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Thread: General Japa/Mantra Question

  1. #1

    General Japa/Mantra Question

    I've been interested in "deeper" spirituality for a few years now, and I'm particularly drawn to to Bhakti Yoga. Obviously, a trademark of bhakti is the constant repetition of the names of God. Now, seeing as I live in the U.S., I don't exactly have many opportunities to receive initiation from a guru into a particular mantra. I've read from some sources that the mantra will be ineffective without the guru's blessing. This however, never really resonated with me. Now, I'm sure that the initiation would help one to make progress a lot quicker, but it never really resonated with me that the mantra will have no effect at all. Surely, God understands if one is unable to find an external guru?

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    I was never initiated into anything by a guru, but the mantra Om Namah Shivaaya as well as the mantra Om dum durgayei namaha om aing hring kling chamundaye vichche both help me.

  3. #3

    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    Thanks for your reply. I know sometimes there is a concern that the mantra won't be pronounced right, lessening the efficacy, but I'm just repeating a name like "Rama," "Hanuman," etc. I definitely feel better when I chant, so I was somewhat disheartened to see some people saying it's useless.

  4. #4

    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    It is not absolutely necessary to have a guru assign you a specific mantra and initiate you. I live in the United States also, and I mainly recite the Hare Krishna mantra and the Gayatri mantra. Those are the two most popular mantras, and no guru initiation is necessary. I was not initiated by a guru or had a specific mantra assigned to me. I just chose those two popular mantras to recite as a devotion to God and to draw me closer to God.

    While some view guru initiation as beneficial and even necessary, I would think that most Hindus do not view it as absolutely necessary.

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    Quote Originally Posted by sacredsound View Post
    Surely, God understands if one is unable to find an external guru?
    I would say so, yes! Acceptance is a lesson we can benefit from.

    The Bhagavad Gita reminds us that Krishna is both external and internal to all of His creation. One may be guided by the Lord Guru within. The mind and senses look outwards but there are also diamonds and jewels within.

    Good luck!

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    I remember that soon soon after I converted I wanted to start chanting but didn't have a mala or know any mantras. SO, I made due by chanting Om Brahma Vishnu Shiva because the sources that initially introduced me to hinduism put a lot of emphasis on the trimurti as being the sum of all things and the Brahman being the sum of the trimurti. And instead of a mala, I actually had to count each repitition on my fingers and keep one finger out for every increment of ten (wiggling that finger slightly every time it was reached rather than skipping it) and then doing another eight repititions when I had reached one hundred. I remember that once I finally bought the supplies to make my first mala that I still wear today (even if the guru bead and one lesser bead have had to be replaced), it was the best thing that had come from my birthday that year. SO keep doing what you're doing until you find mantras that suit you better and hopefully one day our gurus will find us.

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    Quote Originally Posted by sacredsound View Post
    I've been interested in "deeper" spirituality for a few years now, and I'm particularly drawn to to Bhakti Yoga. Obviously, a trademark of bhakti is the constant repetition of the names of God. Now, seeing as I live in the U.S., I don't exactly have many opportunities to receive initiation from a guru into a particular mantra. I've read from some sources that the mantra will be ineffective without the guru's blessing. This however, never really resonated with me. Now, I'm sure that the initiation would help one to make progress a lot quicker, but it never really resonated with me that the mantra will have no effect at all. Surely, God understands if one is unable to find an external guru?
    mantras are effective even without a gurus blessings . ancient mantras have been in use for thousands of years and many sadhaks and saints have been delivered through their japa . the sacred vibrations and energy gets stored in them . they are called siddha mantras . a common example would be "om namah shivaya" . such mantras can be of help to anyone .

    however the main thing to be taken into consideration is anuraag(devotion and dedication) to lord and not just mechanical chanting . chanting with concentration and love gets you quick success .

    however it would be best to avoid bija mantras like hrim ,klim , houm etc . they are too powerfull and generally require initiation and other critereas .

    infact if your dedication is sincere , pronunciation alsi doesnt really matter . there a sloka in bhagavatam " murkho vadati vishnaya ............bhavagrahi janardana " which translates as -----
    ' a fool utters vishnaya(instead of the correct vishnave) while a wise man utters vishnave . it doesnt matter whatever is the utterence , for janradana hari only takes the bhava ( true feelings behind the words) ' .



    but a guru is also needed for the large majortiy of sadhaks . few are competent enough to realize him without guru like mirabai . a guru does most of his prayers and pujas for his shisyas and world at large . his prayers and his positive energy guide you across the material existence easily . with your regular prayers , also pray that you get a true competent guru . when time's ripe he(lord) will send you his grace as a sadguru . meanwhile sustain your bhakti with the help of music(bhajans help a lot) , books , good association and visit to temples .

    god bless ...........

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Perhaps you will acquire or take-up a sound vibration without instruction (oṁ śivāya namaḥ) ; yet what of the guidance of time, place... what of proper technique to guide the mind inward i.e. sādhana = upāya = a means by where one reaches their aim?


    What mantra's are best for japa (muttering, whispering) or ajapa , without muttering on the lips (infers internal japa). And what of one's experiences - which ones are fruitful , which are to be dropped or adjusted?

    So, the sound vibrating is one part of other considerations that would be addressed.

    ...well begun is half done, say the wise.

    praām

    words
    time - sandhyā - the junction (sandhyā) time
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #9

    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Snip View Post

    The Bhagavad Gita reminds us that Krishna is both external and internal to all of His creation. One may be guided by the Lord Guru within. The mind and senses look outwards but there are also diamonds and jewels within.
    That is an excellent point. Having an external guru is not necessary at all, but we are all guided by our internal guru, God.

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    Re: General Japa/Mantra Question

    The posts above are very good to get you on your way and beyond. If you have trouble keeping focused and not making it simply a chore there is something that I have practiced for several years which helps temendously.

    Every day I pray for a very long time, but often get distracted by my overactive thinking. How it was finally cured was to meditate on Siva's feet. This probably sounds very silly but it really works. For several months I meditate on the big toe and think about what it looks like.

    Pretty soon the mala has been rounded many times. I have been meditating on the sole of the feet now for about 2 months as I don't feel ready for the top.:P

    Now as I am meditating on foot I do realize that whatever else comes into my mind is a piece of Siva's manifested creation and is infact Siva. But I am trying to devote the time specifically to the blissful Siva and not on the bits scattered upon the earth. Meditating on Siva's feet is very calming.

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