The foremost purpose of a mantra is to free the mind from anxieties and awaken our connection with the Transcendent Reality. Mantra is a sound vibration. There are said to be twenty thousand Sanskrit mantras or prayers. Some mantras, as mentioned in the Bible (In the Beginning was the Word. . . ), are used to create and some are meant to destroy. Some will ignite fire. Some mantras provide us with access to the various deities of universal affairs. Some offer specific benefits. Some open us to the light of cosmic Oneness known as Brahman. And some connect us to that Supreme Personality who is the source of all creation. Of course, the results of the mantra depends on the potency or the purity of the chanter.
In this age, one mantra is specifically referred to as the Maha-Mantra – the great mantra of freedom. This mantra is meant for everyone, to purify us and it can encompass the benefits of all the other mantras. The Maha-Mantra is specifically meant as a way for us to call upon the Lord for His guidance and protection. It is offered freely in a loving exchange. There should never be a charge for it.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare addresses the energy of the Lord
Krishna addresses God as the All Attractive One
Rama means the Supreme Enjoyer
Mantra is used both in personal meditation on prayer beads as japa (beads often kept in a bag). Below, Andy Fraenkel demonstrating japa.
And in congregational mediation, singing and playing musical instruments, in Kirtana or Sankirtana, as below in Vrindavan, India