[Advaita-l] idaM na mama - The scientific evidence?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 01:12:02 CDT 2011

On Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 10:21 AM, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>wrote:

> One of the other important difference is that, for a mantra to work,* you
> do not need belief* while a prayer without belief is like talking to a
> wall.

(underlined by me so as to relate it to a  parable said by Jagadguru  Sri
Abhinava VidyAtIrtha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri:)

// Once, most of India’s inhabitants were committing many
sinful acts and going to hell. Ishwara, out of compassion, taught
them the sacred SrI-rudra-mantra to enable all to escape the
tortures of hell. Everyone began bathing in holy rivers and
worshiping Lord Shiva through it.

Meanwhile, Yama, the god of death, began to worry.
“Nowadays nobody comes to hell. What is the use of my being
the king of hell without any person to rule over?” he lamented.
He went to Lord BrahmA and complained, “I have no subjects.
So, I would like to retire.” Lord BrahmA replied, “It is true that
people perform srI-rudra-japa and thereby escape from your
clutches. However, I will give you two messengers, *ashraddhA*
(absence of faith) and *durmedhA* (perverted thinking). On
account of these, people will feel that srI-rudra-japa is not as
efficacious as it is said to be. So, they will not do it properly.
Obviously, they will not be liberated from sin.”

The story reveals that it is not enough to merely chant a mantra. Faith and
proper attitude are also necessary. If these are there, the full fruit of
the chanting will accrue to the chanter.//

Quoted from 'Exalting Elucidations' published by Sri VidyAtIrtha Foundation,

There is also another verse said by the above Acharya:

मूर्खो वदति विष्णाय बुधो वदति विष्णवे।
उभयोः सदृशं पुण्यं भावग्राही जनार्दनः ॥

The unlettered one, while praying says: 'viShNAya' while the correct form of
the word is 'viShNave' which however the learned man utters.  Both get the
same merit for the Lord Janardana looks for the intent, the sincerity of the

This, of course, is not to belittle the importance of correct pronunciation
and intonation of words or mantras.  The Haridasa-s, NayanmArs and Azhwars
were very great bhakta-s who used their native language and not Sanskrit
essentially to express their devotion to the Lord.


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