I feel it is necessary to clarify why it is beneficial to chant mantras in such a way that even scientists (like myself) and atheists can acknowledge the significance of mantra. Both Eastern and Western cultures, including indigenous cultures of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Europeans have all used singing and musical instruments as a way to achieve altered states of consciousness. Perhaps they intuitively knew all along what quantum physicists have only discovered fairly recently: that matter can be simultaneously defined as particles and as waves, that matter is made up of vortices of energy that are constantly spinning and vibrating, and that molecules radiate a vibration with a specific frequency. In fact all of life is a form of vibration, where we can experience this vibration through our thoughts and through our senses as sound waves, colour and light waves and molecules of smell, taste and touch. Healing occurs through the principal of resonance, namely the ability of a healthy vibration, from, for example, a sound, colour, laser or essential oil blend, to trigger the body to match that healthy vibration.
More specifically, in terms of sound vibration, sound waves are mechanical waves generated from vibrations within a medium. Our vocal chords vibrate which produces sound. Furthermore, when one chants mantras in Sanskrit, speciﬁc mouth and tongue placements result in certain neural pathways being stimulated. It is therefore important that Sanskrit mantra be correctly pronounced and with precise duration and a particular pitch for each syllable: the letters and pitches have speciﬁc, subtle changes in airﬂow in the palate, which stimulate different nerve centres as well as different chakra points. These magical properties of mantra is available to us as a result of the ancient rishis (spiritual scientists) devising mantras to vibrate at very particular frequencies, containing the meaning of the words. In other words, you do not need to understand the “meaning” to feel the power of a mantra. The vibration of the word IS the meaning.
Chanting Sanskrit mantra, has been found to favourably change thought patterns and subsequent reactions in the body on a neurophysiological level. These effects have been empirically measured by means of measuring levels of circulating hormones, brain waves, brain function and autonomic nervous system function. No wonder the mantra translates to ‘mind protection’ or setting your mind free.
Om, pronounced as AUM, is said to be the sound of the universal consciousness, possibly the first sound of the universe during creation, the "Big Bang". In the ancient scriptures of India, OM is considered as the most powerful of all the mantras. The others are considered aspects of OM, with OM being the seed of all other mantras. The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency contained in nature. More specifically, the different syllables of A-U-M vibrate at frequencies associated with states of waking (A) and vibration in the chest, dreaming (U) and vibration in the throat, and deep sleep (M) with vibration at the top of the head. There is also an unstruck sound following AUM, signifying a transcendental state.
If you are still skeptic, then why not try it out from an experiential point of view – you have nothing to lose....