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Top 5 Most Popular Mantras (and Their Real Meanings)

For thousands of years, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism have used mantras. However, these days, the term ‘mantra’ is more popular than ever – and for good reason.These simple words or phrases repeated daily can ease stress and improve mental clarity at any age. Of course, people haven’t always used mantras for the same purpose.

For example, mantras in Hinduism and Buddhism were used to summon gods and goddesses for blessings and guidance. Our ancestors believed that mantras reverberate with the cosmos, bringing inner calm, harmony, and balance.

While I can’t tell if that’s true or not, I can promise you this: mantras purify the mind and help you get rid of negative thoughts in less than one month.

Yes, you read that right! Before you start repeating random phrases, though, you should understand the main types of mantras and how they work.

Photo Credits By Envato Elements

Ready to find out more? Let’s start with the most popular mantras…

Om (AUM)

In Hinduism and Buddhism, Om (originally AUM) is one of the most used mantras – but why?

Well, each letter of the Sanskrit symbol of Om—A, U, and M—has a meaning:

  • “A” denotes creation;
  • “U” stands for preservation;
  • “M” means destruction.

In other words, these three letters symbolize life, death, and rebirth and the entire cosmos.

But Om is even more than that. It’s a spiritual incantation that transcends words and connects to the divine. When repeated, Om ends up calming the mind and bringing inner peace and harmony.

Hindu prayers and ceremonies use the mantra to invoke divine blessings and guidance.

Similarly, Om also helps Buddhists meditate and find inner serenity. The mantra purifies the mind and removes unwanted thoughts and emotions and people often use it to enter a deep meditation state.

SPECIAL NOTE: You can use Om as a mantra even if you’re not religious. Overall, this powerful phrase can transform the mind and soul in meditation, ritual, or personal growth.

Whether used for meditation, spiritual growth, or just to relax and balance your life, Om can be a great option.

Hare Krishna (Hare Rama)

This mantra is supposed to offer divine blessings, guidance, and inner tranquility and separation from the mundane world. In prayer or meditation, the Hare Krishna mantra can strengthen one’s spiritual practice and connect with the divine, providing serenity, happiness, and spiritual growth to the devotee.

Hindus have employed Hare Krishna, also known as Hare Rama, for generations to explore spirituality and devotion. Basically, this mantra combines the Sanskrit words “Hare” and “Krishna” (or “Rama”).

In Hinduism, Radha is addressed as “Hare.” According to the legend, Lord Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu. Hare Krishna brings the believer closer to the divine and divine feminine energy.

Lord Krishna represents love, compassion, and knowledge in Hinduism. Hare Krishna mantra chanting as a method to connect with Lord Krishna and invoke his blessings. The devotee is thought to gain calm, contentment, and spiritual progress through this connection and conquer daily hardships.

The Hare Krishna chant can also increase spirituality and devotion to the holy. Focusing on the divine helps devotees find inner serenity and detachment from the earthly world, helping them to feel more connected to the universe.

Hindus do bhakti yoga (devotion) by repeating the Hare Krishna mantra. Bhakti yoga cultivates divine devotion through mantras, prayers, and other spiritual practices. The Hare Krishna mantra is one of the fastest and most direct ways to spiritual emancipation.


Om Mani Padme Hum

If today’s materialism consumes you to your core, this mantra is for you. Accordingly, the Om Mani Padme Hum can help you reach inner serenity and detachment from the material world. Simply put, you remember what truly matters for you.

Historically, the Sanskrit chant Om Mani Padme Hum is popular in Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhists utilize this mantra for spiritual progress and devotion. But what does it mean anyway?

Well, Om Mani Padme Hum means “the diamond in the lotus,” but its meaning is deeper. This mantra represents the Buddha’s teachings and the path to enlightenment. This mantra is said to bring the practitioner closer to the divine and help them understand the Buddha’s teachings.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the six syllables of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra symbolise the six worlds and the route to enlightenment:

  • “Om” represents the gods;
  • “Mani” represents the jealous gods;
  • “Padme” depicts humans;
  • “Hum” represents animals;
  • “Padme Hum” symbolizes hell and hungry spirits.

I know this may sound weird for somebody not used to the Buddhist culture, but trust me on this: the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra helps practitioners navigate these six worlds and achieve enlightenment. It purifies the mind and removes negative thoughts and emotions, enabling deep meditation and spiritual connection. Tibetan Buddhist prayers and rituals use the mantra to invoke divine blessings and guidance.

Tibetan Buddhism views the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra as a devotional practice that cultivates compassion and knowledge.


Shanti Mantra

The Shanti Mantra is performed in Jainism to promote world peace. This one is usually recited with other prayers and rituals to help spiritual growth. In fact, reciting this mantra is considered to calm the mind, body, and spirit and eliminate bad ideas and feelings.

The Shanti Mantra, meaning “peace,” is said to bring peace to one’s life and the planet. This chant is said to quiet the mind, relieve anxiety, and restore balance to the practitioner.

The Hindu Shanti Mantra purifies your mind and banishes unpleasant ideas and feelings.

Meanwhile, Buddhist practitioners use the Shanti Mantra to cultivate compassion and wisdom through devotion. This mantra is said to bring the practitioner closer to the divine and help them understand the Buddha’s teachings.

Gayatri Mantra

Hindus love the Gayatri Chant, a Sanskrit mantra which is why I wanted to include it in my list. You can think of it a a prayer to the sun, the source of all life and energy.

The Gayatri Mantra means “may we acquire that splendid splendor of the holy vedic sun, may he enlighten our intellects.” Reciting it purifies the mind, banishes unpleasant thoughts and emotions, and strengthens the connection to the divine.

Hindus also repeat the Gayatri Mantra to gain spiritual wisdom. This way, people get closer to the divine and help them grasp Hindu scriptures.

Interestingly enough, this practice is thought to provide physical and mental advantages as well as spiritual ones. It reduces tension and anxiety, improves attention and clarity, and calms the mind and body.

Hindus repeat the Gayatri Mantra 108 times, a sacred number. Now, I know that’s a lot so you don’t have to do it exactly like that. However, you can start with 5-10 minutes per day and see how it goes from there!

Photo Credits By Envato Elements


Mantras are essential to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. These practices can purify the mind, banish unpleasant thoughts and emotions, and deepen a spiritual connection.

Each mantra has its own meaning – and that’s exactly what makes them so fascinating. However, if these aren’t your cup of tea, I totally get it – and I have a solution!

I highly recommend our guide on 6 easy activities that work just as well as meditation to any beginner in this area. These simple day-to-day habits can boost your mood, improve your physical health and get you to socialize in less than 30 minutes per day!

Passionate about cognitive psychology and data research, Tudor aims to highlight the importance of prioritizing self-care regardless of age, gender, or nationality. For over two years, he has been prioritizing extensive research in mindfulness and meditation techniques delivered to everyday people in a simple, meaningful manner.

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