4

There are a lot of mantras in our scriptures. Some of these mantras are used to invoke a particular deity, activity or a life-event. Some are mantras for longevity, some for knowledge, immortality, liberation and so on. Some of the highly notable mantras are Gayatri mantra, Hare Krishna Mahamantra and 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya' which was used by Dhruva during his penance.

Gayatri Mantra

ॐ भूर्भुवस्व: | तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् | भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि | धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात्

Oṁ Bhūr Bhuva~Swah' Tat Savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt

"Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination).

Hare Krishna Mantra

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे | हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे ||

Hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare | Hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

"Oh energy of the Lord, please engage me in the loving service of Lord Krishna."

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

"O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You."

However, is there one universal Mantra / Mahamantra which can be chanted by a devotee, irrespective of his Varna, gotra, phase of life which takes him to the highest realm of God realization? Is it one of the above mantras?

  • The translation of 1st and 2nd mantra looks same; you may want to edit the question. I think Gayatri mantra is the one which you are asking. – iammilind Aug 31 '15 at 14:19
  • Updated. @iammilind thanks for pointing that out. – Navik Goswami Aug 31 '15 at 14:46
  • The Lord God's Name is the best mantra for liberation. Simply repeat the name of your Ishta Deva with firm faith and devotion and one is sure to attain liberation – Sai Aug 31 '15 at 15:03
  • But, then isn't this being specific? I mean Ishta Deva are subjective to everyone. I understand that you can still reach the "source" through a medium (in this case Ishta Deva). But, what I'm specifically asking for is a mantra to directly reach the "source", the unmanifested form, the absolute 'God'. – Navik Goswami Aug 31 '15 at 16:32
  • 1
    Oh Ok. I guess AUM is said to be a mantra that is pure vibration and not based on any form. But IMHO there is no need for difference. The 'source, unmanifested' is no different from the Ishta Deva. The Ishta Deva is called Saguna Brahman, while the unmanifest is called Nirguna Brahman. Due to our own mind being afflicted with Gunas, we attribute gunas to That Being who is actually without it. Thus the same Brahman, assumes as it were, some attributes due to the devotion of the Devotee. upon constant chanting these 'attributes' disappear and one becomes one with the Deity. – Sai Aug 31 '15 at 17:27
4

I upvoted SwamiVishwananda's answer, but not 100% convinced. is more of a sound vibration than a mantra.
Hence, I would extend it to below 2 mantras from Bhagavad Gita:

1. Gayatri Mantra

ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।
तत्स॑वि॒तुर्वरे॑ण्यं॒
भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि ।
धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥

Meaning: We meditate on the glory of that being who has produced this universe; May he enlighten our minds. (as translated by Swami Vivekananda)

This mantra is the form of God itself.

BG 10.35

Of the hymns in the Sāma Veda I am the Bṛhat-sāma, and of poetry I am the Gāyatrī. Of months I am Mārgaśīrṣa [November-December], and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.

2. Aum Tat Sat

ॐ तत् सत् 

Meaning: There is only 1 lord and truth.
Some people suggest that Hari Aum Tat Sat is the version for Kaliyuga.

According to Krishna, this mantra existed from the very origination.

BG 17.23

From the beginning of creation, the three words oṁ tat sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were used by brāhmaṇas while chanting the hymns of the Vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme.

  • 1
    Very well put, iammilind! I wasn't too convinced about it but, as many have said here that 'Om' is in itself a mantra, I accepted it as a somewhat satisfactory answer. Thank you for putting the effort in answering my question. I think, your answer is more convincing and therefore I'll be marking it as such. – Navik Goswami Sep 3 '15 at 18:21
5

Swami Vivekananda said (Complete Works V7 p 62, also here under Inspired Talks, Sunday July 21 - http://cwsv.belurmath.org/volume_7/vol_7_frame.htm):

Repeating the ॐ(Aum) continually is the only true worship. It is not a word, it is God Himself.

The Vedas say that the Om (pronounced AUM, and better represented as AUM) is the sound (vibration) that was first projected out of Brahman. It is from this initial vibration that the entire universe is created. As it is the manifestation of Brahman in the universe it is equated with Brahman. It is referred to as such throughout many many places in the Vedas. As it is equated with Brahman, both literally and figuratively, prayers are always started by first pronouncing AUM. Some examples are first the Prasna Upanishad fifth chapter. A few verses from this chapter:

He replied: O Satyakama, the syllable AUM is the Supreme Brahman [Nirguna Brahman] and also the other Brahman [Saguna Brahman]. Therefore he who knows it attains, with its support, the one or the other.

Again, he who meditates on the Highest Person [Saguna Brahman] through this syllable AUM consisting of three letters, becomes united with the effulgent sun. As a snake is freed from its skin, even so he is freed from sin.

...And also through the syllable AUM he realizes that which is tranquil, free from decay, death, and fear, and which is the Highest.

and the Mandukya Upanishad (I.) says:

Harih AUM! AUM, the word, is all this [i.e. the whole universe]. A clear explanation of it is as follows: All that is past, present, and future is, indeed, AUM. And whatever else there is, beyond the three-fold division of time--that also is truly AUM.

other examples include Katha Upanishad (I. ii. 15) "It is AUM"; Katha Upanishad (I. ii. 17) "This AUM is the best support"; Taittiriya Upanishad (I. viii. 1) "AUM this word is Brahman."

  • 2
    Thank you for the Great answer Swamiji, it may be of interest to note that Sri Krishna says in the Gita 'The one who repeats constantly the single syllable OM, merges in Me' :) 8:13. :) – Sai Sep 4 '15 at 4:27
  • @sai yes there is no dearth of references and just needed to cutoff references at some point. There are several Gita references. – Swami Vishwananda Sep 4 '15 at 10:05
1

OM has already been mentioned in the answers. I am adding one more reference in support of OM.

The syllable OM is the root from which the Vedas have sprung. (Every rite, therefore, should commence with the utterance of that syllable of vast import). Of him who has uttered for him the syllables Om, Namas, Swaha, Svadha, and Vashat, and who has according to the extent of his ability, performed sacrifices, and other rites, there is no fear in respect of next life in all the three worlds

. Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLXVIII

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .