If one cannot chant god name without getting initiation then what is the benefit of writing "sri rama" ir "om namah sivaiah" for 1 crore times?

Where it is mentioned to write sri rama or om namah shivaiah?

2 Answers 2


Writing the mantra or nama (names of Gods) in a book is known as "Likhita Japa". I don't think this concept is found in traditional Hindu scriptures but it seems to be an effective one as some Hindu saints and Gurus praise it.

In his book "JAPA YOGA - A comprehensive treatise on Mantra Shastra", Swami Shivananda mentions Likhita Japa in a separate section.

14. Likhita Japa

Write down daily in a notebook your Ishta Mantra or Guru-Mantra, for half an hour. When you write the Mantra, observe Mouna. Write the Mantra clearly in ink. On Sundays and holidays, write this for one hour. In a common place collect your friends also and let them write the Mantras. This is Likhita Japa. you can develop a wonderful power of concentration. Prescribe this to all of your family-members. Incalculable spiritual benefits are derived from Likhita Japa (Mantra-writing). Of the various methods of Japa described in the scriptures, viz., Vaikhari, Upamsu and Manasika, etc., Likhita Japa is very efficacious. It helps the Sadhaka in concentration of te mind and gradually leads to meditation. An aspirant should select the Mantra of his tutelary deity, or Ishta, according to his liking or inclination. Repetition of the same Mantra with meaning and Bhava should be practised both orally and in writing. For oral Japa, the help of a Maala or rosary is required. For Likhita Japa a notebook and a pen should be used. In Mantra-writing there is no restriction about any particular script. It may be written in any language. The following rules may be observed while practising Mantra-writing:-

  1. Regularity and punctuality of time should be observed. This would itself bring the requisite help and be of the utmost benefit to the Sadhaka.

  2. Physical and mental purity should be observed. Before sitting for Mantra-writing, the face, hand and feet should be washed. Effort should be made to keep the mind pure during Mantra-writing. Drive out all worldly thoughts while writing Mantra.

  3. Continue to sit in one pose as long as possible. Frequent change of a pose or Asana should be avoided. Sitting in one Asana would increase your power of endureance and also considerable energy will be preserved.

  4. Observe silence during the practice. Too much of speaking result in waste of energy and waste of time. Silence helps in an increased outturn of work.

  5. Avoid looking hither and thither. Fix your eyes on the notebook. This would help concentration of mind during the practice.

  6. Repeat the Mantra mentally also while writing it in the notebook. This will make a threefold impression in you mind. Gradually your whole being will be involved and engrossed in the Mantra.

  7. Fix a particular number of Mantras of one sitting. This will keep your practice intact and you will never get out of touch with the Mantra.

  8. When you have once started the practice, do not leave it till you have finished the daily quote of one sitting. Do not allow your mind to be diverted to other engagements, as this would be an obstruction in the Sadhana. Have at least half an hour's writing at on sitting.

  9. To help concentration, one uniform system of writing from top to bottom or from left to right, may be maintained during a particular sitting. The whole Mantra should be written at once in continuity. Do not break the Mantra in the middle when you come to the end of a line.

  10. When a Mantra is selected by you, try to stick to it tenaciously. Frequent change of Mantra is not advisable. The above rules if strictly observed, will help you much in your quick evolution. You will develop concentration wonderfully. By prolonged and constant practice the inherent power of the Manra (Mantra-Sakti) will be awakened, which will fill your very existence with the Divinity of the Mantra.

According to Swami Shivananda Likhita Japa is highly beneficial if the associated rules are followed.

The notebook should be well kept and treated with respect and purity. When completed, it should be stocked in a box and kept in your meditation room in front of the Lord's picture. The very presence of these Mantranotebooks will create favourable vibrations requisite for your Sadhana.

The benefits of Mantra-writing or Likhita Japa cannot be adequately described. Besides bringing about purity of heart and concentration of mind, Mantra-writing gives you control of Asana, control of Indriyas, particularly the sight and the tongue, and fills you with the power of endurance. You attain peace of mind quickly. You approach nearer to God through MantraSakti. These benefits can be experienced only through regular and incessant practice of Likhita Japa. Those who are not conversant with this Yoga should start the practice immediately and even if they take to this practice for half an hour daily, they will realise its benefits within six months.

Given below a screenshot from the book which depicts a Likhita Japa of Om done by Swami Shivananda himself.

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Also, as you can see from the first quote, one is supposed to write the Guru given mantra only. So, one has to be initiated in the mantra first. Regarding, nama japa, apparently initiation is not required so even non-initiates can do Likhita nama-japa.


This answer is applicable only to Bhagavan Vishnu. It should not be applied to other gods without consulting a person learned in shastras.


  1. Brahmasri Chaganti Koteswara Rao’s discourse on the Vishnu Sahasranama in Telugu -


  1. Sri Sringeri Jagadguru Bharati Tirtha’s discourse available here in Kannada -


  1. Chanting the names of Bhagavan Vishnu and Vishnu sahasranama does not require any initiation from a guru. Source #1, 14:09 – 14:27 (It is fine if a guru is approached for initiation, but such an initiation is not necessary.)

  2. Chanting of Vishnu Sahasranama can be done by any body without any restriction whatsoever. There is no adhikaara bheda for chanting Vishnu sahasranamam. Source #1, 14:09 – 14:27 Some rules might be followed if Vishnu Sahasranama is being chanted for the purpose of material gains, but if it is done purely for chanting, there is no need to follow any rules. Source # 1 14:28-14:50; 15:50-16:35

  3. Soucham (cleanliness of the body) is also not necessary for chanting the names of Bhagavan Vishnu or for chanting Vishnu sahasranama. Source # 1 18:00-18:30 Soucham is necessary when chanting Vishnu sahasranama for material gains (as mentioned in the phala Shruti of Vishnu sahasranama), but soucham is not necessary if the chanting is done purely for paaraayana (purely for the sake of chanting).

  4. When Draupadi was dragged into the court by Dusshasana, she was in her periods (she had "rajaswala dosha") and she was an eka-vastra (adorned in one cloth). Yet she chanted the names of Bhagavan Vishnu (Krishna) and Krishna protected her. This shows women even in their periods can chant Vishnu Sahasranama or the names of Bhagavan Vishnu, if done with devotion. Source # 1, 26:00 – 27:40

  5. There are no rules for chanting the names of Bhagavan Vishnu or for chanting Vishnu sahasranama. There is no necessity that one must be seated in a particular position.

  6. Even mispronouncing the names of Bhagavan Vishnu or grammatical incorrectness while chanting his Vishnu mantra does not cause any harm and will lead to Bhagavan's blessings if bhakti or devotion is there. There is a story of a devotee incorrectly chanting "vishNaaya namaH" rather than the grammatically correct "vishNave namaH", and yet Bhagavan blessed him. This story is narrated by Sringeri Jagadguru in the above source # 2.

  7. Some commentators think that Shudras have only rights to listen to Vishnu Sahasranama, but cannot chant this. However, this is not mentioned in the moola shloka of the Vishnu sahasranama phala shruti. Shudras can also recite Vishnu sahasranama for the sake of obtaining happiness. (sUdrah sukhamavApnuyaat).

  8. According to Sri Chaganti in source # 1, Bhagavan Vishnu is the Lord of waking state. In the waking state, there can be situations where one faces immediate danger with one’s knowledge (one can face danger even during sleep, but one does not know about such dangers unless one wakes up suddenly). Bhagavan Vishnu’s names can be chanted when faced with immediate danger in the waking state. We don’t know when danger comes. It can come suddenly on the road when we are driving a motorcycle, for example. In such a situation we may not be clean either in body or in mind. And yet, it is perfectly fine to pray to Bhagavan Vishnu under such situations. Source # 1, 21:09 – 26:00

  9. So also, because Bhagavan Vishnu is the Lord of the waking state, one must wake up by chanting the name Sri Hari thrice even though one may or may not be clean when waking up. Source # 1, 21:09 – 26:00

  10. Normally, one must not do any sacred things while lying down on a bed. However, when one wakes up suddenly from sleep due to a bad dream, it is perfectly fine to chant the names of Vishnu even from the bed, in order to deflect any dosha due to the dreams. Source # 1: 27:30 – 30:55

  11. According to Sri Chaganti, it is important to note that most of the above is not applicable to other sahasranamas. As an example, for chanting Lalitha Sahasranama, initiation from a guru is necessary. It is very important to be in a seated position with proper posture. Niyama and nishta are necessary. Mispronounciation of the names in Lalitha sahasranama is not considered to be good. All sahasranamas are not the same and strict rules are applicable for chanting some sahasranamas like Lalitha sahasranama. Source # 1 18:30 – 21:10

Because, Sri Rama is a name of Vishnu, there is no bar on writing or chanting the name of Sri Rama. No initiation is required. No rules are necessary.


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