3 Powerful Mantras and What They Mean

Written by Claire Austen.

Did you know the idea of a "mantra" is actually hundreds of thousands of years old? Mantras were first written about in the ancient Vedic scriptures as old as 1000 BCE. A mantra is simply a word, collection of words or sounds that is repeated as a means of attaining positive change in one's life.

There are thousands of different mantras, all with different meanings and purposes. I'd like to share three very powerful mantras with you today:


"Om mani padme hum"

It is difficult if not impossible to accurately translate om mani padme hum. However, a very rough translation may be "Behold! The Jewel In the Lotus!"

The translation and meaning of this mantra is not actually important. All mantras work on a vibrational and collectively historic level, rather than a level of comprehension.

Because mantras are ancient, they have been chanted millions upon millions of times by millions upon millions of people. This collective chanting over the ages has given an extremely strong vibration and power to this collection of sounds.

When chanted out-loud or silently to oneself, the mantra "om mani padme hum" is thought to bring about powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig. According to Tibetan Buddhists, Chenrezig is the embodiment of compassion.

"Wha Hay Guru"

Wha Hay Guru can be chanted as a part of the So Darshan Chakra Kriya. This is considered the most powerful kriya in all of Kundalini Yoga. When practiced, it is thought to bring clarity of mind, relieve stress, and help the practitioner quickly work through mental and spiritual blocks.

Wha Hay Guru translates roughly to "ecstasy through consciousness." To do the So Darshan Chakra Kriya, follow these steps:

  1. Sit either crossed-legged on the floor or in a chair with a straight spine.
  2. Using your right thumb, block your right nostril.
  3. Inhale through your left nostril. Hold your breath while mentally repeating the mantra Wha Hay Guru 16 times.
  4. With each repetition of Wha Hay Guru, move your belly in three graduated movements towards the spine. For example, on Wha pull it 1/3 of the way in, on Hay pull your belly 2/3rds of the way in, and on Guru pull your belly in all the way.
  5. After the 16th repetition of Wha Hay Guru, use your right little finger to block your left nostril, lift your right thumb to release the right nostril, and exhale through your right nostril. Exhale entirely.
  6. Again, block your right nostril, breath in through the left nostril, and continue repeating Way Hay Guru 16 times as described above.
  7. To start, practice this sequence for 11 minutes per day. Gradually build up the time spent practicing.

"Sa Ta Na Ma"

"Sa, Ta, Na, Ma" is another mantra used in Kundalini Yoga. It roughly translates to "Infinity, Life, Death, Rebirth." The powerful Kirtan Kriya makes use of this mantra. It is believed that practicing Kirtan Kriya can help to relieve stress and anxiety, promote circulation, improve concentration, and bridge the gap between mind and body.

To practice Kirtan Kriya, please follow these steps:

  1. Say "Sa" as you touch the index finger and thumb together
  2. Say "Ta" as you touch the middle finger and thumb together
  3. Say "Na" as you touch the ring finger and thumb together
  4. Say "Ma" as you touch the little finger and thumb together
  5. Begin again chanting "Sa" as you touch the index finger and thumb together.
  6. Repeat these hand movements as you chant the words "Sa, Ta, Na, Ma"
  7. Continue this practice for at least 12 minutes per day to begin.

Although it can take a little bit of time out of your busy day to sit down and practice any of these three mantras, it is worth the time and effort. Even just as little as 10 minutes each day for a week can make a big difference in your life.

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