Why mantras give different effects to different persons?
Often times in various internet forums we find that many members complain that they have done “all” possible mantras and yet nothing materialized. Yet, we see many persons who do get miraculous effects by the very same mantras. How do we reconcile this? If mantra shastra is scientific, the same results should accrue for everyone is it not? Then how – oh how do we find difference in the manifest results for different persons?
Let us see why it is so…..
For success of mantras there are 3 important aspects that should be fulfilled before it can give success, except in rare cases where a person seemingly does not satisfy these aspects and yet get success; it is not exactly true….that is why I have used the word “seemingly”….let us ignore this aspect for the time being…
1) Proper deeksha progression of a mantra: A mantra should be initiated in proper form in proper sequence. Based on the prevailing tradition of upaasanaa, initiation in the preliminaries should be done before a person can be initiated into the actual moola mantra. For instance, in Shri Vidya Upaasanaa traditions, a person should first be initiated into Ganapathy mantras (I say Ganapathy mantras because there are different forms that should be mastered before one progresses to the next level), Baala mantra, then Panchadasaakshari…The progression then continues with siddhi at each level and ends in Poornaabhishekam! The progression happens only after requisite no. of recitals and associated rituals (including homams/ charities, etc.) are completed without any blemish at the earlier levels. Only persons who go along the right progression as above can enjoy the full fruits of the mantra, and experience all the miracles credited with the mantra.
Some persons are of the opinion that such progression is not there for tantrik saadhanas which is not true. Even in tantra upaasanaa, Nyaasaas, kavachams, etc. are the preliminaries which should be perfected before the actual saadhanaa.
2) Grace of the Guru and His/ Her constant Guidance: One should have a competent Guru who can initiate a person into these. It is not as if just anyone can initiate anyone (unfortunately, it has watered down to this extent now-a-days; most people say they are initiated into Sri Vidhya japam without even realizing the aamnaayaas associated with such a process, the responsibilities of a Sri vidhya aspirant, the protocols of the process, etc.). Initiation is not merely murmuring” of mantra into the ears of the disciple. Knowing the verbal form of a mantra is not everything….during the deeksha process, the Guru should be capable of passing a portion of His/ Her mantraic energy to the disciple as an account opening balance” to activate the mantraic account. The Guru definitely loses a portion of His/ Her mantraic energy with each initiation, which reverts back to the Guru if the disciple is regular in the mantraic chanting and worship as ordained by the Guru.
Even mere command from a competent Guru to recite a particular japam without actually murmuring the mantra in to the ear of the disciple can be a powerful deeksha (why a command – even mere Glance of a satguru can be a deeksha); while even an elaborate fire Ritual conducted by a person who is not competent (but is perceived as Guru) may not give complete results. Anyway, mantras by their very nature can bestow some power – at least on and off – i.e. sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t work sort of power, to anybody who just recites them with abundant faith and devotion (this is the reason why many of us experience that sometimes the mantra seems to give much peace while sometimes it just fails to respond to our urgent calls; we play with the mantraic formalities, and they sometimes play cruel games during emergencies by not responding to us!)
Please note that there is a Deity called “Tiraskarinii” (Tiraskarini literally means screen) who can create illusion in the minds of a person who is not properly initiated in the shri Vidya procedures – just to ensure that no incompetent person attains siddhi of a procedure (this is basically to avoid misuse of the mantraic power; just as nuclear power experiments are always shrouded in mystery, mantraic processes are veiled by different powers who ensure that any person who accidentally comes across such procedures will either forget the procedure or will understand the procedure in a distorted way so that they cannot use the mantra without proper authentication!).
3) Attitude of the person doing the mantra If the two earlier steps are correctly followed, the mantra will definitely give effects. But, what sort of effects it will bestow depends to a great extent upon the attitude of the aspirant. To give you an example….take the 73rd slokha of Soundarya Lahiri depicting the breast-feeding of Goddess’s milk and its consequence on Lord Ganesha and Lord Subramanya…..if the sankalpam of the aspirant is “wisdom” (Aatma Gnaanaa), this slokha recital can keep a person anchored firmly in Blessed spotless Celibacy and lead the aspirant all the way to BrahmaGnaana which will be ultimately productive of moksha. The same slokha can also be recited for increasing lactation in women/ cows!
I mean to say that the same mantra with its same vibration can give different results based on attitude of the aspirant (of course, there are only certain results possible with each mantra which are well-codified by savants of yore). Many of us today lack the “attitude”. When I say attitude – it is the resolute attitude towards the practice, complete faith in the process, and an unconditional surrender to Divine Grace with the firm belief that Divine Grace know better what to bestow upon us. Lot many persons “shop” for mantras….shifting from one mantra to another, ultimately losing faith in mantras and even upon themselves which is the greatest tragedy because, the Royal Road of Mantra shastra should take us Higher and Higher, and make us much better persons who have supreme confidence stemming from the belief that God will not Forsake them.
If all the above 3 factors are perfect, there is absolutely no way that a mantra can fail to give results. The mantra in such cases will start giving results even before the full cycle of rituals is over.
Our sages knew of the limitations of this kali yuga where such perfection may not be always possible. That is why they have given sugar-coated pills to us to enable us to digest the incomparable and infinite potency of mantras easily. Various slokhas of saints of yore come under this category which need no initiation whatsoever. While Soundarya Lahiri needs proper initiation from a competent Guru, the other works of Shankaraachaarya like Bhavani Bhujangam, Subhramanya bhujangam, Ganesha Pancharatnam, Shiva panchaakshari sthothram, etc. need no initiation, and yet can be highly powerful in giving results to us. Similarly, Shri Vedaanta Desikan has capture highly potent mantras in beautiful sthothras which can be chanted by anyone (sudarshana mantra needs initiation; but the sudarshana ashtaka by Shri Desikan needs no initiation, and yet it attracts the Grace of Lord Sudarshana). Similarly Shri Vaadhiraajar has left many such wonderful compositions for our benefit.
Let us follow the footsteps of those great souls humbly and enjoy the benefits of mantras in the form that suits us. Of course, those of us who can get proper deeksha should strive to get mantra deeksha and live faithfully by the mantra doctrine and get benefitted. Those who are not in a position to be initiated due to any reason should rather benefit by the sthothras without touching the scorching flame of mantra shastra playfully.
May Medha Dakshinamoorthi – the JagatGuru guide our intellect. May the Grace of those wonderful souls who have left us wonderful mantraic power loaded sthothras for our easy recital guide us and give us the devotion and faith to chant those sthothras which are our legacy rather than hunting after “advanced” mantraic procedures out of vain ego (Mantraic processes are definitely powerful; but I say “vain ego” because many of us feel sthothras are “basic” and we are above that “level”! Spirituality has no place for such egoistic attitudes.); May we all develop good respect and perfect faith – because Faith is at the root of all miracles, and it is unconditional surrender and Love of God that makes us Divine. Being Divine is every soul’s birthright. Let us achieve it the proper way – because there is no short-cut to success in mantra shastra.
Article by Pandit R Dakshinamoorthi