Why Chanting is superior to other modes of Sadhna


Question :

Why do u give so much stress to chanting, why is it superior to other modes of sadhana ? – Ashish

Read the following points it will clarify your doubts .
1. Is waking up at the auspicious time of the Brahmamuhurt, that is 3 a.m. and purifying oneself by bathing, taking a sattvik diet (rich in the sattva component), fasting, observing seclusion during menses, not touching others during worship, observing the rites of childbirth and mourning (soyar-sutak), going to temples, etc. all necessary for spiritual practice? The answer to this is that for those performing spiritual practice according to the stage of ritualistic worship (karmakand) these things are necessary but for those performing mental worship (upasanakand) that is chanting, which is at a higher level, these things are not at all necessary, as the benefit derived from them is very little and short lasting, for instance by going to the temple the sattva component is increased by 0.0001% for only 15 minutes, by touching a woman during her menses the raja component of the one touching her is raised by 0.0001% for just 15 minutes. As against this the sattva component of the one chanting, is raised by 5% during chanting. Hence these points have no value with respect to the one performing mental worship, that is continuous chanting.
2.ये पाकयज्ञाश्चत्वारो विधियज्ञसमन्विता: ।
सर्वे ते जपयज्ञस्य कलां नार्हन्ति षोडशीम् ।। (मनुस्मृति २.८६)
The meaning: The four ritualistic sacrifices [namely Vaishvadev, Balikarma, Nityashraddha and offering food to guests (Atithibhojan)] do not match even the 16th grade of the sacrificial fire of chanting (japayadnya).
3. God Krushna (Shrimadbhagvadgita 10:25) says, “यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि ।” which means `Among the yadnyas I am the japayadnya. That is, the sacrificial fire of chanting is superior to them all.’
4.Comparison among the Path of Knowledge (Dnyanyoga), Path of Action (Karmayoga), Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyoga) and Path of Chanting The God’s Name (Namasankirtanyoga) :
If one wants to blend with Brahman, The Infinite Supreme God then one has to do continuous and infinite spiritual practice, that is for twenty-four hours. The study of the Vedas, Upanishads, etc. done according to the Path of Knowledge cannot be done constantly. Neither concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyan), tratak and pranayam according to the Path of Action nor the worship of God, singing devotional songs, devotional discourses (kirtans), undertaking pilgrimages, etc. according to the Path of Devotion can be performed for twenty-four hours. Besides worldly people have to undertake spiritual practice fulfilling all responsibilities such as looking after their home, children, profession, etc. With this background the continuity in spiritual practice, that is for twenty-four hours is possible only with chanting.
उत्तमा सहजावस्था मध्यमा ध्यानधारणा ।
अधमा तत्त्वचिंताच मंत्रचिंताऽधमाधम: ।।
The meaning: The natural state of communion with God (sahajavastha) achieved by continuous chanting is the best form of spiritual practice. Concentration and meditation and moderate, contemplation on spiritual principles, that is Path of Knowledge is inferior and the Path of Mantra is still inferior with regard to spiritual practice.
5. . Mere asans and pranayam are insufficient to make spiritual progress. They only purify the physical body and the vital energy body (prandeha). This purification can occur by following other paths of spiritual practice as well. Hence, asans and pranayam are not given special importance. However they are useful in worldly life to those who are unable to follow other paths atleast to make the physical body healthy. There is no connection between purification of the body and the destiny to be experienced by it. However purification increases the tolerance of the body to face its destiny.
6. Since spiritual practice through any path of Yoga purifies the physical body and the vital energy body (prandeha) upto a maximum of 20% and 30% respectively, without surrendering those bodies, one cannot attain heaven or the regions beyond. To attain heaven each body should be atleast 50% pure. Hence inspite of offering the benefit of His severe austerities Sage Vishvamitra could not send the crown prince of Ayodhya, Satyavrat (Trishanku of the subsequent period) to heaven.   Tanuja Thakur

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