Mantras are a useful tool for keeping the mind focused within. We’ve all experienced the mind jumping like a monkey from thought to thought, worrying about what we have to do, what we should have done…etc. Chanting is a way for the mind to keep busy while we attempt to reach inner stillness. The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit words man and tra – “man” meaning “mind” and “tra” meaning “to free”.
Beyond simple chanting of mantras we move towards the power of sound current of certain Mantras. Naad is the essence of all sound, and is the basis for Naad Yoga, which is an aspect of Kundalini Yoga. Naam, or vibrational identity, is our expression of this – what we vibrate, we become. By chanting out loud our body acts as a soundboard, absorbing and amplifying the vibration, much like the body of a guitar when the strings are plucked. This also helps us with our power of projection at the navel center (3rd chakra, the Manipura). Further, the tongue will activate meridian points in the upper palate that stimulates the hypothalmus.
Not all mantras are equal. While many mantras can be thought of a powerful affirmations, the mantras from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib are imbued with a unique vibration that elevates the words from mere affirmations to the level of the Shabd Guru. The mantras below are written in Gurmukhi, meaning “from the mouth of the Guru”, and carry this vibration.
By chanting these mantras, the combination of words, breath, stimulation by the tongue, and their rhythm along with mental focus, elevates the power of the sound current or vibration to the level of Guru, also known as Shabd Guru. A Shabd is a sound current that dissolves the part of the ego the keeps the truth from being revealed. Through the power of the Shabd we attain Anahat – a state where your body and consciousness becomes the vibration.
~ Sevaji (Seva Singh)
Common Kundalini Yoga Mantras
AD GURAY NAMEH
JUGAD GURAY NAMEH
SAT GURAY NAMEH
SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH
Known as the Mangala Charn Mantra, it is often chanted for protection. It surrounds the magnetic field with protective light, and means “I bow to the primal Guru (guiding consciousness who takes us to God-Realization), I bow to wisdom through the ages, I bow to True Wisdom, I bow to the great, unseen wisdom.”
ADI SHAKTI, NAMO NAMO
SARAB SHAKTI, NAMO NAMO
PRITHUM BHAGAWATI, NAMO NAMO
KUNDALINI, MATA SHAKTI, NAMO, NAMO
The Adi Shakti Mantra tunes into the frequency of the Divine Mother, and to primal protective, generating energy. Chanting it eliminates fears and fulfills desires. Adi Shakti means the “Primal Power,” Sarab Shakti means “All Power”, and Prithum Bhagawati means “which creates through God.”
ADAYS TISAI ADAYS
AAD ANEEL ANAAD ANAAHAT
JUG JUG AYKO VAYS
I salute Thee, primal one, pure in the beginning, through all the ages – the One.
AJAI ALAI ABHAI ABAI
ABHU AJU ANAAS AKAAS
AGANJ ABHANJ ALAKH ABHAKH
AKAAL DEYAL ALEKH ABHEKH
ANAAM AKAAM AGAAH ADHAAHA
ANAATHAY PRAMAATHAY AJONEE AMONEE
NA RAAGAY NA RANGAY NA RUPAY NA RAYKHAY
AKARMANG ABHARMANG AGANJAY ALAYKHAY
Invincible. Indestructible. Fearless. Everywhere. Unborn. Forever. Indestructible. Within everything. Invincible. Indivisible. Invisible. Free from wants. Immortal. Kind. Unimaginable. Formless. Unnameable. Free from desires. Unfathomable. Undamageable. Without a master. Destroyer of all. Beyond birth & death. Beyond silence.
AKAL, MAHA AKAL
Meaning “Undying, Great death” is a powerful life-giving chant removing fear and relaxing the mind.
AP SAHAEE HOA SACHE DA SACHE DHOA, HAR, HAR, HAR
Meaning “The Lord Himself has become our protector, the Truest of True has taken care of us, God, God, God”, or “The Lord Himself is my refuge, true is the support of the True Lord”. Chanted for prosperity.
ARDAS BAYE, AMAR DAS GURU, AMAR DAS GURU, ARDAS BAYE,
RAM DAS GURU, RAM DAS GURU, RAM DAS GURU, SUCHE SAHE
Guarantees by the grace of Guru Amar Das, who is hope for the hopeless, and Guru Ram Das, who is King of the Yogis and Bestower of Blessings, past, present and future, that the prayer will be answered, and that all one’s needs are provided for.
DHARTI HAI, AKASH HAI, GURU RAM DAS HAI
Dharti means “earth” and Akash is Ether, and Guru Ram Das is the venerated 4th Sikh Guru. This is the 1st Sodhung Mantra.
EK ONG KAR, SAT GUR PRASAD, SAT GUR PRASAD, EK ONG KAR
is the Magic Mantra so named for its power and sacredness. It is usually chanted in reverse (Ek Ong Kar, Sat Gur Prasad, Sat Gur Prasad, Ek Ong Kar). Many pages are devoted to the explanation of this mantra and we are warned to chant it in reverence. It means, “There is one Creator – Truth revealed through Guru’s grace”.
EK ONG KAR, SAT NAM, KARTA PURKH, NIRBHAO, NIRVAIR
AKAL MOORT, AJUNI, SAI BHANG, GUR PRASAD, JAP!
AD SUCH, JUGAD SUCHIHE SUCH, NANAK HOSI BHEE SUCH
This is the Mul Mantra, the root of all mantras. It means, “The creator of all is One. Truth is His Name. He does everything, fearless, without anger, undying, unborn, self-realized, realized thru Guru’s Grace, Meditate: He was true in the beginning, true thru all the ages, true even now. Nanak shall ever be true.”
EK ONG KAR, SAT NAM, SIRI WHA (HE) GURU
This is the Adi Shakti Mantra, and it is very powerful for awakening Kundalini and suspending the mind in bliss. Ek means “One, the essence of all”, Ong is the primal vibration from which all creativity flows, Kar is “creation”, Sat “truth”, Nam “name” Siri “great”, Wha “ecstasy,” and Guru is “wisdom”. Taken together it means, “There is one Creator whose name is Truth. Great is the ecstasy of that Supreme Wisdom”!
GOBINDAY, MUKUNDAY, UDARAY, APARAY
HARIUNG, KARUING, NIRNAMAY, AKAMAY
The Guru Gaitri Mantra which means “Sustainer, liberator, enlightener, infinite, destroyer, creator, nameless, desireless”. It brings stability to the hemispheres of the brain and works on the Heart Center to develop compassion, patience and tolerance, uniting one with the Infinite.
GURU GURU WAHEY GURU, GURU RAM DAS GURU
This mantra calls upon Guru Ram Das in praise of his spiritual guiding light and protective grace.
HAR HARAY HARI WAHEY GURU
“Har” means Creative Infinity, a name of God. Haray” is another form. Hari” is the active form of Creation.
HARI NAM, SAT NAM, HARI NAM, HARI
HARI NAM, SAT NAM, SAT NAM, HARI
The name of God is the True Name.
HUM DUM HAR HAR
This mantra opens the Heart Chakra and means “We the universe, God, God.”
HUMEE HUM BRAHM HUM
We are we, we are one.
HUMEE HUM TOO HEE TOO, WAHEY GURU
I am thine, in mine, myself. Ecstasy of Inner Wisdom beyond words.
ONG NAMO, GURU DEV NAMO
is the Adi Mantra that precedes Kundalini Yoga practice, tuning one in to the higher self. Ong is “Infinite Creative energy in manifestation and activity”. (“Om” or Aum is God absolute and unmanifested), Namo is “reverent greetings’ implying humility, Guru means “teacher or wisdom”, Dev means “Divine or of God” and Namo reaffirms humility and reverence. In all it means, “I call upon Divine Wisdom”.
ONG SO HUNG
“Creator, I am Thou!”, a heart-opening and empowering mantra.
PRANA, APANA, SUSHUMNA. HARI
HARI HAR, HARI HAR, HARI HAR, HARI
Prana is the life force, Apana the eliminating force, and Sushumna is the Central channel for that force. This helps draw energy up the spine for healing. Hari and Har are names of God.
PRITVI HAI, AKASH HAI, GURU RAM DAS HAI
Pritvi means earth – calling on the venerated Guru Ram Das is very powerful.
RA MA DA SA, SA SAY SO HUNG
Known as the Siri Gaitri Mantra, and is chanted for healing. Ra is the sun, Ma is the Moon, Da is the earth, and Sa is Infinity. Say is the totality of Infinity, and So Hung is “I am Thou”. “Ra Ma Da Sa” is the Earth Mantra. and “Sa Say So Hung” is the Ether Mantra.
SA RAY SA SA, SA RAY SA SA
SA RAY SA SA, SA RUNG
HAR RAY HAR HAR, HAR RAY HAR
HAR HAR RAY HAR HAR, HAR RUNG
That Infinite Totality is here, everywhere. That creativity of God is here, everywhere.
SA TA NA MA
This is the Panj Shabad expressing the five primal sounds of the universe. “Sa” is Infinity, “Ta” is life, “Na” means death and “Ma” is rebirth. (The 5th sound is “A”.) This is one of the most frequently used mantras in Kundalini Yoga.
This is a Seed Mantra or Bij Mantra and it is the most widely used in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Sat means the Truth; Nam means to call upon, name or identify with. Sat Nam means Truth is my identity and I call upon the eternal Truth that resides in all of us. Chanting this mantra awakens the Soul, and more simply means “really”. It is pronounced to rhyme with “But Mom!”
SAT NARAYAN, WAHEY GURU
HARI NARAYAN, SAT NAM
Narayan is the aspect of Infinity that relates to water, and Hari Narayan is Creative sustenance, which makes the one who chants it intuitively clear or healing. Sat Narayan is True Sustainer, Wahe Guru, indescribable Wisdom and Sat Nam, True Identity. This is the ancient Chotay Pad Mantra.
Known as is the Guru Mantra, the mantra of ecstasy. Chanting it elevates the spirit. “I am in ecstasy when I experience the indescribable wisdom.”
WAHEY GURU, WAHEY GURU, WAHEY GURU, WAHEY JIO
“The ecstasy of consciousness is my beloved.”