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Teaching Mantras to Your Children "When you teach your son, you teach your son's son.

" - The Talmud No doubt, you love your children. You send them to the best schools, give them the most nutritious food, and provide them with the latest toys, clothes, books, and video games that they can show off to their friends. However, in some time, the toys will break; the comic books will be torn; the clothes will be too small. What will remain is the cultural legacy that you pass on to your children. Why Mantras? Increasing westernisation and the advent of the Internet has produced 'cultural orphans' or people who are unable to relate to their own culture, and face an identity crisis. Your child can probably rattle off the names of his favourite comic characters. But can he chant a single prayer from his culture? Your child may not enjoy chanting prayers or singing devotional songs now, but as he grows up, he will always cherish those moments he spent with youthe lighting of the diyas, the burning of incense, the flowers, meeting different members of the family, etc. In another article, you learned about mantras, and how they can be used. Here are some famous mantras that you can teach your children so that they grow up with a greater appreciation of their culture. Ganesh Mantra This mantra, dedicated to Ganesh the beloved elephant-headed god of Hinduism, is chanted before any activity, ritual or puja is performed. Mantra: Vakratund Mahakaya Surya Koti Samaprabha Nirvhignam Kurumedeya Sarva Karyashu Sarvada Meaning: O Lord with the large body, curved trunk, and the brilliance of crore (10 million) suns, please free my work from all obstacles, forever. Aum Aum or Om is the greatest of all syllables in Hinduism and forms part of many mantras. It is related to the Tibetan 'Hum' while some believe that it also may be related to the Hebrew 'Amen'. Meaning: Aum represents God as sound. As Krishna says in the Bhagvad Gita, "Of all the alphabets, I'm the Aum." The Aum is said to contain the knowledge of the entire Vedas. It is also the sound of the celestial spheres, the 'hum' of the universe, and the primordial sound heard at the beginning of the universe.

Gayatri Mantra Second only to Aum, the Gayatri mantra is regarded as one of the most powerful mantras of Hinduism. By repeated chanting with correct pronunciation, it is said that one is able to attain enlightenment. Mantra: Aum Bhur Bhuva Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat,

It should be remembered that this simple mantra has several meanings, all of which are valid. Two of the meanings are given below. Meaning 1: O God, you are the giver of life, remover of pain and sorrow, the bestower of happiness, may your light destroy our sins, and may you illumine our intellect to lead us along the righteous path. Meaning 2: Aum, we meditate on the splendour of the supreme reality, the source of the three worlds: the gross or physical, the subtle or the mental, and the celestial or the spiritual. Hare Krishna Maha Mantra This simplest of mantras is quite popular all over the world. Devotional in nature, chanting this mantra is said to bring one closer to God, and wash away all sins. Mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Meaning: The mantra simply refers to Rama and Krishna, who are regard