mantras are sacred words and have the immense power to transform your life. they are liking a seed which needs to be nourished with regular chanting and practice. mantra chanting is subtle process of influencing your consciousness. just like a ripple in lake spreads all over, similarly the sound of mantra spreads its vibrations in your consciousness.
every mantra has its own properties, vibrations and uses. so its important to select the right mantra and do it correctly. a simple mantra like gayatri mantra or om chanting or om namah shivaya has the power to transform your life.
mantras are used for various purposes. for some people it is a spiritual sadhana. many people have attained to god via a mantra. some people chant it to please their deity and get their work done. many astrologer recommend mantras as a remedy. they are also used in tantra. tantric mantra needs a good knowledge of ritual and mantra pronunciation, otherwise they have the potential to harm the practitioner.
in india, many people take hold of one mantra or recitation of any holy book like ramayana, bhagavad geeta as their lifelong practice. everyday during early morning or sunset they recite the holy book or do mantra chanting. it becomes their daily routine without fail. this brings a spiritual element in their life. the daily thread of recitation brings a lot of difference in their life over a period of time.
i remember once i was travelling in bangalore in a bus. one monk sitting in front of me was continuously chanting ‘hare rama hare krishna‘ mantra. i could easily feel the spiritual vibration he was creating around him by his devotional mantra chanting. he also helped me to remember god while travelling. now also after many years i remember that unknown monk fondly.
10 tips for mantra chanting:
1. use correct pronunciation – if you are not sure about mantra correct pronunciation then its better to use simple and easy mantra or to learn correct pronunciation from an expert. because there are some tantric mantras which should be pronounced correctly otherwise they can cause harm in your psychic bodies as well as in your life. also try to find the meaning of the mantra. because if you know the meaning and science behind mantra then it will have more impact on your consciousness. remember, mantra is a subtle way to affect your consciousness and other bodies. so good to know about the mantra well. if the deity associated with the mantra is satvic then it recommended to follow vegetarian deity, speak truth and follow other such things associated with the deity.
2. don’t keep on changing your mantra – more number of times you chant the mantra with devotion, more it becomes potent. many mantras have to be chanted a fixed number of times before they become potent (sidh karna in hindi) and start showing their beneficial results. so better to choose one mantra and try it for some time. if you like it then stick to it. thats true in other spiritual practices also.
3. take initiation from a guru – when you take initiation in mantra chanting from a realized guru then it has more impact. because during initiation guru imparts some of his shakti (energy) in your mantra. moreover guru will initiates you in the right mantra meant for you.
4. use of mala – many people find it easier to chant with the help of mala. although its not essential to use it but it helps. it is also a good way to remember how many mala rounds you have completed of mantra chanting.
5. chanting with closed eyes – although you can chant the mantra with open eyes but it has more impact when you do it with closed eyes. because now you can give more attention and energy to your mantra chanting. moreover we lose a considerable part of energy from eyes. every image you see while doing mantra chanting with open eyes distract your attention.
6. visualizing the deity – if there is a deity associated with the mantra then its recommended to visualize the deity while chanting. e.g. you can visualize lord shiva while chanting mahamrityunjaya mantra. this will have more impact on the mantra plus you will imbibe the qualities of your deity in yourself. always be devotional to your deity and to your mantra. remember, if you are doing your practice with total devotion then you will always be guided by your deity.
7. don’t chant mechanically – you should not chant the mantra without any feeling. trust the power of mantra and the deity associated with it. have reverence for mantra. mechanical chanting of mantra is not so powerful as compared to the chanting with faith and devotion. secondly, many people chant mantras aloud. i feel slowly one should move towards internal chanting and then to wordless chanting.
8. create a sacred space – although you can chant mantras anywhere but it helps to create a sacred space in your home. most hindus make a small pooja room for religious purpose. you can dedicate any corner of your room for spiritual purpose also. for more info read this post on how to create meditation space in your home. it also helps to take a bath and wear fresh clothes before sitting for mantra chanting. as many people feel sleepy after some rounds of mantra chanting.
9. be regular in mantra sadhana – whenever you do any sadhana regularly at the same time and at the same place then it has more impact. never skip your sadhana for any mundane task. if you want to succeed then give top most priority to your sadhana.
10. interference from thoughts – mantra goes more deep in your consciousness when your mind is silent and free from thoughts. but stopping thoughts is not in your hand. you cannot control your mind. so never fight with your thoughts and emotions. thoughts will come, when you are doing mantra chanting. so just divert your attention back to the mantra whenever any thought come. the attitude should not be of fight with the thoughts or with the emotions. do the chanting lovingly and with devotion. don’t look for spiritual results because all these are games of mind. have patience and trust on your mantra and the deity associated. give your totality to your sadhana.