Mantras : Meaning and Explanation

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Mantras : Meaning and Explanation

Blissful Friends. Many of you wanted to know why mantra's are used in many of the Yoga's and why is it very strong? So, In this note my effort is to translate the mantras and write a brief note on it. Mantras become strong tools consciousness not because there is some magic in it but it helps the chanting people to touch their Divinity. That deepness in the chanting becomes Meditativeness. That's why every religion have their own set of chantings yet everybody attained Samadhi. Chantings have nothing to do with religion, words, mantras but depends how much you get lost in that, how much you get dissolved in it.

Om is a sound which you will hear from your spirit soul in deep meditation and when you start to hear it then you are close to ever lasting peace. In Hatha Yoga or Mantra's always beings with Om only for this reason. Om is having lot of vibrations in it, its not a common word but dive in it to understand that else simply chanting will not help. Simply chanting is like watching a football match of some other country which you are forcible seeing for your love on football. So, One has to do with lot of meditativeness.

Gayathri Mantra

Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah, Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Meaning :

Oh God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.

Deeper Meaning of Major 4 Parts of Mantra : 

Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah (ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व:)

1. AUM (ॐ), the Supreme name of God.

BHUR BHUVAH SWAH. These three words collectively are known as the "Mahavyahriti". They express the nature of God, and demonstrate his inherent qualities.

2. BHUR (भूर्)

Firstly, the word Bhur implies existence. God is self-existent and independent of all. He is eternal and unchanging. Without beginning and without end, God exists as a continuous, permanent, constant entity. Secondly, the word Bhur can also mean the Earth, on which we are born and sustained. God is the provider of all, and it is through His divine will that we our blessed with all that we require to maintain us through our lives. Finally, Bhur signifies Prana, or life (literally, breath). God is That which gives life to all. Whilst He is independent of all, all are dependent on Him. It is God who has given us life, God who maintains us throughout our lives, and God alone who has the ability to take away our life, when He so chooses. The only permanent entity, all others are subject to His own will

3. BHUVAH (भुव:)

Bhuvah describes the absolute Consciousness of God. God is self-Conscious as well as being Conscious of all else, and thus is able to control and govern the Universe. Also, the word Bhuvah relates to God's relationship with the celestial world. It denotes God's greatness - greater than the sky and space, He is boundless and unlimited. Finally, Bhuvah is also indicative of God's role as the remover of all pain and sufferings (Apaana). We see pain and sorrow all around us. However, through supplication to God, we can be freed from that pain and hardship. God Himself is devoid of any pain. Though He is Conscious of all, and is thus aware of pain, it does not affect Him. It is our own ignorance that makes us susceptible to the effects of Maya, or illusion, which causes us to feel pain. Through true devotion to God, we can be freed from the clutches of Maya, and thus be rid of pain and sorrow.

4. SWAH (स्व:)

Swah indicates the all-pervading nature of God. He is omnipresent and pervades the entire multi-formed Universe. Without Form Himself, He is able to manifest Himself through the medium of the physical world, and is thus present in each and every physical entity. In this way, God is able to interact with the Universe created by Him, and thus sustain and control it, ensuring its smooth and proper running and function.

Also, Swah symbolizes God's bliss. All but God experience pain, suffering and sorrow. Devoid of all such things, God alone is able to experience supreme bliss. Happiness as experienced by humans is temporary, a transient state of mental satisfaction, which soon dissolves back into the mire of worldly troubles. Perfect, and without any form of deficiency, God alone experiences true bliss, permanent and unaffected by worldly pains and woes. One who realizes God is able to join in this bliss, and thus God is able to impart true happiness to those who establish oneness with that Supreme Divinity.

The Mahavyahriti can be summed up by comparison to the word AUM itself, and through this comparison to the tripartite structure, can be compared to the essential nature of God, which differentiates Him from the other two entities recognized in that structure (namely, matter and soul), in the same way as the comparison between the three parts of the word Satchidananda, another name also used to describe God...

  • BHUR Prana Earth Sat Existence
  • BHUVAH Apana Sky Chit Consciousness
  • SWAH Vyana Heaven Ananda Bliss

TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM (तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं)

5. TAT (तत्)

Literally, this word means "that", being used in Sanskrit to denote the third person. It is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita by Sri Krishna Himself, where He implies the selfless nature of the word. Being used in the third person, the word has implicit in it an idea of selflessness. Sri Krishna uses it to imply the selfless nature of charity (charity, or a gift, being used as an analogy for worship, in the form of action, implying that action should be preformed without regard to its fruits, but simply out of devotion and sense of duty, or Dharma). Tat then is used here in the Gayatri Mantra to indicate that the worshipper is referring to [that] God, and that the praise being offered to God in the prayer is purely directed towards Him, without thought of gaining any personal benefit from that praise.

6. SA-VI-TUR (सवितुर्)

Savita, from which Savitur is derived, is another name of God, this being the reason that the Gayatri Mantra is often known as the Savitri Mantra. The implication of Savita is of God's status as the fountain, the source of all things. It is through His Divine Grace that the Universe exists, and so this word sums up the Mahavyahriti, by describing God's ability to create the Universe and sustain it, as well as, at the right time, bring about its dissolution.

Savita is also indicative of God's gift to mankind. Humans also have, in limited amount, the power, or shakti, of Savita. This shakti acts as an impetus in humans, and brings about the requirement for them to do something. They cannot sit idle, and are constantly searching for something to do. This is what is commonly known as the "creative urge". It is through this shakti that mankind has created art, and it is through this shakti also that scientific advances are made. The gift of Savita also gives creatures the ability of procreation. Hence, Savita can be thought of as meaning Father (or Mother) also.

Finally, it is the power of Savita that enables mankind to distinguish right from wrong, and vice from virtue. Through this ability, we are able to in some part direct our own selves, and thus, Savita imparts to us a certain self-guiding ability. Thus, by using this word in the mantra, we demonstrate that we are making efforts ourselves also, since God will not help us unless we are willing to help ourselves.

7. VA-RE-NY-AM (वरेण्यं)

Varenyam signifies our acceptance of God, and can be translated as meaning "Who is worthy". Ever ready to obtain all the material riches of the world, more often than not, they are a disappointment once they have been achieved. God however is the one who, once realized and achieved, has the ability to truly satisfy. We therefore accept Him as the Highest reality, and it is to Him that we dedicate our efforts.

Varenyam can also be interpreted as signifying one who is eligible. We have chosen Him to be our Leader and our Guide. We place our all into His hands, and accept Him regardless of anything else. We place no conditions on this acceptance, as it is all out of sheer devotion.

BHARGO DEVASYA DHIMAHI (भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि)

This triplet is a further description of the attributes and qualities of God - His functional and instrumental qualities, rather than intrinsic qualities - and through those qualities, His relationship to us.

8. BHAR-GO (भर्गो)

Bhargo is taken to signify the Glorious Light that is God's love and power. It indicates His complete purity - being absolutely pure Himself, God also has the ability to purify those that come into contact with Him. Thus, Bhargo is indicative of God's power to purify, and to destroy all sins and afflictions. In the same way as a metal ore placed into a fire will yield the pure metal, by merging with God, by realizing His Divine Form and establishing unity and oneness with Him, we can cleanse ourselves and be made pure by His Grace.

Though the soul, being itself Divine in nature, possesses that Light, it lacks luster, having been made impure by the sins and vices, which are a result of the darkness of Maya. By removing the veil of Maya, and cleansing our soul, God can enable the soul to realize its true, Divine self, and thus purify it.

9. DE-VAS-YA (देवस्य)

The word Deva, from which this word is derived, has been translated by different people in many different ways. It is generally thought of as meaning simply "God". However, its meaning is more complex than that.

Deva, which forms the root of the words "Devata" and "Devi", means "quality" or "attribute", and can be thought of as another word for "Guna". Thus, the various forms of God are given this name, as each of those forms is related to a specific quality and function (for example, Brahma has the quality of Creation, Kamadeva has the quality of love, etc.). Also, Deva is thus used to describe anyone who is considered to possess a special quality.

Since Deva is symbolic of the individual qualities of God, the word demonstrates the inherent oneness of those different Forms, and thus the use of this word can be taken as describing the fundamental unity of God. Thus we see that here, we reaffirm that central belief in the Hindu Dharma that "Ekam sat viprah bahudah vadanti" (Truth, or God, is one, but wise men call Him/It by different names).

Thus, Deva is indicative of the various multifaceted entity that is the absolute Personality of God. It describes in one word all the functions, roles and different attributes of God, and symbolizes therefore his absolutely essential nature - without God, nothing can exist.

10. DHI-MA-HI (धीमहि)

Meaning to meditate and focus our mind on God. Meditation on God implies that we remove all other thoughts from our mind, since thoughts of the world render our mind impure, and thus we are unable to conceptualize the absolute purity of God. We must be able to concentrate, and direct our mental energies towards the task in hand - which is communion with God.

DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT (धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात्)

Prayer is carried out for four main reasons:

  • to praise and glorify God;
  • to thank God;
  • to ask forgiveness from God;
  • or to make a request from God.

Having carried out the other three parts (praise of His greatness, thanks for His generosity in Creation and maintaining us through our lives, and forgiveness by demonstrating our awareness of our own impurity, which we have realized is present and must be cleansed through contact with God), this part is now our request from God. Since our soul is the Light of Life within us, and that acts on our body via the medium of the brain, we ask God to make this contact pure and righteous. The soul is of course inherently pure, being itself Divine in nature. The body is under the complete control of the mind. The link is the mind, which is affected not only by the soul, but also the outside world. We ask in these four words that God help us to improve our intellect, and guide it towards what is right.

11. DHI-YO (धीयो)

Sanskrit for "intellect", this is the essence of this part of the Gayatri Mantra. Having firmly set God in our hearts, we now must try to emphasize His presence and influence on our mind and intellect.

Material prosperity holds no true meaning for the person who is truly devoted to God. Pain and suffering are of no consequence to him as, touched by God, he is imbued with God's own Divine Bliss, and all worldly sorrows pale to nothingness in comparison. However, still the individual must live in the world. Thus, it is important that the person's intellect remains focussed on serving God, and that it is able, through the medium of the body, to serve God to the best of its ability.

Physical objects can be obtained very easily, if one is intelligent enough to know how to go about it. Intellect however cannot be obtained, but must be there from the very first. It is by use of this intellect, in fact, that one is able to cultivate all other qualities (building of wealth, "success" in life (in material terms), physical fitness, etc.) Thus, intellect is the key to all else in life, and as such, it is the most important possession. We ask God in the Gayatri Mantra to gift us with the highest intellect, and to help us by showing us the way to use that intellect.

12. YO (यो)

Meaning "Who" or "That", Yo signifies yet again that it is not to anyone else that we direct these prayers, but to God alone. Only God is worthy of the highest adoration, only God is perfect and free from all defects. It is That God to Whom we offer these prayers.

13. NAH (न:)

Nah means "Ours", and signifies the selflessness of the request we make of God in this part of the Gayatri Mantra. We offer this prayer, and make the request of God, not simply for ourselves, but for the whole of humanity. We seek the uplift of the whole of society. Hindu philosophy has since the beginning recognized the concept of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" - "The whole world is one big family". Thus, we pray not only for ourselves, but for each and every member of that great family, that we may all benefit from the greatness and generosity of the All-loving God.

14. PRA-CHO-DA-YAT (प्रचोदयात्)

Prachodayat, the final word of the Gayatri Mantra, rounds off the whole mantra, and completes the request we make of God in this final part. This word is a request from God, in which we ask Him for Guidance, and Inspiration. We ask that, by showing us His Divine and Glorious Light (cf. BHARGO), He remove the darkness of Maya from our paths, that we are able to see the way, and in this manner, we ask Him to direct our energies in the right way, guiding us through the chaos of this world, to find sanctuary in the tranquility and peace of God Himself, the root of all Happiness, and the source of true Bliss.

                                                                      Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

                                                                     Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe,

                                                                     Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam;

                                                                      Urva Rukamiva Bandhanaan,

                                                                      Mrityor Mokshiye Maamritat.

Meaning : 

  • OM is not spelt out in the Rig-Veda (Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra is from Rig-Veda), but has to be added to the beginning of all Mantras as given in an earlier Mantra of the Rig-Veda addressed to Ganapati. 
  • TRYAMBAKKAM refers to the Three eyes of Lord Shiva. 'Trya' means 'Three' and 'Ambakam' means eyes. These three eyes or sources of enlightenment are the Trimurti or three primary deities, namely Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and the three 'AMBA' (also meaning Mother or Shakti' are Saraswati, Lakshmi and Gouri. Thus in this word, we are referring to God as Omniscient (Brahma), Omnipresent (Vishnu) and Omnipotent (Shiva). This is the wisdom of Brihaspati and is referred to as Sri Duttatreya having three heads of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
  • YAJAMAHE means, "We sing Thy praise".
  • SUGANDHIM refers to His fragrance (of knowledge, presence and strength i.e. three aspects) as being the best and always spreading around. Fragrance refers to the joy that we get on knowing, seeing or feeling His virtuous deeds.
  • PUSTIVARDHANAM: Pooshan refers to Him as the sustainer of this world and in this manner, He is the Father (Pater) of all. Pooshan is also the inner impeller of all knowledge and is thus Savitur or the Sun and also symbolizes Brahma the Omniscient Creator. In this manner He is also the Father (Genitor) of all.
  • URVAAROKAMEVA: 'URVA' means "VISHAL" or big and powerful or deadly. 'AAROOKAM' means 'Disease'. Thus URVAROOKA means deadly and overpowering diseases. (The CUCUMBER interpretation given in various places is also correct for the word URVAROOKAM). The diseases are also of three kinds caused by the influence (in the negative) of the three Guna's and are ignorance (Avidya etc), falsehood (Asat etc as even though Vishnu is everywhere, we fail to perceive Him and are guided by our sight and other senses) and weaknesses (Shadripu etc. a constraint of this physical body and Shiva is all powerful).
  • BANDANAAN means bound down. Thus read with URVAROOKAMEVA, it means 'I am bound down by deadly and overpowering diseases'.
  • MRITYORMOOKSHEYA means to deliver us from death (both premature death in this Physical world and from the neverending cycle of deaths due to re-birth) for the sake of Mokshya (Nirvana or final emancipation from re-birth).
  • MAAMRITAAT means 'please give me some Amritam (life rejuvinating nectar). Read with the previous word, it means that we are praying for some 'Amrit' to get out of the death inflicting diseases as well as the cycle of re-birth.

                                                                          Maha Moola Mantra

 

 

 

                                                               Om Sat Chit Ananda Parabrahma

                                                                    Purushothama Paramatma

                                                                       Sri Bhagavathi Sametha

                                                                       Sri Bhagavathe Namaha

This mantra evokes the living God, asking protection and freedom from all sorrow and suffering. It is a prayer that adores the great creator and liberator, who out of love and compassion manifests, to protect us, in an earthly form. This Moolamantra has given great peace and joy to people all over the world, who have chanted, or even listened to it. It has the power to transport ones mind to the state of causeless love and limitless joy. The calmness that the mantra can give is to be experienced, not spoken about. Dear reader, here is the key with which any door to spiritual treasure could be opened. A tool which can be used to achieve all desires. A medicine which cures all ills. The nectar that can set man free! All auspiciousness and serenity is yours simply by chanting or listening to this magnificent Moolamantra.

Whenever you chant the Moolamantra even without knowing the meaning of it, that itself carries power. But when you know the meaning and chant with that feeling in your heart then the energy would flow million times more powerful. Therefore it is essential to know the meaning of the Mantra when you use it.

The Mantra is like calling a name. Just like when you call a person he comes and makes you feel his presence, the same manner when you chant this mantra, the supreme energy manifests everywhere around you. As the Universe is Omnipresent, the supreme energy can manifest anywhere and any time. It is also very important to know that the invocation with all humility, respect and with great necessity makes the presence stronger.

 

Meaning :

Om - We are calling on the highest energy, of all there is

Sat - The formless

Chit - Consciousness of the universe

Ananda- Pure love, bliss and joy

Para brahma --The supreme creator

Purushothama -Who has incarnated in human form to help guide mankind

Paramatma -Who comes to me in my heart, and becomes my inner voice whenever I ask

Sri Bhagavati - The divine mother, the power aspect of creation

Same tha- Together within

Sri Bhagavate -The Father of creation which is unchangeable and permanent

Namaha- I thank you and acknowledge this presance in my life. I ask for your guidance at all times

Detailed Elongated meaning is needed since this mantra is considered the Base or Foundation (Moola) Mantra :

Om : Universal Sound

Sat : The all penetrating existence that is formless, shapeless, omnipresent, attribute less, and quality less aspect of the Universe. It is the Un manifest. It is experienced as emptiness of the Universe. We could say it is the body of the Universe that is static. Every thing that has a form and that can be sensed, evolved out of this Un manifest. It is so subtle that it is beyond all perceptions. It can only be seen when it has become gross and has taken form. We are in the Universe and the Universe is in us. We are the effect and Universe is the cause and the cause manifests itself as the effect.

Chit : The Pure Consciousness of the Universe that is infinite, omni-present manifesting power of the Universe. Out of this is evolved everything that we call Dynamic energy or force. It can manifest in any form or shape. It is the consciousness manifesting as motion, as gravitation, as magnetism, etc. It is also manifesting as the actions of the body, as thought force. It is the Supreme Spirit.

Ananda :  Bliss, love and friendship nature of the Universe. When you experience either the Supreme Energy in this Creation (Sat) and become one with the Existence or experience the aspect of Pure Consciousness (Chit), you enter into a state of Divine Bliss and eternal happiness (Ananda). This is the primordial characteristic of the Universe, which is the greatest and most profound state of ecstasy that you can ever experience when you relate with your higher Consciousness.

Parabrahma : The Supreme Being in his Absolute aspect; one who is beyond space and time. It is the essence of the Universe that is with form and without form. It is the Supreme creator.

Purushothama :  This has different meanings. Purusha means soul and Uthama means the supreme, the Supreme spirit. It also means the supreme energy of force guiding us from the highest world. Purusha also means Man, and Purushothama is the energy that incarnates as an Avatar to help and guide Mankind and relate closely to the beloved Creation.

Paramatma :  The supreme inner energy that is immanent in every creature and in all beings, living and non-living. It's the indweller or the Antaryamin who resides formless or in any form desired. It's the force that can come to you whenever you want and wherever you want to guide and help you.

Sri Bhagavathi :  The female aspect, which is characterized as the Supreme Intelligence in action, the Power (The Shakti). It is referred to the Mother Earth (Divine Mother) aspect of the creation.

Sametha :  Together or in communion with.

Sri Bhagavathe :  The Male aspect of the Creation, which is unchangeable and permanent.

Namaha : Salutations or prostrations to the Universe that is Om and also has the qualities of Sat Chit Ananda, that is omnipresent, unchangeable and changeable at the same time, the supreme spirit in a human form and formless, the indweller that can guide and help in the feminine and masculine forms with the supreme intelligence. I seek your presence and guidance all the time.

 

Thanks you all for going through it in advance. Love and Bliss to you all. OM TAT SAT.

Acharya Shree Shankar