5 Mantras I rely on

If you know me, I practice Mantras very secretly. I don’t chant much in front of others even during classes. For me, Mantras are a private thing. Mantras are my prayers and I pray very privately.

Mantras are special. They’re like magic spells you learn in Hogwarts and just like magic spells, there are certain Mantras you are not to practice unless instructed by your teacher. According to Tantric teachings, most Mantras are said to be “locked,” meaning even if you googled and find out the meanings and start chanting, they would not have powers or effects whatsoever simply because the practitioner is not ready. But even within Tantric teachings, there are certain “unlocked” Mantras, some of which I do practice.

1. OM

This one is a no brainer. I often sit quietly after my pranayama or asana practice to listen to the sound of om in my head. I imagine voices of monks chanting somewhere in one of those mountain top temples in Japan.

2. MAHA MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA

I’ve learned this one a long time ago as one of the unlocked mantras.

oṃ tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā ‘mṛtāt

Rig Veda 7.59.12

It is a mantra that is said to defeat fear, confusion, and even death. Now, even if it doesn’t completely defeat death, it is a perfect mantra to use at a time like this to give you extra inner strength and nurture your soul.

3. GĀYATRĪ mantra

I have Chloé, graduate of FEY school to thank for this one. During her YTT thesis, she had led this mantra. Since then, I notice myself humming or chanting as I cook or drive a motorbike.

oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ suvaḥ tat-savitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt

Rig Veda 3.62.10

It is one of the most commonly known mantras and its meaning is to offer praise to all light in this world and its creator (whatever you want to call it). Some say to visualise the sun within us as you chant. Listen to the beautiful voice of Deva Primal here.

4. Livin’ On a Prayer ~ Bon Jovi

Yup, I can almost hear some groans. But it’s true. For me, what’s important when chanting mantra or praying is that I can relate to it. I can relate and feel it’s importance. If I don’t feel it, I don’t chant. I notice myself singing this especially recently as we watched others leave the island in panic and I couldn’t help but feel somewhat lonely and abandoned. I sing it like it really is a prayer.

We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for love
We’ll give it a shotWoah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Livin’ on a prayer

Jon Bon Jovi

5. Let’s go down by the river

For me, there’s something is so peaceful and soulful about gospels. In fact, I love them. I am not a Christian but in some ways, I relate to the sounds and lyrics in these songs more than mantras. And I love the idea, no matter what religions or philosophy we are referring to in the moment, the idea of someone (you call it what you want, the Universe, the Lord, the Force, god) watching over us and no matter what I do, I am still on the right path.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way O sisters, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

Christian gospel

And I guess it comes down to that. Mantras and prayers are there for me to feel more connected to the Source every time I feel disconnected, lonely and lost. When fear shows up, I have a belief that I am disbanded from the Creator or the Force when in fact, I have never been separated. I just believe that I strayed from the path. But I am not separated from the Source/the Universe/God/the Force, ever. And neither are you.

About the author: Tomomi Becot

Tomomi is the owner of Flying Elephant Yoga in Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. She started practicing yoga when she first moved to Canada as a teenager in 2000. She then became a certified yoga teacher in 2008 and has been an integral part of extensive yoga teacher training programs both at a 200hr and 500hr level. After teaching and traveling in North America, Mexico, Australia, and Bali, Indonesia, she established her own independent yoga school in 2014. Her classes are based on vinyasa or flow mixed with her own personality and experience, and various styles of yoga she studied along her journey. With the background of vinyasa, power vinyasa, yin, pre- and post-natal yoga, she encourages her students to observe their minds while nurturing their own individuality. Her classes are about honoring both the traditional and the modern, physical and mental aspects of yoga.