One Word Mantras: Powerful Bija Seed Syllables
One word mantras include the powerful bija seed syllables as well as other significant words in Sanskrit. These words are often used individually or in combination with each other in mantras. Many are associated with specific goddesses in the Hindu tradition that are reputed to possess particular powers. The syllables can be correlated to energies in nature. They can also be thought of as aspects of our own divinity or distinct psychological traits.
Some linguists believe that Sanskrit is closely related to onomatopoeia, the making of words aligned with the sound associated with what is named (cuckoo, sizzle, snap, splash). This is especially true of the bija mantras. The bija mantras are Sanskrit syllables that are said to correspond to specific meanings or aspects of creation and existence.
ONE WORD MANTRAS ARTICLE CONTENTS
This article explains nine of the most used one word mantras: OM, AIM, SHRIM, HRIM, HALIM, KRIM, KLIM, DUM and HUM. There are also discussions of seven of the main astrological planets and their mantras. In addition, this article includes the one word mantras for the chakras (Root: LAM, Sacral: VAM, Solar Plexus: RAM, Heart: YAM, Throat: HUM, Third Eye: OM, Crown: AH). Several videos demonstrate many of these mantras.
OM (AUM): Essential One Word Mantras
The Sanskrit word OM is familiar to most people as the quintessential mantra. OM is the fundamental mantra connecting us to higher reality and the highest aspect of our own beings. OM is believed to be a sound of the whole cosmic manifestation.
OM is the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed. OM represents past, present and future. OM is a seed or building block of creation.
OM can be viewed as having four parts: A-U-M followed by the sound of silence. The A (ahhh) represents the beginning, the connection to the physical world. The U (oooh) signifies the maintaining of the physical universe. The M (mmmm) is the transformative energy of the universe and the realm of thoughts and feelings. As noted, the fourth sound is the silence that follows the AUM. This is pure consciousness and knowingness.
OM represents both the manifest and unmanifest. In the form of AUM, this seed syllable is similar to the trinity of God in many other traditions. In that sense, the A represents Brahma or the Father; the U represents Vishnu, the Son or the preserver; and the M represents dissolution, the Holy Spirit or Shiva. OM is commonly associated solely with the latter (Shiva) as the cosmic masculine force.
OM is often included at the beginning of a mantra or chant to clear the mind for meditation. OM is said to draw the energy from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head. The energy of OM is one of expansion and ascension.
In terms of healing, OM brings prana into the subconscious mind. OM is the sound of the sun and sheds light on addictive tendencies and negative emotions, bringing them to light for healing and transmutation. One of the simplest OM mantras is “OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” meaning “OM, Peace, Peace, Peace.”
AIM: Creation through the Divine Feminine
AIM (ieem) is the feminine counterpart of the bija mantra OM. The “AI” in AIM is pronounced “eye.” AIM is a manifest form of OM, that which is created and seen versus that which is purely in consciousness. AIM is the supreme shakti or feminine force known as Adi Shakti. AIM appears in many mantras to the goddesses and the Divine Mother.
AIM is the seed mantra of Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music, art and speech. I view a seed mantra as the basic essence of an aspect of consciousness personified in a deity. Saraswati is revered in Hinduism, Jainism and some Buddhist sects. Her name means “one who leads to the essence of self-knowledge.”
Saraswati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge
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She has many beautiful names to acknowledge her many aspects. A few of these are the following:
Saraswati Mata: Mother of Water and Lakes
Bilvani Mata: Mother of the Woods
Chandrika Mata: Mother of the Moon
Hamsini Mata: Mother Who Rides the Swan
Kadambari Mata: Mother of the Kadamba Flowers
Malini Mata: Fragrant Mother
Saradha Mata: Mother of the Harvest
AIM is also a general mantra for a higher knowledge and understanding. This can take the form of a guru or our own higher intelligence. AIM can help to orient us, motivate us and increase our will power to succeed.
In terms of physical healing, AIM strengthens the voice and vocal chords. Astrologically, AIM is related primarily to the moon and secondarily to the planet Mercury. An example of a mantra utilizing AIM is “OM AIM Saraswatyai Namaha.”
SHRIM: One Word Mantras for Wealth
SHRIM (shreem) brings positive growth and development. SHRIM attracts energy, situations and people who are beneficial for our lives. SHRIM is a mantra of surrender and devotion. SHRIM includes faith and refuge in a chosen aspect of God. SHRIM is specifically the mantra of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of abundance and wealth.
SHRIM is mainly related to the earth and water elements, with some fire qualities. SHRIM is a gentle light, closer to the light of the moon than the light of the sun. This energy is like luster or glow rather than a blazing fire. The water and earth elements help to soothe the mind and improve health and fertility. SHRIM assists in reproductive health, especially for women.
SHRIM is related to the feeling nature of the heart rather than the functional nature. In contrast with this, the seed syllable HRIM is for the physical aspects of the heart. The bija seed syllables as a whole are viewed as feminine energy. They are sometimes referred to as shakti mantras. Shakti refers to the unformed energy of the universe waiting to be solidified in physical form.
SHRIM is soothing at all levels, bringing the type of surrender that allows for divine grace. An example of a mantra utilizing SHRIM is “OM HRIM SHRIM Lakshmi Bhayo Namaha” meaning “Lakshmi, reside in me and bestow thy abundance on all aspects of my existence.”
For more about the power of SHRIM, see SHRIM: Extraordinary Wealth Mantra.
HRIM: One Word Mantras for the Heart
HRIM (hreem) is a mantra for the heart: the spiritual heart, the emotional heart and the physical heart. This mantra aids in longevity by energizing the heart. Due to the healing and stimulating influence on the heart, HRIM is also said to promote circulation and positively affects the lungs and nervous system.
HRIM is a combination of “ha” for prana and “ra” for fire and light with “ee” for focus and motivation. The sound HRIM may help us to connect with the deity of our choice at the level of the heart. This aids in allowing divine power to enter into our hearts. This bija mantra specifically relates to Parvati, the consort of Shiva. HRIM allows for both deep feeling and thought.
In Vedic astrology, HRIM relates to the sun, which is the planet of the heart. The solar energy and fire of the sun brings the outward expression of attraction and charisma. HRIM increases the finer energy of the heart. Conversely, HRIM can also be used harshly or negatively to mesmerize another person.
Parvati, Goddess of Fertility, Love and Family
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HRIM is often associated with the goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva. HRIM can be viewed as the prime mantra of all three shakti (feminine) powers: creation, preservation and destruction. HRIM can dissolve and carry away on the one hand and bring about joy and ecstasy on the other. In terms of the five elements, HRIM is mainly a fire mantra with some air element. An example of a mantra utilizing HRIM is “OM HRIM Parvati Mata.”
HALIM: One Word Mantras for Protection
HALIM (hleem) is related to hrim. The fiery and stimulating “ra” sound is replaced with the “la.” “La” is a water energy. This brings about a stabilizing and holding effect, often viewed as holding back negativity sent by others. HALIM is thought to bring water, earth and space together.
If HALIM is used gently, it is a mantra of bliss (ananda) and ecstasy. Used more forcefully, this seed sound can neutralize negativity. Used harshly, HALIM can destroy. HALIM can stop energy that has already been set in motion. Ideally, HALIM is the seed sound for protection.
HALIM relates to the goddess Bagalamukhi (bug-la-mookey). This goddess is believed to seal the energy of an individual from negative outside influences, especially negative speech. Bagalamukhi is associated with the color yellow.
HALIM brings stillness through control of the body, mind, prana and senses. Turned inward, HALIM helps to stop inward chatter and is extremely useful for yoga and meditation. As such, HALIM is a highly beneficial tool to reduce internal agitation.
Use HALIM with care—things can be brought to an abrupt halt. Chanting mantras for peace (shanti) to slow things down first is advised. From an astrological standpoint, HALIM is primarily related to Saturn and the north node of the moon (rahu) with a Mars influence. An example of a mantra utilizing HALIM is “OM HALIM Bagalamukhi, Sarva Buddha Bagalamukhi.”
Kali, Goddess of Time, Death & Protection
Art & Gifts Featuring Hindu Deities
KRIM: Mantra for Inner Concentration
KRIM (kreem) is one of my favorite seed syllables. KRIM is a mantra of divine manifestation, specifically the divine electricity that exists behind all things. There is something about repeating this sound that really feels like a mild, positive electrical stimulus.
KRIM is the most important of the consonant mantras beginning with a hard consonant. The Sanskrit letter “k” or ka is an initial thrust of energy or prana. The letter “r” or ra adds fire and the “i” (ee) adds focus. KRIM is the Kriya Shakti or power of action that operates on all levels. The inner action is the awakening of the kundalini. KRIM also rules over time, helping us to move from past karma and master time, space and action.
KRIM is the seed mantra of the goddess Kali, known for her powers of transformation. She is a consort of Shiva and the feminine counterpart of his power of destruction. Kali is a personification of the power that frees us from all that would hinder our return to the highest vibration and Source energy.
KRIM is the mantra of yoga, allowing for inner concentration while outer action is taking place. This mantra connects to the inner power of the deity we have chosen to emphasize. KRIM combines wind and electricity with fire. On the physical level, KRIM is like adrenaline. The circulatory and nervous systems are particularly affected as well as the heart and the liver.
Astrologically, KRIM relates primarily to the planet Mars, the planet of work and effort. KRIM can be harsh or strong and should be recited with care. An example of a mantra utilizing KRIM is “OM KRIM Kalikayai Namaha” which calls the energy of Kali and her power into action in the world.
KLIM: Mantra for Divine Magnetism
KLIM (kleem) is a softer counterpart to “krim.” Rather than projecting energy and electricity outward, KLIM draws all towards itself with a type of divine magnetism. KLIM carries the shakti power of attraction and is said to help hold or fix things in place like gravity.
KLIM can be used related to any deity, but is particularly associated with Krishna, Sundari (Lalita) and the softer forms of Kali or Durga. As the seed mantra of attraction and desire, KLIM helps us to achieve our true desires in life.
KLIM helps to increase love and devotion. It is a heart-focused mantra that is safe to use liberally. This makes KLIM one of the most widely used mantras among the bija seed syllables. KLIM brings divine love and beauty into our surroundings and our lives.
KLIM is mainly associated with the water element and is helpful for the skin and body fluids such as digestive fluids as well as the reproductive system. KLIM helps to increase our capacity to absorb nourishment.
KLIM strengthens the immune system and brings contentment on an emotional level. An example of a mantra utilizing KLIM is “OM AIM HRIM KLIM Chamundaye Viche” which calls to Durga and removes negativity of all kinds.
DUM: One Word Mantras for Salvation
DUM (duhm) is a mantra of divine salvation: a combination of protection and self-discipline. This is the mantra of Durga, who saves us from difficulties whenever possible. Durga leads a divine army and rides a lion.
This is a powerful fire mantra with a weapon-like effect. DUM is an earthly fire rather than an etheric fire. The martial energy of DUM overcomes opposition and is also a transformative energy to eliminate sorrow and obstacles both within and without. DUM grants self-control.
DUM with a long vowel (pronounced doom) is similar but softer and more feminine. This form of DUM also neutralizes negative forces projected against us. DUM is beneficial for tissues in the body and can be used to burn away toxins and also to increase the digestive fire. DUM is a solar energy. An example of a mantra utilizing DUM is “Ma Durga DUM Durgayei Namaha,” which is a mantra combining protection and self-discipline.
There is something about singing a chant with the word DUM used repeatedly that makes me feel like a toddler beating on pots and pans on the kitchen floor. Using mantras or any other tools to consciously change our own emotional or psychological patterns can be a serious thing, yet DUM feels more like play.
HUM: One Word Mantras for Divine Fire
HUM (huhm) is a fire mantra that can help to kindle the consciousness. This is an etheric fire connected to lightning, pranic fire, and the breath. This lightning can also be used for protection. HUM is sometimes referred to as the “seed syllable of wrath” or righteous anger.
HUM is the mantra that Shiva projects from his third eye to destroy all negativity and burn up all human desires. HUM is connected closely to the transformative power of the trinity. HUM with a long vowel (pronounced hoom) is slightly softer and related to fierce goddesses like Kali and Chandi.
Chandi is a personification of one of the shakti powers of Brahma. The name “Chandi” means “she who tears apart thought.” Chandi proclaims her preeminence as both the formless and the formed universe. This specific form of her power is more like a sword versus lightning.
HUM with the long vowel also has a wooing characteristic, like the sound of a cow calling to her calf. In this form it is both invocative and protective. HUM is focused in the navel area and digestive fire as well as the fire of the mind. Both the long and short forms of HUM can strengthen the immune system to ward off pathogenic attacks.
Astrologically, the forms of HUM are related to fiery planets like the Sun and Mars or Ketu (the south lunar node). An example of a mantra utilizing HUM is “Maha Shakti Chandi Shakti HUM” meaning “Praise to Mother Chandi who protects me with her fire.” This mantra can also be used to create a protective forcefield around a dwelling.
One Word Mantras for the Chakras
The one word mantras for the seven main chakras are as follows: LAM (root chakra), VAM (sacral chakra), RAM (solar plexus chakra), YAM (heart chakra), HAM (throat chakra), OM (third eye chakra) and OM, AH or ANG (crown chakra).
The chakra meditation in the video below uses the chakra seed syllables combined with appropriate instruments for each chakra. Learn more about Chakra Sounds and Chakras and Musical Instruments. The music was created with a combination of live vocals, acoustic instruments and digital instruments.
Each verse is dedicated to a single chakra using the seed syllable and the musical instrument for the chakra. This video can be used as a sound bath or a musical meditation. Chant along with each verse or relax and use the music as a sound healing experience. Includes a colorful, inspiring visual trip through galaxies and the universe!
Root Chakra: One Word Mantra LAM, Drums, 0:00-1:40
Sacral Chakra: One Word Mantra VAM, Flute & Woodwinds, 1:41-3:05
Solar Plexus: One Word Mantra RAM, Harmonium & Organ, 3:06-4:33
Heart Chakra: One Word Mantra YAM, Violin & Strings, 4:34-6:00
Throat Chakra: One Word Mantra HAM, Horns, 6:00-7:25
Third Eye Chakra: One Word Mantra OM, Piano, 7:26-8:53
Crown Chakra: One Word Mantra AH, Conch Shell, 8:54-10:20
One Word Mantras in Vedic Astrology
Each of the planets have a seed syllable. This syllable is used in mantras to mitigate negative astrology or accentuate positive astrology. These single word mantras are often extended by beginning with OM, adding the Vedic name of the planet and ending with “Namaha” (I bow or I give honor). The use of an astrology mantra is a significant part of this branch of Vedic sciences. Each mantra is said to work in the subtle or unseen realms that influence our lives in every area.
Additional information for each astrological mantra and videos are included in the article Astrology Mantras in the Vedic Tradition. An example of a sun astrology mantra is given above. The one word mantras used to create longer astrology mantras are listed below:
One Word Mantra: SAM
Full Mantra: Om Sam Suryaya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations to the sun.
Videos of mantras for the seven planets below at Astrology Mantras.
One Word Mantra: CAM
Full Mantra: Om Cam Chandryya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of the moon.
One Word Mantra: KUM
Full Mantra: Om Kum Kujaya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of Mars.
One Word Mantra: BUM
Full Mantra: Om Bum Bhudhaya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of Mercury.
One Word Mantra: SUM
Full Mantra: Om Sum Sukraya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of Venus.
One Word Mantra: SAM
Full Mantra: Om Sam Sanaya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of Saturn.
One Word Mantra: BRIM
Full Mantra: Om Brim Brihaspataye Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations for transformation of the energy of Jupiter.
More Resources to Explore
Kathleen Karlsen’s Books
Vocal Medicine reveals Kathleen Karlsen’s personal journey and years of research into mantras, chanting and kirtan. Learn more about using mantras and singing to invigorate your life! Explore the chakras and the impact of sound in every area of your life.
Flower Symbols by Kathleen Karlsen features fascinating information about the folklore of the world’s most beloved flowers. Flowers accompany us in nearly every major event in life. This book is a perfect gift for every flower lover in your life!
Other resources on the web: Vibrational Frequencies of Life.
ONE WORD MANTRAS ARTICLE SUMMARY
One word mantras include the powerful bija seed syllables often used individually or in combination with each other in mantras. These syllables can sometimes be correlated to energies in nature. This article explains nine of the most used one word mantras, the main astrological planets and their mantras and the one word mantras for the chakras. A number of videos are included to demonstrate these mantras.
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