The 411 on Mantras - Words for Healing
In yoga, as in all practices that teach the power in the spoken word, we believe that certain words create a sound resonance that the universe responds to. Through understanding what to say when we need assistance from our guides and angels, a mantra will get the job done!
The word man means to think - and a mantra is a thought or a sensation expressed through sound. It can consist of one or more sounds that has no actual meaning. Or it can consist of meaningful sentences.
The most well-known and the oldest of all mantras is OM, which symbolizes the universal power and is said to be the source of all sounds. OM and other mantras are used for meditation where they are thought to take the individual to a higher level of consciousness when repeated over and over again (called japa). The vibration of the sound of the mantra merges into the vibration of thought and generates mental serenity.
A very loose translation might be:
Om = Salutations! Everyone wake up!
Gam = The secret power sound of Ganesh. It is his “seed syllable” or bija mantra.
Ganapataye = Another name of Ganesh, the breaker of obstacles.
Namaha = Yo! Ganesh! You da God!
The pronunciation is also pretty easy:
Om = ohm or aum
Gam = Somewhere between “gahm” and “gum”. In some dialects it is “guhng”.
Ganapataye = gah-nah-paht-ah-yeh
Namaha - nah-mah-hah