Mantras are powerful sound vibrations which are capable of transforming energy at all levels of creation. They affect mental and subtle planes of consciousness and reach the subconscious level where our karmic patterns are stored. The practice of mantra increases concentration, memory, purifies our heart and helps erase the effects of past karma. Proper recitation of mantras and chants helps invoke the latent power within us and can bless us in every facet of our life.
The most important thing you need to know, whether it is a mantra you are repeating or a chant you are singing – proper pronunciation is the key. Yes we all have different accents – that is not a problem – however mispronunciation changes the meaning and nullifies the very effect you wish to produce!
Taittiriya Upanishad clearly points out 6 elements of pronunciation with regard to vedic mantras.
- Varn or alphabet (or in general syllable)
- Swar or intonation of each syllable
- Maatra or duration of uttering each syllable
- Balam or stress on each syllable
- Saam or the balance of chanting (the tune of entire mantra)
- Santan or the continuity in pronouncing
Mistakes and their Effects: Even if we are not experts and have not learnt from a teacher when we chant mantras or do kirtan, we should pay attention to the above-mentioned aspects. Mistakes in chanting can cause a wide spectrum of problems – from merely nullifying its effect, to creating negative karma or physical and emotional imbalances, some of which can be very detrimental for us.