1. Benefits of chanting at the spiritual level
1.1 Chanting acts as a spiritual therapy
Specific chants are associated with specific organs in our body. Chanting is able to cure the malfunction of an organ if the cause is spiritual in nature. The particular frequencies generated as a result of chanting help improve the abnormal, unnatural and disproportionate frequencies resulting from the diseased organ. For more details see our section on chants for health.
1.2 Destiny is overcome by chanting
The severity of destiny reduces and becomes bearable if we keep chanting God’s Name at all times. We can also overcome our accumulated account of destiny itself.
1.3 Spiritual problems due to ancestral spirits are overcome by chanting
Presently, since many people do not perform rituals for departed ancestors they experience distress from the unsatisfied subtle-bodies of their ancestors. Not getting married, lack of compatibility between a husband and wife, not being able to conceive, having abortions, learning disabilities etc. are some of the symptoms of the distress of ancestors.
In order to gain insulation from problems caused due to departed ancestors, we recommend chanting the protective chant of ‘Shrī Gurudev Datta’. More detailed instructions are available in our article on “What can I do to protect myself against ancestral problems?”
1.4 Chanting for spiritual purification of premises
Due to the spiritual energy generated through chanting, the space we live in (vāstu) gets purified. If we perceive distressing frequencies in a vastu then we should consult someone with an activated sixth sense or subtle-perception. They can advise us on the Name to chant for the purpose. If this is not possible, then we should chant the Name as per the religion of our birth for 20-60 minutes, depending on the intensity of distress.
1.5 Chanting eliminates spiritual distress
Due to negative energies, we have to face physical or mental problems or some obstacles in life constantly. Though externally we may feel that reasons for these problems are physical, psychological or worldly, the real reason is trouble of negative energies. When such distress is felt, no matter what treatment we take in the gross form, the distress does not get removed completely. This is akin to the disease of malaria, which cannot be cured by a medicine for fever; it has to be cured by antimalarial medications that have the potency to kill the germs of malaria. Negative energies bring about obstacles in the spiritual practice of seekers, so seekers fail to get the desired fruit of their spiritual practice. When we chant the Name of God, that specific Divine Principle is attracted towards us and provides protection against negative energies.
In the present times, until 2018, the Principle of Lord Krushṇa is active in a larger proportion in the world, so one can chant ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya’ daily for 2 hours.
1.6 Sorrow can be avoided by chanting
A. The root cause of sorrow is our attachment to various objects. By chanting we develop love for God and our attachment to material objects reduces, sorrow disappears and we experience more Bliss (Ānand).
B. We are certain to experience happiness through chanting God’s Name, as God is eternally blissful.
1.7 Acquiring spiritual powers (siddhis) through chanting
Siddhis are supernatural powers. The spiritual practice of chanting enables us to acquire control over a particular Divine Principle and accordingly some supernatural powers. For instance, chanting the Name of the Sun Deity bestows control over the Absolute Fire Principle (Tējtattva) and subsequently we are not affected by heat. Siddhis are a by-product and not the aim of spiritual practice.
1.8 Chanting benefits us spiritually even after death
With continuous chanting, a centre of devotion is created in the subconscious mind. At the time of death, it accompanies the subtle-body. Therefore, chanting can continue even after death. This protects us in the afterlife and helps us gain momentum in the subtle-planes of existence.
2. Benefits of chanting in relation to spiritual practice
2.1 Remembrance and meditation occur during chanting
We remember God in our mind and hence we chant. While chanting, remembrance of God (meditation) occurs naturally.
2.2 By chanting we develop an introvert attitude
When we start developing an introverted attitude due to our chanting, it means we are progressing spiritually. Our inclination towards the materialistic world reduces considerably and we begin to delve within ourselves. This helps us to develop an introvert attitude, which is useful in our spiritual practice.
2.3 Chanting is the perfect spiritual practice
The complete spiritual practice is one that is compatible with the functioning of the body and mind. Chanting is one such perfect spiritual practice. It can be done by anyone, anywhere and at any time. Hence it is an excellent means of going towards the natural state of communion with God. This state occurs in individuals whose chanting occurs deep within the subconscious mind, through which they achieve a continual connection to the God Principle.
2.4 Development of faith and spiritual emotion through chanting
Repeated chanting of the Lord’s Name, backed by the belief in the Name, gives us spiritual experiences. The spiritual experiences one gets from chanting generate and strengthen devotion and faith. When we garner belief that God’s Name will give everything, then we start chanting with intense yearning for Him and spiritual emotion (bhāv) develops faster. There is a saying that ‘God exists wherever spiritual emotion is present’, hence in Spirituality, developing spiritual emotion has utmost importance.
2.5 Chanting without expectations dissolves merits
When we chant without expectations of worldly gains, spiritual emotion develops in us and due to the love for God’s Name we attain God too. Because of the immense Bliss experienced upon attaining God-realisation, all our merits get dissolved, as at that stage even merits prevent us from reaching the Final Liberation (Moksha). The kind of devotion we experience in this state benefits both us and those around us.
2.6 Chanting eliminates sin
God’s Name has enormous strength to burn an infinite number of sins. It is often said that man can never commit sins which God’s Name cannot nullify.
His Holiness Kane Maharaj from Narayangaon, Maharashtra, India has elaborated on the ability of eliminating sins through chanting as follows: “Sins committed prior to the period from which we begin to chant are nullified. If sins are committed after we begin to chant, then the sins remain until we chant the Name again. If we fail to chant again, then we have to undergo the consequences of the sins committed.”
Chanting can neutralize sins committed unknowingly. However it cannot do so when the sins have been committed deliberately.
Chanting is superior to atonement in nullifying sins, because by taking atonement sins get nullified but the attitude of committing sins persists. When we develop intense motivation for the Final Liberation, then this desire to commit sins is quelled and the sins are nullified.
2.7 Chanting transforms an action into a non-action
In any transaction despite meticulous efforts to minimize the ‘give and take account’, it is nearly impossible to conduct an accurate exchange. In short, a give and take account always persists. To avoid this it is essential that a non-action should take place.
Any action performed whilst chanting The Lord’s Name becomes a non-action (akarma-karma). One neither attains merits nor sins from it. Consequently one finishes experiencing one’s destiny and liberation from the cycle of birth and death is hastened.
2.8 Chanting purifies the subconscious mind, making it favourable to receive spiritual knowledge
Just as one cannot reap a good harvest without ploughing the field to make it fertile, similarly, knowledge cannot penetrate the subtle-body until it is purified.
2.9 Spiritual progress is expedited due to chanting
Many people stagnate in their spiritual practice after obtaining spiritual experiences like seeing different colours, seeing light or hearing various sounds. They may also be misguided by negative energies since they have less protection from God. Chanting the Name of God bypasses all such experiences and takes us directly to God.
2.10 Dissolution of ego due to chanting
Just as clarified butter (ghee) melts when kept near fire, the ego too dissolves through the ‘fire’ of chanting.
2.11 Guru’s grace is acquired by chanting
It is very fortunate to be advised by the Guru Himself on which Name we should chant but even if we do not come across a Guru, we should continue to chant. This is because through chanting itself we will find a Guru.
2.12 We can merge with God due to chanting
The one who chants can merge with God’s Name or with the Deity whose Name he is chanting. When all three become one then the state of non-duality is attained.
Chanting removes all spiritual obstacles in our life and takes care of us in the afterlife too.
Chanting is the only spiritual practice that can be done in continuity. For example, we cannot sit in meditation, attend yoga classes, sing devotional songs and undertake pilgrimages etc. for 24 hours a day. But we can chant even while fulfilling all mundane responsibilities such as looking after our homes, children, profession, etc. If we want to unite with God then we need to do continuous and unlimited spiritual practice. This is possible only through chanting.
Chanting also purifies the subconscious mind and burns our merits and sins of this life and past lives, making it possible for us to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It dissolves our ego and develops faith and devotion in us, which benefits everyone around us too.