A Guide to Common Chants

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1. Aum

The Primal Shabda

Om, actually pronounced "Aum," is an affirmation of the Divine Presence that is the universe and is similar to the Hebrew "Amen." There are many ways of chanting Aum, but this is an approach that will initiate you as a Shabda Yogi, one who pursues the path of sound toward wholeness and higher states of consciousness.

2. Lokah Samastha

A Chant for Wholeness

Lokah samastha sukhino bhavanthu.

May this world be established with a sense of
well-being and happiness.

3. Gayatri


Being Illuminated by Sacred Sound

Om bhur bhuvas svaha

Thath savithur varaynyam

Bhargo dheyvasya dhimahih

Dhyoyonah pratchodhay-yath


We worship the word (shabda) that is present in the
earth, the heavens, and that which is beyond. By
meditating on this glorious power that gives us life,
we ask that our minds and hearts be illuminated.

4. Om Namah Shivaaya

Om Namah Shivaaya, Namah Shivaaya, Nama Shiva

I bow to Lord Shiva, the peaceful one who is the
embodiment of all that is cause by the universe.

5. Bija Mantras

Seed Mantras

In the “seed” (bija) mantras each seed is conceived of as the sound-form of a particular Hindu deity, and each deity is in turn a particular aspect of the Absolute (Brahman). It’s said that just as a great tree resides in within the seed, so does a god or goddess reside in each bija. When we chant the bijas, we identify each syllable with the divine energy they represent.