Mantra repetition


recently, i started rectiting and listening to mahamrityunjaya mantra. however, i have heard that this is a very powerful mantra and can have severe impacts if not recited well. i want to i need to follow some ways...i mean is it ok to listen to this mantra just as i wake up???

—tanmay, india


It is certainly good to listen to, and try to attune your own recitation with, someone who is chanting a mantra (whether Mahamrityunjaya or another) with correct pronunciation, inflection and cadence. That’s why I regularly listen to Swami Kriyananda’s Mantra CD, trying to align myself with the power of the mantra.

Mantras have power, but they are not magic. Their power comes not merely from words correctly pronounced or inflected, or cadence correctly followed. Rather, the individual must tune in to the vibration of the mantra in order to receive its highest benefits. You might not gain as much from it if you recite it incorrectly, or even correctly but absentmindedly, but you certainly will not hurt yourself (other than, perhaps, developing a habit of absentmindedness). The thought of possible harm is pure superstition—and unfortunately, a rather widespread superstition.

As Paramhansa Yogananda often said, God reads the heart. So by all means, repeat the mantra with the best pronunciation you can manage, but keep in mind that devotional attunement is even more important.