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Should Stotras, such as Ganpati Stotra, Durga Stotra, etc., and Mantras be recited aloud or can they be recited just in mind? Also, does the absolute correct pronunciation of words in Stotras matter?

  • I think this is a duplicate which @Rickross has answered already! – Akshay S Mar 17 at 3:32
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    No @AkshayS I had only answered for mantra japa .. for stotras I did not answer previously .. stotra recital must be done loudly, quite contrary to mantra japa – Rickross Mar 17 at 6:18
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Stotras

Stotras should never be recited in mind. In Stotras' case there should be loud recital.

In Mantra Japa, the best form is Manasa Japa (the silent chant). Loud Mantra Japa is considered as the inferior kind of Japa.

Manasaa yah smaret stotram vachashaa vaa manum japet |
Ubhayam nishphalam devi bhinna-bhaandokadam yathaa ||

O Devi! The act of reciting Stotras in mind and the act of repeating Mantras loudly are both fruitless just as is the act of storing water in a pot which has a hole in it.

Kularanava Tantram 15.57

Mantras

For Mantras, the rule is exactly the opposite as already shown in this answer.

Ucchair japohadhamah prokta upaanshur madhyamah smritah |
Uttamo mAnaso devi trividhah kathitah japah ||

O Goddess, the loud japa is considered as the worst kind, the whispering japa (upanshu) is the middling kind and the japa that is done completely in the mind (maanasa), is the best form of japa. These three are said to be the kinds of japa.

Kularnava Tantram 15.55

That's why Stotra recital must always be done loudly.

The rules for reciting Mantras are many many and all of them can not be covered in one answer. In comparison, rules of Stotra recital are only a few and simple to follow.

The following verses are from the Varaahi Tantram, quoted in both Tantrasaarah and Ahnik Krityam:

Pranavanchaadime datvaa stotram vaa samhitaam pathet |
ante cha pranavam pranavm dadyaadi-tyuvaachaadi-purushah ||
Stotre cha samhitaayaancha shlokamantyam dviruccharet |
Manasaa na smaret pathedakaagramaanasah ||


One should chant OM before and after reciting a Stotra or a Samhitaa. And, one should never recite Stotra in mind; one should recite it loudly with a concentrated mind.

  • By mantras you certainly mean beej mantras @Rickross – user17294 Mar 17 at 8:00
  • i think the OP asks for the general mantras like dhyana and pranama mantras and these can be chanted aloud – user17294 Mar 17 at 8:02
  • Dhyana sloka etc one shd chant loudly .. also, no, my answer is not only about Bija mantra, even for Vedic mantras it is applicable @Pratimaputra – Rickross Mar 17 at 11:54
  • @Pratimaputra See the manu Smriti verse quoted in this answer .. Manu of course is talking about Vedic mantras – Rickross Mar 17 at 11:56
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According to the Stavakusumajnali published by Nagpur Ramakrishna Math

stotras are part of vachik (vocal) puja (worship) called 'Bangmoyee puja' and should be chanted with correct chhanda and pronunciation and audible clear voice, understanding the meanings of the stotras and contemplating on the 'bhava' (page 4-5).

For those who are are able to pronounce correctly but have devotion, the scripture says

murkho vadati vishnaya dhiro vadati vishnave/ubhayos tulyam artham cha bhavagrAhi janArdanah (Narada-pancharatra)

meaning that the uneducated one says visnaya and the learned says vishnave.To God both are the same as He accepts the devotion alone.

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