HOW TO RECITE MANTRAS
We know that all knowledge was originated in ancient India. Hence it is not surprising to know that the first International University in the world was ‘Nalanda University’ established in India in 427 BC. Scholars from different countries used to get enlightened in various subjects from this University. Hence, the knowledge related to mantras and mysticism also had spread from India to other countries in those days. This is the reason, we see mantras in various countries and cultures, even today.
Mantra recitation is a cult or an exclusive tradition which was descended from ancient sages of India. The sages had prescribed some code of conduct for any person who wants to derive benefits of mantras. These principles should be strictly adhered; otherwise the person is liable to more problems. In this article, we will discuss some important points to be followed by every one to derive benefits from mantras.
First and foremost, the person who wants to get initiated into mantra recitation should find a Guru. Getting a real Guru is very difficult task and most of the people end up without any Guru. The technique to get a Guru is to keep your body and mind clean and pious. It means you should not indulge into any bad habits. You should control your mind. You should read books on spiritualism and biographies of great Gurus and develop feelings of devotion towards Gods and past Gurus like Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Rama Krishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, Babaji, Shirdi Sai baba, etc. In this way, your mind slowly becomes purified. Once your mind and body is pure, Guru will come in contact with you.
Eka beeja (mono sound) mantras such as given in this web site in the page: The Mystery of Mantras can be recited without the need of a Guru. For other mantras, where two or more sounds are combined, a Guru is needed. I have seen people reciting Gayathri mantra and other big mantras just by getting them from a book or listening to them on an audio CD or downloading them from a web site. This is absolutely wrong. Please remember mantras are not commodities sold in the market.
A lot of people ask me mantras saying that they are in some trouble and hence they want to recite a mantra to get rid of the trouble. Some say that they are in financial losses and hence they want a mantra to get lottery. Young guys want mantras for attracting girls. Even I received a mail from a woman that her two year old daughter was naughty that she needs a mantra to control her! Reciting mantras for such things is absurd. The reason is: once you have taken a mantra, you are supposed to continue its recitation till the end of your life. It is not that you recite it and leave it after you get benefited. It is an exclusive Vedic system where the person should follow certain principles through out his life to achieve liberation of soul. The actual purpose of mantras is to destroy the effect of bad karmas of our past lives and lay foundation for a better life in the coming births.
The reason why a Guru is needed to get mantras is that your Guru only knows which mantra is suitable to you. He trains you in the pronunciation and modulation of the mantra. When he is giving a mantra to you, he is also imparting some of his energy through that mantra. This works like a booster so that you can recite that mantra without any obstacles.
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Stages of Mantra recitation
There are 3 stages to recite a mantra. The first stage is to recite it aloud, so that it is audible to every one around you. While doing this, you should concentrate on the mantra sound only. You should recite mantra in this way in the initial stages. This stage lasts generally for 3 to 6 months.
The second stage of reciting mantra is to recite it like a whisper so that you will only hear it. Here, you should concentrate on the inner sound that is originating within you. This stage should be followed for the next 3 to 6 months.
The third stage of reciting mantra is to do it silently without moving the lips. In this stage, you should focus your attention on God or Goddess of the mantra. This stage is the final stage and to be followed for the rest of the life.
Before reciting the mantra, kindle a lamp with cow’s ghee before the photo or idol of your mantra God or Goddess. Sit facing East or North-East direction. While reciting the mantra, you should close your eyes and see straight. You should keep your back straight and then loosen all your body parts such that there will not be any pressure in the body.
Principles to follow
- Once you have taken a mantra, you should completely avoid habits like smoking, non vegetarian food, alcohols, sex with women other than your wife.
- You should not be angry with any one in any instance. You should develop the feeling that every thing is done by God and you are a mere spectator in this world. At soul level, you do not have any enemies or friends.
- You should not tell lies. You should talk very less.
- You should not use abusive words or foul language towards any one.
- You should not touch a lady in her menstrual period. If you happen to touch her, then you should take head bath and wear ironed clothes.
- You should never sit on the floor directly when reciting the mantras. If your body contacts the floor, your mantra power will go into earth. You should sit on a wooden plank with a silk cloth on it.
- First of all, you should take Gayathri mantra from your Guru. Once you completed recitation of Gayathri for at least 1,00,000 (one lakh) times, then you are eligible for taking another mantra of your choice.
- First of all Gayathri mantra should be recited for 108 times in the morning. Then you should recite your own mantra for at least 108 times or in multiples of 108 like 2X108 or 3 X 108 etc.
- It is advisable to use a rosary (maala) of 108 beads to count how many times the mantra is recited. It is better if you use rudrakshaa rosary or crystal beads. When counting, you should pull the beads using your right hand’s middle finger and thumb. After 108 times, if you want to do the recitation for another 108 times, then the rosary should be reversed, so that the counting will start again in the same direction.
- Mantras also have birth and death like human beings. The moment of taking the mantra from Guru represents the birth of the mantra. If the person stopped reciting the mantra, it becomes death of the mantra. Hence if you do not recite the mantra, your mantra will die and you will go to hell because of this sin.
- Mantra recitation should not be done when one of your close relatives or family members die. Mantra recitation should be stopped for one month from the date of the funeral. After one month, first you should recite Gayathri for 1000 times and then continue recitation of your mantra as usual.
- The best time to recite the mantras is starting 1 hour before the Sunrise time. You can continue recitation even after 1 hour from the Sunrise time.
- Mantras should be energized during solar and lunar eclipses. Take head bath just before the eclipse starts. Start recitation of mantra when eclipse starts and continue the recitation till it ends. After the eclipse is over, take head bath again. Reciting the mantra for once during the eclipse time is equal to reciting it for 1000 times in normal days.
- If new Moon (Amaavasya) happens to be on a Sunday, it works like an eclipse. So, on that day it is advisable to recite the mantras for a maximum time.
- You should never reveal your mantra to any one, unless your Guru gives his consent to do so.
- If you do not have a Guru and you were not initiated into mantra recitation, then it is better to recite stotras (verses) like Astottaram (108 names) and Sahasram (1000 names) of Gods or Goddesses. Guru is not needed for these stotras. You can take the help of a pujari or pundit to know how to utter the stotras correctly.
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