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In what different sources do we find about how to chant a mantra ?

To elaborate in which scriptures do we find about the following things (answer can include references to the following):

  1. sitting position, hand position & asana while chanting?
  2. use of beads or fingers while chanting
  3. which types of beads to use for chanting which type of mantra etc.
  4. science of the mantra i.e. information like there should be a rishi, a deity, a chanda, a nyasa etc for chanting.

So the question is generally asking about where are the references of the science/concept of mantra and not specifically asking about any one vedic mantra.

  • 3
    these should be learned directly (face-to-face) from an acharya. – ram Jun 13 '18 at 3:18
  • This is dealt with in the Tantras more elaborately than it is in the Vedas. – Rickross Jun 13 '18 at 5:57
  • @ram agreed. Not in excruciating detail but somethings are to be found in the scriptures to keep the check and balance of sadhu, guru & shastra. – Prakash K Jun 13 '18 at 12:19
  • @Rickross It would be great to know about the sources both in vedas and the elaboration in the tantras. Thank you. – Prakash K Jun 13 '18 at 12:20
  • @PrakashK vedas themselves dont mention these things directly... – Rakesh Joshi Jun 14 '18 at 2:12
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scriptural sources for how to chant vedic mantras and other things involved.

We get some idea about science of Mantras or how to recite mantras properly from panini's book Paniniya Shiksha. These are the treatise on the topic of Shiksha , which is one among the six Vedangas, dealing with Sanskrit phonetics and phonology.

In some of the verses Panini is telling us about how to chant vedic Mantras properly , what should be avoided while doing so , how should be the voice etc. It is basically the instructions given to students about the Chanting of Vedic Mantras , but we can get a fair idea about the rules to be observed and faults and merits of good chanting / recitation of mantras from these verses.

Here are some verses which do talk about the science of mantras .

माधुर्यमक्षरव्यक्तिः पदच्छेदस्तु सुस्वरः ।
धैर्यं लयसमर्थं च षडेते पाठकाः गुणाः ।। 33।।

Sweetness , clearness ,separation of words ,right ascent ,patience and ability to observe time are six merits in a reciter .


शङ्कितं भीतिमुद्घृष्टमव्यक्तमनुनासिकम् ।
काकस्वरं शिरसि गतं तथा स्थानविवजिर्तम् ।। 34।।

34 Shyness , fear ,extreme loudness , indistinctness , under nasalisation , repressed tone , under cerebralization , non observance of place of articulation (in general) and (proper) ascent (and harshness , creating under separation between words , uneven tone , hastiness ,want of due palatisation : these are fourteen faults in vedic chants.


उपांशु दष्टं त्वरितं निरस्तं विलम्बितं गद्गदितं प्रगीतम् ।
निष्पीडितं ग्रस्तपदाक्षरं च वदेन्न दीनं न तु सानुनास्यम् ।। ३५ ।।

One should not recite the vedic passage in under-tone, between one's teeth ,quickly haltingly ,slowly ,with a hoarse voice , in a single song manner , with repressed voice , omitting (occasionally) words and Syllables and in plaintive voice.


गीती शीघ्री शिरःकम्पी तथा लिखितपाठकः ।
अनर्थज्ञोऽल्पकण्ठश्च षडेते पाठकाधमाः ।। 32 ।।

Those who recite the Veda in a sing song manner , (too) quickly , with the nodding of the head , use a written text at the time of recitation , do not know the meaning of passages read and have a low voice are six kind of bad reciters.


The method of chanting vedic mantras were handed down from Guru to Shishya mainly through oral tradition , since direct listening to Guru while he is chanting and repeating after him and then memorizing is the way to learn exact pronunciation of words as well as understanding of , tone pitch of voice and other technical things are very difficult to teach without actually making sound as this science mainly is associated with sound.


Here are the above Sanskrit Verses.

  • So, If I chant Mantras (especially Vedas) without knowing the meaning, will I get sin? – Tat Tvam Asi Jun 14 '18 at 16:31
  • @NarayanaSharma -Yes , because the accuracy chanting of the mantras is extremely important in case of vedas. it may not be the sin but , we will not be able to achieve the desired effects from faulty method. And off course one should know the meaning and Rishi Devata etc. before using the mantras in rituals. – SwiftPushkar Jun 14 '18 at 16:35
  • For vedic mantras the reference is siksha which comes under kalpa section of vedanga. Example yajnavalkaya siksha etc – Rakesh Joshi Jun 14 '18 at 22:50
  • @Rakesh Oh ok ,So these are from Kalpa .Ok ,Will update the answer after some more findings. – SwiftPushkar Jun 15 '18 at 9:34
  • Thanks for the answer. Looking for some more sources. – Prakash K Jun 15 '18 at 11:33

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