Healing Mantras

Healing Mantras

Healing Mantras

Healing mantras have an ancient history. For thousands of years the rishis of India (Hindu sages) experimented with the effects of chanting. Mantras focused on the names of the gods and goddesses in the Hindu pantheon appear to be coded compilations of sound designed to create elevated states and to stimulate health and longevity.

Mantras and Eastern Deities
Mantras are keys to connecting with and embodying the aspect of God’s consciousness exemplified by a particular deity. This can result in spiritual, emotional and even physical healing. This article covers several aspects of healing mantras: healing mantras and the science of sound; specific words and syllables and their effects; healing mantras from Ayurvedic medicine; nature and healing mantras; and chakras and healing mantras.

Table of Contents

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Powerful Mantras for the Heart

Chanting is one of the most effective ways to bring spiritual fire into the heart itself and into the heart chakra, the energy center associated with your physical heart. Spiritual fire purifies, heals and creates new connections in the heart.

Seed Syllables for the Heart
There are mantras that utilize seed syllables specifically for the heart. Primary among these is the seed syllable YAM, which is the central seed or bija syllable for the heart. The formula for these mantras is to start with OM, then YAM, then a second seed syllable and then “Namah” which means “I agree, I bow or I accept.”

Om Yam Hrim Namah
Om Yam Shrim Namah
Om Yam Krim Namah

Word-By-Word Mantra Meaning
The key words for each mantra are the following:

YAM: Seed syllable of the heart chakra.
HRIM: The seed syllable “hrim” is a combination of “ha” for prana, space and light with “ra” for fire and light and “im” for energy & focus.
SHRIM draws abundance, positive growth and development; “shri” or “sri” means splendor. SHRIM is the feeling aspect of the heart.
KRIM is correlated to the basic electrical energy of all life.

Om Hrim Namah, Om Hrim Namah
Hrim,Om Hrim Namah

A mantra of fire honoring the energy of the heart. HRIM is associated with the sun and solar energy. “Namah” or “Namaha” means “I bow” or “I give honor.” Hrim” purifies the physical heart, the emotional heart and the spiritual heart.

OM HRIM Hamsah Sohum Svaha

OM: Primal sound of all creation. Hum of the universe. The first sound of God’s consciousness manifesting as form (Sri Yantra).
HAMSAH & SOHAM: “Hamsa”  and “soham” focus on the inhale and exhale, helping to create a vibration that connects you to your heart and is healing for the heart, lungs and spirit. 

Kyrie Kyrie Kyrie Eleison

A chant of mercy beginning in pagan traditions, later adopted into Jewish rituals and brought into the Christian tradition in the 5th century. “Kyrie” is usually translated as “Lord.” The full translation is “Lord, have mercy.”

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Shiva Ra
Hari Om, Hari Om
Shiva Ra Namo

This chant is in honor of Shiva who “is like the sun” (Ra). Hari means “the remover” and refers to Shiva as the one who remove all suffering. Shiva is also closely connected to the third eye chakra. More on the third eye chakra below.

RESOURCES: Listen to a video of the Shiva Ra mantra in the article Shiva Mantra for Freedom, Liberation & Joy. Learn more about the third eye chakra in Third Eye Chakra – Seat of Spiritual Vision.

The Relationship Between Light and the Eyes

The eyes are dependent on light to function. As light passes through the front of the eye, the dome-shaped cornea bends the light to focus the eye. The iris controls how much light the pupil lets in. The light then hits the retina, a light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

Photoreceptors in the retina turn the light into electrical signals. When those signals travel through the optic nerve to the brain, they are turned into images. Mantras send vibrations through the entire head and skull, positively affecting the brain, eyes, ears, and so forth. 

Ram Eye Healing Mantra
Ram the Hindu Avatar

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Powerful Healing Mantra to Rama

Rama (or Ram) lived thousands of years ago in India. He possessed great spiritual authority and was known for the healings and blessings he bestowed on others. The word “ram” is also the Sanskrit seed syllable for the solar plexus. This means that the powerful emotional energy of the solar plexus can be activated using this syllable. That emotional energy can be directed towards healing.

Stimulating the Energy Pathways
The name “Rama” itself stimulates both the masculine energy of the sun (ra) and the energy of the Divine Mother (ma). These energies intertwine around the spine as shown in the symbol of the caduceus. Chanting these two syllables brings the energy from the base to the crown, clearing and healing the chakras and related organs along the way.

Rama Healing Chant
Om Apadamapa Hataram Dataram
Sarva Sampadam
Lokah Bhi Ramam Sri Ramam
Bhuyo Bhuyo Namam Yaham

Other deities associated with the third eye include Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna. A simple mantra to Krishna is “Devakinandana Gopala.” This mantra means “Gopala is the joy or bliss (ananda) of his mother Devaki.” Hear mantras and learn more at Krishna Mantra.

Mantras and the Lungs

Healing Mantra for the Lungs

Hamsa Hamsa
Hamsa Hamsa Hamsa

Mantras for the lungs often focus on the breath, creating a smooth inhale and exhale to strengthen the lungs and calm the mind. This simple hamsa mantra helps to create a vibration that connects to your lungs, heart and spirit.

Meaning of the Word “Hamsa”
The “ham” is the sound of the in breath and the “sa” is the sound of the outbreath. “Hamsa” or “hansa” is also a term of honor, literally meaning “swan.” For example, the name “paramahansa” means the “highest swan.” This is the name given to  Paramahansa Yoganada, author of the famous book Autobiography of a Yogi.

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Healing Mantra for Digestion

Om Agni Devaya Namaha

This mantra specifically brings fire (agni) to purify the liver of anger or trauma held in the physical body. We need chemical fire to digest our food as well as spiritual fire to digest our thoughts and experiences. Watch a video and read stories about the power of primordial fire in Agni Deva: Hindu God of Fire

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Mantra for the Throat and Thyroid

Ham is the seed syllable for the throat chakra. This chant honors and strengthens the energy of positive personal power and finding your own voice. Shiva is associated with the breath which passes through the throat to connect us to life. “Hamsa” and “soham” are words associated with the in breath and out breath to help focus and regulate the breath and emotions. 

Hamsa Shiva Soham
Shiva Shiva Namaha Shiva Soham

Healing Mantras from Ayurvedic Medicine

There are specific chants in the Indian Ayurvedic system for all aspects of the subtle energy body that is surrounding and interpenetrating the physical body. The holistic science of Ayurvedic healing was developed in India over 3,000 years ago. According to Ayurvedic teachings, the subtle energy body can be harmonized to the physical body to create a flow of energy, also known as shakti, that assists and supports physical health.

Understanding Shakti Energy

Shakti is the unformed, feminine energy that pervades the universe. This energy is also known  as chi or prana. This is the energy behind all manifestations. In the Chinese system, the shakti would be the yin energy and the masculine energy would be the yang energy.

Masculine and Feminine Polarities
The masculine energy is Shiva in the Hindu tradition. The masculine energy creates a container into which the shakti energy or goddess energy can be poured. The individual determines the form that the energy will take. You can pour that energy into creating artwork, a business, a relationship or a child.

Head with Healing Mantras

Mantra Purusha: The Body of Sound

The energy body around the physical body is known as the Mantra Purusha or the body of sound. The Mantra Purusha correlates all of the vowels, consonants, semi-vowels and sibilants in the Sanskrit language to regions of the body. There are sixteen vowels, twenty-five consonants and nine semi-vowels and sibilants. Many of the vowels and corresponding syllables have both long and short vowel forms. The sounds and mantras correspond to zones known as the marmas that are similar to but larger than acupuncture points.

Resource for Healing Mantras
A great introductory handbook for this topic is Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound by Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shasti). Dr. Frawley includes an appendix with mantras for each area of the body. Each mantra follows a pattern: the word “om” followed by the seed syllable for a specific part of the body, followed by the word “namah” and completed by the name of the bodily location.

Translating Healing Mantras
For example, a possible mantra for the head is “Om Am Namah Sirasi,” which translates something like: “O Universe, I give reverence to my head!” Likewise, the mantra “Om Im Namah Vama Netre” means “O Universe, I give reverence to my left eye!” See illustration.

Healing Mantras for the Chakras
Other Vedic chants focus on the energy of the chakras. For example, each of the seed syllables for the chakras can be used to create mantras. These syllables reflect the essence of each chakra and help to clear and strengthen the associated energy.

Creating a Healing Mantra

When vowels and consonants are put together in words and phrases and mantras, formulas can be created with distinct impacts on emotional, mental and physical states. For example, the sound “uhm” or “ahm” is purported to energize and purify the blood. The “uh” is said to help to cleanse the body of impurities and the “m” seals the body from incoming negative energies.

Mantra for the Endocrine System
Likewise, the sound “aha” is stimulating for the endocrine system. This exclamation is often used in English when a sudden solution or insight is gained (aha!). The Sanskrit translation means something very similar: “indeed, it is true, certainly, surely, it is granted.”

Mantras and Laughter Therapy
When this sound is extended (a ha ha ha ha ha ha), the effect is similar to laughter therapy, which has been proven to relieve stress and depression. Indeed, laughing with friends is a powerful healing experience. We are thirty times more likely to laugh in a group context than when alone.

The Sanskrit word “namaha” combines the “aha” sound with two controlling consonants (n and m) and means “it is not about me; I submit to a higher power of control in my life.” This is sometimes translated as “I bow” or “I give honor.” The word “namaha” is utilized in many Eastern chants:

Om Namaha Sri—represents the process of letting go and giving of oneself
Om Namaha Shivaya—focuses on removing all that is not the divine within
Om Gam Ganapatiyei Namaha—removes obstacles and opens the door to success
Om Sri Kali Durgaya Namaha—provides protection and removes negativity within and without
Om Sri Ramaya Namaha—begets pure divine consciousness and truth

Sounds in Healing Mantras

More Examples of Healing Sounds

Another example of a powerful syllable in sacred sound healing is the syllable “la.” Pronouncing this syllable involves the tongue and upper frontal part of the palate. This creates a conduction of energy to the brain. “La” is also a common syllable used for vocal exercises for singers.

In Sanskrit, “la” means “the act of giving or taking,” as in an exchange. In the Hindu tradition, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune, health and prosperity. Prosperity is the process of giving or exchanging a service or product. Here is an example of a chant to Lakshmi:

Om Hrim Shrim Lakshmi Bhayo Namaha—this combines om (the sound of universal creation) with hrim (a fire bija or seed syllable), shrim (the Sanskrit bija or seed syllable incorporated in the name Lakshmi) and bhayo (bestow on us) with namaha, meaning honor.

Siri Gaitri Mantra
Finally, another powerful healing mantra is the Siri Gaitri Mantra, sung in Gurmukhi, the liturgical language of the Sikh tradition. This mantra taps into the energies of the sun, moon, earth and the Infinite Spirit to bring deep healing. It can be chanted to heal the self or to send healing energy to anyone you wish:

Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hung—the meaning of this chant is ra (sun), ma (moon), da (earth), sa (impersonal infinity), say (totality), so (personal sense of merger and identity) and hung (the infinite, vibrating and real).

More Mantra Articles

Reforge Your Heart with Mantras

Everyone experiences heartbreak of some kind. I suppose we are each affected to different degrees by different types of experiences. The depth of the anguish seems to be related to the significance of the event in your life and the things that matter to you the most.

Healing the Pain of the Heart
The situation may be an illness, a death, an accident, financial loss, physical or emotional trauma, or the breakdown of a partnership. Several years ago, I was in the most deeply unhappy period of my life. At the time, the pain in my heart kept me awake at night. That kind of feeling is shockingly physical and makes it hard to breathe or move or think. You don’t know how or when your suffering will end and whether hope and joy will ever return.

Finding the Practice of Chanting
Fortunately, I was passionately pursuing a new way to heal myself—I was chanting. No matter how desolate I was feeling during that time, every morning I got up and drove my car to an isolated spot (to avoid disturbing my family), turned on my music and began to chant. This was a huge effort on many levels. For one thing, I had to breathe to chant or sing. Sometimes I couldn’t breathe without feeling the pain.

Releasing Emotions to Chant
Occasionally I ended up sobbing for an hour or more instead of chanting. Sometimes I couldn’t even make a sound, so I poured out my heart in my journal. Then I would try to chant again. Whatever I was feeling, I had to move through it in order to chant.

Chanting Becomes a Daily Practice
As the weeks and months went by, chanting established a new rhythm in my life. Day after day, I chanted in those early mornings in my car, parked at the foot of one hiking trail or another near my home in Bozeman, Montana.

Healing My Life
I chanted as the darkness faded and the sun rose over the mountains. Winter turned into spring, then summer and fall. I was healing. My life was shifting and expanding in ways I had never imagined. At first, I wasn’t interested in teaching others to chant. All I really wanted to do was heal myself.

Healing a Broken Heart
However, in the process of chanting I discovered something unexpected: a broken heart that has healed is even stronger than one that has never been touched by trauma, loss or disappointment. A new heart had been forged and a new life had begun.

Welding a New Heart
I imagine that the healing of the heart through chanting is similar to the reforging of the shards of Narsil in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Narsil was the sword that Isildur used to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand. The sword was shattered into many pieces, and later was reforged with physical fire into AndÚril, the sword of Aragorn, the new king. In my experience, a heart can be reforged by spiritual fire.

Retaining Heart Sensitivity
I am not saying that a heart that is healed never again feels the sorrow from past traumas or the pain of present realities. It is actually quite the opposite. A heart that is healed feels both the pain and the joy of life more keenly than ever before.

Living with an Open Heart
Perhaps that is the price to be paid for healing enough that you choose again to live with an open heart. In the process of healing, the capacity of the heart seems to be increased. Connecting to others and sharing with others seems to be a natural outcome of that expansion.

Gaining Confidence in Healing
The process of healing gives you the confidence to be vulnerable again. You still remember the grief, but you have a way to endure and to restore your faith in life and love and God. When you know that you can survive and you can heal, that confidence makes you willing to risk that pain again and to continue to grow. You fear the challenges of life less and recognize the blessings more.

The Evolution of Vocal Medicine
I have had the opportunity to meet many others with similar experiences of healing themselves and their hearts with chanting. The name of God on your lips and the vibration of His chants in your heart can create a miracle. The process of healing through mantras and chanting is what I am now calling Vocal Medicine.

Eye Healing Mantra

The usefulness of an eye healing mantra is clear in the modern world. For example, many of us experience the strain of long hours of computer use. Other stressors such as poor diet can contribute to challenges with vision. 

Whatever the cause, the fact is that nearly 63% of all Americans wear glasses or contacts. The numbers are likely similar in other industrialized countries. In addition, there are many other common conditions that interfere with comfortable, healthy vision. To learn more, see the Eye Healing Mantra article.

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Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew, and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.


This article covers the origin and uses of sacred sound healing. Ancient mantras have been constructed with healing in mind. They are created to stimulate the various systems in the body to provide a strong and healthy foundation for mediation and other spiritual practices. Topics included in this article are the science, history and examples of healing mantras. 

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