The Sanskrit word mantra consists of the root man- "to think" and the suffix -tra, designating tools or instruments, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought".
According to the Vishnu Sahasranama Mantra is the 280th name of Lord Vishnu on this Sri Sankara said, "The Lord is the Mantra characterized by the Rigveda, the Yajurveda and the Samaveda. He is also thus called on account of being knowable through Vedic mantras."
Mantra is name of Lord Ganesha known as 'In The Form Of Mantra' because Lord Ganesha, who is fond of the Vedas, is Himself the Mantra, the Pranava Mantra.
Also Mantra is name of Lord Shiva known as 'Pranava And Other Sacred Formulas' because he is that Sound which infuses life or additional mantra — Hms the pranava and the other sacred formulas.
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