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The Vedic Mantras are different from the traditional Slokas in that the Slokas are chanted straight through...there is no need for any intonation, Swaras or whatever; even if you have one, it carries the same import. Not so with the Vedic Mantras. They are set to a specific meter and should be chanted as they were conceived - no ifs and buts. Mantra chanting requires accurate pronunciation (mispronunciation means no/incorrect results delivered), whereas Sloka chanting need not be very accurate (yet one must put in efforts to make it reasonably accurate). For mantra chanting, it is not necessary to know the meaning because the effect/vibrations created from mantra chanting will deliver the intended results, whereas when one does Sloka chanting, knowing the meaning will have a tremendous effect on the person.
Vedas were not written or spoken by God. This knowledge emanated from God and originated in the heart of the Rishis (Sages ) and they in turn composed the divine rhymes using Sanskrit ("the language of the Gods"); these Mantras are a combination of mystical words and sound waves. Mantra is recited to relax the mind and to fulfill the desired work. Mantra is an invocation or a mystical formula, which aids the person to realize the self and attain bliss and ultimate fulfillment. The sounds involved in a Mantra are themselves significant for they generate in the individual, an unusual mystic power. The sounds activate the energy centers of our body, thereby causing changes to our subtle body (i.e., our senses and our mind). Mantras produce a set of vibrations in the surrounding atmosphere & its force depends on the attitude of the person as well as the intensity of concentration. For this reason, great emphasis is put on correct pronunciation. Mantras are used in our spiritual traditions to divert the mind from basic instinctual desires or material inclinations, by focusing the mind on a spiritual idea, such as "I am a manifestation of the divine consciousness".
Having said that, please know that proper chanting results in wisdom; and knowledge, as we know it, is but a tiny subset of the same. Since the intonations, the Swaras cannot be captured in English language (or for that matter by any language), the best way to practice such chanting is to hear, listen, ponder, and practice.
 
Prayers
Om Asato Maa Sadgamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amrtam Gamaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Click here to listen Prayer
 
Om Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Sahaveeryam Karavavahai
Tejasvi naa vati Tamastu maa vidh vishaa vahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi
Click here to listen Prayer
 
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha,
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya
Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yona
Prachodayat
Click here to listen Prayer
 
"Om bhadram karnebhih shrunu-yaama devaaha
Bhadram pashyemaa kshabhir yajatraaha
Sthirai rangai stushtu-vaagum sasta-noobhihi
Vyashema devahitam yadaa-yuhu
Swasti na indro vridha shravaaha
Swasti nah pooshaa vishwa vedaaha
Swasti nas-taarkshyo arishta nemihi
Swasti no brihaspatir dadhaatu.
Om shanti, shanti, shantihi!”
Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
Om ! O gods, may we hear auspicious words with the ears;
While engaged in sacrifices,
May we see auspicious things with the eyes;
While praising the gods with steady limbs,
May we enjoy a life that is beneficial to the Gods.
May Indra of ancient fame be auspicious to us;
May the supremely rich (or all-knowing) Pusa (god of the earth)
Be propitious to us;
May Garuda, the destroyer of evil,
Be well disposed towards us;
May Brihaspati ensure our welfare.
Om ! Peace! Peace! Peace!
 
“Twameva Mata, Cha Pita Twameva,
Twameva Bandhu, Cha Sakha Twameva,
Twameva Vidya, Dravinam Twameva,
Twameva Sarvam, Mama Dev Deva”
Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
"Oh God! You are my mother, You are my father, You are my brother, You are my friend, You are my knowledge, You are my wealth, You are everything to me”
 
Aarti Time Mantras
Agajaanana Padmaarkam
Gajaananam Ahar-nisham
Aneka Dam Tam Bhaktaa-naam
Eka Dantam Upaasmahe
Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
Seeing the elephant-faced Ganesha all the time, Goddess Parvati's face lighted up, just like how a lotus opens up seeing the sun and I meditate upon the Lord with single tusk, the giver of many boons to the devotees.
 
"na tatra sUryo bhaati na candra-taarakaM
naimaa vidyuto bhaanti kuto'yam-agniH /
tameva bhaantaM anubhaati sarvaM tasya
bhaasaa sarvam-idaM vibhaati"
Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
"The sun does not shine there, nor the moon, nor the stars. There is no flash of lightning. Agni too does not shine there. When He (the Paramaatman) shines, everything shines; all His shines by His light"
(All our knowledge is derived from that Great Light. With our limited knowledge,e we cannot shed light on that Reality)
 

“Om sham no mitrah sham varunah
sham no bhavat varyamaa
Sham na indro brihaspatihi
sham no vishnu ru-rukramaha
Namo brahmane
namaste vaayo
twameva pratyaksham Brahmaasi
twaameva pratyaksham brahma vadishyaami
Ritham vadhishyaami Satyam vadishyaami
Tanmaa-mavatu
tadh-vaktaara-mavatu
Avathu maam
Avathu vakthaaram
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi”

Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
Om May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. May Aryaman be blissful to us. May Indra and Brihaspati be blissful to us. May Vishnu, of long strides, be blissful to us. Salutation to Brahman. Salutation to you, O Vayu. You, indeed, are the immediate Brahman. You alone, I shall call the direct Brahman. I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you truth. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. Om, peace, peace, peace!
 
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niraamayaah
Sarve bhadraani pashyantu
Maa kaschidh dukha bhaag Bhavet
Click here to listen Prayer
Meaning:
May all be happy. May all be free from disease. May all realize what is good. May none be subject to misery. May peace prevail everywhere?
 
“Om poorna-madah poorna-midam
Poornaat poorna mudachyate
Poornasya poorna maadaya
Poorna mevaa vashishyate
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi”
Meaning:
Om ! That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (universe) is infinite. The infinite proceeds from the infinite. (Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),
It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace!
 
Mantra Pushpam

“Om || Yopaam Pushpam Vedaa - Pushpavaan Prajaavaan Pasumaan B'havathi
Chandramaa-vaa Apaam Puspham - Pushpavaan Prajaavaan Pasumaan B'havathi
Ya Ye'vam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan Bhavathi

Agnir-vaa Aapaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yoo Agne-raayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vaa Agne-raayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Vaayor-vaa Apaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yo Vaayo-raayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vai Vaayo-raayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Asovvai-thapanna-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yo Mushya-thapatha-aayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vaa Amushya-thapatha-aayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Chandramaa-vaa Apaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yash Chandra-masa Aayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vai Chandra-masa Aayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Nakshathraani-vaa Apaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yo Nakshathraanaam-aayathanam - Vedaa Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vai Nakshathraanaam-aayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Parjanyo-vaa Apaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yah(p) Parjanyas-yaayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vai Parjanyas-yaayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yopaa-maayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi

Samvathsaro-vaa Apaa-maayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Yas Samvathsaras Yaayathanam Vedaa - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Aapo-vai Samvathsaras Yaayathanam - Aayatha-navaan B'havathi
Ya Yevam Vedaa – Yoopsu-naa-vam Pratishiti-thaam Vedaa - Prathyeva thishtathi”

Om Rajaadhi rajaaya Prasahya Saahine
Namo Vayam Vai Sravanaaya Kurmahe
Sa Me kaaman Kaama Kaamaya mahyam
Kaamesvaro Vai Sravano dadaatu
Kuberaya Vai Sravanaaya
Maha rajaaya Namah
Click here to listen Prayer
 
***************** Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-Hi ****************
 
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