Definition - What does Bija Mantra mean?
A bija mantra, also known as a seed mantra, is a one-syllable sound used in meditation or yoga practice. The term comes from the Sanskrit, bija, meaning “seed,” man, meaning “to think,” and tra, meaning “liberate.”
In general, chanting a mantra focuses concentration on one purpose and/or stills the mind. In Hatha yoga, the seven cleansing bija mantras focus on the chakra energy centers along the spine in order to balance the body and the mind. The mantras are typically chanted as the yogi relaxes in a cross-legged seated position or while lying down.
Yogapedia explains Bija Mantra
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 – thought to promote health, joy and beauty.
- Hrim – associated with creativity, purification of the heart and healing.
- Hum – energizes the body and eliminates negativity.
In traditional Hatha yoga, each bija mantra is believed to vibrate with the energy of its associated chakra:
- 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