Prarthana

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Mantras, Slokas and Stotras

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Prarthana is an attempt to communicate, commonly with a sequence of words, with a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. The words of the Prarthana may take the form of a hymn, incantation or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person’s words. Secularly, the term can also be used as an alternative to “hope”.

MyPrarthana will try to feature all the great mantras and slokas along with the meanings and if possible supported with Audio and Video.

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“Om is the Name of the Supreme Lord.”

Om is a mystical or sacred syllable in the Indian religions. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred exclamation to be uttered at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or previously to any prayer or mantra. The Mandukya Upanishad is entirely devoted to the explanation of the syllable.

Mantra

A mantra is a religious or mystical syllable or poem, typically from the Sanskrit language. Their use varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra. They are primarily used as spiritual conduits, words or vibrations that instill one-pointed concentration in the devotee. Mantras are interpreted to be effective as sound (vibration), to the effect that great emphasis is put on correct pronunciation (resulting in an early development of a science of phonetics in India). They are intended to deliver the mind from illusion and material inclinations. Chanting is the process of repeating a mantra.

Shloka/Sloka

A Sanskrit term shloka specifically denotes a metered and often rhymed poetic verse or phrase. It also connotes and has come to mean a proverb and a form of prayer throughout Indian religions having arisen in the Vedas. Shloka has become equated with Hindu prayer and is often comparable to a proverb and hymn of praise to be sung or chanted in liturgy. Shloka are generally composed in a specified meter, typically part of stotras. The most common form in classical (post-Vedic) poetry is the anustubh, a verse of four padas (feet), each of eight syllables. Anustubhs are the primary verse form of the Sanskrit epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. Use of anustubhs became prevalent to the point of “shloka” often being used as a synonym of “anustubh”.

Stotra

Stotra is a hymn of praise. These hymns praise aspects of the divine, such as Devi, Siva, or Vishnu. Stotras, according to Swami Tapasyananda, are invariably uttered aloud and consist of chanting verses conveying the glory and attributes of God. Stotras are a type of popular devotional literature and are not bound by the strict rules as some other Hindu scriptures, such as the Vedas.

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