There are different methods of worshiping in Hinduism, for instance, going to religious places like temples called darshan, performing yajna(sacrifice), worshiping at home which is puja, or repeating multiple names of your favorite deity. In all the ways of worship, one concept that is commonly practiced is ‘Chanting of Mantras’. To rephrase it, we can say Hinduism is incomplete without Mantras.
What is Mantra?
Mantras are sacred words, syllables, sound, verse, or group of words that are spoken, chanted or meditated for a religious and spiritual purpose. Mantras may or may not have some specific meaning but are considered to have spiritual, psychological efficacy on one’s body, mind, and soul. Most Hindu mantras are evolved from Vedas, Puranas, epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita. In Hinduism, predominantly mantras are in Sanskrit. There are millions of Mantras in Hinduism. Different Mantras are for the worship of different Gods and have various benefits. Similar to Mantras there are slokas and stotram. Sloka is again Sanskrit phrases similar to mantras which are poetic and have a specific number of syllables. Another sort of mantras is stotram which is again a poetic manner of prayer of a description of God.
Hinduism ancient scriptures from Vedas to Puranas, and from Ramayana to Mahabharata includes thousands of Mantras, Slokas, stotram. It is believed that chanting mantras are like cleansing the bad karma and generating more good Karmas. Every Mantra / Shloka / stotram has its importance. The beauty of Hinduism is that there is no compulsion and a person can recite any Mantra as per his own belief or choice. These mantras/slokas people memorize anytime like during starting your day or even throughout the day. The basic idea is the person who recites mantras for him the Mantra itself becomes a deity.
Below listed are some of the most practiced, easy, and popular Mantras/Slokas of Hinduism which is chanted by millions of people across the world. Every Hindu should know some of these mantras and know its importance.
(1) Aum Mantra:
The smallest and the most powerful mantra in itself is the word Aum. Aum is composed of the three sounds ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’ – AUM. It represents the beginning – the creation of the universe and everything within it. It is associated with Brahman – the supreme.
(2) Gayatri Mantra:
ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः । तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं
भर्गो॑ देवस्य धीमहि । धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om Bhur-Bhuvah Svah । Tat-Savitur-Varennyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi । Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat ||
The Gayatri mantra is universal and Is considered to be one of the most effective mantras in Hinduism. This mantra is enshrined in the Vedas and firstly appears in the Rigveda (3.62.10) which is one of the oldest scriptures known to mankind. The Gayatri mantra is also repeated and cited widely in classical Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharta, and Manusmṛti. Mostly Gayatri mantra is chanted silently or mentally and in the morning time. chanting of Gayatri Mantra never brings bad thoughts in one’s life.
(3) Ganesha Mantra:
ॐ गँ गणपतये नमः ।
om gan ganapataye namaha ।
This is a mantra from Ganapati Atharvashirsa minor Upanishad of Hinduism. This is a mantra that is also repeated in yoga. This mantra aims to remove obstacles, negativity, and fear while ushering in new beginnings. It is salutations to the remover of obstacles
(4) HareKrishna Mantra
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे।
हरे राम, हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे॥
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
The mantra was popularized by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and referred to as Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. This mantra is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad. Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra connects consciousness inside of you, and with the supreme being. It is a powerful and easy mantra that anyone can chant without restrictions.
(4) Mahamrityunjaya Mantra
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्।।
Aum Tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam |
Urvarukamiva bandhanan-mrityor muksheeya maamritaat ||
It is also called a death conquering Mantra or Rudra Mantra and is considered to be the most powerful Shiva Mantra. Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is again sukta of the Rigveda (RV 7.59.12). The mantra aims at warding off evils and it also promotes longevity of life. This mantra should ideally be chanted in the morning before going to work or office. One can gain maximum benefit from chanting this mantra 108 times in batches.
(5) Dwadasakshari Mantra:
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
It is one of the most popular Krishna mantras and also found in Vishnu Purana. It is one of the most important mantras in Vaishnavism. Everybody can recite this mantra and whenever possible. This mantra means I bow to lord Vasudev.
(6) Lord Vishnu mantra:
ॐ नमो नारायणाय
Om Namo Narayanaya
Om Namo Narayanaya is an ancient mantra also appearing in the Sama Veda. It is a simple yet powerful mantra to please Lord Vishnu. This mantra is used as a chant for peace, health, and happiness for all.
(7) Siva Panchakshara:
ॐ नमः शिवाय;
Om Namah Shivaya
is one of the most popular Hindu mantras and the most important mantra in Shaivism. This mantra is present in the Shri Rudram hymn which is part of the Krishna Yajurveda. This mantra is repeated verbally or mentally and it is freely sung and can be recited by anyone.
(8) Vakratunda mahakaya shloka
वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा॥
Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Suurya-Kotti Samaprabha |
Nirvighnam KuruMe Deva Sarva-Karyeshu Sarvada ||
This Ganesha mantra is a popular Mantra to invoke the benevolent Lord’s blessings. This mantra is basically for making all my works free from obstacles and always.
(9) Lakshmi sloka
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मिः करमध्ये सरस्वति ।
करमूले तु गोविन्दः प्रभाते करदर्शनम् ॥
Karagre vasate Lakshmi kar moole Saraswati ,
Kar madhye tu Govinda prabhate kar darshan
This Sanskrit sloka is said to be chanted each morning after opening eyes. The Sloka should be chanted while looking at palms. The sloka is originally from the Vishnu Purana.
(10) Devi Mantra
सर्व मांगलमांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थ साधिके |
शरण्ये त्रयम्बिके गौरी नारायणी नमोस्तुते ||
Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye, Shive Sarvartha Sadhike
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namo-stute
This is another very important Durga Mantra. It is chanted during the Durga pooja Festivals and in marriages. One can derive strength and courage by chanting this mantra regularly.
(11) Guru Mantra
गुरुर्ब्रह्मा ग्रुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुः साक्षात् परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः ॥
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah
This is shloka which highlights the importance of teachers and their pupils. This mantra equates them with the Hindu Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Mahesh. The teacher is the representative of the Supreme Being.
(12) Pavamana Mantra
असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर् मामृतं गमय । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya | Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
It is an ancient Indian mantra introduced in the Bṛhadaraṇyaka Upaniṣad. Sometimes Aum (ॐ) is added at the beginning of this mantra. And this mantra is also called a Shanti Mantra or Mantra for Peace.
(13) Shantakaram Vishnu Mantra
शान्ताकारम् भुजगशयनम् पद्मनाभम् सुरेशम्
विश्वाधारम् गगनसदृशम् मेघवर्णम् शुभाङ्गम्।
लक्ष्मीकान्तम् कमलनयनम् योगिभिर्ध्यानगम्यम्
वन्दे विष्णुम् भवभयहरम् सर्वलोकैकनाथम्॥
Shantakaram Bhujagashayanam Padmanabham Suresham
Vishvadharam Gaganasadrisham Meghavarnam Shubhangam।
Lakshmikantam Kamalanayanam Yogi Bear Dhyana Gamyam
Vande Vishnum Bhava Bhaya Haram Sarva Lokaika Natham॥
This Mantra is to remove the fear of worldly existence and is called the Shantakaram mantra. Chanting the Vishnu mantra daily is the way to health, prosperity, and happiness and securing all that we desire in life.
(14) MangalamVishnu Mantra
मङ्गलम् भगवान विष्णुः, मङ्गलम् गरुणध्वजः।
मङ्गलम् पुण्डरी काक्षः, मङ्गलाय तनो हरिः॥
Mangalam Bhagwan Vishnuh, Mangalam Garunadhwajah।
Mangalam Pundari Kakshah, Mangalaya Tano Hari॥
Mangalam Bhagwan Vishnu Mantra is a divine mantra recited to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is the creator of the entire universe and has taken ten incarnations to save the people from the hands of demons. This mantra is chanted to invoke the powers of Lord Vishnu and attain desired results.
(15) Hanuman Mantra
ॐ हनुमते नमः।
Aum Hanumante Namah
Chanting of Hanuman Mantra helps one to get rid of all kinds of problems, fears, and negative energies. Lord Hanuman is known for making the impossible possible. Ghosts, devils, and spirits never trouble a person who regularly recites the Hanuman Mantra.
(16) Mahabharat Shloka
त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव। त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव।।
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणं त्वमेव। त्वमेव सर्व मम देवदेव।।
Twameva Mata cha Pita twameva, Twameva Bandhu cha Sakha twameva
Tvameva Vidya Dravinam tvameva, Tvameva Sarvam mama deva dev.
This shloka is from Mahabharata and conversation between Lord Krishna and Gandhari is used across many texts and scriptures. This is a simple and powerful shloka for the worship of God.
(17) Surya Mantra
ॐ सूर्याय नम:
Om Surya Namah
This is Sun God Mantra and is for the overall well-being. By chanting this Mantra, you can nurture positivity within you, to remain healthy.
(18) Rudra Mantra
ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय
Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraay
This is another powerful mantra of lord Shiva which is chanted for the respect, fame, and glory of a person. This mantra is used especially while worshiping Shivling. This mantra also helps to keep the diseases away from people who chant it.