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Sacred Mantras

How mantras can change your life? What is a mantra and how does it work?

Reading Time: 12 minutes

The Vedic teachings about practice of mantra, offer a direct way to affect the sea of circumstances in which we swim everyday throughout our lives. The masters believed that we humans can do something about our fate through mantras.

The Sanskrit word mantra has many meanings, including the language of human spiritual physiology — our spiritual purpose and identity, also known as our subtle body. It has a significant impact on our physical and mental health and how we deal with our life experiences. 

When we study our spiritual physiology, we find six chakras, or energy centers, located along our spine and one at the top of the head. They act as little brains that process and regulate our prana (energy) throughout our physical and subtle bodies.

Energy is stored in our subtle bodies as memories from past lives. Chanting mantras, the language our spirits speak, strengthens our inner energy and increases our chakras’ capacity to hold energy and improve our well-being. 

Karma, mantras, and chakras are all connected, and we will take a closer look at each of these principles and how they work together to transform us.

What is Karma?

Contrary to what most people believe, karma is an empowering concept — not a punishment for something you did in your past life. Karma is all the thoughts, dreams, desires, and actions within us from our past and present lives. Think of karma as simply the law of cause and effect. For example, it is highly likely to break if you throw a glass on the floor. That’s karma.

Karma can be both positive and negative, but your ultimate goal should be to have no karma. When you reach that blessed state, you are released from the wheel of rebirth and transcend this earthly life. Karma is what keeps us alive on Earth.

The 4 Types of Karma

According to Vedic teaching, there are four types of karma:

  • Sanchita karma: caused by the actions from all our past lives. Sanchita karma determines your starting point for the present life and others to follow.
  • Prarabdha karma: caused by the portion of Sanchita karma that comes from actions and decisions made in the present life.
  • Agami karma: caused by present life’s actions that will affect our future incarnation.
  • Kriyamana karma: caused by immediate actions from our present life — it is often referred to as “instant karma.”

How is Karma Stored?

We can compare karma to the baggage we bring when we travel. When we are born, we get Sanchita karma, which is all our past actions and decisions. At birth, a part of the karma goes into our physical body and another part into our subtle body. There might be a remaining portion not meant to be released in this lifetime.

The karma released influences how our brains work and form our personalities. It can also manifest in our physical body, affect our birth situation, influence our habits, beliefs, values, and develop talents and abilities — all of which will be used to work off some of our karma.

It’s important to note that while karma is released when we are born, it can also be triggered by people we meet and the experiences we go through in our lives. 

How to Work Off Karma

Karmas may predetermine our life conditions. Some may think that there’s no way to escape karma or to be free of it, heal from it, but the universe is kinder than we think.

While karma can be forgiven by divine authority or taken by someone else, a mental tool is accessible to everyone: mantras. They work on all types of karma and have the power to heal us from our karmic inheritance and change the course of our life.

What is a Mantra? The Effects of Sound on Our Spiritual Physiology

From the Sanskrit:

Manas (mind) + trai (to protect, to set free from) = mantra (to set free from the mind)

Mantra is like a seed planted with the intention of blossoming into a beautiful perennial. A mantra can be thought of like a tool for energizing the intention, you nurture them with practice and overtime they bear fruit of your intention.

Mantra is the language our subtle body speaks. And since our spiritual physiology influences our physical health, mantras have the power to heal us too.

More and more people are trying to become independent of each other and anything. However, we forget that every element on Earth exerts a gravitational force and energy that, although too weak for us to feel it physically, affects us all the time. 

Pythagoras, the ancient Greece philosopher, studied the spiritual, physical, and emotional effects of sound. He said that beauty and proportion created harmony and noticed the rations between musical notes and the distance between the Earth and other planets in our galaxy were the same. According to his philosophy, nature helps us foster internal harmony, which leads to improved health.

That’s why every school that follows Pythagoras’ philosophy uses music as spiritual medicine — they use certain melodies and instruments to control symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Using Sound to Bring World Peace

There are several other instances where we see how sound affects the mind. For example, John Dee, a Cambridge scholar who lived in England in the sixteenth century, studied the effects of music, rhythm, and spoken word on human consciousness. He believed that when one person combined words and music correctly, they could purify the hearts and minds of those listening to it. 

At one point, Dee and other poets from England and France worked together to develop poetic rhythms that would be used to foster world peace. He believed these sounds could prevent global conflict. Dee had realized that music could change people’s lives and the world around them.

The Caduceus

This ancient healing symbol represents the relationship between body and soul in spiritual physiology. The staff with two entwined snakes and two wings at the top is also known as the staff of Hermes, attributed with the ability to give vital energy to the dead.

The staff symbolizes the central axis of the subtle body and the spine of our physical body. The serpents represent Ida and Pingala, the masculine and feminine currents flowing through the bodies, crisscrossing and meeting at the five chakras along the spine.

Sound can improve our mood and well-being, and since our subtle body extends into our physical body, mantras have an effect that can last past this lifetime.

Nowadays, sound has been used in therapy to address physical, cognitive, emotional, and social challenges. By activating our chakras, and our energy channels, these sounds can release repressed emotions, improve your mood, reduce anxiety, increase self-awareness, reduce stress, decrease negative thoughts, and more.

Understanding our Chakras

In Sanskrit, chakra means wheel, and it’s used to describe our subtle body’s dynamic forces. Our chakras work as mini-brains that process information in our physical body and then distribute energy throughout our physical and subtle bodies. Chakras can hold a set amount of energy, but chanting mantras can help increase their capacity to process energy, improving our well-being.

Chakras’ image resembles the petals of giant sunflowers, each one with a different vibrant color and hues. They correspond to the organs and parts of our physical body they influence. Their energy and intensity depend on our health — the healthier we are, the more vibrant they look.

There are six chakras located along our spine and one on the top of our head. However, there are many others throughout our subtle body — for example, on our hands and feet. In addition, some chakras are only active when we achieve a particular spiritual stage.

Types of Chakras

  • Muladhara chakra – The Base Center

Principle: Earth

Color: Red

It’s located on the base of the spine or the anus. The muladhara chakra governs the energy of elimination.

  • Swadhisthana chakra – The Sexual Center

Principle: Water

Color: Orange

It’s located on the reproductive organs. The Swadhisthana chakra governs the energy of sexual activity, fertility, reproduction, and creativity.

  • Manipura chakra – The Navel Center

Principle: Fire

Color: Yellow

It’s located on the stomach and abdominal organs. The Manipura chakra governs the energy of digestive activities.

  • Anahata Chakra – The Heart Center

Principle: Air

Color: Green

It’s located at the heart. The Anahata chakra governs the energy for circulation and respiration and supports the immune system.

  • Vishuddha chakra – The Throat/Will Center

Principle: Ether

Color: Blue

It’s located at the throat. The Vishuddha chakra governs the energy of speech, and it’s also the will center.

  • Ajna chakra – The Brow Center

Principle: Mind

Color: Indigo

It’s located on the brain and the nervous system, in between and slightly above the eyebrows. It’s also called the third eye.

  • Sahasrarapadma chakra – The Crown Chakra

Principle: Ether

Color: Violet or white

It’s located at the top of the head, and it’s linked to all the other chakras. It represents our connection between the Divine and our higher consciousness

  • Hrit Padma – The Sacred Heart

Principle: Fire, water

Color: Magenta It’s located between the Anahata chakra and the Vishuddha chakra, three fingers below the hearth. Vedic teaching says it’s the seat of the soul. It governs the energy of joy and happiness.

Prana and Kundalini

Each of us has underlying energy that powers our bodies. This energy is called prana and can be considered the manifestation of the energy of the entire universe. 

Prana means breath, and without it flowing up and down through our bodies, we wouldn’t survive, as it maintains the functionality of our body and mind. In addition, as prana flows through us, chakras collect and distribute energy to keep our organs functioning at optimum levels. 

Moreover, prana can be transferred from one person to another through healing practices such as therapeutic massages, acupressure, reiki, and jin shin jyutsy.

However, we also have an energy inside of us that manifests consciousness, growth, and spiritual evolution. Kundalini energy is stagnant energy located at the first chakra, at the base of the spine. Spiritual practices can awaken this energy, which moves up the spinal canal and energizes specific chakras in the subtle body.

That’s when we achieve powerful self-realization — and even healing abilities — and find answers to deep spiritual questions. However, kundalini is not easily awakened. Therefore, a person needs to have constant spiritual practice to prepare their chakras to receive and use the high energy coming from kundalini.

People in the West haven’t been too exposed to kundalini, but they can experience it through daily life experiences such as passion and inspiration from music or a story. Mantras can draw on the ambient energy that is not available to the chakras and tap the powerful energy of kundalini. 

How Mantras Increase Our Spiritual Power

Now that you have some knowledge about chakras and how our subtle body and physical body connect, it’s essential to understand how to use mantras to increase your ability to hold energy and improve your well-being.

Mantras energize our chakras and spirits, activating their functionality. But, if your chakras are blocked, they won’t work correctly. Mantras help clear these blockages and work with specific chakras to attract energy from a dormant feminine power cell in the first chakra. This gives our chakras enough energy to restore our health, improve our life circumstances, and remove karmic conditions hindering our growth.

Powerful vibrations

But the power of mantras lies precisely on the vibrational effect that the syllables convey when they are pronounced repeatedly, not on their meaning. That vibration produces spiritual energy and brings a person to a state of consciousness in seed form. 

The mantra begins to absorb all other vibrations from the surrounding ambient and their energy. We reach perfect harmony with the power and spiritual state represented by the mantra as the sound continues to resonate, ceasing all other vibrations within our bodies.

So it’s safe to say that even if you don’t understand the literal meaning of what you are intoning, mantras work.

Mantras Give Life to Our Chakras

As mentioned before, our chakras resemble a sunflower. The Sanskrit alphabet has fifty letters, each representing one petal of the six chakras. When a person chants a mantra, the corresponding petals vibrate in spiritual resonance, setting off a series of energetic effects that benefit our well-being.

The mantra vibration stimulates the petal, reaching a higher energy state. This creates a ripple effect, and the petals of the chakra vibrate the energy of its corresponding plexus in the physical body. These vibrations stimulate, strengthen, and regulate the energy that heals our physical body.

Think of it like a drooping flower, and as you chant a mantra, the flower begins to gain force and straighten on its stalk. The sunflower has now fully opened and is spinning with lots of energy, providing our physical body with even more vitality.

Mantras and Kundalini

Aside from energizing our chakras, mantras balance the feminine and masculine energies that crisscross our bodies (remember the image of the caduceus?), removing any blockages and allowing kundalini to flow freely through the body. 

The Power of Intent

Chanting mantras increases our chakras’ capacity to hold energy, specifically kundalini energy, which helps us achieve a more profound self-consciousness. 

Mantras are so powerful that we even can direct energy to specific chakras or parts of the body when we focus the vibrations with an intention in mind. The purpose is then carried through the vibrations, producing an effect that attracts what you wish for.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

When our chakras are energized, they can process and distribute more energy to the subtle and physical bodies. While this happens, karma is being burned off. The mantra alters our inner state, physically and spiritually, by generating sound vibrations, affecting energy patterns stored in our subtle bodies.

Prarabdha and sanchita karma are the most common types of karma burned off by mantras.

Mantras: Six Fundamental Truths

Mantras are energy-based sounds

Words have power, but mantras’ power lies in the energy that the sound vibrations produce in the physical and subtle bodies. So even chanting a mantra very softly or pronouncing it in your mind can cleanse your spirit.

Mantras are chakra-based sounds

Sanskrit mantras vibrate to the letters in words chanted, thus energizing our chakras’ petals. These vibrations attract spiritual energy from the environment we are into the person pronouncing the mantra.

Mantras increase our physical and spiritual gain when associated with an intention

The sound vibration combined with the energy of intention and attention increases, strengthens, and directs the mantra’s effect. The intention is carried through our physical body while we chant the mantra, attracting good energy to our subtle body.

Mantras don’t have an exact linguistic translation

It isn’t easy to translate mantras literally. The only way to define what a mantra means is to experience it. Each person will interpret mantras differently based on their experience. They will know the mantra by the effect it produces.

Mantras energize prana

People can achieve self-healing by chanting mantras and concentrating prana on specific organs. For this, they will need to exercise visualization and intention to focus and direct the energy produced by the mantra.

Mantras’ energy can be compared to fire

Like fire can do both good and bad — cook your meals and burn down a home — mantras have the power to evoke energies, and the practice should be treated with respect. There are some mantras formulas, but these are safeguarded, and only the most knowledgeable have access to them.

The mantras we know in the West are safe to use daily as a tool for spiritual and physical healing.

How Mantras Transform Our Consciousness

Human consciousness is a collection of emotional states and experiences distributed throughout our physical and subtle bodies. Each organ in our physical body has a primitive consciousness that allows them to function correctly within its systems. 

Similarly, the subtle body also has states of consciousness that allow it to work when we achieve perfect harmony through the vibrations constrained within the mantra.

The benefits of mastering mantras

As we continue to practice mantra meditation, we achieve a higher consciousness state that allows us to see auras — colored lights that surround individuals. Others can feel a different energy from the hands and feet and feel their intuition much sharper.

At the end of the day mantras help bring simplicity in your life. In such a complex world it is easy to get lost in details. With the mantras you can change your inner state and change your fate too, by empowering your intentions.

The application of this energy will vary from person to person but includes physical healing, changing life conditions, and burning off negative karma. These abilities benefit not only the individual but also those around them.