One Word Mantras

One Word Mantras

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 gods and goddesses in the Hindu tradition. Each bija syllable is reputed to possess particular powers.

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Mantra Bija Syllables and Nature
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. Bija syllables are believed to be the original sounds of creation. Bija mantras can be categorized by one of the five Vedic elements: fire, water, space (ether), earth, and air. Each seed syllable also relates to a particular planet. 

Types of One Word Mantras
This article explains nine of the most used one word mantras: OM, AIM, DUM, HALIM, HRIM, HUM KRIM, KLIM, and SHRIM. 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). There are also discussions of seven of the main astrological planets and their mantras. 

How Bija Mantras Affect the Meridians

Meridians are energy channels flowing through the body. There are 84 meridians that end in the soft and hard palate of the mouth. Meridians are the channels used for acupuncture. The meridians ending in the mouth are activated during mantra chanting. Depending on the mantra, the tongue touches certain points repeatedly. This send a signal through that meridian. 

Increasing Energy Flow
When meridians are activated through chanting, an increased flow of energy is created. This is believed to give greater health and vitality to the physical body. In addition, mantras can help dissolve negative thought patterns. Conversely, mantras can help to establish positive patterns in the mind and thoughts.

"Shakti bija mantras are probably the most important of all mantras, whether for meditation, energizing prana or for healing purposes. They carry the great forces of nature such as the energies of the sun and moon, fire and water, electricity and magnetism...."

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The Power of Sanskrit Seed Mantras

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.

Language as a Vibrational Science
Sanskrit is an energetic language, meaning that its power comes directly from vibration energy rather than from social usage. Other sacred languages such as ancient Hebrew have the same connection to the building blocks of creation. Many languages have beneficial or spiritual aspects. For example, English is said to derive from an angelic tongue. The name England comes from “Engel land” or the land of the angels. In esoteric literature, the “angels” are the “angles of God.”

Sanskrit and Energy Flow
The use of Sanskrit corresponds closely with the meridian system and the flow of energy through the physical body as well as the energetic system of the body. The bija seed syllables are some of the most important building blocks for mantras. Mantras are worded formulas with specific impacts on the body, mind and consciousness.

OM (AUM): The Essential One Word Mantra

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.

Sound of the Universal Hum
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 is the mantra of assent, much like saying “amen” at the end of a prayer. OM affirms the intention of the mantra.

Four Parts of AUM
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 and the Hindu Trinity
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 for Clearing the Mind
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.

Om for Healing Negativity
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.”

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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.

Seed Syllable of the Goddess Saraswati
AIM is the seed mantra of Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music, art, and speech. A seed mantra is the basic essence God’s consciousness personified in one or more deities. Saraswati is revered in Hinduism, Jainism and some Buddhist sects. Her name means “one who leads to the essence of self-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

Mantra for Knowledge and Understanding
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.

Healing Power for the Voice
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.”

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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.

DUM for Earthly Fire
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.

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Qualities of DUM
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.

Mantra Using the Seed Syllable DUM
An example of a mantra utilizing DUM is “OM DUM Durgayei Namah,” which is a mantra combining protection and self-discipline. Learn all about Durga and listen to her mantras! Go to the article Durga the Warrior Goddess, Story, Symbols & Mantras.

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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.

Halim for Bliss or Destruction
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.

One Word Mantra of the Goddess
HALIM relates to the goddess Baglamukhi. 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. She is one of the ten wise devis, or feminine forms of God.

One Word Mantra for Stillness
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.

Mantra Syllables for Abrupt Change
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.”

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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.

Seed Mantra for the Goddess Parvati
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.

One Word Mantra for the Sun
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. The solar energy of HRIM is gentle, similar to a sunrise. HRIM increases the finer energy of the heart. Conversely, HRIM can also be used harshly or negatively to mesmerize another person.

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One Word Fire Element Mantra
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.”

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.

Mantra Syllable of Shiva
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, especially in her personification as Chandi.

Mantra of the Goddess 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.

Long Form of the Seed Mantra
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.

One Word Astrological Mantra
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.

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KLIM: Mantra for Divine Magnetism

KLIM (kleem) is a softer counterpart to “krim” (see section on KRIM below). 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.

Seed Mantra of Attraction and Desire
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.

One Word Mantra for Increasing Love
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.

Lalita Goddess KLIM One Word Mantra
Goddess Lalita

One Word Water Element Mantra
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.

One Word Mantra for Health
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.

Achieving Inner Concentration through Mantra Yoga

KRIM: Mantra for Inner Concentration

KRIM (kreem) is a mantra of divine manifestation, specifically the divine electricity that exists behind all things. This is a form of creative shakti or feminine energy. KRIM is the most important of the consonant mantras beginning with a hard consonant.

Power of Sanskrit Letters
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 transformative and associated with the solar plexus chakra. Fire mantras are useful for transformation and purification.

One Word Shakti Mantra
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. 

Mantra for Yoga and Concentration
The krim bija mantra is closely associated with yoga. This seed syllable aids in inner concentration. The krim bija mantra also awakens the kundalini in the base chakra. The krim bija mantra brings the chanter closer to the source of all life and energy.

KRIM and the Goddess Kali

KRIM is the seed mantra of the goddess Kali, known for her powers of transformation. Kali is a consort of Shiva and the feminine counterpart to his power of destruction. Kali personifies the power that frees us from all that would hinder our return to the highest vibration. 

One Word Mantra and the Elements
This mantra connects to the inner power of the deity we have chosen to emphasize. The krim bija mantra 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.

Krim Bija Syllable and Vedic Astrology
Astrologically, the krim bija mantra relates primarily to the planet Mars, the planet of work and effort. Krim mantras 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. The krim bija mantra is also connected to Indra, the god of heaven, thunder, lightning and the sky. 

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Krim Bija Mantra and the Solar Plexus Chakra

Chakras are spiritual centers that direct the flow of energy in the human body. They are also associated with emotional and psychological patterns. These major energy centers in the body are places where a large number of meridians converge. The chakras are also associated with certain organs and bodily functions. All life experiences are stored in our chakras. Mantras can clear the chakras of negativity.

One Word Mantra for the Solar Plexus
The krim bija mantra primarily affects the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus chakra is located at the naval, center of intuition (a gut feeling). This chakra is connected to both service and desires. This is the chakra where we get a gut feeling about people, places and events. The gut is the place of digestion. This connects the solar plexus chakra to the pancreas, liver, large intestines, stomach, and adrenals.

Role of the Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra is the seat of the self and the center of transformation, emotions and abundance. The third chakra or solar plexus chakra is known as Manipura. The name translates as the “city of jewels.” “Mani” means “gem” while “pura” means “city.” When purified, this is the chakra of inner peace.

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Importance of the Krim Bija Mantra

As noted above, the krim bija mantra is connected with divine electricity. This is like the spark of life or the fire necessary to enliven our physical forms. The association of this bija seed syllable with the Goddess Kali reinforces this idea: she is the master of both time and death.

Bija Seed Syllable History
Bija seed syllables including “krim” have a long history in Hinduism. Their use is included in the Vedas. They are also part of a long oral tradition that pre-dates the Vedas. The rishis or sages who meditated for years in mountain caves needed a way to keep their bodies strong and healthy. They had insufficient sunshine and food. Chanting mantras, especially the seed syllables, kept the energy flowing in their bodies and minds.

Seed Mantras to Increase Vital Energy
Today we can use this same technique to counterbalance the stress of modern living. Long days at computers are commonplace. Poor quality food and lack of exercise are also widespread. Using mantras as well as yoga and meditation are ancient proven tools to increase energy flow at every level.

SHRIM: One Word Mantra 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.

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Shrim Mantra and the Natural Elements
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.

Seed Syllable for the Heart
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.

Mantras Using the Seed Syllable Shrim
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 and to hear this mantra, see SHRIM: Extraordinary Wealth Mantra.

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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).

Chakra Meditation with Seed Syllables
A chakra meditation can be created with the chakra seed syllables combined with appropriate instruments for each chakra. Listen to this chakra meditation and learn more about Chakra Sounds.

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).

Seed Syllables in Astrological Mantras
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 below.

One Word Mantra: SAM
Full Mantra: Om Sam Suryaya Namaha
Meaning: I offer salutations to the sun.


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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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.

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