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Thread: Silent versus Vocal Chanting

  1. #1

    Silent versus Vocal Chanting

    Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

    I have been following the Krishna path through ISKCON for the past 8 months and I have sometimes had challenges chanting out loud. I know the recommendation is to chant vocal and I respect that suggestion but my vocal cords get sore very quickly - I have thick cords - and it is easier to continue silently in my mind. Through silently I can hear the vibrations much clearer than through a hoarse throat. I have tried drinking water and such to soothe the throat. Is silent japa still effective as out loud. Surely there must be other devotees who have conditions that prevent vocal chanting.


  2. #2

    Re: Silent versus Vocal Chanting

    Quote from Srila Prabhupada -

    "There is no such requirement that Japa should be silently and chanting should be be done differently. Loudly or silently, everything is all right. There is no such restriction. Only thing is that we should chant very attentively, hearing the vibration very distinctly."
    – Letter to Satsvarupa

    Found here and

  3. #3
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    Re: Silent versus Vocal Chanting


    Inspired by this post I found three websites which I want to share ... they confirm what conquersex noted: Loudly or silently, everything is all right.

    One can utter the holy name clearly with proper pronunciation in an audible voice (vācika), or fix the mind on God and move the lips inaudibly(upāmśu), or ponder the meaning and practice silently with no movement of the lips (mānasika), which is preferred.
    The scriptures say that mānasika japa can be practiced at all times and in all places. Swami Vivekananda says, ‘The inaudible repetition of the Mantra, accompanied with the thinking of its meaning, is called the “mental repetition,” and is the highest.’

    More about japa

    And last but not least

    Question: I would like to know which chanting is more powerful, in the mind or audibly.
    1) Srila Jiva Gosvami writes in his Krama sandarbha: “The names of God should be chanted loudly.”
    2) Baladeva Vidyabhusana explain in the Stava malabibhusana bhasya, “If one chants the Hare Krsna mantra loudly, Krsna personally dances on his tongue.”
    3) In Caitanya-bhagavata Adi Khanda, with purports of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, it says that loud chanting is best.
    In regards to 100 times, there are slokas which say that manasic chanting is 1000 time superior to vacika. Of course one may say that it is applicable only to Vedic mantras and not to the Name. Vedic mantras should not be chanted loudly. But when chanted like a mantra, the Name should follow the rules for Vedic mantras. Loud chanting is kirtan and manasic japa is smaranam and both have their glory. Mahaprabhu glorifies kirtana – kirtaniya sada hari, and also smaranam – smarane na kala.


    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  4. #4

    Re: Silent versus Vocal Chanting

    Also loud chanting purifies other living entities which hear the chanting also.

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