A mantra is a sound that is thought to bring about spiritual transformation.

What is a Mantra?

The concept of a mantra began in the Indian Vedic tradition, then became a part of the Hindu religion. While not explicitly mandated, mantras have also become a part of the culture and custom of Buddhism, Janism, and other Eastern traditions. The syllable “om” is probably the most well-known mantra, and has made its way into some yoga classes. For example, some yoga instructors encourage students to breathe deeply while saying “om” at the beginning and end of class. In Hinduism, “om” is the most important mantra, and begins and ends all prayers.

In some religious traditions and sects, mantras are viewed as representative of gods or divine entities, and thus the utterance of a mantra is a powerful act that can lead to emotional and transformative spiritual experiences.

Mantras and Mental Health

Mantras can have a soothing effect on the mind even among people who are not religious. The utterance of mantras often focuses on calming the mind, controlling the breathing, and eliminating unhealthy or unkind thoughts. Some mental health professionals encourage their clients to meditate or do yoga as a way to control stress, and some may encourage clients to utter mantras as mechanism to calm their minds.

Other Uses of Mantras

In colloquial usage, a mantra can refer to any expression or saying designed to soothe the mind, and sometimes is even used to refer to life aphorisms and summations of beliefs.


  1. Bowker, J. (2006). World religions: The great faiths explored & explained. New York, NY: DK Pub.
  2. The mantra OM. (n.d.). Mandala Yoga Ashram. Retrieved from
  3. The mystery of mantras. (n.d.). Ask Astrologer. Retrieved from

Last Updated: 08-11-2015

  • Leave a Comment
  • marie m

    January 25th, 2017 at 10:08 PM

    very helpful and would like to know about many other types of therapy used in psychiatric beside CBT).
    again thanks a lot

  • Hanson

    April 16th, 2018 at 12:28 AM

    Hi there is just more than spiritual context, sound generated by the mantra with the use of Yoga asana practiced during menashi time have the effect of breaking open block nadis channels and cure illness and allow all kind of power manifestation. In the modern science sound is used to break bladder stone and all kind of stone avoiding invasive surgery. Much more is yet to be discover and more research should be done in use of Mantra within the framework of Yoga.

  • Germaine

    October 16th, 2020 at 8:29 AM

    Can you give me an example of a mantra

  • Bonnie

    September 29th, 2021 at 2:09 PM

    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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