A mantra is a combination of words and phrases Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have spiritual powers. Every mantra has a syntax and meaning to it. Scientifically mantras have proven that they influence mindfulness by relaxing the mind. These mantras have to be recited with full concentration and focus on a higher power that you may believe in. Mantras have positive vibrations when recited or heard. There are countless mantras in the Hindu custom but some are more popular.
Here I have listed some of my favourite mantras and how they have helped me in my life. All these Shlokas are taught by Sanskrit scholars and gurus over generations and are recited as a daily practice, for instance, the Bhaktivedanta Academy Gurukula in West Bengal is one of the traditional schools that still practices the gurukul system.
1. Ganesh Mantra
Introduction: Lord Ganesha, the son of Parvathi and Shiva is the most worshipped lord in the Hindu culture. Ganesha is depicted as the lord with an elephant head, trunk and tusk. He is the lord to be worshipped first in any of functions or ceremonies in India.
Sloka: “|| Vakratunda Maha-Kaaya Surya-Kotti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa ||”
Translation: Oh, curved Trunk, powerful, crores of sun rays put together, solve all my obstacle and give me your blessing to complete my pending work with strength and courage and give me the success.
Benefits: Chanting the Ganesha mantra showers on us the goodness of health, wealth, happiness and a peaceful life.
When to chant: There is no particular timing to recite these mantras, but it is good to chant it first thing in the morning when you wake up or before starting your day after a shower.its good to recite 108 times if possible.
My Experience in reciting this Mantra: This mantra gives me a sense of positivity and optimism to begin a new task and more importantly, it fills me with immense happiness to start my day. I recite this mantra before reading any other hymns or songs and it gives me the strength.
2. Gayatri Mantra
Introduction: Gayatri is called as mother of all Vedas. She is considered as one of the powerful goddesses. She is omnipresent and she is depicted as goddesses with 6 faces.
Sloka: “||Om bhūr bhuvaḥ suvaḥ tatsaviturvareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasyadhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt||”.
Translation: Oh, Divine Mother, our hearts are full of darkness, please free us from this darkness within and fill us with the brilliance and your grace.
Source: Gayatri Mantra is from the first letter that comes after every 1000 verses of the Ramayana. The first letter after every 1000 verses of the Ramayana forms the Gayatri Mantra.
Benefits: Did you know, reciting the Gayatri Mantra improves concentration and learning? It also helps remove
s toxins from the body. This mantra also helps us in improving our breathing and functioning of our nervous system. It keeps our heart healthy and removes negativity. Reciting the Gayatri Mantra regularly helps reduc es anxiety and stress and calms the mind.
When to recite: The best time to recite the Gayatri Mantra is in the early morning especially when you just wake up and after taking bath and its good to recite between 4 am-8 am. It is a good practice to recite it 108 times if possible.
My Experience in reciting slokas: When I was a school going student, I used to be carefree and lazy; but when I started practising reciting the Gayatri Mantra, gradually over time, I became self-motivated, self-disciplined and I realized it drastically improve my concentration in studies. That’s when I started reciting the Gayatri Mantra every morning.
3. Dhanvanthri Mantra
Introduction: Dhanvanthri is considered to be the Father of Ayurveda and an incarnation of Vishnu. He is shown as a handsome man with a strong physique and dark in complexion adorned in yellow clothes. He is a four-armed deity, with a pot in one hand containing the precious liquid of immortality. On another hand, you can see a leech, which is believed to have played a crucial role in ancient medicine.
Sloka: “||Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaaya Dhanvantaraye
Tri-Lokya-Naathaaya Shri Mahaavishnave Namaha||”.
Translation: Bowing to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Dhanvanthri. The one who holds the bowl filled with the nectar of immortality in the hand. The one who reduces all the fear and diseases. The one who is the protector of the three worlds. I surrender myself to your respected feet, Lord Vishnu.
Benefits: Reciting this mantra regularly helps to cure chronic ailments and also bestows good health.
When to chant: The best time to chant this is when someone is ill. It can be recited both morning and evening as per reciter wish but best is to recite 108 times.
My Experience in reciting slokas: Earlier my health was really bad due to low immunity and some allergies. I started reciting it as per my Guru’s instruction and ever since my health is good and I feel energetic when I recite it.
4. Garuda Mantra
Introduction: Garuda is considered to be the King of birds. As per Hindu mythology, Garuda is believed to carry Vishnu on his shoulders. He is depicted as a bird with a human face and body with wings and a beaked nose.
Sloka: “||om shri karunyaya, garudaya, vedaroopaya, vinada puthraya, vishnu bakthipriyaya, amrutha kalasahastaya,bahuparakramaya, pakshi rajaya, sarvavakra , sarvadosha, sarpadorsha, vishasarpa,vinashnaya swaha ||”.
Translation: Oh Lord of Mercy Garuda, visualization of Veda’s, son of Vinada, the one who protects the dearest devotee of Lord Vishnu. The Lord who holds the nectar of immortality in his hands, the strongest, King of Birds, the lord who cures all sins, I surrender myself at your feet.
Benefits: Reciting this mantra helps in reducing anxiety, stress and replace negative influence with positivity.
When to chant: The best time to recite is in morning and its good to recite 108 times if possible.
My Experience in reciting this slokas: Whenever I find myself dwelling with negative thoughts, I recite this mantra to get back into a positive frame of mind.
5. Hanuman Mantra
Introduction: Hanuman, the son of Anjana is a powerful god who is in both epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. He is a god of valour and strength.
Sloka: “||asadhya sadhaka swamin asadhyam tawa kim vada
rama doota krupaa sindho mat karyam sadhaya prabho||”
Translation: Oh Lord, the messenger of Lord Shri Rama, please bless us so that the impossible becomes possible. Is there anything that is impossible for you?
Benefits: It gives immense strength to those who recite this mantra. It is believed, people who recite the Hanuman Mantra will get to complete their pending or incomplete work free from obstacles.
My Experience in reciting slokas: Sometimes for certain matters at work or personal life, even after trying hard, my efforts would go in vain. But after reciting my most difficult times have been solved.
When to recite: The best time to recite it is in the morning after taking shower but its not compulsory and best is to recite it 108 times.
Note: All my experiences are true to me and it may differ from person to person and the benefit of each mantra depends on the pronunciation of each letter in the mantra. For further reference one can learn the correction pronunciations through reliable sources either from a Sanskrit scholar, teacher or you could YouTube it.
Contributor: Sruthi Ravinarayanan
About our Writing Program Student
Sruthi is working as Test Engineer in Mindtree Bangalore. She is interested in writing blogs and learning new languages. Currently, she speaks six languages – English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. When she’s not learning something new, she loves dancing, singing and spending time with her pets.