How to Chant Mantras?
It is important to learn the correct pronunciation when it comes to chanting Sanskrit Mantras. As I’ve explained before, Sanskrit is an energy based language, so with the correct pronunciation, the sounds will have the desire affect in the subtle body. Once we learn how to pronounce a mantra, we can pick up a mala bead and start chanting!
Ideally, we should be sitting in lotus, so that our spine is straight. This way, the chakras along the spine will be in alignment. Closing our eyes will allow us to focus on the sound, keeping us away from any visual distractions.
Mantras should be repeated 108 times, as mentioned on the page titled “Malas”. If you don’t own a japa mala rosary, you can use a catholic rosary, that has exactly half the amount of beads (54), so all you have to do is run the beads twice. Other ways of counting 108 repetitions without the proper Mala beads are as follows:
- Place 108 beads in a bowl (plastic beads, beans or anything you have at hand). Grab a handful of them and place them one by one in a different container as you chant, one per repetition.
- With pen and paper, draw a line per each repetition to the count of 8, then cross them with the 9th repetition. When you have 12 of those you will have completed 108 repetitions.
- With your hands: count your fingers starting with the pinky, ring, middle, index and thumb, then back to the index, middle, ring and pinky, totaling 9. Repeat 12 times.
These are only suggestions if you’d like to start right away and don’t own a Mala, but all those options offer a certain degree of distraction. My best advice is to get a Mala. I’m always available for consultation, in case you are undecided about what to buy.
For more information, and to purchase your Shakti Mala, please visit:
Different forms of chanting Sanskrit Mantra
There are 4 basic forms of chanting:
1.Vaikhari Japa: chanting out loud. This is the most indicated for beginners, when we are getting familiarized with japa mantra. This way we focus our attention on the sound, making sure we are pronouncing the mantra correctly, and this weeps us away from distractions. Vaikhari Japa acts directly on the physical body, and therefore also indicated for healing.
2.Upamsu Japa: Whispering the mantra. This form requires that we know how to pronounce the mantra well. It also implies higher meditation skills, for it is easier to get distracted when we are not focused in the sound. Upamsu Japa acts on the etheric body, and it is ideal for those mantras that connects us to the Universal Consciousness.
3. Manasic Japa: chanting in silence. To do so, we need to have a good Sanskrit pronunciation and advance meditation skills, for it is very easy to be distracted by our own thoughts when we are not focused on the sound. Manasic Japa acts on the mental and emotional body, and it is ideal for situations of this nature, and also for devotional mantras.
4. Likhita Japa: In writing. This form of Japa requires a great deal of devotion. When we sit with the intention of writing a Mantra 108 times on paper, a composition book comes in handy. We count the number of lines per page, and calculate how many sheets we’ll need. This form of japa us highly meditative, and ideal for when we are committed to memorize long mantras.
Mantra discipline or Sadhana
When we make the decision of chanting a mantra with a specific purpose, it is best to repeat it 108 times for 40 days. This is the period of time required to form a habit and engrave it in our system. Many religions use the number 40 in their practices, like lent. We can also decide to chant the mantra for 7, 9 or 21 days, or any other amount of times for that matter. If the mantra we are chanting is too ling and we feel as it is an overwhelming task, we can commit to chant it for 54 or 27 times daily. What’s important is that we commit to ourselves what we are doing.
It is good practice to write our intentions down on a piece of paper. Read them, fold it and put it aside.
Mantras should be chanted with devotion and dedicating it our full attention. Don’t forget that Japa Mantra is a powerful form of meditation.
Last but not least, I recommend that we schedule our Sadhana early morning, after our personal hygiene and before breakfast. I case we have any inconvenience, we have the rest of the day to complete our Sadhana, but if we commit to do it at the end of the day and we have an inconvenience, we will have failed our discipline.
On my YouTube channel “Sanskrit Mantras” you’ll have the chance to learn a new mantra twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturdays. Check it out now! And don’t forget to subscribe to keep updated.
¡TaTha-Stu! (So be it)