What is a Mantra? A mantra is composed of psychically potent sound syllables that are capable of influencing the human system both physically and spiritually. They can excite the emotions and give suggestion to the mind. They influence both the one who chants them and the one hears them. The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit word Mantrana, which means advice or suggestions. According to the Upanishads, the original abode of the mantra was the 'Parma Akesh' or primeval ether, the eternal and immutable substratum of the universe.