Yes, it is okay to chant the Name of one’s favourite deity (i.e. the deity one has a liking for), but it is better to chant the Name of the family deity or the Divine Principle as per one’s religion for rapid spiritual progress.
The reasons for this are:
Table of Contents
1. Most conducive for our spiritual growth
According to the science of Spirituality, we are born to the religion that is most conducive for our spiritual growth. The deity of the family that we are born into is that aspect of God that is best suited for our spiritual growth (as shown in the diagram below). Out of all the aspects of God, the deity of one’s family is the aspect of God that is closest to the members of that family and is also the most accessible for the family members’ spiritual growth.
The 5 major principles of God are:
Spiritual growth is about imbibing all the Principles of God into our subtle-body. When all the Principles of God have been imbibed into the subtle-body, our spiritual practice is said to be complete.
When we chant the Name of God as per the religion that we are born to or the Name of our family deity, it enables us to attract all the Principles of God and increase them to 30%.
If we chant any other deity’s Name, it only enhances the Principle of God that the deity represents and does not effectively contribute to spiritual growth. Hence, it is not as effective as chanting the Name of the family deity or chanting the Name of God as per our religion of birth.
When a person imbibes all the Principles of God up to 30%, then the Guru (the Teaching Principle of God) takes one to the state of imbibing 100% of all the Principles of God.
In some cases, we find people who have an affinity for a particular deity who is different from their family deity or the deity of the religion they were born to.
For example, a Roman Catholic’s female deity of worship is Mother Mary; however one may be attracted to chanting Lord Buddha’s Name. In the case of a Hindu, one may prefer chanting another Hindu deity’s Name such as Lord Krushṇa over their family deity’s Name.
One’s liking for a deity could either stem from the fact that one’s worship of that deity has remained incomplete in a previous birth (past life) or that one is impressed after reading or hearing about the deity’s attributes, function and glory through stories, etc.
The difference between chanting our family deity’s Name, as opposed to our favourite deity, can also be understood by a simple analogy. Taking vitamin A supplements reduces the deficiency of that particular vitamin in our body. If we take a general tonic, we are benefited by receiving all the required minerals and vitamins. Here, vitamin A is like the deity of our liking or the religion that we convert to. Our family deity works like the general tonic.
2. Minimal side-effects
The Name of God is very powerful and pure. Sometimes when we chant the Name of God, it may initially give us a bit of discomfort as we cannot withstand the purity of the Name. This discomfort could include headaches or nausea.
The deity of one’s family or religion of birth, being of the Absolute Cosmic Earth Principle (Pruthvītattva), is least likely to create any discomfort. On the other hand, when one commences to chant something like Gāyatrī–mantra which is of the Absolute Cosmic Fire Principle (Tējtattva), it is more likely to give one discomfort.
3. Spiritual Experiences
When one starts spiritual practice, one gets spiritual experiences.
One is more likely to get spiritual experiences associated with the Absolute Earth Principle before the other Cosmic Principles. The spiritual experience associated with the Absolute Earth Principle is getting a subtle-fragrance (e.g. of sandalwood). As the deity of one’s family or religion of birth is of the Absolute Earth Principle, we get a spiritual experience of subtle-fragrance after a relatively shorter time of doing spiritual practice. This gives us faith and encourages us to persist with our spiritual practice.
As opposed to this, getting a vision of God, which is associated with the Absolute Fire Principle, happens only after many years of spiritual practice. This may result in a person abandoning their spiritual practice midway.
Please refer to our section on spiritual experiences.