The Mantra is widely used in the Indian tradition and it is a powerful tool by which it is intended to gain control of the mind or induce in it different contents from the usual ones.
The Sanskrit word Mantra, which originally indicated a Vedic hymn, from the etymological point of view, it results from the fusion of the suffix Tra, usually used to form instrument names, and from the verbal root man which can refer to the act of thinking. Literally it could therefore be interpreted as a "tool for thinking" or, as many like to explain, a tool for the mind.
But a different interpretation, certainly more connected to tantrism, holds that the word derives from two other terms, namely manana (always referred to the mental) and trāṇa liberation.
However no attempt at definition can adequately express the meaning that this name assumes in hindū culture.
In other words, the Mantra is a verbal instrument for Indian culture to which most people attribute extraordinary powers. "A word or formula ... (that) represents a presence or a mental energy; through this we produce something in the mind in a crystallized form "(Zimmer - Myhts).
It seems that there are about seventy million formulas: those useful for overcoming a discomfort, for being successful, for securing a long life, for protecting against dangers and difficulties, for infusing love into lovers not very sensitive, etc.
Some Mantra of the Atharvaveda had the function of expelling fever or other diseases from the body.
Among the words of many authoritative texts we read between the lines that with the use of an appropriate Mantra everything seems to become possible and Indian people don’t show any doubt in linking the Mantra to the śabdabrahman or divine sound.
When they are recited and intoned correctly, they became an integral part of the liturgy in antiquity, even as a communication tool with the Divine.
In modern times, the efficacy of the Mantra is not so much connected to the meaning of the words that compose it, but to the mental discipline that it represents. This causes impulses in the mind aimed at elevation and self-healing.
Certainly, keeping the mind engaged on "better" contents than the usual ones, induces the blooming of a different nature in the practitioner.
It is stated in modern psychology that even a lie repeated more than sixty times becomes a truth for who said it. For the same reason, to express with the mind a "purpose" for a thousand times, can lead to a concrete realization.
However, we must not forget that, according to Indian culture, the highest goal of the mantra is to create a direct connection with the divine.
There are mantra so to speak generic (mahāmantra), suitable for everyone, and personal Mantra, in relation with its own Ishta Deva (the divinity with which a disciple was initiated), whose continuous repetition (japa), according to tradition, clarifies and purifies the thoughts.
In the Puranas the japa is considered as an easy way to reach the Brahmavidya or knowledge of the Brahman (the Absolute or "Eternal Foundation of every existing").
Many of these mantra are famous, for example the Gayatri, a Mantra composed of twenty-four syllables (a triplet of eight syllables for each verse) that appears as X ° Mantra at the XVI sutra of the third mandala.
The term Gayatri seems to derive from GAYAntamTRIyate Iti which could literally mean: "the one who helps (or protects) whoever recites it is “This". With regard to the meaning of these verses, we rightly read, in Stefano Piano's encyclopedia of Yoga, that <<No translation can do justice to its multiple meanings and deep echoes in the heart of a Hindu, but a literal translation could be the following: “Let us meditate on that desirable glory of Savitṛ that he stimulates our minds” >>.
Many hymns of the Rik Veda were however composed with the same meter as the most famous one dedicated to the Goddess Gayatri wife of Brahma and mother of the four Vedas.
In conclusion, Mantra is an instrument, considered easy, but very serious, which can be used to stabilize the mind on an idea and direct it towards a goal. But as we read in the Vision of Divine by Eruch B.Fanibunda - many people, induced into error, do not understand the divine nature of Mantra and try to buy them from people who have made a "business" out of spirituality. Then they declare that they have reached a particular state of meditation. These states are nothing more than a range of various shades of self-hypnosis, induced through suggestions, and produce a temporary state of physical euphoria or well-being.
We hope that the reader can recognize them for what they truly are ...