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As we know that if there is some harmful situation or in bad times, mrityunjaya mantra is to be chanted. And, for getting good performance in education, one has to chant saraswati mantra or something like that.

So, my doubt is how chanting mantras help in such kind of benefits? Like, how Mrityunjaya Mantra help one if there is some bad thing's going to happen? (practically)

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Japa is repetition of mantra. Mantra (=man +tra) means liberating the mind. There are hidden powers in the human mind. These powers are located in Chakras that are present in seed form in every human mind. Mantra when energised by a competent spiritual Guru can activate these Chakras through some kind of resonance effect and hence liberate these hidden powers. Of course given the state of one's mind mantra may need to be repeated millions of times to get the full effect. A small part of any mantra is called bija or seed. The bija mantra varies with the Devata being asked to help liberate the mind. It is not necessary to know the meaning of the mantra to use the resonance effect. Of course it would be nice to know the meaning. Basically a mantra works by bringing the aspirant closer to God.

Among the Vedic sacred formulas, the Gayatri has been prescribed for repetition from ancient times. The Vedic people had great faith in the efficacy of mantras. The Mimamsakas considered mantras to be the embodiments of deities. In fact, they accepted no deities other than the mantras at all. To them Brahman is nothing but sound (shabda), and sound produces form. Thus, the name embodied in the mantra is more real than the form of the deity.

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Forms are made up of nothing but fine vibrations, and vibrations are produced by sound only, so these ancient conceptions are tenable. From another point of view, a mantra gains spiritual potency through many years of being associated with holy men who have repeated it and attained realization through it. The concept of the mantra is based on the psychological fact that much of our thinking depends on auditory symbols. Repetition of the mantra creates a chain of thought which induces the mind with the thought of God, and this is the aim of all spiritual practices.

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Every Vedic mantra has a rishi who first intuited it, a particular metre in which it is composed, and a deity to whom it is addressed. In Tantric mantras the most important element is the vija, a sacred syllable considered to be charged with spiritual potency, as also Shakti or power and a kilaka, a pillar (inner syllables on which the mantra rests.) All the letters of the Sanskrit alphabets are considered as different matrikas, minor deities around the main deity. The mantra is charged with a special potency, so much so that the Tantrikas believe that when offerings are made to the deity with the appropriate mantras, the deity accepts them immediately.

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The Chandogya Upanishad I.1.10 says about the efficacy of the repetition of Om: Both perform spiritual practices - he who knows and he who does not know. But knowledge and ignorance are different in their effects. Whatever is performed with knowledge, faith and meditation, becomes spiritually effective.

Meditation and other spiritual disciplines by Swami Swahananda

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  • Are the benefits same for japa with or without shabda? – Learner Mar 20 at 5:31
  • Japa is done with a mantra that has shabda. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Mar 20 at 12:34
  • Pradip sir, by shabda I mean what if I chat mantra inside without sound? – Learner Mar 26 at 12:47
  • The benefit is maximum if you repeat the mantra silently. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Mar 27 at 11:10

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