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To my knowledge, mantra if chanted by knowing the meaning gives more result than chanting it without knowing the meaning.

How do we know what will happen if a particular mantra is not pronounced (chanted) properly by us?

What are the other things we need to learn before we actually start chanting it?

What if we learnt mantra with wrong syllables from the teacher (not taking asking about spiritually enlightened guru)? Who has to face the consequences?

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    If I recall, there's a story in the Vedas about a sage who tried to put a curse on Indra, but he mispronounced it ever so slightly, causing Indra to become even more powerful. – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 21 '15 at 17:16
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    intention matters most. Why do you chant the mantra? How sincere are you in chanting the mantra? etc. The highest truth is this that God knows why you are chanting and who you are. If you are sincere in your efforts, God or Guru will ensure all benefits are received. If you are having secret intentions then mantra may not have very beneficial effects immediately. – Sai Aug 22 '15 at 3:24
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    As for mispronouncing of mantras, it depends. If one is initiated by the Guru in a particular mantra, then the Guru will ensure that the disciple's efforts contribute towards the final goal. If the Guru is not realized, it doesnt matter! If one is sincere in following His Guru, then God will Himself come to His rescue, even if the Guru doesnt. The best (ideal) thing is to do the chanting with sincerity and then surrender the fruits to God, asking Him for forgiveness of any mispronunciations. Then He will Himself take care of everything. – Sai Aug 22 '15 at 3:29
  • What are the other things to learn before starting the chanting. Usually saints say that purity in speech, action and thoughts is important. By having pure thoughts, the mantra chanting becomes all the more powerful. But it depends on the Guru and the mantra. For example, repeating the name of God is considered the greatest mantra, and, for that there are no rules or pre-requisites!! – Sai Aug 22 '15 at 3:31
  • Thanks @sai why don't you delete ur comments and drop them as an answer – pbvamsi Aug 22 '15 at 3:33
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Mantras work whether you know their meaning or not. Mantras are vibrations, that is why their proper intonation is important. If I am tone deaf but know all the words to a song, your ears will still not find my singing appealing.

When a mantra is given by an enlightened person, they put some power into the transmission to you when you hear it. Many people who have received a mantra from an enlightened person and were ready for spiritual practices, remember that instance and the exact intonation for the rest of their lives. Such is the power from an enlightened person. The mantra that is given is the vibration that is best suited to match your own vibrations and bring your personal vibrations into harmony with the divine vibration.

There is a story in the Taittiriya Samhita (II. iv. 12.) showing the adverse effects of not intoning a mantra correctly. A god, Tvashtri, in pronouncing the word Indra-satru, he accented the first instead of the last syllable. In short, instead of taking away power from Indra, he gave Indra more power.

There is also the story of Ratnakara, the highwayman who was given the mantra 'Rama' to say by Narada. Such was his tamasic nature of his mind at the time that he could not remember how to pronounce it correctly. So he started to say 'mara' (which means death in Bengali) instead of 'Rama'. But he persevered and kept on chanting it continually, until it became ma-rama-rama-ra..... and thus from having a sincere heart and perseverance, was transformed into the sage Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana.

Sincerity of heart and perseverance and the Lord Himself will clear your path.

  • I looked in Taittiriya Samhita Ii.iv.12, but I don't see where Tvashtri mispronounces a word: sacred-texts.com/hin/yv/yv02.htm – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 22 '15 at 14:12
  • @KeshavSrinivasan In the sacred text translation you refer to, He says: "The remains of it Tvastr cast upon the Ahavaniya (fire), saying, 'Hail! wax great, Indra's foe." He accented Indra instead of satru (foe, enemy). The verse says the sacrifice went to Indra. It would only go to Indra if Indra had been accented, instead of the word foe. – Swami Vishwananda Aug 29 '15 at 11:26

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