Mantras have a special place in the scriptures. Mantras have been graded based on their effects. Below are the mantras in orders of their strengths from least to most powerful.
- Mantras from Vedas including Beeja mantras
- Kavach mantras
Chalisas are most popular among people. It is in many of the regional languages in India. 40 verses in praise of the divine power which are chanted on a daily basis. These are some of the most accessible to people. Ex. Hanuman Chalisa.
Shlokas are verses in Sanskrit language and are from the puranas and many old scriptures. Many shlokas are also accessible by people which are used in pujas and for daily routine like before taking bath, before eating, before sleeping, etc.
Stotras are sacred Sanskrit verses describing and honoring a particular divine power. They take multiple forms like 5 verses 0r 8 verses and so on. They have come from epics, Puranas and Itihaasas. Many of them are also available to the common people and many are chanted on a daily basis as part of a puja to a deity. A famous one is the Adiyta Hrdaya Stotra that Lord Rama chanted to kill Raavana.
Sahasranamas /Ashtotaranamas are names of the divine describing particular characteristics of a deity. These names of the divine are also in verse forms. Each name is a mantra on its own and has a particular energy/way to connect with the divine. 2 of the most famous Sahasranamamas that are chanted in many homes are Vishnu Sahasranama and Lalitha Sahasranama.
Mantras: These are more complex and have a structure in them. These are energized words or phrases which carry a lot of power when chanted with correct pronunciation and rhythm. All of them carry details like the Rishi who is the seer of the mantra, who is the deity for this mantra, what is the meter/Chandas the mantra has to be chanted. Almost all of the mantras are from the vedas and are not man made. This is some of the para vidya which was downloaded by the Rishis and preserved for the betterment of humanity. Many of them have their own initiation process by a teacher. These include Beeja mantras which have the concentrated power of the deity. Ganesha Atharva Sheersham, Suktams fall in these category.
Kavach mantras – Some of most powerful and concentrated mantras fall in this category. They are used for protection mainly but also for many other purposes. They are collection of mantras in particular order invoking the highest powers of the divine and are not for common people. A lot of Sadhana is required in order to master the Kavach mantras and to use them effectively.
I have always been drawn towards mantras and love chanting them. During the COVID times, we started getting together to learn the mantras and how to chant them on a daily basis. We have had few batches who have completed the classes and have requested to start a new batch. So on popular demand, I am starting a new class this end of June 2022. We will learning few mantras from vedas.
Classes are on donations basis. We will meet every Sunday from 8am CDT – 9:30 am CDT from June 30, 2022 onwards.
If you are interested, please RSVP here – http://tiny.cc/vedicchanting