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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mantras - Q & A with Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj

Mantras - Q & A with Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and representative of JKP Barsana Dham

(Above: Ecstatic chanting of 'Radhey Radhey' in the Divine satsang of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, during his stay at Barsana Dham Ashram, USA )

What is the difference between Vedic mantra and Vaishnav mantra?

Technically, vaishnav means anyone worshiping Krishn, Ram, or Vishnu. So a vaishnav mantra is a mantra related to Krishn, Ram, or Vishnu. Such a mantra could be from the Vedas. For instance, the mantra Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare, Hare Krishn Hare Krishn Krishn Krishn Hare Hare is a mantra from our Vedas. However, since it has the names of Krishn, Ram, and Vishnu in it, so it would be considered a vaishnav mantra. There are many such examples.

One should not worry about which mantra is better or more powerful than another. The power of a mantra comes from the fact that God's name is in the mantra, and all names of God are equally powerful. God is in all of His names. In fact you can repeat any name of God and get the same benefit you would from a mantra. In either case, the power of the name remains dormant for the person who is repeating the name or mantra mechanically. The power of the name is enlivened by our loving remembrance of the one Whose name we are taking. In other words, whether we are singing God's name or repeating a mantra, the real benefit is only received when we join our mind with God. The internal remembrance of God enlivens the power of the name in the heart, and the result is that the bliss of the name can start to be experienced. The bliss of the name is unlimited, but this is only fully experienced by a Saint. A devotee experiences it to the extent of his heart purification.

God has unlimited names. Which name should be remembered? As mentioned above, God and all of His names are one. God is synonymous with His name. So you should remember the name of the form of God Whom you wish to attain. Keep in mind that a mantra is not meant to give you worldly benefit. If you are taking any name of God or repeating any mantra, it should be with the goal of experiencing the bliss of the name and purifying your heart.

There is a very detailed section on how to take God's name and the meaning of repeating a mantra in "The Science of Devotion, Divine Love and Grace". This book can be ordered on shop.jkp.org.

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