by Jonathan Goldman


Mantras are “words of power”. They are sounds for personal and planetary healing. The word “mantra” is Sanskrit and may be translated as the “thoughts that liberate from samsara (the world of illusions).” Mantras are listened to or recited for many different purposes; as a means of achieving different states of consciousness; to create resonance with specific attributes of divine energy; and to manifest different qualities, from resonating the chakras to embodying compassion. Mantras are found in all the different sacred traditions including Judaism and Christianity—the “Hail Mary” or “Amen” in the Christian tradition or the “Shema” or “Shalom” in the Hebrew tradition are the equivalent of mantras, as is any repetition of prayer, chant or sacred sound. The prayers, chants and sacred sounds of the Native American tradition or the Islamic tradition may also be considered mantras. In fact, there is virtually no spiritual tradition, including those of indigenous peoples, in which the recitation of sacred sound as mantra does not occur.


While there are many mantras that are quite long and complex, people are often looking for short mantras that may be easily sounded together in a group. Let’s examine several such short mantras that may be used effectively. Please note that it does not seem to matter what pitch, frequency or keynote the mantra is chanted with regard to the effect of the sound.



Of all the sacred sounds on this planet, the one that is most often chanted is the OM. Undoubtedly, at any given moment, there is someone, somewhere chanting this sacred mantra. The OM is considered one of the oldest vocal sounds in existence—many speculate that it has been chanted for untold thousands of years. It is considered to be the “first of all mantras,” the original, primordial sound—the mantra of creation.


OM is a mantra from the Hindu tradition, a Sanskrit word said to be the sound from which the universe and all of creation first manifested. While pronounced OM, certain Sanskrit scholars state that it is written as AUM. Many consider the two words to be interchangeable. OM is said to be the sound that contains all sounds—it is the totality of all other sounds. Swami Sivananda Radha says, “The cosmic sound AUM, or its condensed form, OM, is the origin of all other sound. OM is everything. It is the name of God.”


OM is a multi-dimensional sound and as such may be understood a number of different ways. One understanding is that OM (or AUM) represents attributes of the major trinity of Hindu gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The sounding of the A represents the energy of Brahma, the creator and the creational process. The U represents the energy of Vishnu, the preserver, and relates to the maintenance and preservation of what has been created. The final M represents the energy of Shiva, the transformer, and relates to the vital transformational energy to shift and change that which has been created and preserved.


Another understanding of OM/AUM is that the A represents the physical plane, the U the mental and astral planes and the M, all that is beyond the reach of the intellect. AUM or OM is the initial syllable that begins almost all mantras. Thus OM represents the Infinite, the One Mind, the all-embracing Consciousness—that which is the very essence of existence.


In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the OM (AUM) represents different aspects of the trinity of the Body, Speech and Mind of the Buddha, or an enlightened being. The A represents the body, the U represents speech, and the M represents the mind. Sounding the AUM in this manner puts one in resonance with these qualities of consciousness.


The OM is a bija (or seed) mantra and may be utilized to resonate the third eye and the crown chakrac. However, it may also be chanted as a three-syllable word AUM (pronounced AH-OH-MMM) to resonate the heart, the throat and the crown chakras. In fact, the OM can, through our intent, become a multi-purpose mantra with capabilities of resonating and aligning all the chakras—of cleansing imbalanced energies and purifying self. Sung with sincerity and devotion, vocalization of the OM can put the chanter in touch with the source of all creation, providing a bridge between the spiritual and physical dimensions and opening the way for inspirational contact with higher realms and beings.


Many people ask if there is indeed a correct pronunciation for OM. Is it OM or AUM or something else? In reality, there does not seem to be a correct pronunciation. Depending upon the country, language and dialect, the OM can be pronounced AUM, UM, UNG, ANG, ONG and so on. Yet, the resonance and effects of this mantra seem to be very similar despite varied differences in pronunciation. Much depends upon the intention of the person creating the sound—where do they wish the OM to resonate—which chakra and for what purpose.


OM as a sound symbolizes the supreme Source. To many, the sound of OM is synonymous with the energy of peace. OM may be found as the root of many sacred words of different languages including our western Amen and the Hebrew Shalom, which has many meanings including peace. The OM initiates peace and tranquility when it is listened to, and particularly when it is chanted.




One of the most powerful mantras on this planet is AH. This is an extremely powerful sound—particularly useful for generating compassion towards ourselves and towards others. We know you will agree that compassion is truly a key to transformation of consciousness on this planet.


The AH sound is a sacred seed syllable—a sacred mantra in many Eastern traditions including Tibetan Buddhism. It is also a vowel sound—a divinely inspired sound considered sacred in many different traditions including Hebrew Kabbalah.


The AH sound is found in most of the God and Goddess names on the planet (Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc.), as well as many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM). As a seed syllable, the AH is universal and may be utilized differently in different traditions, depending upon its purpose.


Most mystical traditions worldwide that work with the vowel sounds in relationship to the chakras find that AH is the sound of the heart chakra. This chakra, located in the center of the chest, is the energy center associated with love and compassion. Indeed, when many people think about the energy of love, they express it as an AH sound. Many spiritual masters believe that the activation of this chakra is most helpful for achieving higher consciousness and enlightenment. Most agree that the energy of love and the heart is the primary, essential energy of the universe.


Many people also believe that AH is the primary sound that is created when we are born—the sound being birthed on the inhalation of the first breath. AH is also the last sound we make, riding on the energy of our final exhalation. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a co-meditation technique using the AH sound. Chanting AH together (or even simply by just breathing together) allows people to attune and resonate with each other. It seems that the heartbeat, respiration and brain waves of two people will entrain with each other through breathing or sounding AH together. This use of the AH sound may be particularly effective for those involved in hospice work to be used as a sound of the heart chakra.


We often recommend AH for people who want to work with short mantras in groups because AH is an extremely transformative sound, and yet most people know of it only as a vowel sound—thus it defies association with any spiritual denomination or description as a mantra. While other sounds such as OM might be rejected by certain audiences because they are recognized as Eastern mantras or coming from other spiritual traditions, the sounding of an AH is acceptable by everyone regardless of their background, culture or religion.




Just as many traditions believe that the OM is the original creative sound, there are traditions that believe this energy may be attributed to another sound—the HU. In the Shabd Yoga traditions, including Master Path and Eckankar, and in the mystical Islamic path of Sufi, the HU is considered to be the highest vibratory mantra that can be sounded. Chanting the HU is said to lead one to transcendence—to God realization and enlightenment. xxx HU is believed to be the universal name of God, which is present in every existing language. The HU sound has been described as many things from the buzzing of bees to the rushing of wind to the flute of God. It is said to be present in the words we speak, in the sounds of animals, the wind in the trees, the rushing of waters, the roaring of waterfalls, the beat of the sea against a beach—it is everywhere, in every plane.


Like the AH and the OM, the HU may be perceived as a seed syllable. Depending upon its pronunciation, it may also be perceived as a vowel—the U sound. The HU creates extraordinary energy for balance and clearing. Many believe it activates both the heart and the crown chakras. When sounded together in a large group, it is extremely powerful and transformative.


Different spiritual paths seem to have very different ways of pronouncing HU, the sacred name of God. Certain spiritual paths from the Shabd Yoga traditions chant it as one would the word “you”. Other spiritual variants of Shabd Yoga chant it as the word “who” which is said to be good for clearing the crown chakra. In the Sufi Tradition, there is even a way of chanting HU with lips barely touching and being the primary vibrator, so that this HU almost sounds like a motorboat or a buzzing insect. The Sufis perceive this HU as good for resonance of the throat chakra. Regardless of the way it is chanted, continued, elongated sounding of HU, particularly with specific intention, will lead the reciter into an elevated state of consciousness.


These three mantras of OM, AH and HU are particularly effective for working with a group in order to create and then project sacred sound for use to assist in planetary healing—using sound to assist the creation of peace and harmony on the earth. As always, the intent of the chanter is of great importance. By themselves, these mantras have their own extraordinary divine resonance. But through skillful means, one can project intention upon these sounds, amplifying and making even more extraordinary the great healing gifts they can bring.




The Divine Name is a newly rediscovered sound that is universal in its origin and said to be encoded within our DNA. This is not simply a word, but a vocalized sound that can shift the vibratory rate of all who experience it. In addition, many sources believe that the Divine Name was the most sacred of sounds found in the Old Testament—the foundational book of the Abrahamic traditions, that is responsible for over half the planet’s religions. The Divine Name was said to be so powerful that it became prohibited from the Old Testament and then became lost for over 2,500 years. The Divine Name is composed of a harmonically related series of vowel sounds that resonates all the chakras. This sacred sound begins at crown chakra at the top of the head, goes down to the root chakra at the base of the spine and then returns to the crown chakra.


The power of this sound is extraordinary. The Divine Name is composed of vowel sounds with specific resonances that can be experienced by anyone, regardless of their spiritual path, religion or belief system. Because of the universality of this sound, it is not restricted to the Abrahamic traditions. Knowledge of this sacred sound has now been found in many different traditions throughout the world, from Native American to ancient Egyptian.


The Divine Name puts the person chanting it into deep meditation with higher levels of consciousness. Along with powerful spiritual effects of this self-created sound, the Divine Name can be used to create extraordinary health benefits for us on a personal level, balancing our chakras and our electro-magnetic field. Through learning to create this sound we’ll activate our innate God force; generating major positive changes and transformational healing for ourselves and the world.


Remarkably, contained within the Divine Name are the sounds of the other three mantras described in this article. Many perceive the Divine Name as not only a universal sound, but that it is also the personal name of God that could change the world. Along with the three mantras of OM, AH and HUM, the Divine Name is among the most powerful sounds for personal and planetary transformation. Regardless of which of sounds you are drawn to, if you manifest it with the energy of love, know that by listening to these sacred mantras and repeating them, you will be assisting in the ascension of your own personal vibrations, as well as all other sentient beings on our planet. In addition, you will be raising and shifting the frequencies of the Gaia Matrix—our beloved Mother Earth. It is a blessing to be able to present these mantras for personal and planetary healing.


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JONATHAN GOLDMAN, M.A. is an international authority on sound healing and a pioneer in the field of harmonics. He is author of numerous books including HEALING SOUNDS, THE 7 SECRETS OF SOUND HEALING, CHAKRA FREQUENCIES (co-authored with his wife Andi), and his latest THE DIVINE NAME, winner of the 2011 Visionary Award for “Best Alternative Health Book”. Jonathan is director of the Sound Healers Association and president of Spirit Music, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado. A Grammy nominee, he has created over 25 best-selling, award winning recordings including “THE DIVINE NAME” (with Gregg Braden), “REIKI CHANTS”, “FREQUENCIES,”, “ASCENSION HARMONICS”, “CHAKRA CHANTS”, and his latest “MERKABA OF SOUND.”


Jonathan is a lecturing member of the International Society for Music Medicine.. He has dedicated his life to the path of service, helping awaken and empower others with the ability of sound to heal and transform. In Spring 2011, Jonathan was named as one of Watkin’s Reviews “100 Most Spiritually Influential People on the Planet.” Also, in 2011, Jonathan was inducted into the Massage Therapy’s Hall of Fame. He presents HEALING SOUNDS lectures, workshops and seminars worldwide. Jonathan lives with his wife Andi in Boulder, Colorado and may be reached at: