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!!! Let's Chant Mantras !!!
What are Mantras?
Well, for us, they are essentially short, sweet, spiritual (or, to us, magical!) recitations that add loads of positive energy to our minds, to our bodies, and to the environment! In reality, the word “mantra” comes from Sanskrit, and means “an instrument of thought.” Mantra’s, therefore, encompass passages that are recited to aid concentration during meditation.
Of course, we believe they are also an excellent medium for learning complex “Sanskrit” vocabulary. “Sanskrit” (meaning “refined” or “purified”), is an ancient Indic language, in which the ancient Hindu scriptures and classical Indian epics are written.
Most importantly, it is structured with primordial sounds, and is developed systematically to include the natural progressions of sounds as created by the human mouth.
So, learning to chant a mantra is just a nice way for kids to improve their pronunciation, to learn to focus and concentrate, and to generate some positive energy in the process! The best part is that mantras needn’t be long. In fact, below we have included four short mantras that kids can easily pick-up and chant.
To help them do that, we have provided each mantra in 3 forms: a Talking Board, where each word can be heard, and kids can repeat each word after clicking on it and hearing it spoken, an audio/video, where kids can hear the mantra being recited and follow along, and finally as a simple, printable sheet for offline use.
We have specifically selected 4 (four) of the basic mantra’s that are relatively simple to learn, and yet have useful context.
Note that although the mantras emerged in the religious context, handed down from ancient times in the context of religious texts and practices, parents will soon realize that they are not tied to religious concepts. Rather, they are mere instruments to enable us to appreciate certain core human values that transcend religion, culture, race, language, and regional barriers. They help us to focus and concentrate on fundamental values, and aim to bring out the best in us, whether we believe in a God or not.
If you know of some beautiful mantras for kids that you would like us to add, please feel free to send us an Email!
*Note: Please right click and select 'Save Target As' to download a chart to your computer!
Ganesh Mantra -Talking Board
Point n' Learn : Ganesh Matnra with Talking Board! *Place your mouse on each Digit to hear how it is pronounced!
**Parents please encourage your kids to repeat the sound for the best results!
***Especially designed for kids for easy, smooth & quick transitions from one element to another without any tiring mouse clicks!
Courtsey - Sangeet Prabhakar awardee Mrs. Alka Bhatnagar, Guru of Sur Bahar: A prestigious Music School in the Bay Area, USA
Ganesh Mantra - Importance
Lord Ganesh is thought, as per Hindu tradition, to be the destroyer of all difficulties and one who removes all restrictions. The Ganesh Mantra, also known as the “Siddhi Mantra” (Siddhi meaning one who is perfect), is believed to give positive results when chanted with genuine devotion.
The Ganesh Mantra wards off all trials and tribulations, gracing the reciter with all success. Thus, in Hindu tradition, the Ganesh Mantra is chanted before starting any auspicious task, so that Lord Ganesh (who embodies the power of knowledge, success, and fulfillment) may bless the task and remove all obstacles from one’s path, giving one the power to break through all restrictions, barriers, problems and difficulties.
Ganesh Mantra - Meaning
The literal meaning of the Ganesh Mantra is “O Lord with the curved trunk and mighty body, who has the magnificence of a million suns, I pray to you O Lord to remove obstacles from all actions that I perform.” Clearly, when you have love and respect, faith and understanding, and kindness and willpower in your heart, success is not far behind! And, the divine power of Lord Ganesh then makes available to you the rays of success, prosperity, and abundance.
Ganesh Mantra - Value
The value of this mantra is to teach children the importance of starting any important task with an auspicious salutation that gives them strength to do their best, and focuses their subconscious to aim for success, prosperity, and abundance.
Guru Mantra - Importance
The Guru Mantra is really a tribute to one’s teachers, those who perform the near-divine task of selflessly imparting knowledge and wisdom to their students.
From the teachers in our earliest grades, who hold our hands and teach us to read and write, who teach us the core skills that we build upon for a lifetime, to the teachers in higher grades, in school and in the university, who teach us important life skills, and introduce us to the wonderful world of knowledge, training us to think independently and creatively, and to master our chosen subject, every one of them has an influential role in our lives. Every one of them is to be respected for being part of our lives and giving so much of themselves and their wisdom to us, to help us be better in all we say and do, and to equip us to be successful.
The Guru Mantra celebrates, honors, and praises those teachers. This includes teachers that taught us formally, or those that we learnt from informally (mentors, friends), and even our parents, who are of course, a child’s first teachers!
Ancient Indian traditions have, at various points, stressed greatly the importance of the teacher or “guru” who shows one the way, the path, to knowledge, to wisdom, and, eventually, to enlightenment itself!
The Guru Mantra praises the various qualities embodied in one’s teacher, and pays homage to them.
Guru Mantra - Meaning
The literal meaning of the Guru Mantra is
The guru is the creator, the guru is the preserver, and the guru is the destroyer. The guru is the embodiment of the Absolute. I bow before you O Guru!
The importance of the Guru in Indian culture can be appreciated from the following poem by the famous Sufi poet Kabir, who wrote “My Guru and God both appeared before me. Whom should I bow to first? I bow first to my Guru, for were it not for my Guru I would never have been introduced to God!”
Guru Mantra - Value
The value of this mantra is to instill in children a deep respect for everyone that teaches them important skills or gives them knowledge, whether they are formally classified as a teacher or not. It inculcates a respect for the time, effort, and energy that a person expends in teaching or educating them, and thus helping them become better in one or more areas.
Gaayatri Mantra - Importance
The Gaayatri Mantra is one of the foremost and most powerful of all mantras in Hinduism. It is dedicated to the Goddess Gaayatri, an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, and the mother of the Vedas. Gaayatri Devi (“Devi” meaning Goddess) has sway over the five senses or “pranas” (touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing), and protects these life forces of those who chant this mantra. In addition, she symbolizes strength and the qualities of knowledge, purity, and virtue.
Chanting this mantra is, thus, believed to bring to one the true benefits of one’s studies, and to enhance one’s artistic and creative skills. In particular, the Gaayatri Mantra is a favorite among students and in ancient times was always taught as the first mantra to recite, since it helped students attain righteous and far-sighted wisdom! And, it energizes the brain, preparing it to absorb what one studies!
Of course, parents we would encourage you to sing along with your tots, to help them ingrain the importance of this process. If this is new to you, we highly encourage you to listen to this mantra, with focus, by closing your eyes and folding your hands, and concentrating on the words and the rhythm.
Gaayatri Mantra - Meaning
The Gayatri Mantra may be translated as follows:
“O God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pain and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and the Energizer of the whole universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, and Who is par excellence, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that he may guide our intellect in the right direction.”
Gaayatri Mantra - Value
The value of the Gayatri mantra is to teach children the importance of seeking guidance from God, the universe (depending on what you believe in), to help their intellect grow and move in the positive direction. That is, to think positive, empowering, magnanimous thoughts.
Namokar Mantra - Importance
The Namokar Mantra is the core mantra in Jainism, which pays obeisance to the five superior beings, called “Panch (for five) Parmeshti (for Lord)”. These are the Arihantas, Siddhas, Acharyas , Upadhyayas, and the Sadhus/Sadhavis, which we’ll explain shortly.
Arihantas are beings (souls) who have conquered their inner enemies or inner desires such as anger, ego, deception, and greed. They have destroyed the knowledge blocking, perception blocking, passion causing, and obstacle causing actions or karmas. Thus, they attain a state of perfect knowledge, perfect perception, controlled passions, and infinite power.
Siddhas are liberated souls, who have become completely free of the birth-death cycle, reaching the highest state of salvation or moksha. They have no debt of past karmas (actions) nor do they collect any future karmas.
Acharyas are spiritual leaders, carrying the message of the early founders of Jainism, the Jina. They have achieved mastery of Jain scriptures, and spiritual excellence, and attained the ability to lead the monks (sadhus) and nuns (sadhvi’s), and carry a sound knowledge of the philosophies and religions of the world.
Upadhayayas are Sadhus that have acquired special knowledge of the Jain scriptures, and teach that to the monks and nuns.
Finally, when normal householders become detached from worldly desires and worldly aspects of life, and wish to be spiritually uplifted, they give up worldly lives to become sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns), and live their lives in accordance with five core vows of: ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-acquisition- not taking anything unless it is given), brahmacharya (celibacy), and aparigraha (using only what they need, and not acquiring any more than what is needed for day-to-day life).
Namokar Mantra - Meaning
The meaning of the Namokar mantra is as follows:
I bow in reverence to the Arihants, I bow in reverence to the Siddhas, I bow in reverence to the Acharyas, I bow in reverence to the Upadhayayas, and I bow in reverence to all Sadhus/Sadhvis. This five-fold salutation destroys all sins, and, among auspicious actions, is the most auspicious one!
Namokar Mantra - Value
The value of the Namokar mantra is that it provides parents an additional tool to help their kids realize that respecting fellow human beings that have attained a higher state of self is a way to aspire to being a better human being oneself, by appealing to one’s higher self. By honoring all that is worthy in those that have attained greater control of our inner enemies – greed, deception, ego, and anger – we train our own sub-conscious to imbue us with the same higher ideals.