I spent four months in a yogic immersion course in India. We chanted mantras for an hour every evening and then twice per month we chanted the entire Bhagavad Gita—which took 6 hours to complete. There were well over 100 people chanting together at any given time, and during the final month of the course we had the entire village assembled, chanting together for 8+ hours per day. I’ll tell you: the result of all this chanting was transformative to say the least. The power of vibration is a potent catalyst for change and healing clear down to the cellular level. After each session of chanting I could literally feel that my molecules had transformed and I was a completely different person. The effects were undeniable.
Since my time in India I have maintained that the power of mantra yoga is one of the most potent forms of yoga I have ever learned. After returning home from such a concentrated time of using mantra regularly, I could literally feel that my auric field was fortified and strengthened. In fact, one month after returning home from India I was driving to the first yoga class I would teach since being back when I was in a head-on collision. Immediately on impact, I felt my field push out and offer me a protective shield which probably saved my life. Though the other driver died and my car was totaled, I sustained minimal injuries and broke no bones. It was nothing short of the miracle of mantra yoga, in my opinion.
I have used mantra yoga over and over for various purposes, such as healing, manifestation, stress-relief, preparation for childbirth, and a multitude of other reasons. I have always believed in the power of mantra to change the energy field of the body and even transform the physical body, and science is showing this to be true.
Gregg Braden, former scientist and metaphysical leader in the field of understanding the power of prayer, mantra, and our emotions for healing, conducted a study in a hospital in China where three doctors chose a mantra to concentrate on and repeat together while focusing on a woman with cancer. For only three minutes the doctors and the woman opened to the power of mantra as a prayer for healing and sent the vibration of sound to the site of cancer. In this three-minute period they were able to shrink the tumor to nothing by using the potency of mantra. You can watch this incredible healing on YouTube.
Mantra yoga is one of the various paths of yoga through which one can realize liberation. It is a path in and of itself, meaning that one can realize Nirvana through practicing mantra yoga alone, without any other method. Such is the power of mantra yoga.
It is recommended to work with any mantra daily, 108 times, for at least 40 days in order to really enact change and to both feel and see the effects of this mantra in your life.
By choosing a mantra to focus on regularly, you can experience incredible strides in healing, personal growth, and spiritual enlightenment. Here are a few of my favorite mantras.
The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra
This mantra is known as the great healing mantra and the death-conquering mantra as its repetition is meant to enact and ignite healing on every level of being. It is one of my favorite mantras and one that we used regularly at yoga school, along with a fire ceremony for increasing its potency. Prior to chanting the usual 108 rounds, we would write down and recite the names of people who needed healing (in any area of life) and direct the mantra at them. This mantra can also be used for safe travels and for maintaining health and increasing longevity. It goes like this:
OM Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat
Its translation goes something like this:
“We meditate on the three-eyed reality (one that is opened to us through an awakened third-eye), and that which permeates this reality like the fragrance of a flower. May we be liberated from the bondage of disease and death, for the sake of immortality, just as the cucumber is released from the bondage of the creeping vine.”
This mantra is meant to be one of the incarnations or chants to Lord Shiva in the form of destroying death and disease. Maha means great and Mrityunjaya is the name for Shiva in this form. By chanting this mantra regularly, as even stated (and chanted) by the Dalai Lama, the cause of disease and suffering can be eradicated.
The Lakshmi Mantra for Abundance
OM SHRIM MAHA LAKSHMIYEI SWAHA
Lakshmi is the energy of abundance and prosperity which can be invoked into our experience through the use of this mantra. The word “Shrim” (pronounced SHREEM) is the seed mantra or bija mantra for the principle of abundance in the universe, so the use of this sound alone can invoke prosperity consciousness into your field. By chanting the Lakshmi mantra regularly you are tuning your body koshas and chakras to vibrate with abundance and to attract more of such into your life experiences.
The word Maha means great and Lakshmi is the goddess of abundance. Adding the word Swaha to the end of a mantra is like a salute and helps direct the energy of the mantra through the solar plexus in order to align with one’s personal truth.
Remember that whatever you are chanting about is going to bring change into your life, so it is recommended to be clear in your mind what you would like to see and hold that image clearly in your mind as you use mantra. Do not underestimate the power of mantra and as the old saying goes, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.” With that sentiment in mind, know that mantra practice is powerful, and for example, if you are asking for wealth to come into your life you may have to go through a purging process of all the beliefs and attitudes which have blocked you from abundance in the past. That may look like having to revisit where you have believed in poverty, or where you have experienced poverty consciousness in the past, thereby allowing you to reframe your perspective on the matter and giving you the chance to cleanse lack from your life in all ways. This is not always a smooth and simple process; sometimes it causes a great upheaval in how you have lived and thought. So just remember: practicing mantra is a deep spiritual process, and it will change your life.
OM GUM GANAPATAYEA NAMAHA
Since Ganesha is the energy which represents the removal of obstacles, chanting this mantra clears away blocks which prevent us from accessing something in our lives. It can also be used at the beginning of the day or at the start of any new project in order to remove obstacles which may block the way. Ganesha is also the guardian of the root chakra, so this mantra is helpful in igniting the energy of the kundalini in the body, helping to arouse consciousness to move into all parts of the body and enact change. This mantra is also very grounding and helps to invoke a sense of safety and security and is helpful when looking for a new home or when wanting to feel more present in the body in order to bring healing in.
The translation of the word Ganapathi, which is another name for Ganesha, literally means “the spouse of power,” so by chanting, you are invoking a power within which clears away blocks almost magically. This is especially helpful in order to remove inner conflicts or indecision. The word Gana means group, so Ganesha becomes “the spouse of the group,” helping to powerfully transform and elevate whatever a group of people come together to do. In this way, it is like a prayer where the Holy Spirit is invoked, and the sentiment “where two or more are gathered” is appropriate here.
The Ganesha mantra can also be used directly for healing in order to remove energy blocks in the body and should be chanted for 5-15 minutes daily for 40 days in order to see real tangible results.
Mantra to Release Karma & Suffering in One Life
Another one of my favorite, most powerful mantras is a Buddhist mantra for both releasing and speeding up karma. When I chant this mantra, I can literally feel my DNA unraveling and re-raveling. It is extremely powerful and potent. During a 6-month period in my life where I chanted this mantra every day 108 times I cleared some major heart karma which had been following me around for 13 years. It goes like this:
NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO
The 13th century Buddhist Monk Nicherin awakened to the principle upon which this mantra is based, and this is of the ability we each have to liberate ourselves from suffering. I truly have felt the potency of this mantra in my life.
The word Nam comes from Sanskrit Namas and is common in many mantras in reference to “the name of”—and in this case, in dedication to oneself, since this mantra is not about calling on other deities, but in activating the divine essence inherent in each person.
Myoho is in reference to the Mystic Law that is present for all beings which allows for access and the manifestation of our highest capacities in human form, not over the course of many lifetimes as most spiritual teachings believe, but rather in one life—in this lifetime. It is only mystical because so many people are unaware of this deep spiritual potential lying dormant within them, ready to awaken at any moment.
The word Renge literally means “lotus blossom.” And I love the metaphor here, which stretches beyond the traditional interpretation that the lotus blossom is the potential of each of us to grow up out of the muddy waters, untarnished, and manifest our divine origin. Instead, or rather along with this awareness, is the truth that the lotus flower and lotus fruit actually manifest simultaneously, which is a very rare occurrence for plants. This truth that we too have the potential to manifest the fruits of our labor now, and not wait until another life, or a later time—that cause and effect can happen at once, and therefore the release from the wheel of karma and the cycles of reincarnation which have so long been the “norm” in understanding our spiritual development. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo helps us to jump off that wheel and live our fullest divine expression now, in this lifetime.
Finally, the word Kyo in Chinese character form is representative of a thread. This thread is likened to the weaving of a tapestry, where you need both vertical lines or threads—which are akin to the mystical law upholding our natures, and the horizontal lines/threads, which are the day-to-day acts and mundane tasks that make up the textures and flavor of our experiences. We need to realize the importance of both in order to truly weave a strong and enduring tapestry of life.
I love the potency and personalized tone of this mantra, and it is easy for kids to chant too. I absolutely am overjoyed to hear my littlest one chanting this mantra, knowing the potency of such on a young mind.
There are so many mantras you can choose from in order to potentize your life and deepen your spiritual practice. My recommendation is to try a few of these, or to find another one that you feel particularly drawn to its sound or meaning, and to work with it daily for 40 days. After working with a mantra for this long, you will begin to see the effects it has on your reality and can therefore choose what direction you wish to go from there. One very important element to mantra chanting is to get the intonation correct, so before chanting any of the above mantras or any other chant, listen to the chant on a YouTube recording first. This way you will keep all of the positive effects of the mantra and not compromise its benefits by pronouncing it wrong.
I hope you have been inspired to either dip your toe or dive right in to the power of mantra yoga. I know it has transformed my life immensely, and I trust it will do the same for you, too.