Chanting mantras is an integral part of yoga and meditation practices. Mantra yoga is that branch of yoga that leads to deep meditation by engaging the mind on a repetitive sound. This practice is called Japa.
There are a wide variety of mantras in general. In yoga, we use Sanskrit mantras for prayers at the opening and end of a class. However, certain mantras are chanted at certain postures to deepen the meditative aspects of a physical yoga practice.
What is Bija Mantra?
A Bija Mantra is the simplest form of a mantra which is made up of a root syllable of the Sanskrit alphabets. They are the monosyllabic words that exert great spiritual power when chanted during meditation.
The word ‘Bija‘ means ‘seed’ and ‘Mantra’ means ‘which binds the mind’. Just like a seed gives birth to large plants and trees, using bija mantra different types of mantras are derived. The sounds of bija mantra are very short and they can be pronounced no time when learned correctly. Hence, Bija Mantra is also called ‘seed mantra’ or ‘seed sound’.
Bija Mantras can be thought of as the innermost source of energy (referring to seed as the inner source). They open us to a wide range of qualities as the result of different vibrations.
A bija mantra does not have a direct translation since it’s a single syllable. However, multiple bija mantras are separate mantras within themselves. You can combine them with other powerful Mantras to enhance their energy.
For example, ‘Om’ is the most common chant Bija mantra; when it is combined with other bija mantras then we get planet mantras and different yoga prayers.
The origin of Bija Mantras
The energy of any mantra is contained in its seed and that sound vibration that came from its pronunciation. It is from this seeding (bija) that the science of Mantra emerges. It is important to select the appropriate bija to make them effective in the purpose.
The well-known single syllable Bija Mantra is Om which was mentioned in one of the oldest Indian scriptures, the Mundaka Upanishad. Bija Mantras are used in the Tantra discipline of the scriptures. The first sound of all the four Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda) are believed to have created the bija ‘im‘ or ‘aim‘.
The Bija Mantras activate the particular deities. In this context, the Bruhad Gandharva Tantra explains
“Mantrochchar Matrena Devarupam Prajayate“
Goddess Parvati, please listen to the divine nature of the Bijas as I tell you. The mere utterance of a Bija Mantra causes the manifestation of the deity of that site.
The Shakta Tantra describe the names and Bija Mantras for the worship of the deities like Durga, Vishnupriya, Lokamata, Rudrakshini, etc.
Whereas, the Shaiva Tantra talks about the names and Bija Mantras for worshipping the forms of Shiva like Kapali, Mahakal, Varan, Chand, Jvalamukh, and more.
For this reason, Bija Mantras are chanted to activate the powers that are associated with a particular God or Goddess. Only by the pronunciation and repetition of these Mantras, we can call upon tremendous energy.
How do Bija Mantras Work?
The chanting of Bija Mantra creates a specific frequency in the environment, which in turn produces a particular range of sound waves. These waves later activate specific energy centres, called Chakras, in our body.
The activation of chakras leads to the balanced and continuous flow of prana vayus (vital force) through the nadis (channels carrying prana). And when the flow of prana is regulated within the body, it contributes to a healthier body, mind, and spirit.
Repeating the Bija Mantras helps enhance one’s mental energy and sharpens the intellect. They create harmony among the physical and mental systems, clearing our way to better spiritual expansion.
Bija Mantras act as a sound therapy to connect us with the wavelengths of the universe. They form this connection via vibrations, which in turn takes the form of energy. The energy produced by the use of Bija Mantras has healing powers as well as aids our spiritual transformation.
The repetition of Bija Mantra leads to a focused mind. While the divine utterance itself works like a magic, the regular rehearsal of these mantras also helps stabilize the unnecessary speeding of the mind, often resulting in stress.
What are the Types of Bija Mantras?
The Bija Mantras are categorized according to the purposes they serve. Mainly there are three types of Bija Mantras;
- Bija Mantras with worldly expectations (Sakam) – These are the Bija Mantras starting with rhim, shrim, klim, etc.
- Bija Mantras without worldly expectations (Nishkam) – There are the Bija Mantras starting with Om (or ‘Aum’).
- Both with and without expectation – The Bijas like Rhrim are suffixed with Om and are followed by the other letters of the Mantra.
There are also conjoined Bija Mantras in which two or more bijas (seed sounds) are combined. For instance, rhim shrim krim is a conjoined bijamantra. The main purpose of combining the bijas is to increase the energy of the Mantra, out of which great diversity can be created.
The Fetkarini Tantra offers an example of a conjoined bija. When ‘rhim‘ is used twice, it is called the bija of coyness (lajjabija). It is believed to be the bija of the entire creation.
Other than these, the Bija Mantras are classified based on their use. Some activate the five elements of the body. Whereas some are used to cure diseases or balance chakras in the body.
Common Bija Mantras
The total number of Bija Mantras is huge. However, there are some common Bija Mantras that can be included in your daily chanting sessions.
They are mentioned below.
1. Bija Mantras for invoking the power of deities
“Om” – Om is the Bija Mantra for worshipping Brahman, the Supreme Consciousness, or the Vedas. Its chanting helps you concentrate better and cleanse the impure environment around you.
“Kreem” – Kreem is the Bija Mantra associated with Goddess Kali. It signifies strength and courage. The chanting of this Bija Mantra helps in removing the sorrows from your life.
“Shreem” – Shreem is the Bija Mantra associated with Goddess Laxmi. Its chanting is helpful for living a prosperous and satisfying life.
“Hroum” – Hroum is associated with Lord Shiva. When the yogis chant this Bija Mantra repeatedly, they are blessed with wealth and social status. It also protects from disease, grief or death.
“Klim” – This bij mantra is for Shakti (the primal energy). Chanting this will help attain mental power over materialistic desires. It also enhances the courage and activity of a person.
“Aam” – Aam is believed to invoke the power of God Vinayaka or Ganesha. Its chanting is said to benefit concentration and focus. One can sharpen the intellect with repeated chanting of this Mantra.
“Hreem” – Hreem is the Bija Mantra, believed to invoke the power of Goddess Mahamaya or Bhavaneshwari. It is chanted to gain authenticity and power.
“Ayeim” – Ayeim is associated with Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. This Bija Mantra can be chanted by students who are in their learning phase. It can also be combined with other Saraswati mantras for enhancing your ability to gain knowledge.
“Gam” – This Bija Mantra relates to Lord Ganapati. Its chanting transforms bad luck into good luck. You can chant this Bija Mantra while beginning a new work or taking a new step in life.
“Dam” – Dam is the Bija Mantra related to Lord Vishnu. It is believed to bless you with wealth and happiness.
“Bhram” – Bhram is associated with Lord Bhairava. It inspires practitioners for victory. This Bija Mantra signifies fame and success.
“Dhoom” – This Bija Mantra manifests Goddess Dhumavati. Its repeated chanting helps in fulfilling desires. It is a powerful bija mantra for destroying your enemies.
“Ham” – Ham is the bija mantra for Lord Hanuman. It is chanted to ask Lord Hanuman to remove all the miseries from life.
“Dhham” – It is the bija mantra invoking the powers of Lord Kubera, the wealth god. It proves to be a good mantra for gaining wealth, success, and all-around prosperity.
“Svaha” – Svaha is a bija mantra associated with Lord Agni, the fire god. It is chanted while offering tributes to the Agni (fire). This bija mantra signifies surrender or dropping off one’s ego, desires, and material pleasures.
2. Bija Mantras of the five elements
These bija mantras are believed to activate one of the five elements (panch tatva) of the body;
“Lam” – Lam is the bija mantra activating the earth element in the body. It enhances the functioning of muscles, bones, teeth, and fats.
“Vam” – Vam is the bija mantra related to the water element in the body. Its chanting invokes proper nourishment and protection of the body as well as reduces heat and pain.
“Ram” – It is the bija mantra for the fire element (agni tatva). The chanting of Ram is good for regulating your digestive system and the appropriate supply of nutrients to the body.
“Yam” – It is the bija mantra for air element (vayu tatva). This bija mantra can help regulate the flow of prana and energy transfers in your body.
“Ham, Kham” – are the bija mantras of the ether element. Upon chanting them, you can balance your feelings of love, energy, as well as time.
3. Bija Mantras to fulfill worldly desires
There are a lot of things that we want for ourselves. The Tantras have given the bija mantras for these worldly desires as well. They are as follows.
“Aim” – Aim is the bija mantra used for the acquisition of knowledge. It is an excellent regular chant for students, academics, researchers, or people who are constantly seeking to gain more knowledge.
“Am” – Am is the bija mantra for building confidence in oneself. It is chanted to acquire the energy to achieve what is seemingly impossible.
“Soum” – Soum is chanted to achieve prosperity in all spheres of life. It is the bija mantra, which helps bring happiness and satisfaction to a person.
“Klim” – If you have an unfulfilled wish, Klim is the bija mantra for you. Its regular chanting helps with the fulfilment of desires.
“Lhim” – Lhim is the bija mantra for winning debates. This chanting can be adopted by professionals who are into debates like lawyers and researchers.
4. Bija Mantras for Chakras
Balancing the chakras is an important factor in living a healthy life. There are 7 bija mantras we can chant to keep chakras in balance.
“Lam, Irum” – These are the bija mantras associated with the Muladhara chakra. Chanting this bija mantra promotes grounding and balance
“Vam” – Vam is the bija mantra for Svadhishthan chakra. It helps in regulating the operations of sex organs.
“Ram” – These bija mantras are associated with Manipur chakra and help the digestive systems function well.
“Yam” – Yam can be chanted to cure heart and lung-related diseases. It eases breathing. This bija mantra is associated with Anahata chakra.
“Ham” – People who face problems in speech should chant this bija mantra. “Ham” is the bija mantra of the throat chakra and corrects the speech system.
“Om” – Om is associated with the Ajna chakra. Its chanting sharpens the mind and intellect.
5. Bija Mantras for diseases
Other than the chakra bija mantras, there are some bija mantras that work on different organ and diseases related to them.
“Rhaam” – Rhaam is the bija mantra associated with chest, heart, or respiratory tract. It can also be chanted for enhancing one’s mental abilities.
“Rhim” – To cure the diseases of your throat, nose, and palate, chant ‘Rhim’ bija mantra.
“Rhum” – Rhum is the bija mantra associated with problems of level, spleen, intestines, stomach, and uterus.
“Rhaim” – Chanting this mantra is good for treating diseases related to the kidneys and urinary bladder.
“Rhoum” – Rhoum is the bija mantra associated with curing the anus and stomach related diseases.
These bija mantras are also chanted before performing sun salutations as it is the practice that benefits all systems of the body.
Just as the seed has the ability to transform into a fully grown tree, the bija mantras act on different parts of the systems, wishes, and expectations to make them fulfilled. Bija mantras are the essence of the mantras and possess the power to make a big change.
The bija mantras are the powerhouse that will double the effects of your yoga and meditation practice. Include them in your practice and let the sound vibrations fill your body and mind with purity!