Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life!

Ganapathi Manatra

5 Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life

By: Mandy Burstein 

Mantras are like medicine for the soul.

When we select a word or series of words to repeat in the form of a mantra, we are affirming it to ourselves and allowing its meaning to seep below the surface, into our subconscious, helping to shift our negative habits and patterns into positive ones.

In my own practice, I have often benefited from the power of mantra. By far, my favorite mantra memory is a powerful transcendence that happened during a workshop with Nicholas Giacomini (aka: MC Yogi) and his wife, Amanda.

They had us think of a challenge we were currently facing and hold it steady in our minds. Over the next hour, they led us through 108 rounds of chanting Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah, a prayer to Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. By the end, the entire room was fired up. A renewed sense of purpose and resolve was sparked in us that day, which comes alive in me again every time I hear this mantra.

As yogis, we have access to Sanskrit, an ancient, highly mathematical, and sacred language….so why not use it?

Sanskrit is considered by some linguists to be the “perfect language,” as its correct pronunciation evokes a unique vibration in the Universe, placing into motion whatever you are trying to manifest through your mantra.

Here are my 5 favorite Sanskrit mantras, with their ancient meanings and how we can adopt them into our modern lives:

1) Mantra:


Translation: The sound of the universe. It’s the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process.

Modern adaptation: Chanting the soundOM brings us into harmonic resonance with the universe – this is a scientific fact!OM is said to vibrate at 432 Hertz, which is the natural musical pitch of the Universe, as opposed to 440 Hertz, which is the frequency of most modern music.

Decreasing your frequency to coincide with that of the Universe stills the fluctuations of the mind, allowing you to practice yoga through sound.OMis an idyllic way to begin and end a yoga or mediation practice, and also comes in handy when you just need to chill out.

2) Mantra:

Om Namah Shivaya

Translation: I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.

Modern adaptation: In the book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is given this mantra by her Guru, which she lovingly refers to as the “Amazing Grace of Sanskrit.” Her interpretation is, “I honor the divinity within myself.” This is a great mantra to help build self-confidence, reminding us that we are all made up of divine energy and should treat ourselves accordingly.

3) Mantra:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all

Modern adaptation: Most commonly associated with theJivamuktiYogaSchool, this mantra is a powerful way to dedicate yourself to living a life of non-harming and being of service to the greater good. This mantra encourages cooperation, compassion and living in harmony with the environment, animals and our fellow human beings.

4) Mantra:

Shanti Mantra 

Om Saha Naavavatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Aavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om

Translation: May the Lord protect and bless us. May he nourish us, giving us strength to work together for the good of humanity. May our learning be brilliant and purposeful. May we never turn against one another.

Modern adaptation: A perfect mantra to start a yoga class, a new day, or even a new business with. It unites the participants and sets a tone of non-competitiveness, unity, and working together towards a common goal.

5) Mantra:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah

Translation: I bow to the elephant-faced deity [Ganesh] who is capable of removing all obstacles. I pray for blessings and protection.”

Modern adaptation:  In Hindu teachings, Ganesh is known as the god of wisdom and success and the destroyer of obstacles. This is my favorite mantra, which I always draw on when I’m facing a big challenge in life and especially when I’m traveling.

With THANKS to:   MindBodyGreenCom

This Blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra

OM Mantra and 7 Methods of Practice

OM Mantra and 7 Methods of Practice
by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

There are many meanings and methods of practicing OM Mantra. Below are seven methods that are very useful and can lead to deep experiences of contemplation and meditation.

OMis a symbol of the deep realities of the universe and the individual human being. It is also a roadmap to Self-realization.


OM symbolizes deep realities: OM Mantra itself is not a mere human invention, going along with particular cultures or groups. Rather, the OM Mantra (or AUM Mantra) is a symbol of deep realities that already exist. For example, the deep vibration quality is definitely experienced by the mystic traveler, whether or not one has ever heard of theOM mantra as such. The levels of gross (A), subtle (U), and causal (M), and the states of waking (A), dreaming (U), and deep sleep (M) are definitely there, regardless of the symbolism captured in the mantra when stated as AUM Mantra. It is these realities that are most useful in our spiritual practices.

Making the experience richer: If theOM mantra is repeated just for the feeling, having no sense of meaning at all, the experience can be quite pleasant, calming, and balancing. However, if one has a sense of the deeper meanings of the mantra, and different methods of using it, then the experience can be even richer and more revealing as one progresses in yoga meditation.

Practice one of the seven: Following are seven meanings and methods of using the mantra. By experimenting with the various methods, one of them may emerge that feels most personally in tune. It might be best to practice only one of the seven methods ofOM mantra for a while. Gradually the other meanings will come, as they all merge into a unified experience.

7 Methods

OMMethod #1. Pulsing repetition
OM Method #2. With the flow of breath
OM Method #3. As the object called universe
OM Method #4. Sound vibration of the universe
OM Method #5. Gross, subtle, and causal planes
OM Method #6. Waking, dreaming, and deep sleep consciousness
OM Method #7. Conscious, unconscious, subconscious mind

Integrate the insights: The use of this mantra can be profound. At first, it is best to use the mantra gently and for short periods of time. The insights from theOM mantra can be significant, and it is good to integrate the insights gradually with daily life.

1. Pulsing Repetition 

Use a speed that is natural and comfortable: There are many rhythms in the body and mind, both gross and subtle. Imagine the sound of OM, rising and falling, at whatever speed is comfortable and natural. It may be very fast, several cycles per second. Or it may be slower, several seconds for each cycling of OM Mantra. Or it might become extremely slow, with the mmmmmm… sound continuing in the mind for much longer periods, but still pulsing at that slow rate.

Imagine it somewhat like one of these vibrations:

  • OMmmOMmmOMmm…
  • OMmmmmOMmmmmOMmmmm…
  • OMmmmmmmmOMmmmmmmmOMmmmmmmm…

Meditation time and daily life: This kind of awareness of theOM mantra can be used both at meditation time and during daily life. TheOM mantra is allowed to be somewhat of a constant companion. It brings a centering, balancing quality to daily life. This does not mean being in a dull, lethargic state. Rather, done well, it brings clarity of mind and a greater ability to be in the world, and selflessly serving others.

Breaking habit patterns: This is not intended as a blocking mechanism to prevent dealing with one’s thought process or with the challenges of life. It is not a method of escapism. However, it definitely can have the effect of bringing focus to the mind, which can break a pattern of disturbing or distracting thoughts coming from the noisy or chattering mind. In this way, one has a greater openness to being aware of positive thoughts and spiritual realities that are always there.

2. With the Flow of Breath 

One method: Imagine the sound of OM Mantra internally, in the mind only, making no external sound. Allow the mantra to flow with the breath. Repeat like this:

  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “OMmmmmmmm…”
  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “OMmmmmmmm…”
  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “OMmmmmmmm…”

Another method: Alternatively, imagine theOM mantra only on exhalation, if that feels more comfortable:

  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “      (silence)     
  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “      (silence)     
  • Exhale: “OMmmmmmmm…” Inhale: “      (silence)     

Mind, breath, and mantra in unison: In this practice, you come to experience the mind, breath, and mantra flowing in unison. This synchronization has a beautiful effect on meditation. Simply allow the OM Mantra to come and go with each inhalation and exhalation. Allow there to be no gap, no space, no pause between inhalation and exhalation, or between exhalation and inhalation.

The speed naturally slows: As you gently allow theOM mantra to flow with the breath, the mind becomes calm. When the mind becomes calm, the body relaxes, and the breath becomes even soother and slower. That rate of speed at which theOM mantra is being repeated naturally slows down. It is not a matter of forcing the mantra to slow, but rather, this slowing comes quite naturally. Allow the mind to stay wide awake and alert, as theOM mantra and breath become naturally slower and slower. Meditation will deepen.

3. As the Object Called Universe

Words have an object and meaning: Words usually have a corresponding object and meaning to go with that word. If you hear the word chair, then the concept of chair-ness arises in your mind. Some specific chair will probably come to mind. It may be a wooden chair or a metal chair, for example. It may be large, small, or this or that style, and it may be new or old. So, three things are there: 1) the word chair, 2) the concept of chair-ness, and 3) a specific chair.

The object that goes with OM is the universe: When the word OM is heard, what is the concept and object that comes to mind? What is that thing that goes along with that word, OM? The concept that goes with OM is the one-ness or entirety of the universe. The object that goes with the word OM is the entire universe, as a single unit, including the gross, subtle, causal planes of reality, both manifest and un-manifest. It means that whole, as if it was one, single object. It is that infinitely huge object, which is the object that goes with the word OM.

Awareness expands to contain the object: With attention turned inward, and reflecting on chair, the concept and image of chair arises. In the same way, do the same thing with the word OM, and allow your awareness to expand, as if it could contain the whole universe to go with that word.

Stretching the attention: There is a feeling of stretching, as if the attention had to get bigger and bigger, to contain the whole, the same way as the chair has a back, a seat, and legs, yet is collectively a chair. Continue to repeat OM, and continue to expand, so as to allow your attention to contain the whole of the object called OM.

4. Sound Vibration of the Universe

The subtle sound is always there: A vibration exists, underneath all of the grosser aspects of being, like a substratum. The subtle sound of OM Mantra is constantly there, and when heard in deep yoga meditation, sounds like a continuous vibration, ever sounding out mmmmmmm…. At a deeper level, it is extremely loud and serene.

  • Emerging from OM: The reality symbolized by OM Mantra is the ground vibration out of which all other vibrations, sounds and mantras emerge.
  • Receding into OM: That vibration represented by OM Mantra is the substratum into which all those vibrations, sounds, and mantras recede when followed back to their source.

Similar words: Some say that this everlasting, all pervasive vibration of OM Mantra is also the source and intent of Amen, Amin, and Shalom. Some say that this sound is the Word of God.

Silence from which OM emerges: Eventually, this leads to a deep stillness and silence, which paradoxically, is experienced as the silence from which the sound of OM itself emerged. In the sections below, the silence is described as being the fourth state, beyond the three sounds of A, U, and M, which are contained in OM Mantra. However, in this practice, as you internally repeat the sound of OM, imagine that underlying vibration of the universe, as if it were coming from all places, and through all things.

Listen to the vibration while remembering OM: There is a sound that can relatively easily be heard in your ears that is more surface level, coming from the brain. Some people experience this as a buzzing or ringing sound. By listening closely, the mmmmmmm… sound can be heard, like the end of the OM mantra (Or you might hear it as eeeeeeeee….) Listening to this vibration, with the awareness ofOM is a good way to start with the vibration aspect of OM. Gradually, it will expand to deeper sound of the mantra. Listening in this way can be particularly enjoyable and insightful when recalling some of the other meanings of OM Mantra at the same time.

Allowing thoughts to come and go: While listening, it is best to gently allow other thought patterns to come into the field of attention, and then allow those thoughts to drift away. There is not really any intent of doing anything with these thoughts, either engaging them or pushing them away. In other words, the listening forOM is not used to suppress thoughts and emotions. Rather, attention is allowed to expand, but at the same time, non-attachment is learned by staying with the vibration, and letting go of the thought patterns. This is one way to gain access to the ability to be a neutral witness of the stream of thoughts in the mind, as is sometime described as being like watching leaves, sticks, and logs floating by in a river.

5. Gross, Subtle, and Causal Planes

Remembering four planes with OM: TheOM mantra designates the whole of the universe, including the gross, subtle, and causal planes (realms, or levels) and the absolute reality of which they are a part. The explanation below can sound a bit technical, but this truly is a very practical use of the mantra, once you understand the meaning. It does require working with the mantra and the meaning, but then it becomes clearer and quite insightful.

Four parts of OM: The OM Mantra has four parts. First, is the sound like “Ah,” then “Uuuu,” then “Mmmm,” and finally the silence beyond the mantra. Thus, the mantra is also written as AUM, as well asOM. The three sounds, and the silence have the following meanings:

  1. The A sound refers to the gross world.
  2. The U part refers to the subtle realm.
  3. The M refers to the causal plane, out of which the gross and subtle emerge.
  4. The Silence after these three, refers to the absolute reality that is the substratum for each of the other three realities.

Start slowly in remembering the parts: When using the mantra in this way, it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly, allowing time to be aware of each of the levels. Be aware of the four parts of the mantra separately (though forming a continuous sound), something like this:


  1. When the “A” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the gross world, including the objects of the world, the people, and your own physical being. Actually allow your attention to scan these aspects of the world. Do not get caught up in these objects; just be aware of this level of reality, and then let go of it, so as to go beyond.
  2. When the “U” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware, as best you can of the existence of the subtle or astral realm, including whatever objects you might intuit. As with the gross world, do not get caught up in these objects; just be aware of this level of reality, and then let go of it, so as to go beyond.
  3. When the “M” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the causal, the background stillness out of which the subtle and gross emerge, and into which they rest when not active. This can be difficult to imagine. It might help to think of it like being the canvas on which a picture is painted, or the screen on which a movie is projected.
  4. When the Silence comes to the mind field, be aware of the absolute reality that permeates each of the other three layers. This fourth level of the mantra the absolute reality, is experienced in a shallow way at first, and only deepens with continued practice of contemplation and yoga meditation.

6. Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep

Four states of consciousness: The four parts of AUM also refer to the levels of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, as well. The three sounds, and the silence have the following meanings:

  1. The “A” sound refers to the waking state of consciousness.
  2. The “U” part refers to the dreaming state of consciousness.
  3. The “M” refers to the deep sleep state of consciousness.
  4. The Silence after these three, refers to the witness consciousness that is observer of the other three states of consciousness.

The question can arise of why a spiritual seeker cares about the states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. It is said that the states of deep sleep, samadhi, and death are very close together, that they function at the same levels.

Begin by remembering slowly: As in the last practice, it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly, allowing yourself time to be aware of each of the levels. With practice, it moves more quickly, as attention longs to rest in the silence.

  1. When the “A” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the waking state of consciousness. This does not mean thinking of the objects of the world, but rather, being mindful of your personal waking state, in relation to the world and your inner mental and emotional process. This simply means being aware of being awake.
  2. When the “U” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the dreaming state of consciousness. This does not necessarily mean that you are experiencing those dreams, but that you are mindful of the dream state that is beneath the waking state.
  3. When the “M” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the deep sleep state of consciousness. Be aware of how the mind is in complete stillness in that state, where there is no active thought process, no images, no pictures, and no words. All of these have come to rest in a dormant, formless form.
  4. When the Silence comes to the mind field, be aware of the consciousness that permeates all of the other three states of consciousness. In other words, consciousness flows through the waking state, the dreaming state, and even the deep sleep state (although there is no active content in deep sleep). Imagine that you can somehow be witness to waking, dreaming, and deep sleep from a higher vantage point that is aware of all.

Focusing more inwardly: When using the OM mantra in this way, notice how very personal the practice is, in that you are consciously cultivating awareness of the levels of your own internal states. It has an in here focus. By contrast, the use of OM with the levels of gross, subtle, causal, and absolute reality (above) has more of a focus out there. Ultimately, they merge into one awareness.

7. Conscious, Unconscious, Subconscious Mind

Levels of consciousness: The four parts of AUM also refer to the levels of conscious, unconscious, and subconscious, as well as the consciousness that permeates these. (Note that some psychologies or systems use the words unconscious and subconscious in reverse, or use different terms. The meaning is what is important, not the particular choice of words). The three sounds, and the silence have the following meanings:

  1. The “A” sound refers to the conscious level of mental functioning.
  2. The “U” part refers to the unconscious level of mind.
  3. The “M” refers to the subconscious level, the storage place of mind.
  4. The Silence after these three, refers to the pure consciousness, which permeates the conscious, unconscious, and subconscious levels of awareness.

Begin slowly: Once again, it is easiest to begin by remembering the mantra very slowly. With practice, it moves more quickly, as attention longs to rest in the silence.

  1. When the “A” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the conscious level of mind. The easiest way to do this, is to contrast conscious to the unconscious. There is the conscious, that we are aware of here, in this external world, and there is the unconscious that is not seen in the deeper mind.
  2. When the “U” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware, as best you can, that your mind is presently functioning at an unconscious level as well. There is a tremendous amount of thinking process normally going on, that is out of view. This is what psychologists call primary process. It is going on behind the scenes, much like the microprocessor in a computer that is invisibly doing its work.
  3. When the “M” of OM mantra arises in the mind field, be aware of the latent part of the mind, where all of the countless memories of people, objects, and day to day information is stored. It is there, like the information stored on a hard disk of a computer. Until it is needed, it just sits there in a latent, dormant form (It is actually in a formless form, somewhat like the data on the hard disk that is stored only as raw data, with no images as such). Be aware of that stillness, that is the storage of your deep impressions and habit patterns.
  4. When the Silence comes to the mind field, be aware of the consciousness that permeates all of the other three levels. In other words, consciousness flows through the unconscious functioning. Consciousness is there in the latent part of the mind, even though those objects are not awakened into action at the moment. Eventually, this Silence expands to being the awareness of the other three states. It is at this stage that one is called a Seer, in that all of the other levels of mind are witnessed from this vantage point.

Integration of the Practices

Three methods from same levels: Gradually, one comes to see that the last three methods of using AUM (above) are manifestations of the same levels of being. Notice how the “A” represents, Waking, Conscious, and Gross levels. The “U” represents Dreaming, Unconscious, and Subtle levels. The “M” represents Deep Sleep, Subconscious and Causal. The Silence represents the fourth state, which is above or higher than the other three.


Name of level

States of

Levels of

Levels of













Deep Sleep




Turiya /

Turiya /

Consciousness /
Self / Atman


The one great vibration: One comes to experience that the four aspects of AUM, the vibration of the universe, the object that goes with OM mantra, the flow with the breath, and the countless pulsings of the gross and subtle, are all manifestations of that one great vibration that is represented by OM mantra.

Tripura: Maha Tripura Sundari, the great, beautiful one, essence, consciousness, or reality that dwells in the three “cities” (tri-pura, or three cities including: gross, subtle, causal; waking, dreaming, sleeping; conscious, unconscious, subconscious).

Unity of the methods: In practicing the seven methods above, it is best to focus on one at a time, so as to capture its individual meaning and experience. Eventually, the unity of the methods is experienced.

With THANKS to

This blog is maintained by: Miracle Yantra