[Advaita-l] Devatha Gayathris and Initiation

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 26 22:07:30 CST 2006

--- Karthik Subramanian <karthikvathula at yahoo.com> wrote:

>   Does one require upadesha from the guru to chant the gayathris
> pertaining to the devathas, i.e. Ganapathi Gayathri, Rudra
> Gayathri, Narasimha Gayathri, etc?

AFAIK, you need both competency and initiation for chanting any
mantra. Therefore, it is not a good idea to pick up mantras from
books and cassettes.

A quote from Talks with Ramana Maharshi, Talk # 8:

Q: "Can anyone get any benefit by repeating sacred syllables
(mantras) picked up casually?"
M.: "No. He must be competent and initiated in such mantras."
Maharshi illustrated this by the following story: A King visited his
Premier in his residence. There he was told that the Premier was
engaged in repetition of sacred syllables (japa). The King waited for
him and, on meeting him, asked what the japa was. The Premier said
that it was the holiest of all, Gayatri. The King desired to be
initiated by the Premier. But the Premier confessed his inability to
initiate him. Therefore the King learned it from someone else, and
meeting the Minister later he repeated the Gayatri and wanted to know
if it was right. The Minister said that the mantra was correct, but
it was not proper for him to say it. When pressed for an explanation,
the Minister called to a page close by and ordered him to take hold
of the King. The order was not obeyed. The order was often repeated,
and still not obeyed. The King flew into a rage and ordered the same
man to hold the Minister, and it was immediately done. The Minister
laughed and said that the incident was the explanation required by
the King. "How?" asked the King. The Minister replied, "The order was
the same and the executor also, but the authority was different. When
I ordered, the effect was nil, whereas, when you ordered, there was
immediate effect. Similarly with mantras."

I have no time to make money. -Louis Agassiz

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