Mantra (devanāgarī: मन्त्र) is a Sanskrit word coming from the root man- (manas, "to think" or "mind") and the suffix -tra, ("tool" or "instrument"), meaning the "instrument of thought". A mantram can be a sound, syllable, word, or group of words used as a prayer, incantations, song of praise, or seed of meditation.
According to Mme. Blavatsky, "A mantram is a collection of words which, when sounded in speech, induce certain vibrations not only in the air, but also in the finer ether, thereby producing certain effects. She added:
It is to be doubted whether they can be found in modern Western languages, — especially among English speaking people who are continually changing and adding to their spoken words to such an extent that the English of today could hardly be understood by Chaucer's predecessors. It is in the ancient Sanskrit and the language which preceded it that mantrams are hidden.
- Mantrams by William Q. Judge/H. P. Blavatsky
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 118.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 120