What are Mantras such as Aum, Ik Onkar, Om? Find out how a Sanskrit Mantra can help you attain Calmness of the Mind.
A Mantra or mantar such as Aum, Om, Ik Onkar is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that trigger a vibration in the mind to create a state of inner transformation and peace.
The tradition of using Mantras originated in India, later becoming an essential part of the Hindu tradition and a customary practice within Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The use of mantras is now widespread throughout various Eastern and Western spiritual movements. As a matter of fact the word ‘Mantra’ is commonly used in our day to day language to brand an item or idea.
The word mantra has two parts: ‘man’ which is the root of the Sanskrit word which means ‘to think’ (also comes from the root words, ‘manas’ – ‘mind’) and the suffix ‘tra’, means means to to float away; hence a literal translation would be ‘to float out of the thinking mind’. Hence Mantras are powerful sounds, or a combination of word vibrations that allow one to float away from the mind chatter, allowing one to enter a deep state of meditation or inner silence.
As humans we all identify with words as our blueprint for actions. For example we will say, “I am hungry” as our intended mantra and then proceed with an action of seeking food, and then consume the food. Likewise, saying a specific word, mantra or affirmation and then following it to the Source eventually produces an actual physical, mental and spiritual intention. Over time, this mantra vibration triggers a deeper level of energy bringing fruition or connecting one with the source of the mantra.
The ancient sages were able to hear subtle vibrations produced by everything in nature. We do know that life is all molecules vibrating at different frequencies. Sages recognized that these vibrational sounds are the connection between spirit and matter. They identified AUM (or OM) as the most elemental sound.
Aum is the underlying sound or the subtle vibration that is present when all music and spoken word stops, this represents the infinite universal consciousness. If one sits quietly, one will notice a background hum in the air, and as you practice focusing on that hum, you’ll ultimately hear the universal mantra AUM that the sages recorded thousands of years ago as the sound of Universal Consciousness.
For thousands of years, people have used the Sanskrit mantra AUM and other mantras to expand their awareness of the expanses of the Divine and Universal Intelligence. Each mantra induces specific vibrations in the mind, which is why people use different mantras depending upon their intentions. The intention of using mantras is to go beyond the physical meaning of the words and merge into the simple vibrations of consciousness. Ideally it is beneficial to start repeating mantras audibly and work your way until they are silently repeated. This practice will help disconnect from the thoughts filling the mind and slip into the silent gap between thoughts where infinite universal consciousness can be experienced.
Silently repeating a mantra such as Ik Onkar as you meditate is a powerful way to enter the silent state of the mind. As you repeat the mantra, a mental vibration is created that allows the mind to experience deeper levels of awareness. The mantra becomes increasingly abstract and indistinct, until one enters a field of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose. In the deepest meditative state, all thoughts and anxieties fade away and you experience the quiet that always exists beneath the noisy inner dialogue of the mind. In this stillness there is oneness with all life and profound inner peace.
Learning the correct the pronunciation of a mantra is beneficial to create the precise vibration experience to transcend the mind into the state of inner silence. In the process of transcending, the mantra will eventually fade away into the pure conscious intelligence creating a state of sublime inner peace and stillness.