Sat Nam. You could say mantras are something of a specialty of mine. I have always loved magic words and poetry as well. Yogi Bhajan used to say a mantra is like a phone number to God. It can connect you directly with The Big One Upstairs. Mantra siddhyam, siddhyam parmayshvaram. Like a phone number, however, if you dial incorrectly, you will connect with the wrong party. Mantra needs to be correctly pronounced, or else the results can be different from what you might hope.
I am a student of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. The Kundalini Research Institute takes responsibility for correctly conveying the vast body of technology - exercise, meditation, diet, lifestyle, relationships - given us by the Master. I don't envy the folks at KRI. They have a big job and a high standard to live to.
As far as mantra goes, mantra is one of the weaker points in the KRI compendium of Yogi Bhajan's teachings. The good news is that the good folks who run KRI - Nirvair Singh, Tarn Taran Singh, and others - are open to feedback, and I have sent them my input. The bad news is that the committee that meets to consider revisions to the teacher training text is not scheduled to meet for the foreseeable future.
To my mind, one day of sloppy or downright bad transmission of information is one day too many, so in my humble way, I am offering this downloadable text of a revised and corrected version of the mantra listing in The Aquarian Teacher, the KRI text free of charge today.
FYI, the problems with the KRI mantra listing, "Mantras Frequently Used in Kundalini Yoga," pp. 82-87, are:
1) Incorrect phonetics. The most common is indicating a short vowel, when the vowel should be long, or vice versa. There are lots of those.
2) Inconsistency. The text mixes three different phonetic systems, where a learning or reference system requires the consistent use of just one coherent system. For example, "ungsung" and "guru" both use the same vowel "u" in the text, whereas the vowel sounds in the actual mantras differ completely.
3) Incorrect mixing of phonetics and grammar. In the phonetic part of the text where we are supposed to learn how words are sounded, there is no need for capitals unless they indicate how the sound is made. In this new revised text, capitals in the phonetic section are used only to indicate retroflex consonants, and for nothing else (other than a few English words).
4) Simple mistakes. There is no "Hummee Hum" mantra. It makes no sense. The mantra is "Humhee Hum." You would have to know some Punjabi to know that.
5) Not indicating retroflex consonants. Mantra has more letters than our alphabet. A number are retroflex, which means you have to touch your tongue on the roof of your mouth to make them. Often retroflex "d" and "dh", "t" and "th" and "n" are not indicated in the KRI text. Not good.