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I want to meditate on Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. But I have read at many places on the internet that before chanting a mantra one must receive it from a guru. What another option do I have? I currently chant vishnu sahasranamam daily.

  • It is not necessary for you to receive a mantra from guru, however guru can help you with the correct pronunciation/procedure. Also if you receive it from a guru, you can progress quicker. – cartman May 3 at 14:04
  • @cartman Are you sure? I have read that if chanted without a guru it has disastrous effects. – hichika May 3 at 14:47
  • It is what you believe in. For Soumya devatas as long as you have the pronunciation right, it shouldn't matter. If you're praying ugra devatas like Kali make sure you have guru. – cartman May 3 at 16:09
  • @cartman Okay, thank you. – hichika May 3 at 16:32
  • @hichika, would you directly try long jump before you can walk ? if you are just a beginner, you start with chanting names of Bhagavan. Once you gain spiritual samskara, then automatically, you'll approach a guru for mantra. – ram May 3 at 21:23
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You NEVER needed a Guru for obtaining any knowledge. Who was Valmiki's Guru??? Who explained him the biography of Rama? NONE.

Who was Eklavya's Guru??? You may say Dronacharya, but no he was not. Eklavya considered him as a Guru when he watched him teach the pandavas and kauravas.

When you meditate and you are lost from materialistic world, you gain knowledge without you realizing it.

Recite - OM NAMA SHIVAY to make Shiva come to you and recite Acyutananda Govinda to bring Vishnu to you. And remember both are one and same.

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