The word mantra can be split into two syllables in order to understand its meaning, Man comes from 'manas' meaning mind and the root of the verb 'to think' TRA is said to mean 'free from'. So, the word mantra means 'to be freed from the fetters of the mind'.
What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a combination of sacred syllables which are considered to form a nucleus of spiritual energy. They do not necessarily have to have meaning, can be in any language, or made of a single sound (such as OM). It is the intention behind the repetition of the sound which embodies a particular form of consciousness. The rhythm, pace and tone of the mantra all release vibrations, and vibration is energy which can connect you with a higher spiritual plan and be an effective and powerful aid to promote a feeling of wellbeing and calm.
Chanting a mantra is sometimes done with a string of beads so the 'chanter' can count how many repetitions they have done. Known as mala beads, they are thread in a circle and are often made of a natural product such as wood, seeds or crystals all having different qualities about them. The number of repetitions of a chant will be a division of 108 and mala beads will be made up of this number. Catholics have a similar use of a rosary.
SA TA NA MA
SA TA NA MA is a kundalini yoga mantra. It derives from Satnam which means 'there is only one constant' and is taught to bring balance to your mind and your life. Considered a mantra to help bring about a change it helps to focus the mind and reinforce precision and clarity aided by the movement through the fingers pushing on energy points as you repeat the sounds.
The four sound currents representing the cycle of life -
SA - is the beginning, infinity, the totality of everything that ever was, is or will be.
TA - is life, existence and creativity that manifests from infinity.
NA - is death, change the transformation of consciousness.
MA - is rebirth, regeneration and resurrection which allows us to consciously experience the joy of the infinite.
SA press the thumb and first finger together
TA press the thumb and the middle finger together
NA press the thumb and the ring finger together
MA press the thumb and the little finger together.
Repeat OUTLOUD six times
Six times in an audible WHISPER
Six times SILENTLY to yourself.
You can reverse the above order to come back to stage 1.
When you finish stay sitting quietly for a few breaths before moving gently. Once fully alert sweep the hands above the head stretching out before sweeping the hands back down to the body. RELAX.