[ man -tr uh , mahn -, muhn – ]

    Mantra means a sound, a certain utterance or a syllable. Today, modern science sees the whole existence as reverberations of energy, different levels of vibrations.

    Where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. So, that means, the whole existence is a kind of sound, or a complex amalgamation of sounds – the whole existence is an amalgamation of multiple mantras. Of these, a few mantras or a few sounds have been identified, which could be like keys. If you use them in a certain way, they become a key to open up a different dimension of life and experience within you.

    How do Mantras Work?
    So a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become because unless you become the key, existence will not open up for you. Becoming the mantra means you are becoming the key. Only if you are the key can you open the lock. Otherwise someone else has to open it for you and you have to listen to him.
    Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.

    The Science Behind Mantras
    There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage because this is a subjective science. We know of people who have caused damage to themselves by the improper utterance of something as common as Gayatri mantra.

    AUM – The Fundamental Sound
    If you utter these three sounds together, what do you get? AUM. AUM is not some religion’s trademark. It is the fundamental sound in the existence. It is said that Shiva can create a whole new existence just by uttering three AUMs. This is not a fact, but it is a truth. What is the difference between a fact and a truth? Let us say you are a woman. Does that mean your father made no contribution towards you? Does that mean your father does not exist within you? No. So the fact is, you are either a man or a woman. The truth is you are both. It is not that Shiva is sitting somewhere and uttering AUMs. That is not the point. What is being said is that everything is just a vibration.
    Excerpt – Mantras Explained – Benefits of Chanting Mantras and the Science Behind It (Isha)

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