4. A word or phrase, usually in Sanskrit, Hebrew or Latin, [that may be] repeated or chanted repeatedly as a way to still the mind in meditation, and/or to instill a particular feeling or to invoke a special state of consciousness. Mantras are usually associated with particular images which may be visualized during meditation and chanting for increased effect. Some mantras are "God Names" and the associated images are of the deities.
AUTHOR: Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
5. Mind tool, from manas (mind) and trayati (tool). Mantras are words or sounds that serve to focus the mind or direct energy. Mantras can also function as incantations. They range from single syllable Bija or seed mantras to being quite complex and multisyllabic. Mantras can be repeated mentally, under the breath or as chants. Each method has its own unique impact on the mind of the practitioner and the physical environment. In his younger days, Dr. Mumford was renowned for his ability to induce trance and imperviousness to pain in others by chanting a mantra, a technique he calls "Mantra Anesthesia."
AUTHOR: Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson