The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit words: "man" meaning mind; and "tra" meaning vehicle or instrument-to transport the mind from a state of activity to one of stillness and silence. We get the words train, travel, and transportation from the Sanskrit root "tra".
Mantras adjust your vibration, aligning your awareness with aspects of the self and the infinite.
Vibration and state of energy are relevant. Mantras help transform the current state of energy to higher state.
What is fascinating about mantras is that from a physics standpoint, the sounds themselves, before they are assigned meaning, will resonate in different parts of the body and mind, creating actual interactions or events. Mantras are information, in the literal sense of in-forming: the creation of form, or interactions. The Sanskrit language is an information sequencing system that mimics the process of nature's repeating patterns.
Sanskrit as the primordial language of Nature
In the ancient culture of India Sanskrit was believed to be an eternal language ever existing in the innermost realms of the universe - a language whose components constitute the building blocks of creation.
The hymns of the Veda - which are the first records of the Sanskrit language - were considered to be the source of the entire manifest universe.
The meaning of the word Veda is knowledge, and it signifies the idea that the Sanskrit hymns of the Veda are the expression of the totality of nature's intelligence - an expression of the unmanifest intelligence existing beyond all matter and energy in the primordial field of Cosmic Consciousness.
All natural systems, as well as man-made structures, can be seen as comprised of various levels of existance - where the innermost level contains the whole in seed form.
The complete intelligence of our body is encoded in the DNA, the structure of a building is mapped in its blueprint, the tree is contained in the seed, It can be said that in a similar way the traditions of India consider the complete intelligence of the universe to be encoded in the flow of sounds of the ancient hymns of Vedic Sanskrit.
Though such traditional notions may seem to be mystical beliefs or fantasies, some of the world's leading scientists equate these ancient ideas with the advanced theories of modern physics.
Theories that discuss the possibility that beyond all matter and energy there is a single abstract unified field that contains all potential phenomena in a virtual un-manifest form.
In the Veda and Vedic literature these notions are represented in stories and analogies that contain deep meanings in their symbolism. They are very often mistakingly dismissed as religious fairytales but if we look into the symbolism that resides beyond the superficial level of the story we may find very interesting ideas.
One subject that is discussed by many such stories is process of creation. In one of these stories the creation is seen as a dance of Shiva. The story says that the God Shiva danced while beating his drum and the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet came out of his drum, and created the universe.
Here Shiva symbolizes the embodiment of Cosmic Consciousness, dancing and beating the drum signifies the dynamics of the laws of nature in the process of creation, and the sounds that comprise the Sanskrit alphabet are the basic vibrations that serve as building blocks to create all mater and energy that constitute the entire phenomenal existance.
There is a Sanskrit verse that says: "yasya nishvasitam vedaah, yo vedebhyo akhilam jagad, nirmame tam aham vande, vidyaa-thiirtha maheshvara."
Meaning: "I bow down to the great (cosmic) ruler, who is the purifying bath of wisdom, whose breath is the Vedas, and who created the entire universe from the Vedas."
If indeed - as all these ideas suggest - the sounds of the ancient Sanskrit language are the expressions of the great harmony and perfection of nature's intelligence, then learning Sanskrit can be seen as much more then just learning another language as a means of communication, or as a gateway for accessing ancient volumes of valuable knowledge.
From this stanpoint learning Sanskrit can be seen as yet another tool to help us realize our full potential - a helpful tool to re-align our consciousness with the infinite harmony, beauty, intelligence and perfection of Nature and the Universe.
At present, with the global upsurge of spiritual and holistic knowledge, and with the growing popularity of yogic and meditative sciences, there is a growing awareness to the great healing potential of the sounds of the Sanskrit language.