A mantra is a word or phrase repeated while meditating to aid in your concentration. It helps train your mind to pay attention and focus on the present moment. Many people are fortunate enough to be gifted a mantra from a teacher or guru. However, you can choose a mantra for yourself based on the qualities you want to bring into your life.
While choosing a mantra, you should look for a virtue that you want to develop, such as happiness, self-love or balance. Your mantra can be in the traditional Hindu, English or another language if you prefer. It should be short so that it can be completed with the in and out breath.
While I was on a yoga retreat recently, my teacher told stories of the many deities pictured on the ashram grounds and explained what each represented. He gave my group a list of mantras, many of which are based on the virtues of the gods and goddesses we talked about. He said that most people would connect with one of these phrases. I’m sharing the list below and hope you find one that advances your practice.
Possible Mantras and the associated deities
· Om – the first sound – connectivity
· So Ham – existence
· Om Dum Durgayai Namaha – Power (Durga)
· Om Aim Saraswatyai Namaha – Creativity (Saraswati)
· Om Shri Maaha Lakshmyai Namaha – Beauty (Lakshmi)
· Om Gam Ganaapatyai Namaha – Help (Ganesha)
· Om Sri Anjanaya Namaha – Service (Hanuman)
· Om Sri Ramaya Namaha – Duty –(Rama)
· Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya – Joy (Krishna)
· Om Namah – Stillness – (Shiva)
· Om Name Narayanaya – Balance – (Vishnu)
Sound out each mantra aloud. Do it again until one seems to fit with your needs and you feel comfortable repeating it. Try using it during meditation. If you like it, congratulations, you’ve found your mantra. If none of these resonate, continue to search for a better fit.