Mantra: 108 recitations & Power Mantras
Jaap Malas have 108 beads. They are great to ground a mantra meditation if one is Kinesthetic.

Mantra: 108 recitations & Power Mantras

What is a Mantra?

The Benefits of Reciting Mantras

How to Chant Mantras?

Tips for Meditating

Why are Mantras recited 108 times?

What Mantra Should I Recite?

A list of Mantras to Choose from:

  1. Om Mani Padme Hum or Om Mani Peme Hum: The Buddhist Mantra of Compassion.
  2. Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō: Nichiren Buddhism Mantra to Eradicate Negative karma and bring Joy into one’s Life. { This contains the essence of the Lotus Sutras}
  3. Gayatri Mantra: Hindu Mantra. This Mantra contains the essence of the Vedas.
  4. The Mool Mantra: This Mantra is from Sikhism. It contains the essence of the Guru Granth Sahib.
  5. Wahe Guru Sat Naam. This Mantra is from Sikhism. It is a grounding Mantra.
  6. The Shatangayur Sukta. This Mantra is from Tantric India.
  7. Jaap-Sahib: These Mantras are from Sikhism, an invocation to natural forces for Inner Strength and Fortitude.

What is a Mantra?

Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum. Kuan Yin Mantra.

A Mantra is a phrase or a sound with a vibration that helps unlock the power of the mind. The word mantra is composed of the Sanskrit words “man” which means the mind and “tra” which is the Chariot or mode of transport. A Mantra is composed of sounds or words which when repeated unlock the mind and allow us to access our inner wisdom or the divine light that is available for all of us. How Mantras are viewed depends on the faith that one is from. However, all Mantras have the vibration and the power to unlock our consciousness and also help us achieve a state of meditation.

Mantras are a good form of mental discipline. They need to be repeated regularly, in a manner which one can decide upon. Some Mantras are ritualistic, having their own mode of recitation. Over a period of time when Mantras are recited, they begin a process of transforming the mind, so that we can hold our own inner peace and connect with the divine. By vocalising Mantras we work on certain vibrations that raise our own spiritual selves and bring about peace, even euphoria.

The Benefits of Reciting Mantras

By creating a meditative ritual, using mantras one can make and strengthen a relationship with the divine. The daily use of mantras is an excellent way to ground one’s self on the ever-spinning wheel of life. Mantra repetitions or meditations promote better health by increasing self-awareness. This in turn leads us to be more compassionate to both ourselves and others. As a result, the Mantras help to reduce stress and create a more positive outlook.

When we chant Mantras, be it verbally or silently in the mind, we focus on holding on to that phrase, and constantly keep our mind on it. When the concentration drifts as it does when one has just started the practice, we need to return to chanting, without beating ourselves up about having drifted from the mantra. This leads to an increase in focus and Mindfulness about where we are.

The physical benefits of a holistic practice are also immense. It helps regulate blood pressure and strengthen the heart. Since Mantras reduce chronic stress, they also promote well being by enhancing the immune system. HIV patients have shown an increase in immunity and better mental well being because of the use of Transcendental Meditation as catalogued by the David Lynch Foundation. A study conducted by the U.S.Army stated that Meditation helped veterans with PTSD.

How to Chant?

Decide the Mantra that you want to recite and commit to the recitation of one mantra if you are new to the practice. I usually have 4 or 5 mantras that are my go-to according to the need of the hour.

  1. If possible, find a time of the day set aside for you to recite the mantra. This makes it a ritualistic practice and in time can become an emotional anchor.
  2. Find a comfortable position for you to sit in when you can recite the mantra. If you have a busy lifestyle you can incorporate it into your activities. I usually play mantras in my car, on a busy day so that I can center myself on the go!! I believe that spiritual practice is essential for us to find our core. However, on the days that life doesn’t afford the time, it can still be built into the day.
  3. If you have found somewhere comfortable to sit down at, close your eyes and repeat the mantra.
  4. If your mind strays, be kind to yourself, treat your mind with compassion like you would treat a young and wilful toddler and bring it back to the recitation of the mantra. Do not spiral into worry that you have gotten it wrong.
  5. Start with 5 minutes a day for a week, and then increase the duration to 30 minutes or an hour as the time in hand permits.
  6. Meditation can be quite tedious for some people initially. However, it is worth trying it out for 40 days. This is a practice you will not regret having started.
Singing Bowls , Incense & Mantra
Singing Bowls , Incense & Mantra Recitation.

Tips for Meditating:

  1. If you are focusing on intent, use a positive one. Neuro-Linguistic Programming focuses on changing the language to program the brain. Thus the Meditation should work on the lines of ” I am calm and at peace with myself” instead of “I am not worried”.
  2. I find it a lot easier to meditate to a mantra set to music. To that effect, I am attaching Youtube links for some of my favorites and tested and tried mantras. I love hearing the different ways in which a mantra can be recited.
  3. If you do not like a Mantra, try another one till it resonates with you.
  4. A mala or a beaded necklace could be used to keep the focus and the rhythm. Meditation Malas usually have 108 beads. It is thought that the meditation over 108 beads would give the practitioner time to mull over the meaning, vibration and mantra. Most Mantras are recited 108 times to be effective.
  5. The use of singing bowls and incense can be very useful to ground oneself.
  6. Try and have your daily practice at the same place and at the same time. This gets your unconscious to know you will turn up and makes the practice easier over time.

Why recite a 108 times? What is the Significance?

108 is a Magical number.

mantras and hand in mudras. jaapa bead
Jaap Malas have 108 beads. They are great to ground a mantra meditation if one is Kinesthetic.
  1. Vedic Mathematicians from Ancient India viewed the number as one which encompasses entire creation. It is the God Number.
  2. According to Vedic Astronomy :
  3. The Diameter of the Sun= 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
  4. The Diameter of the Sun times 108 = the distance of the Earth from the Sun.
  5. 108 times the Diameter of the Moon= the distance from the Moon to the Earth.
  6. Vedic Astrology consists of 9 planets and 12 signs of the zodiac which when multiplied make the number 108.
  7. The yogic tradition from ancient India recognizes 108 pithas or sacred sites, throughout India.
  8. There are a total of 108 Upanishads, which were a collection of mystical and religious terms.
  9. There are a total of 108 marma or sacred points in the body.
  10. Eternal spiritual truth as defined in Ancient India assets that there are 108 earth desires, 108 emotions, 108 delusions.
  11. In Vedic Maths, 108= 1 * 2 squared * 3 cube = 1*4*27=108. 108 is also the multiple of the numbers 2,3 and 4. 108 is divisible by the sum of its digits. It is thus called a Harshad Number which means a number of joy.
  12. There are 108 manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The Buddhists, Chinese and Taoists all use a prayer bead of 108 beads.
  13. In yoga, it is said that if a person could breathe just 108 breaths a day, enlightenment would follow.
  14. The Ganges is on longitude 12 degrees and latitude 9 degrees which multiply to get the number 108.
  15. The Sanskrit script consists of 54 alphabets and the alphabets in their masculine and feminine form, the Shiva and the Shakti form a total of 108.
  16. It is said that the human soul which is called Atman has to complete a journey of 108 phases.
  17. Indian Ayurveda science assumes that using a rudraksha mala of 108 beads enhances health.
  18. The Chakras are spinning energy centres in the body. The energy centres are made of energy lines and a total of 108 constitute the heart chakra. One of the energy lines from the 108, also known as the Sushumna connects the heart to the crown chakra. This line is known as the path to self-realisation.

What Sacred Phrase Should I Recite?

Om
Om

The Mantra can be anything that makes you feel grounded. It could be a sound recitation like ‘Aum’ or ‘Om’. It could be something that has a deeper meaning like the Mool Mantra or Om Mani Peme Hum. It could even be a power phase. I pair mantra meditations with my Tarot Cards, So when I am drawing the Four Of Swords regularly, I repeat “one battle at a time”, the Seven of Pentacles is “one day at a time”, and so on… It is possible to pick on a phrase like “I am at peace within and without”, or “Shanti” meaning Peace. One could repeat “I promise to show myself the same love I give to others”, and so on.

  1. Sometimes I choose a Mantra based on the Chakra that I need to focus on.
  2. A Mantra can be chosen from the scriptures. Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh scriptures have a lot of Mantras for different purposes.

I am listing some of the mantras that I have tested and tried for one to choose from. I have always been a sceptic, and the journey to incorporating mantras has been one of belief. My link to any kind of Spirituality began with and still links to the Tarot.

Om Mani Padme Hum or Om Mani Peme Hum

This is from the Buddhist Mantra Meditations.

  1. It is one of the most recited mantras in the world.
  2. This is dedicated to the Goddess Kuan Yin.
  3. The Mantra means that the “Jewel is in the Lotus”. The Lotus is sacred since it grows in the swamp and yet is a symbol of purity, beauty and virtue. This inspires us to live in any surroundings or company and yet keep our morality, humanity and compassion. The Lotus seeds as it blooms and thus is productive all its life. The mantra then translated means that Enlightenment lies in Wisdom.
  4. There are books written about the Mantra. It is said to remove suffering from all Six planes of existence. The variation of the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is Six syllabic. Six is the number of perfection and beauty in Kabbalistic Numerology. It is also the number of the union of the feminine and the masculine thereby encompassing humanity.

Meaning of the Mantra

Om-This is the sound of the Universe. It is as old as the galaxy itself and is a sound that reverberates throughout our cells. Hindu mystics use the Mantra ‘Om’ all by itself.

Ma-This is the task if releasing jealousy and attachment as we do release any desire by the constant repetition of the Mantras.

Ni-This is the sound that builds in patience and increased self-compassion.

Mani-Mani means jewel in Sanskrit. This word helps the shedding of desire.

Pad-This is the sound that causes the mind to release prejudice and judgment over others.

Me-Once Pad is recited to drop judgment, the sound Me then helps to allow consciousness to fill that space and increase concentration.

Padme– This means the Lotus, which in eastern cultures is a sacred flower.

Hum– This helps to release any kind of aggression and hate rate. It thus allows for the growth of inner wisdom.

This mantra, because of its compassion is sacred to the Goddess Kuan Yin.

The Karmic gift for this manta goes to you and twenty-five percent of that benefit goes to the earth. This is why it is the most recited mantra in the world and the Buddhist Monks use it often to pray for all of humanity.

The benefits from the Mantra are as follows:

  1. The soul of the person reciting this can choose to reincarnate in a place where there is virtue.
  2. There will be Dharma or righteous living around the person, and the person shall have access to good guidance and empathetic, kind and evolved souls.
  3. There will be abundance in the individual’s life and there will be access to goodness.

Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō

南無妙法蓮華經

Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō is a Mantra from Nichiren Buddhism. Translated this Mantra means the Glory or Devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra. This Mantra is known as the Daimoku or reverently it is known as the O-Diamoku.

  1. This Mantra was granted to the Buddhist Priest Nichiren atop Mount Kiyosumi on 28 April 1253. The Mantra was then painted and it is revered in the Seichō-ji temple in Kamogawa, Chiba.
  2. Shōdai is the practice of chanting this mantra. The belief is that chanting of this mantra eradicates negative karma from the past and present life.
  3. The practice of Shōdai can lead to enlightenment.

Meaning of the Mantra

The teachings of Buddha are compiled in the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra is presented as Myoho-renge-kyo.

Namu 南無 is a salutation to the divine. It also can mean devotion.

Myō means mystic and not too easy to comprehend.

means law.

Myōhō 妙法 refers to the irreproachable refined precise law

Ren is a reference to the Lotus flower which is sacred in most Eastern Cultures.

Ge means flower.

Kyō 經, means the Sutra or Sacred text.

Renge-kyō 蓮華經 is a reference to the Lotus Sutra.

Benefits of the Mantra

The Lotus is so revered since it blooms and seeds at the same time, and it may be the only flower to do so. This makes it special since it means that one does not have to wait for the cause-effect cycle. By reciting these sutras and mantras one can change their life now, instead of in the future. And that is a powerful message.

Gayatri Mantra

ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्

The Gayatri Mantra is a powerful one containing the Essence of the Vedas. The prayer invokes the divine from which all else arises.

It asserts that despite our differences the soul is one, and there is unity in the divine.

Gayatri is the Mother of all kinds of scriptures and Vedas. She has Five Faces and can be portrayed in nine ways: ‘Om, Bhur, Bhuvah, Swah, Tat, Savitur, Vareñyaṃ, Bhargo, Devasya’.

This Mantra is recorded in the Rig Veda almost 3500 years ago.

Meaning Of The Mantra

Om: The ancient sound which emerged at the creation of the universe.

Bhur: This represents the physical body and the earthy realm.

Bhuvah: This represents the life force and encompasses the mental realm.

Suvah: This represents the soul & spiritual realm.

Tat: This is a reference to God.

Savitur: This represents the Sun God, the revered source of all life on earth, making the Gayatri Mantra a powerful invocation to the Sun.

Vareñyam: Love that is adoration.

Bhargo: This is effulgence or divine light.

Devasya: This is a reference to the supreme Lord

Dhīmahi: The quality of meditation.

Dhiyo: This refers to the intellect.

Yo: May this light.

Nah: This means Our.

Prachodayāt: This means illumine or inspire.

We ruminate on that most venerated Supreme Lord, the originator, whose radiance (spiritual light) brightens all realms (physical, mental and spiritual). May this divine light elucidate our understanding.

Benefits of the Mantra

  1. It Dispels the darkness in our lives and brings about clarity.
  2. The Gayatri Mantra cleanses both the chanter and the listener.
  3. It removes negativity.
  4. It is an invocation to the Sun.

Mool Mantra

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥

The Mool or Mul Mantra was composed by Guru Nanak Dev the First Guru or spiritual teacher of the Sikhs and it means the “Root Mantra”

It contains within it the essence of the Sikh Scriptures as recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib.

This is also the Root Mantra from which all the Mantras in the Kundalini Yoga Tradition arise.

Meaning of The Mantra

Ek Ong Kar There is but One God.

Sat Nam His name is the Truth.

Karta Purkh He is the creator of everything.

Nirbao He is without Fear.

Nirvair He is without prejudice, exclusion or hate.

Akal Moorat He is immortal and without form.

Ajoonee He is beyond the cycle Birth and Death.

Saibhung He is self-existent. There is nothing before or beyond him.

Gur Prasad The Almighty expresses himself through the enlightened being of guru with grace and mercy.

Jap Meditate On the Guru.

Benefits of the Mantra

The vibration of this Mantra, can change your fate and rewrite your destiny since it is the code that consists of the truth of the conception of the universe.

The use of this Mantra brings your soul home to its organization by aligning it with divine purity, grace and abundance.

This mantra helps ground the navel centre which allows you to stand up for yourself and for the underdog. This was an interesting meaning for me too, but Sikhism was and continues to be a religion that stands for the underdog. This mantra gives you the courage to follow your passion and to speak and be grounded in your inner truth.

Wahe Guru Sat Nam

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਨਾਮ

This is an invocation to the almighty. It is a great meditation to ground oneself if there is stress worry or anxiousness, or simply the desire to connect with something greater than the self.

This develops the qualities of the divine that we want in our lives- love, truth and self-assertion and self-confidence.

Jaap Sahib

Sikhism was formed as a military offshoot of Hinduism to stand up for the right to religious freedom. The Sikh Gurus took on the ruling Mughal Dynasty.

The Jaap Sahib is recited while creating the Amrit or Holy Water, by the warriors who stood up to fight for the honour of those too weak to represent themselves.

I have pasted this powerful prayer which is an invocation to nature, in the traditional manner.

This is a Mantra recitation for strength.

The Wish Fulfilling Mantra -Shatangayur Sukta

I had found this Mantra a long time ago. While it is not my go-to wish-fulfilling mantra, I enjoy the rhythm and meter of this.

It is an obscure one coming from Tantra and dwells on the violent destruction of all that is base in our lives.

Om hreem shreem bhreem bhraum bhraim bhrah, hana-hana daga-daga pacha-pacha grihana-grihana, maraya-maraya mardhyaya-mardhyaya , Maha-Maha Bhairava-Bhairava roopainah, dhoonayan-dhoonayan khampaya-khampaya, vignaya-vignaya vishweshara shobhaya-shobhaya, gatu-gatu mohaya oombat swaha

Works cited:

  1. The Origins of Om Mani Padme Hum: A Study of the Karandavyuha Sutra By Alexander Studholme SUNY Press, 1 Feb 2012
  2. The Way to God. Sher Gill. AuthorHouse, 17 Apr 2019.
  3. The Lotus Sutra. translated by Burton Watson. Columbia University Press, 1993
  4. Doing Great with Yoga 108. Kamlesh I. Singh Lulu.com, 1 Sep 2009
  5. Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, by Ravi Nathwani, Kate Vogt, et al. | Aug 11, 2015
  6. Yoga Journal Jun 2007 Published by Active Interest Media, Inc.
  7. The Hidden Power of Gayatri Mantra: Realize Your Full Potential Through Daily Practice.Om Swami. Amazon Digital Services LLC – KDP Print US, 28 Jan 2019
  8. Jaap Sahib – English Translation & Transliteration: Sikhism: Nitnem. Sukan Publishing Universe
  9. International Bibliography of Sikh Studies. Rajwant Singh Chilana. Springer Science & Business Media, 16 Jan 2006
  10. David Lynch Foundation. Reducing stress and anxiety and brightening the outlook of people living with HIV/AIDS.
  11. Nidich S, Mills P, Rainforth M, Heppner P, et al.Non-trauma-focused meditation versus exposure therapy in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2018; 5:12: 975-986. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30384-5

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