Words are powerful. Words can change our thoughts, our life and reality. Words can restructure our conscious and subconscious thoughts and help us connect with the divine. Sacred words like mantras can help us connect with our inner self and with the universe. Let’s explore the power of sacred and healing words and why you should start chanting mantras.
The vibratory power of sacred words
According to sacred Vedic knowledge, the universe was born out of pure sound. Om (or Aum), the sound of the sacred spiritual symbol, is widely believed to be the sound of creation. “Mantras have their origin from the primordial sound OM which is the sound of creation,” explains a study.
Even NASA claims that 13.8 billion years ago, before any stars or galaxies were formed, our universe was “shook” by sound waves after the Big Bang formed our universe. “As these sound waves propagated through the young universe, they left imprints on the matter and light, much like patterns made by waves on the surface of a pond into which a stone has been dropped,” states NASA.
Om is the original and primordial vibration of our universe through which every other vibration has been born. It has created individual consciousness and enlightened awareness. It is this pure sound that continues to create vibrational energy even at this very moment, forming and birthing each and everything we see, hear, feel and touch.
Vibration exists all over the universe. Everything is alive with vibrations, human, animals, thoughts, emotions and every single matter. Yogic philosophies explain that even divine energy is resonated through vibrations of sacred words and mantras. Chanting mantras empower us to tap into this divine vibratory power by connecting our individual vibrations with that of the universe.
Mantras allow us to connect and unite with divine vibrations as these sacred words purify the deepest part of our soul and mind. The vibratory power of sacred words can help us to release negative thoughts and emotions, like stress, anxiety, depression, anger and jealousy, transform them into positive energy and become our most authentic self.
Related: What Is Spirituality?
The power of mantras
“Mantram” or mantras are potent spiritual words and phonemes which are repeated, either aloud or silently in our mind, to transform our awareness. Chanting mantras is like reciting powerful, compressed formulas that are rich in spiritual meaning. Mantra is a Sanskrit term, an ancient language, where ‘man’ means mind, and ‘tra’ means instrument. Hence, mantras are basically spiritual tools of thought that help us to attain stillness of the mind through meditation.
While most mantras are formed in the ancient language of Sanskrit, they do not belong to any particular religion. Rather Sanskrit mantras can be recited by anyone to connect with their inner self and tap into the cosmic synergy. Sanskrit is often regarded as the ideal language by experts as it connects the wholeness of our universe with the nothingness of our individual selves.
When you create a vibration with the power of mantras, it resonates with the energies of nature and the energies of your body and establishes an interconnectedness with all life forms. Chanting mantras with specific meanings can help you attract divine blessings for that specific purpose, for instance inner peace.
Reciting mantras throughout the day, whether you are meditating, doing menial chores or waiting at the bus stop, can help you overcome mental busyness and let go of negative thoughts and emotions. Mantras, intrinsically a tool for concentration, can help us be more mindful and reach a higher level of peaceful consciousness. The vibratory power of sacred words and their spiritual significance can enrich our lives the more we practice and recite them.
Scientific reason behind chanting mantras
If you are still in doubt how chanting mantras can help you, especially if you are not religious, then let’s look at the science of reciting sacred words. It is believed that mantra chanting creates physical vibrations which lead to the formation of thought-energy waves, and we vibrate according to the vibrational and spiritual energy of the chant.
When we chant certain mantras in a rhythmic pattern, it can have a neuro-linguistic effect, even when we may not understand the exact meaning of the sacred words. As long as you focus on proper pronunciation, punctuation, length, notation, pauses and energy of the mantra and repeat it frequently, you can experience a positive transformation – physical, mental and spiritual.
But are the power of mantras proven scientifically?
Well, one 2019 study claims that just like meditation, chanting mantras can “lead to significant changes in brain activity” and result in positive affective changes. “Religious chanting increases the stability of cardiac activity,” adds the study.
In fact, a positive effect of chanting mantras on the brain has also been observed by researchers. Reciting and meditating on the mantra Om can result in physiological rest and mental alertness. “The mental repetition of Om results in physiological alertness, and increased sensitivity to sensory transmission,” explain the researchers.
Benefits of chanting mantras
Studies have found that prolonged repetitive verbal utterance of mantras is one of the most universal mental practices with “powerful emotional and cognitive impact.” In fact, another fascinating study has observed that chanting mantras can also have a strong positive effect on plants regarding their growth and their efficacy in curing diseases etc.
Researchers also claim that prayers and mantras, regardless of your religion, helps us overcome hardships. One of the benefits of chanting mantras is that it “can partly modulate the tendency of a negative response to difficulties in real life,” states a 2017 study.
Moreover, chanting mantras for meditation can also have beneficial and spiritual effects on us. Mantra-based meditation (MBM) involves continual repetition of syllables or words, either allowed or silently, with or without spiritual/religious content. According to a recent 2022 study, chanting mantras within meditation can help us to –
- Improve attentional and emotional self-regulation through cognitive training
- Redirect negative or intrusive automatic thoughts
- Promote love, kindness, and compassion
- Improve sensorial stimuli
- Increase body movement
- Override mental speech
- Reduce stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and psychopathology
- Decrease burnout and insomnia
- Reduce substance consumption
- Improve mental health
- Promote a state of relaxation
- Improve quality of life
Power of mantras on human consciousness
Chanting mantras can change how we see ourselves by transforming our awareness and consciousness. While Christians have the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer, Muslims have the traditional Sufi chant ‘Allah Hoo’ (Allah hu), and Buddhists chant ‘Om mani padme hum’ or ‘Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō’, in Hinduism, the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ is one of the most powerful spiritual mantras.
No matter what religion you follow or what mantra you chant, the vibratory power of sacred words is undeniable. However, the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ is regarded as a universal prayer.
The power of Gayatri mantra
The gayatri mantra is believed to have been revealed to the sage Vishwamitra and was originally mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit text the Rig Veda. It is also known as the Savitṛ mantra as it is associated with the deity Savitṛ (Sun). This widely venerated Vedic mantra can be chanted as follows –
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat
This highly revered mantra can be roughly translated as –
The Supreme one, who is the physical, astral & causal worlds,
You are the source, the Supreme Being, to be worshiped,
We meditate on the divine light and its sacred truth,
Illuminate our hearts and minds towards freedom and truth.
When you chant the Gayatri mantra repeatedly, it will help you to stay alert and relaxed. It will help to alleviate your fears, anger, anxiety, and bitterness if you keep chanting it whenever you realize such difficult emotions are arising.
It will take your mind into a place of stillness and use your emotions to give you strength and clarity. Recent studies have found that chanting mantras, especially the Gayatri mantra can “support physical and psychological welfare.” Another 2012 study reveals that recitation of the Gayatri mantra improves attention and has a “positive influence on many physiological and psychological functions of the body.”
Harness the power of chanting mantras
According to the Mundaka Upanishad, an ancient Sanskrit Vedic text, “Om is the bow; the soul is the arrow, and Brahman (supreme existence or absolute reality) is the target.” However, this target can only be achieved when someone is righteous or unerring.
Chanting mantras like Om or the Gayatri mantra or any other mantra can allow us to get rid of ego and become one with the absolute. It is only by becoming one with the ‘target’ similar to an arrow, can we actually reach it.
Infinite vibrations and power are derived from this universal sound Om. Silent or loud repetitions of mantras can help you tap into the cosmic vibratory power that exists all throughout the universe. All you need to do is tune your mind’s vibration with that of the universe. Mantra recitation will empower you to connect with a higher power that is greater than yourself. With practice, you will be able to experience the vibratory power of sacred words.
Go ahead. Close your eyes. Calm your mind. And chant Om.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Does chanting mantras really bring about positive changes in a person?
Chanting any mantra for 10 minutes can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also improve your mood & relaxation, increase attention, slow down cognitive decline and enhance brain function.
Can mantra chanting help us get rid of negative thoughts?
Chanting mantras can make the amygdala inactive, which regulates emotions like stress, anxiety and fear. Hence, mantra chanting can help to soothe your nervous system, help you calm down and improve your mood.
Can chanting mantras bring more harm?
If you repeatedly chant negative mantras, affirmations and thought vibrations, whether unconsciously or consciously, it can bring negative effects. However, if you are chanting positive mantras, affirmations, and thought vibrations, unconsciously or consciously, then it can be beneficial.