Jul 19, 2022

My experiences with Mantras and Chants

 A year back, when my dad was critically ill, a dear friend shared with me the Mahamrityunjaya mantra. After memorizing the mantra, it has become a part of my daily evening prayer ritual. It gave me strength to sail through the health situation.

Chanting Mantras / chants / shlokas have immense benefits if done with faith and trust in the Supreme. The vibrations each syllable and sound produce have a powerful effect on our thoughts and emotions. Mindful chanting is extremely important to feel the effect.

I'm grateful to my paternal grandmother for teaching me so many beautiful chants/shlokas when I was a kid. I remember she used to have a book of short mantras to chant for everyday situations.

I learned this shloka "Buddhir balam..." which is to be chanted just before we face any exam or challenge. It used to be my ritual to chant this shloka in the exam hall before seeing the question paper.

I used to feel so scared to swallow tablets when I was a kid. This book had a shloka for this situation as well - Chant "Abaamaarjadhu govindo...." before swallowing a pill. The habit continues!

I find a lot of peace in chanting or listening to shlokas. "Kanda Sashti Kavasam" and "Sudharsana Ashtagam" are the regular ones. During the time of Navarathri, I chant "Mahishasura Mardhini stothram", "Ashtalakshmi stothram" and others focused on the Goddess.

Recently, while reading the book "Rtu Vidya", I learned about the reason why Gayatri Mantra in its original text was not recommended for women. It was so fascinating to read about the meaning of the Mantra and its influence on our Chakras.

Hanuman Chalisa is a wonderful shloka that gives a lot of strength. Though I'm yet to master the pronunciation, hearing Unnikrishnan or Hariharan's voice is impactful.

While working for a music edtech startup a few months back, I proposed that we should have short courses on these chants. The idea was shot down, saying that the target audience (18-30 years) would be least interested. I sincerely hope that it isn't the case. Anyone who has interest and faith should be able to learn these chants, irrespective of age.

Do you chant regularly? Which mantras are your favorites?

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