We recommend chanting the Name of God according to the religion of your birth as a foundation of spiritual practice. Refer to the article ‘Start your spiritual journey’.
A number of commonly and frequently asked questions about what Name of God to chant have been explained below.
1. Related to conversion
1.1 I was born a Buddhist and got converted to Christianity. What Name should I chant?
Answer: If you have converted to Christianity willingly, then you will have more faith in it. Hence, chant the Name according to the new religion. If you were forcefully converted against your wishes and if you feel closer to your original religion, chant the Name as per the earlier religion. Even if you had earlier converted to another religion such as Christianity willingly, but now feel closer to your religion of birth, then you can chant according to the religion of birth.
1.2 I was born as a Catholic, but brought up as a Protestant. I was trying to chant Hail Mary, but was reverting back to Lord Jesus. Is it okay or which Name should I chant?
Answer: Continue chanting ‘Lord Jesus’.
1.3 What if our ancestors were forced to convert to another religion and we were born into that religion? In that case, which Name should we chant?
Answer: Spiritual science advises chanting of the Name of God according to the religion of birth.
If you do not have faith in the religion that your ancestors were converted to and have more faith in their previous religion, you can then chant the Name according to that religion.
1.4 My mother and father are from different religions and continue practicing their respective religions. What Name of God should I chant?
Answer: Chant the Name of God based on the religion of your father. According to Spiritual science, children benefit most from chanting the Name of God according to the religion of their father.
2. Related to marriage
2.1 I am a married woman. Which Name of God should I chant?
Answer: According to Spiritual science, after marriage a woman benefits most by chanting the Name of God according to her spouse’s religion. If you are a Hindu, then chant the family Deity’s Name of your husband’s family.
2.2 I am separated, but not divorced, what Name of God do I chant?
Answer: This is the same as if you were married (refer 2.1), as you are not divorced yet.
2.3 I am a divorced woman. What Name of God do I chant?
Answer: Chant the Name of God according to your religion before marriage.
2.4 I have been chanting ‘Hail Mary’ since childhood. Now I am married to a Hindu. What Name do I chant?
Answer: If you have been chanting ‘Hail Mary’ regularly for long periods of time prior to marriage and if you have strong faith in this Name only, then continue this chant. Otherwise as per Spiritual Science, women after marriage are supposed to chant the Name according to the religion/family Deity of their husband.
3. Related to adoption
3.1 What Name should an adopted child chant?
Answer: As per Spiritual science, an adopted child is supposed to chant the Name of God according to the religion practiced by the adopting family.
4. Related to Name as per one’s religion
4.1 I find Hail Mary too dry and short. Instead can I chant ‘Hail Mary, Holy Mother of God’?
Answer: Spirituality is a science, like medicine and is very specific. Spiritual growth entails following the science and going beyond the dictates of the mind. One of the basic principles of spiritual practice entails going from ‘Many to one’. According to this principle, chanting one word is more effective than chanting many words. Keeping this in mind, you can pray to Mother Mary to grace you with the ability to chant the Name according to how it is guided by Spiritual science. If you still cannot do it, in the early stages you can chant ‘Hail Mary, Holy Mother of God’.
5. Related to family Deity
5.1 What Name to chant if we do not know our family Deity?
Answer: If you do not know your family Deity’s Name, try to find out through other members of your family, priests, a horoscope made as per Vēdic Jyotish, etc. In the meantime, you can chant ‘Shrī Kuladēvatāyai Namaha’.
5.2 In such a case, what if the generic chant (Shri Kuladevatayai Namaha), is difficult to pronounce? Can we chant some other Name?
Answer: With practice, it becomes easier. Chanting any other Name of God will have less benefit.
5.3 Can I chant the male family Deity’s Name instead of the female family Deity’s Name?
Answer: The Name given by a Guru at a spiritual level of 90% and above (i.e Parātpar Guru) is 100% conducive to one’s rapid spiritual growth, that of the female family Deity is 30% and that of the male family Deity is 25% conducive.
That is why till we attain a Guru, it is best to chant the Name of our female family Deity. If we cannot find out our female family Deity’s Name or if we do not have a female family Deity and only have a male family Deity, then we can chant His Name.
6. Related to preferred chants
6.1 I like Shrikrushna. Can I chant His Name instead of that of my family Deity’s Name?
Answer: Yes, it is okay to chant the Name of Shrīkrushṇa (that is, 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. Read the article on, ‘I prefer to chant the Name of my favourite Deity to that of my family Deity – is that ok?’
6.2 I worship my mother. She was like a Guru and God to me. Can I chant her name?
Answer: We chant the Name of God to derive benefit of the Divine principle. We would not derive that benefit by chanting our mother’s name. According to Spiritual science, there is no such precedent of chanting the Name of one’s parent or sibling, even in cases where Saints/Gurus were the parent/sibling of the seeker.
6.3 I am a Hindu. Can I chant ‘Om’?
Answer: The chant of ‘Om’ is an advanced chant. This is so because it corresponds to the Absolute Fire Principle (Tējtattva) and the unmanifest form of God. Regularly chanting of ‘Om’, for long periods of time, will result in high Absolute Fire Principle levels in the seeker. The seeker may not be able to tolerate high levels of the Absolute Fire Principle if his basic spiritual practice of the lower elements, i.e. Absolute Earth (Pruthvī) and Water (Āpa), is not complete. Chanting the Name of family Deity or God as per the religion of birth is a spiritual practice corresponding to the Absolute Earth Principle.
6.4 Can I chant the name of a Saint?
Answer: Spiritual science advises chanting of the Name of God according to one’s religion of birth. One should not repeat (chant) the name of a Saint.
- Saints at the spiritual level (70%) of Divine Energy (Shakti) are born to carry out a particular mission and for that they possess manifest energy. So, if their Names are chanted then the manifest energy could possibly cause distress to some. Contrary to this, since a Deity mostly has unmanifest energy, chanting its Name does not cause any distress. Besides a seeker does not want energy, they wants Bliss (Ānand) and Serenity (Shānti). [Saints of spiritual levels of 80% and 90% can impart spiritual experiences of Bliss and Serenity respectively].
- Since the law of creation, sustenance and dissolution is applicable to Saints as well, their energy persists only for a limited period of a few hundred years. Thereafter, they are unable to respond to one’s call. As against this, Deities are eternally present from the time of creation of the universe till its dissolution.
- According to Spiritual science, constructing places of worship of Saints is incorrect. Nowadays however, we have this happening quite often.
7. Related to liking for another religion
7.1 I am a Christian. Can I chant the word ‘Om’?
Answer: According to Spiritual science, chanting the Name of God according to the religion of birth is the most conducive to one’s rapid spiritual growth. From the perspective of rapid spiritual growth, the benefit derived by chanting the Name of that aspect of God would be far more than that derived by chanting ‘Om’.
7.2 I am a Christian but I like Deity Shiva, can I chant His Name?
Answer: Yes, it is okay to chant the Name of Deity Shiva (i.e. the Name of God one has a liking for), but it is better to chant the Name of God as per one’s religion for rapid spiritual progress. Read the article on, ‘I prefer to chant the Name of my favourite Deity to that of my family Deity – is that ok?’
8. Related to aversion for religion
8.1 I am interested in chanting, but do not feel connected to my religion. What else can I chant?
Answer: In that case, you can chant any other Name of God you feel connected to.
8.2 Can I chant just ‘God’?
Answer: By chanting a Name of God, we are in effect trying to assimilate that aspect of Divinity that the Name represents. ‘God’ is too generic a Name. It encompasses all the aspects and elements/principles of the Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent God. Hence, chanting the word ‘God’ would amount to attempting to assimilate all aspects of God, at the same time. This would be a herculean task. Hence, Spiritual science advises us to take up chanting of a particular Name of God, so as to assimilate that aspect of God corresponding to our stage in spiritual practice.
8.3 Can I chant the word ‘kindness’ or ‘love’ or ‘serenity’ or ‘peace’, instead of a Divine Name?
Answer: From a spiritual perspective, chanting is done with the objective of assimilating the specific Divine Energy associated with the particular Name of God. The above words do not contain any specific Divine principle. Hence, chanting these words would not give us the benefit of Divine Energy that chanting a specific Name of God would.
Further, God is the embodiment of unconditional spiritual love (Prīti) or love without expectations. Hence, chanting any Name of God would invoke the Divine aspect of unconditional love much more than from chanting words like ‘kindness’, ‘love’, etc.
8.4 Currently I am not following any religion, which name should I chant?
Answer: You can chant the Name of God as per your religion of birth.
8.5 When I chant as per my birth religion, in my heart it does not feel right. What do I do?
Answer: If it is due to a mental block about the religion of birth due to circumstances/experiences in the past, it may help to know that Spirituality is beyond religion. The chant as per one’s religion of birth is more an application of a spiritual principle rather than a way to identify with that religion. Before chanting, a sincere prayer for us to experience the benefits of the chant would be helpful.
9. Related to atheism
9.1 I am an atheist. What Name should I chant?
Answer: We still suggest you chant the Name of God according to the religion of birth. The chant as per one’s religion of birth is more an application of a spiritual principle rather than a way to identify with that religion. If you try it sincerely and regularly and even if it is done with no faith, you will find the benefit in your life. Personal experience of the benefit of chanting is the best advocate for this type of spiritual practice.