Mantra Śāstra is the science of sound. Mantra (मन्त्र) means and includes

  • An instrument of thought which is the basis of speech that germinates from sound. It includes sacred text, sacred sounds, a prayer or song of praise
  • Vedic hymn or magical formula based on sound that modifies thought. In particular Vedic mantra refers to hymns called from ṛc (from Ṛk Veda), yajus (from Yajur Veda), sāman (from Sāma Veda) or Atharva Veda. These are considered the highest mantra as compared to the fine mantra available in the Brāhmaṇa and Upaniṣad literature.
  • A sacred formula addressed to any deity
  • A mystical verse or magical formula sometimes called mahāvakya (great statement of truth) which is sometimes personified.
  • Incantation, charm, spell to acquire superhuman powers called siddhi.
  • Consultation, resolution, counsel, advice,
  • A plan, design,
  • A secret
  • (Jyotiṣa) the fifth bhāva is referred to as mantra bhāva and the fifth lord is the mantreśa.