Practical suggestions for
chanting the ‘Name’ (Part 1)

1. Method of chanting God’s Name

The Name of the Kuladevatashould be chanted by prefixing ‘Shri’ to it, followed by the chaturthi pratyaya (dative case) and concluded with Namaha. For example, if the Kuladevata is Ganesh, the correct way of chanting His Name is ‘Shri Ganeshaya Namaha’. If the Kuladevata is Devi Bhavani, chant ‘Shri Bhavanyai Namaha’. Since it is difficult to pronounce ‘Bhavanyai’ one can chant ‘Shri Bhavani Matayai (or Shri Bhavani Devyai) Namaha’. The chaturthi pratyaya means ‘to’;(obeisance) to Ganapati, (obeisance) to the Devata etc.


A. Prefix the Name with ‘Shri’ and ‘Om’

1. The reason men and women whose spiritual level is less than 50% should prefix the Name with ‘Shri’ instead of ‘Om’

The vibrations produced during chanting of ‘Om’ generate a lot of energy (heat) in the body. In the present era of strife, the average spiritual level of a person is mere 20% . Those with spiritual level less than 50% do not possess the capacity to sustain the sattvik and Absolute Fire Principle oriented Shakti of ‘Om’. Hence, if such people chant the Name by prefixing ‘Om’ they are likely to suffer from distress like headache, burning sensation in the eyes and skin etc.

This does not affect the male reproductive organs as they lie outside the body. However, women may experience distress due to the heat generated from ‘Om’ as their reproductive organs lie within the abdominal cavity. They may suffer from excessive menstrual flow, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, etc.

Hence, men and women below the spiritual level of 50% should not prefix ‘Om’ to the Name they chant. For example – Instead of chanting ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’ they must chant only ‘Namaha Shivaya’. Normally prefix ‘Shri’ to other Names. If the Name is recommended by the Guru then the power of resolve of the Guru that is active takes care of the distress and one does not suffer even if the Name is prefixed with ‘Om’. One cannot make out whether one’s spiritual level is above 50% or not. Only Saints and those who can perceive the subtle can identify one’s spiritual level. It is best that one chants the Name by prefixing ‘Shri’ till such time as one comes across someone who can say so.

2. The rule to be followed by those whose thread ceremony is done about prefixing ‘Om’ to the Name they chant

The scriptures say that those with the right to undergo the thread ceremony can chant the Name by prefixing ‘Om’. However, today, most of those whose thread ceremony has been done do not follow the rules and restrictions that come along with the thread ceremony. Such people should not chant the Name by prefixing ‘Om’. Only those who follow the rules and restrictions should chant the Name by prefixing ‘Om’.


2. Rules for using the japamala

A. One should not cross the ‘merumani’



Why does one reverse the mala after reaching the merumani (Central bead) ?

H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj

To forget the act of chanting ! When compared with functioning of the Ida-nadi or the Pingala-nadi, functioning of the Sushumna-nadi is very important for a seeker’s spiritual progress. For the same reason, it is incorrect for a seeker to draw the beads of the mala only in one direction. The Sushumna-nadi lies between the Ida and Pingala nadis. Likewise, the merumani lies between the opposite directional rotations of the mala. If one crosses the merumani by mistake, one should practise pranayam six times as penance.

B. The beads of the mala should be drawn toward oneself

Experience what happens when you turn the beads of the mala away from yourself, instead of drawing them toward you. A majority would experience distress. The pranvayu is active when the beads of the mala are being drawn toward oneself, whereas the samanvayu is active when you turn them away. Bliss is experienced when the pranvayu is active when compared with the samanvayu.

C. According to the objective

Chanting is done with the mala held in the right hand in the following manner :

1. The mala should be placed on the middle joint of the middle finger and the beads should be drawn with the thumb toward the self. The index finger should not touch the mala.

2. The mala may also be placed on the ring finger, while the tips of the ring finger and the thumb touch each other. The mala should then be drawn with the middle finger.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Namasankirtanyoga’

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