Why do Hindus chant a variety of mantras during prayer?
The word mantra is derived from Sanskrit and literally means instrument of thought. It could be a word, a phrase or sound recited or sung repeatedly. It aids concentration when meditating.
The syllables in a mantra are linked in a definite order. When recited or sung as recommended, they convey a significant meaning and have a definite effect. It is also said that a mantra gives protection and strength on recitation. The syllables that constitute a mantra when recited produce electrical ripples and waves that ensure magical effects. Different sounds and rhythms produce varied effects.
In the Ramcharitmanas, Arunyakand, 35/1, it is said:
A mantra is a medium that can arouse consciousness from slumber in an individual. The latent powers are activated and made effective.
Mantras are endowed with a variety of powers. Through these one can win the favours of gods and goddesses. It is said gods and goddesses are captivated by particular mantras.
The religious texts say:
The gods and goddesses are dependent upon mantras.