Mantra – Mantra definition and powerful mantras

by Agraha Levine

Mantra definition

A mantra is a sacred sound which helps bring us closer to our spiritual essence when we repeat it with intense sincerity and faith. As mantras are chanted again and again by countless spiritual seekers, their unimaginable power increases.

Sri Chinmoy explains that “A mantra is a syllable divinely surcharged with power… Chanting a mantra is a form of approaching God. It has its own efficacy and its own approach towards the Highest.” -Sri Chinmoy, Prayer-World, Mantra-World and Japa-World, Agni Press, 1974

One of the most powerful mantras is AUM. By chanting this mantra again and again millions of times, with utmost purity and devotion, many spiritual seekers have attained to the highest states of consciousness. Sri Chinmoy has explained that the “seed sound” of AUM embodies creation (A), preservation (U) and transformation (M). In traditional Indian cosmology, the “A” represents the Creator, Lord Brahma; the “U” represents the Preserver, Lord Vishnu; and the “M” represents the Transformer, Lord Shiva. Sri Chinmoy suggests that after the first part of the mantra, “AU,” which is usually pronounced like a long O, the “M” sound should reverberate at least three times as long.

You can hear and join with Sri Chinmoy chanting AUM:

At first, you can try listening to Sri Chinmoy chanting and feel the sound of AUM resonating in your entire being. Then please join in – and you may find yourself going deeper and higher into your own inner self. It is a magnificent meditation exercise to chant and completely let go of all your day-to-day thoughts. In this simple and effective way, you can enter into an ancient and sacred flow of peace, light and joy as you chant.

According to many Indian spiritual teachings, the Mother of all mantras is the Gayatri Mantra. You can listen to this mantra and hear its translation here:

About this great mantra, Sri Chinmoy writes: In the Gita, Sri Krishna says that the Gayatri Mantra is the best of all the mantras. Its meaning is: ‘We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky, and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illumine our minds.’”

Sri Chinmoy, Prayer-world, mantra-world and japa-world, Agni Press, 1974

Here are some other powerful and effective mantras you can try as performed by Ananda, an uplifting group of British singers and musicians. Once again, sing along and find yourself entering into a world of peace and beauty:

1.    Aum Govindaya Nama

Ancient mantra for protection 

2.   Aum Aparajitaya Nama

Ancient mantra meaning “Aum, I bow to the one who never accepts defeat.”

3.   Gayatri Mantra

The ancient sacred Hindu mantra:

Aum bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam 
Bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah pracodayat 

 We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme
 Who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky 
 And inside the soul of the heaven. 
 May He stimulate and illumine our minds.

4.   O Make My Mind Tranquil and Calm

A soul-stirring modern-day mantra by Sri Chinmoy in English and Bengali. Its beauty will melt your heart.

O make my mind tranquil and calm.

Charidike neharite prashanti dham


The power of mantra meditation is unfathomable:

 “Certainly a mantra can take you to the Goal. A mantra has power. The mantric power can easily take one to the Highest, as prayer and meditation do. There are many people who have realised God only by repeating a mantra.” 

Sri Chinmoy, Fifty Freedom-Boats to one Golden Shore, part 6, Agni Press, 1975