Generally, people like to sing, to hum something. Even those who can’t really sing. I saw an elderly man the other day, who was fixing his bike. I almost stopped: he was singing so frantically during his activity, that I wondered if everything was alright with him. It turned out that he simply had a good day, even to the point that I picked up his happy mood too. I smiled at him, and he jumped on his bike and still singing loudly, went on his way. A really simple activity, but brings so much joy. I thought that if he knew mantras, he wouldn’t only get a mental happiness.
Mantras are unusual sounds. They give refuge to the soul and body; they are a natural sustenance for all living beings. They act on an invisible, subtle level. Sometimes people ask how those sounds work. The nicest and really accessible way of explaining this, is with the example of the sun. The sun is very far away, but it has a great impact on us if we come under its influence. Someone may not believe, shake their head in disbelief – the effect will take place. You only need to sit in a sunny place for some time and you may want to or not, your skin will get tanned.
It is similar with mantras. If you come into contact with them, if you repeat, listen or meditate on them – there will be a subtle effect on you so that you gradually begin to experience the inner satisfaction, see things as they really are. You may believe or not, but you can be just skeptical. If you are sincere, and consequently repeat for example the simple: Gopala Govinda Rama Madana Mohana, simply to check if it works – it works. Like the sun. :-)