Basic Hindu mantras
Here I am going to give some basic Hindu mantras to main Hinduism deities. It may sound very basic and known to everyone to more experienced practitioners of Hinduism or born in India, yet a terra incognita to many westerners. So, if you already know all mantras, you can leave here and go to practice, for others it may be worth to read on.
I am myself western grown white men and my first mantra books some twenty years ago, when almost nobody knew anything about it and there was not even internet, were a real discovery of treasures. You can think this or that, think good or bad, believe this or that, but when you are down, troubled, sick or in problems – all of that will give you very little, if ever, relieve. Mantras are what make the difference. Mantras will give you the necessary aid, harmony, peace of mind and energy to overcome and eventually a love to God, Devas and meaning of life.
I know, the image of religions is very tainted in our Age, in the western world and around the world. People living in the inner divine bliss and people knowing almost nothing about it will hardly understand each other. The difference is probably their experience. Mantra is what can bring this experience.
People are often searching for experience. If we speak about Hinduism – the word yoga has gained a wide popularity in the west in last decades. However, not too many people in the west take time to realize, that yoga is a name for a practice of Hinduism or in other name – when we think what actually is Hinduism – most people and state organizations agree that it is Religion. And Hatha Yoga – or gymnastic postures - now wide spread in the west – is one of the forms of religious practice. The lowest one, because the most physical and most rooted in the transitional world, but practiced accordingly can bring a little more healthy and prolonged life. But practicing only physical exercises it is easy to lose the goal behind clouds. And the absolute goal of yoga is an absolute union with God or Divine. The union with divine traditionally can be reached most successfully with such methods as limitless love to divine and humanity, mantras and hymns to God, contemplation about Divine, selfless service to God and man and finally prostrations to God. While in the west there are many speculations about the word of yoga, like Hot Yoga, Yoga Science, yoga this and yoga that, which often is done due to marketing and commercial reasons and often doesn’t have much in common with yoga actually, according to traditional classification and Vedic scriptures there are generally five types of yoga, which includes Bhakti Yoga or yoga of love to God, Raja Yoga or contemplation about God, Jñana Yoga or yoga of wisdom and knowledge about God, Karma Yoga or selfless service to God and humanity and finally Hatha Yoga or prostrations and other postures to God.
So, there are five major yogas. We have heard from scriptures that in the history have been times, when the lifespan of people was like thousand years, everyone was living in a great abundance and religious teachings were flourishing. People had time to practice all five yogas and reach the highest realizations and unity with God. Does it sound like about us? Well, in our times the lifespan of people is short, we don’t know what will bring tomorrow for us, we don’t know when we will die and most people are poor and have to spend most time in worldly activities, so we have to make priorities.
Love is one of the most universal priorities possible, and so are mantras, which bring it to us. The one may be not very clever or educated, may be not in a very good physical shape to perform all postures, one may not have a teacher near them or pay for classes or travel. Yet, almost everyone can chant mantras, have love and harmony and be happy. You always have a mind to work with. And Mind is not only brains, but what perceives the world and yourself, what makes you alive or dead.
Religion can be the greatest joy, adventure and happiness and it is often sad to deal with people who don’t have such experience, who tend to use different religious elements for commercial reasons, who tend to see religion as restrictions or organizations. And now to the meat. While Hinduism has collected thousands of effective mantras and hymns, in this article I am going to introduce you with the most popular.
Also, I have to warn that Hinduism mantras are not the same thing as Buddhist mantras you may find elsewhere. They work differently and use different energy channels in the body and although both approaches may be good, mixing is strongly not recommended, at least not in the same session. It is much like with language. While there may be several beautiful languages, mixing them might bring something poor.
1. Shiva mantra :
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
“Om Homage to Lord Shiva”
Devata of mantra – Shiva. Very ancient and powerful mantra, removes all negative influences and brings inner and outer harmony. Give ability to keep mind silent and calm. Bring intuitive knowledge, fearlessness, stamina, asceticism and great confidence in practice. Protect from evil influences and bad karma.
2. Ganesh mantras:
OM SHRI GANESHAYA NAMAHA
(Om Homage to Ganesha)
OM GUM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA
Devata of mantra: Ganesha – Deva with a head of elephant, son of Shiva, known as ruler over heavenly armies of spirits and who brings good fortune, luck and knowledge. Patron of literature, arts and commercial activities. Gives perfection in intellectual work and right perception and knowledge of people, conceptions, what is real and what illusions.
3. OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA
(“Om Homage to all-pervading transcendental consciousness”)
Devata – Krishna, one of his names.
Qualities: Brings spiritual enlightenment, self-realization, awareness about ultimate values, divine bliss, success in all beginnings.
4. HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
(“Glory to Krishna, Glory to Rama”)
- The famous in the western world Hindu sanskrit mantra, brought to the west by Shrila Prabhupada in the 60’s and sung by the Beatles and many devotees around the world and considered by certain groups the supreme. Is it really supreme for you or not, a very nice mantra indeed among many others Dedicated to the glory of Krishna and Rama, who both are considered avatars or embodiments of great God Vishnu in a human form. Brings many many spiritual benefits. Takes away all worries, brings joy, harmony and energy. Gives clear mind, purifies heart from negativities and sins, gives intelligence. Eliminates confusion and evil, removes sorrows and sufferings. Brings light and love to everything. Have a number of Ayurvedic effects, especially for heart diseases and frees from drug-dependency among other things.
5. OM SHRI KRISHNAYA NAMAHA
(Om Homage to shri Krishna)
One more mantra to Krishna, the embodiment of Vishnu. Mantra helps to acquire happiness and success in all material and spiritual matters. Gives wisdom, joy, self-awareness and purity.
6. OM SHRI KRISHNAYA GOVINDAYA
GOPIJANA VALLABHAYA NAMAHA
- Mantra mentions several names of Krishna, brings joy, love, light, wisdom, purity, intelligence, spiritual realization, harmony and happiness. Very beneficial for a joyful mood. Harmonizes all health energies.
7. OM NAMO NARAYANAYA
(Homage to Narayana)
Narayana is a name of Vishnu. Mantra gives love to all existing, limitless power, fame, wisdom and liberation. Gives powers to overcome all obstacles arisen as an outcome of selfishness and confusion. Frees from a pride. Brings joy through awareness of absolute truth. Makes water “alive” or healing can be chanted while bathing.
8. OM SHRI RAMAYA NAMAHA
(Om Homage to Rama)
Rama – an avatar of god Vishnu, believed to be a divine ruler in very ancient times. His adventures have been described in Vedic scriptures Ramayana. His mantra gives spiritual powers, success in worldly matters, relieves from diseases, brings perfection. Helps in sorrows.
9. OM SHRI DURGAYAY NAMAHA
(Om Homage to Durga)
- Mantra dedicated to goddess Durga, removes evil influences, protects against dark disturbing forces, removes obstacles. Eliminates apathy, selfishness, gives power. Very popular among unmarried girls, among other things.
10. OM SHRI KALIKAYAI NAMAHA
- Mantra of black goddess Kali, she takes care of her devotees as a loving mother for her child. Protects from evil psychic influences. Destroys wrong inclinations, brings fearlessness and powers to overcome confusion. Believed to be giving magic powers and drinking blood of demons. Take care!
11. OM SHRI HANUMATE NAMAHA
(Om Homage to Hanuman)
- You probably remember the monkey-men, servant of Lord Rama, the son of Sun-god – Hanuman! His mantra gives strength, energy of life, ability to overcome fears, difficulties, gives power over emotions. This mantra may help in very critical situations.
12. OM SHRI KARTIKEYAYA NAMAHA
- Mantra to Kartikeya or Murugan, son of Shiva, heavenly warrior. Gives strength, might, victory in fights, fame, qualities of a leader, manliness, skills.
13. OM SHRI SKANDAYA NAMAHA
- Yet another name of Murugan. Gives fame, decisiveness, courage, victory and success in struggles, liberates from bad karma.
14. OM SHRI MAHA LAKSHMIYAI NAMAHA
- Mantra of Lakshmi Devi – goddess of good fortune and happiness. Gives all kinds of success, both spiritual and material. Bring harmony to a family. Gives abundance, health, wisdom, compassion, non-violence, virtue, self-knowledge and intelligence. Heavenly spouse of Lord Vishnu.
15. OM SHRI MAHA SARASWATIYAI NAMAHA
OM AEEM SARASWATIYAI NAMAHA
Mantra of goddess Saraswati – patroness of arts, knowledge, learning and eloquence. Her mantra gives all kinds of creativeness, true knowledge and intelligence, intuition, love, beauty, self-control, harmony and so on. It is repeated before giving lectures, performances, writing. Not to be confused with the river with the same name in India
16. JAYA JAYA SHRI NRISIMHA
HRIM KSHRAUM HRIM
- Mantras of Lord Nrisimha – the avatar (embodiment) of Lord Vishnu in ancient times, similar to Krishna, but with a Lion head (simha – lion). A very protective mantra, protects against all psychic influences, fears, etc. Brings the help of a lion.
17. OM UGRAM VIRAM MAHAVISHNUM JVALANTAM
VISHWATOMUKHAM NRISIMHAM BHISHANA
BHADRAM MRITYUMRITYUM NAMAMYAHAM
- Once again – a very poverful mantra-prayer to Lord Nrisimha, helps and protects from all dangers, problems and evil influences.
18. OM TRYAMBAKAM YAJAMAHE
SUGANDHIM PUSHTI VARDHANAM
MRITYOR MUKSHIYA MAMRITAT
- Considered a very powerful health mantra, a prayer to Lord Shiva from Rigveda. Should be of some worth if kept so long!
1 and 8 gives a very good number 9. We have exactly 9 planets in the universe and I am going to finish for now! Be good, practice mantras and tell me which one is the supreme for you!
P.S.If you are interested in Hindu mantras and sacred texts, you may look also in my collection of Hindu stotras and mantras under Scriptures.