, words themselves– in certain contexts– are seen as one and the same with God, or with Source energy. We usually see this in world religions as a divine being (such as God) speaking the Universe into existence.
This can help you to understand why speaking a mantra in a foreign language (such as Sanskrit) can help you further along your spiritual journey. When you repeat a mantra, the vibration of sound (even if you’re only repeating it in your head) helps you to attract similar vibrations.
You’ll want to use different mantras based on what vibrations you hope to attract.
How to use mantras?
Mantras are traditionally used in meditation or yoga practice. First, you should decide on a mantra you want to use before you begin your practice.
Then, use the first few minutes of your practice to drop into presence; leave any to-do lists or worries outside of your mind, just for now. Once you feel present, you can begin repeating your mantra, either silently or out loud.
If you’re using your mantra during a yoga practice, you don’t have to perpetually repeat the mantra; just repeat it silently or out loud every time you find your mind beginning to wander. In fact, the same goes for using a mantra in meditation. If you find your mind wandering, bring all of your attention back to your mantra. While in meditation, however, it helps to continuously chant the mantra (again, silently or out loud). This will help to quiet your thinking mind.
One-Word Sanskrit Mantras
Lam is the first of the “seed mantras” for the seven chakras; this mantra corresponds to the first, or root, chakra. Chanting lam can help to open, heal, and balance your root chakra; use this mantra when you feel ungrounded or unstable.
Vam is the seed mantra which corresponds to the sacral chakra. Use this mantra when you need to tap into your creativity or your feminine, emotional side, or when you’re feeling isolated.
Ram corresponds to the third chakra, or the solar plexus. Chanting or repeating ram can help you to feel more self-confident and assertive; it can also heal the third chakra in instances of perfectionism or imagined powerlessness.
The seed mantra yam corresponds with the heart chakra; as such, use yam when you’re feeling either over- or under-empathetic. Yam can also help you to feel a greater sense of love, both for yourself and for those around you.
5. Ham or Hum
Ham or hum corresponds with the throat chakra and the center of our personal truth. When you find yourself feeling unable to speak your truth, or on the other hand, if you notice yourself speaking too much and not listening enough, repeating this mantra can bring you back into balance.
6. Aum or OM
Our final seed mantra, AUM or OM, actually corresponds to both the third eye and crown chakras. It follows, then, that this mantra carries multiple meanings. You can use this mantra when you wish to see the truth or to let go of attachment; also, this is a prime mantra for helping you to connect to your intuition or to the divine.
7. Ahimsa: a-HIM-sah (non-violence)
The idea behind ahimsa is to wish well-being upon yourself and all other living things in existence. You might try repeating this mantra when you’d like to bring more loving-kindness into your everyday life, whether it’s towards yourself, or everybody and everything else.
8. Dhyana: dhyA-na (focus)
Dhyana typically means focus, a meditative state, or a state of embodied peace (such as an enlightened state). In this sense, it is similar to the sanskrit word samadhi. Dhyana is a useful mantra for when you’re trying to focus and quiet your monkey mind.
9. Dhanyavad: dhanya-Vad (thank you)
An attitude of gratitude will help you to manifest more goodness into your life. Wanting to feel truly grateful for all that you have now, and for all that’s on the way to you? Use dhanyavad in your meditation or yoga practice.
10. Ananda (bliss)
Ananda is such a notorious word, that scientists named the happy-making neurotransmitter “anandamide” after it. As such, if you’d like to inspire bliss, joy, and ease in your life, repeat ananda during your next practice.
11. Shanti (peace)
You’ll often hear shanti repeated at the beginning or end of yoga classes; this mantra is meant to inspire a feeling of peace. Use shanti if you’d like to feel more peace with what is, even the parts of your life that you aren’t thrilled about.
12. Samprati (present moment)
Samprati literally translates to “now”, “this moment”, “right now”, etc. If you’re finding your monkey mind wandering during meditation to all you have to do later on, or to something you did yesterday, use this mantra! It’ll help you to live in the present moment and remember that right now is all you have.
Anyone who’s been to yoga has heard the word namaste; it’s even more popular than om or shanti. Often, though, we don’t take the time to acknowledge what it means. Namaste implies an acknowledgement of divine light in ourselves and in everybody else. Use this mantra to help you see that we are all one, and all lovable.
14. Shakti (feminine power)
Open and heal your sacral chakra with shakti, the force of free-flowing, creative, expressive feminine energy. If you’re feeling creatively blocked or rigid, using the mantra shakti (or OM Shakti) can help you to open yourself back up again.
15. Nirvana (free from enmity)
Otherwise known as nirvana shatakam, this mantra essentially means “I am love”. To take this a bit deeper, nirvana teaches us that we are not our bodies, minds, or material possessions; at the very core of our being, we are nothing but love. Use this mantra to gain a sense of non-attachment and oneness during your practice.
16. Sukha (happiness/joy)
One aim of the yoga asana practice is to balance sthira (effort) with sukha (ease). Therefore, it follows that using sukha as a mantra will help to bring about a feeling of easeful joy. When you’re feeling tense, as if you’re trying to force things to happen your way, this mantra can help.
17. Vīrya (energy)
If you’ve got a large, overwhelming day up ahead of you, use virya to give you a little extra boost! This mantra helps you to approach tasks, even challenging ones, with energetic enthusiasm.
18. Sama or samana (tranquility)
Sama or samana is the perfect mantra to use after you’ve had a long day of conjuring up the virya energy– or, also, any other time you feel stressed or worried. Traditionally, this mantra is used to ease heaviness. Thus, it can also provide a soothing effect in times of sadness or anger.
19. Sahas or ojas (power/strength)
In terms of power and strength, think of sahas or ojas as a vibrant, perfectly healthy body and mind. This mantra carries with it vibrations of health and wellbeing, so it’s great to use when you’re sick or feeling “off” in any way.
20. Satchitanada (Sat Chit Ananda)
SatChitAnanda contains three words Sat, Chit and Ananda. Sat or Satya stands for ‘Truth’, Chit stands for ‘Consicousness’ and Ananda as we saw earlier stands for ‘Bliss’ or ‘Happiness’.
So this mantra translates to ‘Truth Consciousness Bliss’ making this a really powerful mantra.
One Word English Mantras
Chanting English words can work in place of Sanskrit mantras, as well! Here is a list of English words which carry positive vibrations. Feel free to chant any of these during your practice:
All in all, whether you use a Sanskrit mantra or an English one is entirely your choice; all that matters is the quieting of your mental chatter. You’ll likely find, as you chant these mantras on repeat, that the rambling thoughts slowly die down, replaced by a feeling of inner tranquility. So go ahead and pick one that feels good for you, hop on the mat, and get started!