Now that we have cleared that Hindu Dharma is one such religion where the follower can worship any form of the Lord that suits his spiritual need, let us get into the modes of channeling our inner grievances and beliefs to the Supreme Lord.
In Hindu Religion, people have different ways of connecting to the supreme power. Some believe in meditation, some in hosting pujas and yagyas, some believe in donation while others visit holy places. One thing that is common between all these methods of channeling is the use of mantras or stotras or shlokas.
Contains Beejaksharas like OM, HREEM, SREEM, KREEM etc… There are Mantras for each of the various forms of God. In fact, the symbol of God is the personification of the Mantra. These are power-packed syllables that produce a profound effect on the individual. Mantras have to be handled carefully and shall be used only after taking proper initiation from a Guru.Example – Gayatri Mantra, Om, Shanti Mantra.
ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।
Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt
We meditate on that most adored Supreme Lord, the creator, whose effulgence (divine light) illumines all realms (physical, mental and spiritual). May this divine light illumine our intellect.
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे
मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥
Om Tryambakam Yajaamahe
We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) who is fragrant and who nourishes all beings; may He liberate me from death, for the sake of Immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (of the creeper).”
Shree Ganesh Mantra
श्री वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्य कोटी समप्रभा निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्व-कार्येशु सर्वदा॥
Shri Vakratunda Mahakaya
Surya Koti Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva
Sarva Karyesu Sarvada.
Salutations to the supreme Lord Ganesha, whose curved trunk and massive body shines like a million suns and showers his blessings on everyone. Oh my lord of lords Ganesha, kindly remove all obstacles, always and forever from all my activities and endeavors.
They depicting as an aspect of God in poetic form. Consists of Shlokas and specific to a particular God. Can be masted with focused practice. Example – Panchakshara Stotra, Ram Raksha Stotra,
या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता
या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना ।
या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा पूजिता
सा मां पातु सरस्वति भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा ॥१॥
Yaa Kunde[a-I]ndu-Tussaara-Haara-Dhavalaa Yaa Shubhra-Vastra-[A]avrtaa
Yaa Viinnaa-Vara-Danndda-Mannddita-Karaa Yaa Shveta-Padma-[A]asanaa |
Yaa Brahma-Acyuta-Shankara-Prabhrtibhir-Devaih Sadaa Puujitaa
Saa Maam Paatu Sarasvati Bhagavatii Nihshessa-Jaaddya-Apahaa ||1||
Salutations to Devi Saraswati Who is Pure White like Jasmine, with the Coolness of Moon, Brightness of Snow and Shine like the Garland of Pearls; and Who is Covered with Pure White Garments, Whose Hands are Adorned with Veena (a stringed musical instrument) and the Boon-Giving Staff; And Who is Seated on Pure White Lotus, Who is Always Adored by Lord Brahma, Lord Acyuta (Lord Vishnu), Lord Shankara and Other Devas, O Goddess Saraswati, Please Protect me and Remove my Ignorance completely.
Maa Laxmi Stotram
अङ्गं हरेः पुलकभूषणमाश्रयन्ती
भृङ्गाङ्गनेव मुकुलाभरणं तमालम् ।
माङ्गल्यदास्तु मम मङ्गलदेवतायाः ॥१॥
Anggam Hareh Pulaka-Bhuussannam-Aashrayantii
Bhrngga-Anggan[a-I]eva Mukula-[A]abharannam Tamaalam |
Maanggalya-Daa-[A]stu Mama Manggala-Devataayaah ||1||
Salutations to Mother Lakshmi) Who always dwell in the Body of Hari like an ornament of Ecstatic Delight (Pulaka), …
Like the Bees which delightfully decorate (dwelling over) the half-open Flowers of the Tamala tree (with their ecstatic humming sound),
Who has contained within Her Body the entire Opulence of the Universe, (and She showers Wealth) through the Play of Her Divine Glance (Apanga Leela),
May that Glance bring Auspiciousness in my Life; that Divine Glance of the Mangala Devata (Godhead of Auspiciousness and Welfare),
It can be in prose form or poetic form. The easiest one to follow. Stuti can be done by reciting mantra, suktam, stotra, aarti’s, bhajan. Example:
नमस्तेऽस्तु महामाये श्रीपीठे सुरपूजिते ।
शङ्खचक्रगदाहस्ते महालक्ष्मि नमोऽस्तुते ॥१॥
Namastestu Mahaa-Maaye Shrii-Piitthe Sura-Puujite |
Shangkha-Cakra-Gadaa-Haste Mahaalakssmi Namostute ||1||
I Worshipfully Salute Devi Mahalakshmi, Who is the Mahamaya (the Primordial Cause of Creation); And Who is Worshipped in Sri Pitha (Her Abode) by the Suras.
I Worshipfully Salute Her Who is adorned in Her Beautiful Form with Shankha (Conch), Chakra (Disc) and Gada (Mace) in Her Hands; I Worshipfully Salute Devi Mahalakshmi.
It is a poetic verse created based on a particular meter on any specific topic. There can be Shlokas on Gods depicting a particular aspect or mahatmya of the God. They can be shlokas on general topics too. Most Hindu scriptures are written in forms of slokas like Mahabharata, Ramayana & Upanishads.