After yoga and its several modern bifurcations, India's latest export to the West is Sanskrit. No, not the dying language per se. Only the mantras, which reports suggest, are increasingly bringing healing to the ailing West.
Many healing centers, yoga studios, etc., are reportedly turning to mantra chanting for various purposes. Mantra CDs by Western artists are increasingly showing up on the shelves of yoga places, healing hubs and other such gatherings. Mantra-yoga, which consists of 16 stages and stresses on the magical syllables, is also said to be catching up.
Indian American leader Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that they had always been telling the world about the unlimited potential of ancient Sanskrit scriptures. Finally the West was now realizing the power, depth, and solutions these offered for life's versatile issues.
Zed also said that kirtan was rapidly and continually growing in the West and becoming a vogue. According to kirtan participants, the powerful healing and transformational energies of these ancient chants in a living room style music experience helped calming and focusing the mind, uplift, provide a soothing melody, inspire, bring peace and connectedness, etc. Its sacred and spiritual experience took one to the state of deep meditation.
Zed pointed out that mantras, considered "words of power", constituted the main body of Vedic samhita (collection) and were most ancient portion of sacred writings.
Mantras can be basically divided in two categories: kanthika (throated) and ajapa (non-uttered). Kanthika can be further segmented into four classes: spoken aloud, humming, said in a low voice, and whispered in ear. Ajapa mantras are of two types: silent mantras repeated without voicing and mental mantras for meditating upon.
Gayatri Mantra is considered the most famous of mantras. Verses from Vedas, maxims from Upanishads, and 50 letters of Sanskrit alphabet are also widely used as mantras. Bijakshara mantras, which are shorter mantras, are said to contain unlimited powers and great benefits are said to emanate from their repetition. Om is considered most powerful of all the bijaksharas.