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About Mantra

I read much about mantras being practiced by some school of buddhism, and it is directed for deity. I suppose this is practiced in Mahayana? I tried to follow an old school which is the Theravada, I don't hear much of of reciting mantras to deities? Maybe I just don't know if we have deities, but the monks didn't much focused on those things. I regularly hear - Namo Tassa - but there is all into it. Is it true that in some sutras, the Theravada have their own deities?


  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    They are mostly used to focus the mind on the attributes of a particular Buddha (of which Mahayana and Vajrayana believe there are many, not just Guatama) or famous Bodhisattvas. For me, it is more that way and less thinking of them as actual beings who are out there listening like God. In my experience, it is mostly a Tibetan practice. But I know some Theravadan monks chant. But is all chanting a mantra? Not necessarily I'd think. Chanting by itself can aid in memorization. That is why we chant the Heart Sutra-the sing-songy nature of it makes it easier to memorize for those who have to, or desire to. But mantras, chanted or not, are meant to be a single point of concentration and are generally shorter for ease of repetition.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The Theravada have dharani and some 'devotion' to natha-deva and Maitreya may be available.

    Why not just add a touch of Vajrayana, they do it so much better. <3 You can certainly do prostrations, mantra and metta towards Shakyamuni ...

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