The Sanskrit word 'mantra' means 'a powerful tool of the mind'. This also happens to be the best way to approach using mantras in your meditation.
Mantras may have originated in Vedic texts, but to understand them you'd have to look at them as a composite of sounds.
Every syllable or sound has a vibration attached to them. A vibration that you can feel in your body while listening to it or chanting it.
Among these syllables and sounds, each one seems to resonate in a specific area in our body and generates an accompanying response from it.
An 'mmm' will not be felt in the same organ as an 'au' and therefore will have a different effect on you physically, as well as the emotion it generates in your mind.
Think of mantras as a combination of these sounds, and our logical mind is better able to understand mantras as tools that can bring a positive change to our bodies and minds.
This also explains why mantras can have wide-ranging effects like bringing about complete relaxation or ensuring you wake up full of energy to quieting down a stressful or anxious mind or healing wounds from an emotional wound.
How do you best leverage this power of mantras? The ideal way is to meditate while listening to it or chanting it.
The intent you bring into a meditation session is just as important as the mantras themselves. If you hope to recover from an emotional break, it is crucial that you set that as the sole focus of the meditation session.
This prepares our body and mind to accept the influence of the meditation and the mantra.
With this combination of sounds and intent, you can heal and improve your life, naturally and effectively.
To make it easier for someone new to mantras to discover them, we will divide our mantra library into categories that follow a certain theme. It can either be the deity whose power it invokes or the purpose for which it is used for.