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Thread: Chanting versus meditation

  1. #1

    Chanting versus meditation

    I have recently come to the practice of Krisna Consciousness. I'm attending a meditation class. My spiritual advisor gave me a mantra and I meditate twice a day for approximately 20 minutes. I have found this very valuable. I am a caregiver for my husband and am limited on time, so I've been chanting the Maha Mantra only once a day using beads, but also chant while I'm walking. I recently read the booklet, "Chant and be Happy." This book seems to indicate that chanting this mantra is all that is needed. And the more often the better! So now I'm wondering if I should continue both practices and try to increase chanting the Maha Mantra as time permits.

    Thank you for any enlightenment on this.

  2. #2

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Most followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism (the ones who mostly chant Hare Krishna mantra) would probably want to know the scriptural basis of your other mantra to tell if it is authentic or beneficial. Also, the character of the one who gave the other mantra may come into question. Typically Krishna followers don't chant mantras that refer to other divinities than Krishna or Vishnu.

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    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary View Post
    I have recently come to the practice of Krisna Consciousness. I'm attending a meditation class. My spiritual advisor gave me a mantra and I meditate twice a day for approximately 20 minutes. I have found this very valuable. I am a caregiver for my husband and am limited on time, so I've been chanting the Maha Mantra only once a day using beads, but also chant while I'm walking. I recently read the booklet, "Chant and be Happy." This book seems to indicate that chanting this mantra is all that is needed. And the more often the better! So now I'm wondering if I should continue both practices and try to increase chanting the Maha Mantra as time permits.

    Thank you for any enlightenment on this.
    Start seeing Krishna in your husband. Keep Krishna in your heart & do your duties. For a Hindu woman, there is no duty higher than taking care of her husband first. Please remember ... if there is no Krishna for you in your husband ... there is no Krishna in the stone image too for you which you worship.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  4. #4

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Thank you, Devotee and Rasa. I have been given a mantra, which is the same as Krisna by a qualified spiritual advisor, a priest. I liked your reply Devotee. Sometimes it's difficult to see krsna in my husband but I will try. I'd still like to know whether it's more beneficial to chant the Maha Mantra or to meditate, keeping in mind that I'm working toward being a devotee.

  5. #5

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary View Post
    I'd still like to know whether it's more beneficial to chant the Maha Mantra or to meditate, keeping in mind that I'm working toward being a devotee.
    It's interesting that you would see the two as different when there are a number of Krishna devotees that would say that chanting and meditation are non-different. From my own past experience of having chanted japa every day for 12 years I know that Hare Krishna japa chanters often do not appear particularly meditative, and may even be seen bouncing around or pacing the floor while chanting. Apparently it creates another type of energy than what is normally considered meditative - a kind of bhakti fervor perhaps. Wheras when you are chanting some other authentic Vedic mantra that begins with "Om" - if you are actually attentive and work to pronounce everything properly - it has the capacity to sort of freeze you in your tracks, and make you sit very still and be very attentive.

    But to what extent 'meditativeness' or 'bhakti fervor' are a result of a certain mantra or type of mantra chanter I do not know. What I do know is that there is a big similarity in both yoga and bhakti systems that they seem to demand all of your time. So complete devotion to *one* of them would seem to be the key, even though they may be 'non-different'.

    Back when I was in Iskcon, we were trained that if we chanted the Hare Krishna mantra very attentively early in the morning, we would likely have a good day on book distribution. It did seem to work. Meditation to my knowledge teaches similarly, that your powers of concentration and relaxation will be better throughout the day if you meditate nicely. Though in the West of course, yoga and meditation are sought mainly to increase one's health and material well-being, without any thought for eternal spiritual understanding at all.

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    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Namaste Mary,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary View Post
    Thank you, Devotee and Rasa. I have been given a mantra, which is the same as Krisna by a qualified spiritual advisor, a priest. I liked your reply Devotee. Sometimes it's difficult to see krsna in my husband but I will try. I'd still like to know whether it's more beneficial to chant the Maha Mantra or to meditate, keeping in mind that I'm working toward being a devotee.
    Truly speaking, the aim of both the ways is the same ... Be one with the God-consciousness and obliterate the deep impressions of limitations imposed by your false individual consciousness. So, whether you chant or meditate it would produce the same result if you do it complete devotion and sincerity. If chanting helps you to connect yo Krishna-Consciousness then concentrate on that. Moreover, it is easier to chant than to meditate. However, meditation can speed up your spiritual journey. It improves your focus to the object of meditation & helps you in discarding the worldly thoughts easily.

    You should learn meditation from a good teacher. You can mix chanting and meditation in your practice, which imo, is the best option. Start with chanting and then meditate ... it would be beneficial. While attending to your worldly duties, you can keep chanting the holy mantra mentally.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  7. #7

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary View Post
    I'd still like to know whether it's more beneficial to chant the Maha Mantra or to meditate, keeping in mind that I'm working toward being a devotee.
    Chanting is more beneficial ... meditation will automatically follow.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary View Post
    I have recently come to the practice of Krisna Consciousness. I'm attending a meditation class. My spiritual advisor gave me a mantra and I meditate twice a day for approximately 20 minutes. I have found this very valuable. I am a caregiver for my husband and am limited on time, so I've been chanting the Maha Mantra only once a day using beads, but also chant while I'm walking. I recently read the booklet, "Chant and be Happy." This book seems to indicate that chanting this mantra is all that is needed. And the more often the better! So now I'm wondering if I should continue both practices and try to increase chanting the Maha Mantra as time permits.

    Thank you for any enlightenment on this.
    Vannakkam Mary: Although this is not my particular Hindu tradition, and others can most likely give you an answer from this tradition, I think such questions of , "Which is better?" don't have universal answers. Instead the question should be, "Which is better for this individual?"

    An analogy might be methods of teaching applied to various learning styles. There is no one correct best way. Sadhana or worship or even sect choice should match the jiva's needs.

    Aum Namasivaya

  9. #9

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    I want to thank everyone for their most helpful answers to my questions. All good advice.

  10. #10

    Re: Chanting versus meditation

    Mary madam, i should say it does not matter for how long you chant or meditate ,the matter is what ever you do please do it from your heart from your mind because god reads our mind only . if you walk and chant at the same time you may slip and get hurt. so take care of your husband and do your duty and arrange some time at your convenience for chanting or meditating whatever you like.just reserve the time for this purpose only.May Sri Krishna help you !

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