Last Updated: August 5, 2018

Definition - What does Dum mean?

Dum is the bija, or seed mantra, of the Durga, the powerful Hindu goddess who is known as the mother of creation. A bija mantra is a one-syllable word or sound repeated aloud or silently for its vibrational powers. Each bija mantra is believed to calm the mind and focus on a purpose or specific thought.

Those who worship Durga believe she removes suffering and protects them from evil. As the seed mantra of Durga, dum is the sound that provides protective energy.

Yogapedia explains Dum

In yoga, mantras are chanted for focus during meditation, pranayama or asana practice. Dum can be chanted alone or as a part of a longer mantra. When included in the latter, dum is believed to add protective energy to any mantra in which it is included.

A common Durga mantra that includes the dum seed mantra is Om Dum Durgayei Namaha, which requests protection from harm. Two common translations are:

  • “Salutations to the feminine energy of Durga that protects from all negative influences.”
  • “Salutations to she who is beautiful, to the seeker of truth and terrible in appearance to those who would harm devotees of truth.”

Regardless of the specific translation, the mantra is repeated to protect both internal and external negative forces.

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