Has Chanting Diminished Your Ego? If Not?

Posted: May 2, 2010 in Ammachi, Austerity, Chanting, Discipline, Effort, Gossiping, Guru, Japa, Kali Yuga, Loose Talk, Mother Amirtanandamayi, Practise, Progress, Sadhana, Spiritual Progress


Chanting (Japa)

Japa is the vocal and mental repetition of the divine name or sound (mantra). Amma says that the purpose of mantra japa is to lead us to the ultimate silence of the Self,  from where all sounds and forms arise. Further, in the present age of materialism, chanting the mantra (japa), is the easiest way for us to obtain inner purification and concentration. Japa can be done at any time, anywhere without observing any rule regarding the purity of mind and body. Japa can be done while engaged in any task.

Actions that help develop Japa chanting
It is always advisable to obtain a mantra from a Self-Realized Master (Sat-Guru). Until then we may use one of the mantras of our beloved deity like “Om Namah Shivaya”, “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”, “Om Namo Narayanaya”, “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare”, “Hari Om”, “Om Parashaktyai Namaha”, “Om Shivashaktyaikya Rupinyai Namaha” or even the names of Christ, Allah or Buddha. Deciding to chant the mantra a certain number of times daily will help foster the japa habit.

We should always keep a rosary (mala) with us for doing japa. A rosary can be made of 108, 54, 27, or 18 beads of rudraksha, tulasi, crystals, sandal, gems, etc., with one Guru (main) bead. We should resolve to chant a certain number of rosaries daily. Children, we should always chant the mantra in our minds while walking, traveling or working.

The importance of repetition
Try not to have any break in chanting the mantra even for a moment. Continue repeating the mantra while engaged in any task. Chanting in the mind may not always be possible at first, so in the beginning, practice japa by moving the lips incessantly, like a fish drinking water. If japa is maintained, no useless talk during work will be possible. The mind will always remain peaceful. Modern day diseases are mostly psychosomatic. Japa will bestow good health to both mind and body.
If chanting is not possible during a certain task, then pray before starting it: “Lord, give Your blessings so that I may do this work in a manner that pleases You!” At the end, pray again to the Lord for forgiving any mistakes we may have committed during the task consciously or otherwise.
Constantly repeating God’s name will diminish the ego

“I am an important person; I hold a high position in society. How can I go to the temple and worship in the jostling crowd there? How will I bow down before the Lord? Isn’t that demeaning?” Thoughts like these arise from the ego. Be ready, always, anywhere, to repeat the Lord’s name and to pay homage to the Lord and the guru. We don’t gain anything from a certificate of greatness from society; what we need is a certificate from God. With constant effort, we will be able to repeat the mantra in our minds even while doing any type of job.

Don’t forget God for even a second
If we lose our money while traveling, think how frantically we search for it! In the same way, if we are unable to do japa even for a brief moment, we should grieve: “Alas, Lord, I have lost so much time! ” If there is such anguish, even the time we spend sleeping will not be wasted. Children, even if we lose a million dollars, we can recover it. If we lose one second, we cannot get it back. Every moment that we are not remembering God is lost to us. Chanting replaces other thoughts with that particular mantra.

Just as saline water loses its salty taste by constantly adding fresh water, through constant repetition of a mantra, the number of thoughts can be reduced. In due course, all thoughts can be eliminated excepts one, that is God. Love will spring through japa if one has complete faith and intent to reach the goal. Mantra japa, done with the proper understanding of this principle will ultimately take us to the Source. At this point, the seeker realizes that the form he has been meditating on, as well as all other forms that exist within himself, are the manifestations of the Self.

Write the mantra daily
It is a good practice to write at least one page of mantra daily. Many people get better concentration by writing than by chanting. Try also to inculcate in children the habit of chanting and neatly writing the mantra. This will help to improve their handwriting, too. The book in which the mantra is written should not be thrown around; it should be carefully kept in our meditation or shrine room. 

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