Are there Hindu mantras to learn

Don't worry - sing! 7 yoga mantras for all situations

My friends and everyone who knows me know: I love to sing. I'm not exactly musically gifted, but that has never stopped me from singing my favorite songs in front of me - not always to the delight of those around me.

But practice reciting a mantra before, during or after yoga? I was pretty skeptical about that. I still remember the first time I sat in a yoga class and at the end OM sang. Everyone sat cross-legged around me, eyes closed, hands in front of their chests, and sang along with fervor.

Even as a child I didn't want to sing hymns and now I'm supposed to have a mantra in yoga class chant?

I sat there, completely irritated and embarrassed. I felt downright hypocritical. I had never been particularly religious, nor had I had much to do with spirituality. At the beginning of my yoga practice I was reluctant to chant mantras and speak the Om. I kept asking myself:

What is this OM anyway? And most importantly, what does that have to do with me?

Imposing something on me that does not agree with my own views goes against the grain. I am a very curious and open person - and would like to have the freedom to question everything and learn something new over and over again.

The longer I practiced yoga, the more familiar I became with the mantraOM and it was just part of it.

I learned that chanting and reciting mantras is not about advocating certain dogmas. In the meantime I practice yoga regularly in combination with mantras, either I sing them, say them quietly for myself, or use them for meditation.

What is a mantra and what is it chanted for?

Most of the mantras are written in Sanskrit. They are sentences, verses or words that are often repeated silently during meditation or sung in a group. Traditionally, they are passed on from the teacher to the student.

Even the wise men in ancient India knew about the powerful effects of mantras. The even repetition is supposed to put the mind in a trance-like, meditative state. At the same time, mantras should help you focus your mind and dissolve negative thought patterns. Actually, they work in a similar way to a life motto or a hymn.

Timon and Pumba already sang about their philosophy of life Hakuna Matata.

The difference between the life motto and mantras is that there are different mantras for every situation in life. Depending on what feelings are preoccupying you or what thoughts are on your mind and what kind of energy you want to tap into, you can use the different mantras for yourself.

These seven mantras accompany me through my life:

OM

Every yogi knows this sacred syllable and it is probably the most important mantra outside of pure yoga philosophy. Om is the symbol of the divine and its sound stands for the primordial sound of the universe. It is made up of three letters: A, U and M: Each of these letters stands for a universal state.

OM reminds us of the trinity of past, present and future.

Simply translated it means Everything that was, what is and what will be: Chanting the mantra helps us especially when we are restless, wondering about the future or ponder forever about a past situation. OM helps us to find inner peace and to center ourselves. The vibrations of this mantra can be felt throughout the body. In yoga lessons, the mantra often sets the framework for an hour: You get in the mood together and create harmony within the group and you close the circle with it at the end.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my words, deeds and thoughts contribute in any way to the happiness and freedom of all.This mantra stands for peace, harmony and happiness. It is a blessing that should evoke benevolence and love in us. Time to think big! The mantra stands for nothing less than world peace.

We're all connected!

Did you have an argument with a good friend and are really angry? Then this can do you Lokah Samastah - Calm the mantra and it will help you to focus on your positive energy. Because we are all connected to each other and should give each other love and happiness. In addition, the mantra reminds us that not only our actions but also what we think have an impact on all other living beings. Is there anywhere you can find more understanding for those around you? Can you send blessings to people who think differently?

So ham

So Ham is the mantra for more self-love and mindfulness! It means something like That is me and should bring us closer to the connection of our consciousness with the world. The mantra works particularly well as a meditative practice together with breathing. You hum when you inhale Sowhen you breathe out you hum Ham.

I'm me! I am enough!

In times of social media and mass consumption, the motto is always: faster, better, further forward. You can easily lose touch with yourself. It is not always easy to distance yourself from the environment and to stay with yourself. When everything becomes too much for me, I pause for a moment and quietly repeat the mantra to myself. Because you are not your thoughts or your feelings. We are much more than our performance and our outer shell. You are you and it is enough!

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave

“Om Namah Shivaya Gurave. Saccidananda Murtaye. Nish prapanchaya Shantaya. Niralambaya Tejase ”

Om Namah Shivaya .. is often used at the beginning of an Anusara yoga class. Following the ideals of the Anusara style, it should appeal to our innermost being: I bow to the light, the good in me, the True Teacher. This inner essence is truth, awareness and happiness at the same time. Always there and filled with peace. Is naturally free and shines with an unearthly glow - unbelievable.

listen to your heart

Making decisions has never been my forte. If I lack the courage to trust my intuition and my strengths, I will sing this mantra! Especially when you feel insecure, this mantra can strengthen you not to bury your head in the sand, but to stand up for yourself courageously.

Ra Ma Da Sa

The healing mantra comes from Kundalini Yoga according to Yogi Bhajan. In this order, the four syllables stand for the sun, the moon, the earth and infinity. You can use it for your own healing or use it in thoughts of a loved one.

Overcome negative thought patterns and stay positive

The frequent repetition of the mantra has a balancing effect on negative thoughts and can break old habits. We can help with depression or sad experiences in particular Ra Ma Da Sa draw positive life energy.

Hare Krishna

This mantra is also called the Maha mantra, so Great mantra, denotes and is one of the most famous mantras. In Hinduism, three manifestations of Vishnu are sung about with this - Hari, Krishna and Rama: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

For more liveliness and lightness

To sing about Krishna - the God of joy, love and wisdom - makes Hare Krishna to a very life-affirming mantra. It should bring peace and love between people. It is with this joy and devotion that you can let go of difficulties in life more easily and accept them.

Guru mantra

The full guru mantra is: Gurur Brahmā Gurur Vishnur Gurur Devo Maheshvarah;Guruh Sākshāt Param Brahma Tasmai Śrī Gurave Namah.

The word guru meansremove the darkness and thus stands for enlightenment. The mantra is supposed to show us that the Guru is part of our life: Guru is creation (Brahmā), conservation (Vishnu), destruction and change (Maheshvarah = Shiva). There is a guru close to us (Guru Sakshat) and a guru who is unlimited in space and time (Param Brahma). I dedicate everything (Tasmai) the wonderful (Shri) Eliminate my darkness and my ignorance (guru); I bow to you and give you my life (Namah). 

You are part of a whole.

This is the idea behind the mantra: A guru is not just an old Indian man or something unearthly that guides you through your life, but you are part of it and you should also be your own guru! With the mantra you not only honor the divine (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) in the world, but you honor yourself as a part of it. A teacher is in everything that you encounter on your way. Singing the mantra can help you face your challenges in life and grow with them.

Well, did you feel like singing mantra?

The nice thing about mantra reciting is that you can practice it by yourself at home. You don't have to sing it, nor do you necessarily need music to go with it! Just make yourself comfortable at home, sit on a blanket and start saying the syllables of your chosen mantra out loud. You can repeat the words as many times as you want, at your own pace and volume. Your rhythm arises by itself without any guidelines.

Don't worry too much about whether you are pronouncing each syllable correctly. Much more important than the thinking part of ourselves is to get into feeling and to practice devotion.

If you'd rather have some background music for your singing, I have linked a version of the mantra to you on Spotify in the text. But there are endless ways to chant these mantras.

Kirtan concerts and podcast

Should you ever feel like singing mantras in a group, then take a look at Yoga Vidya. In most Vidya centers, too Satsang offered, mantras are also chanted there. There is also a podcast where you can listen to recordings of Kirtan concerts from Bad Meinberg, if there is no Yoga Vidya center near you.

Our guest author Moritz Ulrich is also a gifted mantra singer. On Sundays at 6:30 p.m. there is always free Satsang with singing at Peace Yoga Berlin. Stop by!

Kirtan concerts in Berlin

At Kirtan Berlin you will not only find beautiful videos and interpretations of various mantras, but you can also keep an eye out for concerts and events in Berlin!

I hope that I could bring you closer to mantra chanting.

Maybe you will find your personal favorite mantra underneath!

Do you know other beautiful mantras? Or is there going to be a great kirtan concert soon? I look forward to your tips and comments!

Lots of love, Valerie

Photo © Araí Moleri

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