Why Naamjap (chanting) is preferred over Vedas & Mantras?


The correct pronunciation of Vedas and Mantras is essential as the incorrect pronunciation can cause serious troubles for us. But Naamjap (chanting of God’s name) can be done in any manner. Why is it so?
Panini’s grammar says:

अनक्षरं हतायुष्यं विस्वरं व्यांधिपीडितम्‌ ।
अक्षता शस्त्रषरूपेण वज्रं पतति मस्तके ।।

“anaksharaM hatayushyaM viswaraM vyaadhipeeditaM
akshataa shastrashrupen vajraM patati mastake”

It means incorrect pronunciation of consonants destroys age and faulty pronunciation of vowels causes diseases. If the Akshat (unbroken rice ) is energised with faulty pronunciation of mantras and offered on someone’s head, it falls as a thunderbolt.

However, in the context of Naamjap, it has been mentioned in a scripture titled Panchratragam thus:
मूर्खो वदति विष्णाय बुधो वदति विष्णवे |
नं इत्येव अर्थम् च द्वयोरपि समं फलं ||

“murkho vadati vishnaaya buddho vadati vishnave
naM ityeva arthaM cha dwayorapi samaM phalaM”

It means that through an ignorant fool wrongly pronounces the God’s name as Vishnaaya Namah instead of the correct Vishnave Namah as pronounced by the literate Seeker, yet both get the same result as the motive of both is to venerate.

That is why there is a saying Ram naam tedho bhala, meaning God’s name can give bliss even if it is pronounced in an incorrect manner.

I will narrate a spiritual experience in this context. It was October 1999. I used to conduct weekly Satsang (discourses) in a temple in Bokaro district of Jharkhand. One day, an illiterate woman stopped me when I was going out and in a highly emotional tone, said that about three months ago while cleaning utensils at someone’s house located next to the temple, she had heard my discourse on chanting. Pointing towards her body, she said, “Due to some skin disease, my entire body had almost become rotten, but the chanting prescribed by you cured my disease.” Her body still bore faint marks. I felt very happy upon hearing this. I had never met her, and yet she had been chanting. I casually asked her, “What have you been chanting?” She replied, “Guru Deve Datte Namah.”

Seeing me break into a smile, she asked, “Why? Have I made a mistake?” I told her, “Yes, you are not doing the chanting correctly,” and asked her to chant “Shree Guru Dev Dutt” instead. Then I made her repeat it five times. Blissfully, she corrected her chanting, greeted me and left. I stood there smiling as I recollected the above-mentioned Shloka (Sanskrut couplet). The woman was illiterate. Hence, she could not pick or do the chant correctly, but since her objective was pure and she had faith, she got the desired positive experience.
This woman had been troubled by Pitru Dosh (problems due to unsatiated ancestral souls) and had got eczema as a result.
By chanting “Shree Guru Dev Dutt”, ie. God Dattatreya’s chant, her ancestors got their Gati (onward movement of the embodied soul after life) and her troubles vanished. Although she did not do chanting the correct way, yet through her Bhav (spiritual emotion) she achieved the desired result. Hence, it is said, “Neither can sins ruin us, nor can merits alleviate us. Only Bhav (spiritual emotion) can provide us salvation.” – Tanuja Thakur



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