Definition - What does Bija Mantra mean?
A bija mantra (Sanskrit: बीज मन्त्र) is a one-syllable sound used in meditation or yoga practice. The Sanskrit phrase bija mantra directly means, “seed mantra” and is comprised of three little words; bija meaning seed, man meaning the mind or to think, and tra meaning an instrument.
Bija mantras are the most basic of primordial mantras; they are simple single syllable words that can be chanted or meditated on alone, or attached to a longer mantra to enhance its power and quality. There are a number of bija mantras and they each have meaning and intense vibratory qualities. A bija mantra can be considered a mantra booster when attached on to another longer mantra.
Bija mantras are considered very intense and act as an instrument to access higher levels of consciousness. All Sanskrit, but particularly in the use of bija mantras, is thought to constitute divinity in the form of a sound.
Yogapedia explains Bija Mantra
A good place where bija mantras are used on their own is with the chakras, or energy centers, that align with the spine. The most common chakras begin at the base of the spine and then become more refined as they arise and eventually conclude at the top of the head. Each chakra is associated with its own bija mantra:
- Lam – muladhara (root) chakra
- Vam – svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra
- Ram – manipura (solar plexus) chakra
- Yam – anahata (heart) chakra
- Ham – visuddha (throat) chakra
- Sham – ajna (third eye) chakra
- Om – sahasrara (crown) chakra
The best known bija mantra is Om (or Aum), which is the sound of Brahman, the vibration or primordial sound. It is often chanted during yoga practice and meditation. Other common bija mantras include:
- Krim – believed to awaken the lower chakras.
- Shrim – correlates to the goddess Lakshmi and is thought to promote health, joy and beauty.
- Hrim – associated with creativity, purification of the heart and healing.
- Hum – energizes the body and eliminates negativity.
- Lung – associated with the earth element and is used as a grounding chakra
- Vang – associated with the water element and is used to ground and increase sensuality
- Rang – associated with the fire element and is an energizing mantra
Pronunciation: the pronunciation in Sanskrit is very important and can change the meaning of the word and its vibratory quality. A quick guide to the vowels is as follows:
- a - is pronounced like the “u” in up
- i - is pronounced like “ee”
- u - is pronounced like “oo” in the word loot