How to Chant a Sanskrit Mantra?

Numerous studies show just how powerful it is to build a routine practice of Sanskrit mantra chanting. When you chant a Sanskrit mantra, you can reduce stress, develop better sleep patterns, ease blood pressure issues, and settle your digestion. With all of these benefits, just how do you go about building your Sanskrit mantra chanting practice?

Research a Sanskrit Mantra
It makes perfect sense that, before you start chanting a Sanskrit mantra, you need to choose what Sanskrit mantra you are going to chant. On one hand, this is a very simple concept – choose a word or phrase. At the same time, it is an incredibly complicated task. How do you know which Sanskrit mantra is right for you at the particular stage of your journey?

What Is a Sanskrit Mantra?

The word mantra is a Sanskrit word which means mind-journey. The purpose of the mantra is to meet your mind where it currently is and help it journey to a more focused state. By your very nature, it is hard to see within your own mind. We often are blind to the actual root cause of the challenges and issues we face. That’s why, if at all possible, it’s wise to enlist the help of a mentor or experienced helper in this stage.

An experienced meditator who can understand your situation can help you find just the right word or phrase to work on for this moment in your life. It’s not just about the meaning of the word or phrase. Yes, you might like the concept of a phrase which means “I am serene.” However, the science behind mantra chanting shows that it’s not just the intellectual meaning of the words which is resonating with our body, but also the audio sound of the words along with the physical shaping of the mouth.

All three of these things are key components in how a chant effects our body. As an example, think of how a baby’s sharp shriek affects most people. Human bodies have a reaction to that sound. Then think of how a kitten’s soft purr affects most people. They are two different sounds with two very different impacts. The ‘shape’ of the sounds of a mantra also has different effects on people who hear it.

In terms of the mouth shape, studies find that people who hunch in and pull their arms tight around their body create defensive-oriented thoughts in their mind. People who stand tall and spread their arms high above their head, fingers spread, mouth wide, create strength-oriented thoughts. The very shape we create with our bodies impacts our emotions and thought patterns.So, similarly, the shapes we form with our mouth when we say mantras have an impact on our subconscious.

Choosing a Sanskrit Mantra

An experienced meditator would understand intuitively these three aspects of a chant and be able to guide you through the process of choosing one which fits your specific phase of life. If you are not able to access an experienced meditator, you can still benefit from their knowledge. Do research on commonly used mantras and learn the meaning behind each one. A mantra which is commonly used is one which meditators and mentors have found to have a useful combination of audio sound, facial shapes, and meaning. You’ll at least know that the combination is one that others have found beneficial.

Find three or four mantras which appeal to you on all three levels – how the sounds feel to you
when you hear them, how your face feels when you shape the sounds, and what the underlying message of the Sanskrit word or words mean. Make sure you research the authentic sound of the word or phrase. The same combination of letters can often be said vocally in quite different pronunciations. Since the audio ‘shape’ of the sounds is so key to how a mantra affects our brain, it’s important to get a sense of how a word or phrase was designed to be heard. Once you have your selected mantras, try practicing with each one for a day or two. See how you feel when chanting with that mantra. Does it energize you? Renew you? Relax you? Annoy you? We all react differently to different sounds, mouth shapes, and phrases. Give yourself time to find the one that best suits the place you are currently in your journey.

Chanting the Sanskrit Mantra

Now that you have your Sanskrit mantra – at least the one for this stage in your journey – build it into your practice. Ideally you’ll have a daily practice, but do the best you can. Find a quiet place where you can sit or stand, even just for two minutes. Breathe deeply to center yourself. Draw your focus within. Begin your Sanskrit mantra chant. Focus on the shape of each word. The movement of your mouth. The intention of the word or phrase. When your thoughts drift, gently bring your attention back to the mantra.
When you have finished your Sanskrit mantra chant session, breathe. Nurture gratitude for the time you had available to replenish your inner self.


About Author

Rajul Kaushik

As a result of my journey that spans continents and results in resilience and self-belief, I have navigated my way from self-doubt and social rejection to a senior executive role internationally.

It has been an unconventional path, guided by life’s lessons and invaluable mentors, that has led to key roles at Asian Paints and Ballarpur Industries Limited, and expanded my horizons in international business.

My greatest source of pride? My accomplished children, who embody the values I cherish. My approach is holistic, drawing on a range of methodologies such as Ikigai, Yoga, Mindfulness, Sanskrit Mantra Chanting and Vedic Astrology.

It extends beyond mere problem-solving, emphasizing introspection and forging an authentic path.

Success, I believe, is rooted in attitude, decisions, and meaningful relationships.

I am open to connecting with those seeking personal enrichment, especially within the global Indian diaspora.

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