A mantra is a sound, a word or a phrase, which is repeated inwardly, with a low or high voice, or singing. There are many of them, each with its own frequency, vibration. Yogis use them to meditate, calm the mind or heal.
“Man” means spirit, “tra” liberate.
It is an important part of the yogic tradition, a bit forgotten in the West. Traditionally, it was a very secret part of the practice. The mantras were given by the masters according to the needs of their students.
The most well known is the Om mantra, it is said to be the primordial sound, the one that preceded the creation of the universe. Shall we try ? Close your eyes, take a deep breath by the nose … OOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM … listen, feel … how do you feel?
Whether one is religious, spiritual or not, the sound creates vibrations that spread throughout the body. The effect can therefore not be completely neutral.
My favorite mantra of the moment? Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu: for peace and universal happiness. You will find it here interpreted by the angelic voice of Deva Premal and the enchanting flute of Manose.