“Mantra” (/ˈmæntrə, ˈmɑːn-, ˈmʌn-/; Sanskrit: मन्त्र) means a sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power. A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning; the spiritual value of a mantra comes when it is audible, visible, or present in thought.
The earliest mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, and those are at least 3000 years old. Mantras are now found in various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Similar hymns, chants, compositions and concepts are found in Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Christianity and elsewhere.