The Power Of Chanting
Chanting is a big part of spirituality. In ashrams, monasteries and many other spiritually inclined places, you will often hear large groups of people sitting together and chanting in unison. So what exactly is chanting and how does it help?
Chanting involves rhythmically repeating words or sounds of a mantra, belief, or part of a sacred text. These can follow a simple melody or can have a complicated musical structure. Chanting helps with self-exploration and self-understanding to allow for steady inner growth, clarity of thoughts and improved mental health.
An Ancient Practice
Chanting has been an ancient practice that prevailed in innumerable cultures since ancient times. Vedic chanting in Hinduism, Buddhist chanting in Buddhism, Quran readings in Islam, chanting of psalms in Christianity – all existed for centuries and date back to long before the modern evolution of the world.
The most common method of chanting is known as japa chanting – a continual repetition of a set of mantras, sounds or words, a fixed number of times (usually multiples of 108). People often mistake japa chanting for meditation, but both are in fact quite different.
Meditation involves sitting still in one place and silently focusing your energies and your inner self. Chanting can be done anywhere and is a way to connect and communicate with the higher power. It is said that japa chanting affects the subconscious mind and helps purify oneself, through dedicated recitation. It helps one examine the deepest corners of the mind and stay in constant communion with a spiritual deity or power, thus leading to a state of complete clarity and balance.
To begin chanting, you will first need to find yourself a set of japa beads. This is a string of beads woven together that helps you keep count off your chants. Start by holding the beads in your right hand and grasp the biggest bead (the head) with your right thumb and middle finger. Now start chanting your preferred mantra.
Commonly Recited Chants
There are various chants but the most commonly recited chant using japa beds is ‘ hare rama, hare krishna’ (Hare- pronounced as huh-ray; Rama – pronounced as raa-maa; Krishna – pronounced as kree-sh-naa). While reciting the chant, say each syllable distinctly and focus on the sound and vibrations of each word.
Keep chanting and moving your fingers up the beads till you complete one round of 108 chants, counted on each of the beads. If you wish to do another round, start again in the same manner starting in the reverse direction this time. This can be done numerous times a day.
Benefits Of Chanting Daily
- It acts as spiritual therapy
- It purifies your Inner self and your surroundings and purges the negative energies
- It helps reduce pent up energies and spiritual distress
- It Increases happiness and positivity
- It helps acquire or Increase spiritual abilities
Whether you do multiple rounds of 108 chants or just one, day by day, you will begin to feel a change in yourself. It may be in the form of peace of mind, or even increased energy and motivation through the day. Chanting whether done for spiritual, religious or personal reasons, always helps improve your holistic health, inside and out.