lit. "instrument of thought." A prayer or song of praise; a mystical verse or magical formula used to invoke a deity or to acquire a divine power. Commonly used to refer to any word, phrase, or prayer used for meditation. One of the two main sections of the Vedas. Mantras are chanted loudly during puja to invoke the gods. Certain mantras are repeated softly or mentally for japa, the subtle tones quieting the mind, harmonizing the inner bodies and stimulating latent spiritual qualities. Hinduism's universal mantra is "aum" or "om."; The Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary are but two examples of a Christian mantra.