Basics Of Mantras
While the Hindu Vedic astrology believes in the theory of fate it also advocates that you can make efforts to improve your destiny and counter act your fate by performing various remedies like poojas, stotra path, japa and giving charity. Bellow are some time tested and trusted remedies prescribed in the various astrological and other important scriptures. Incase a person has a grave or specific problem one can consult a learned astrologer or consultant.
Even if there is no particular problem, performing a Vedic puja, reciting of the mantras or giving charity will improve your overall progress.
Do not expect any overnight miracles. People in the olden days used to start learning poojas, yoga, and meditation from a very young. By the time they were 15 to 16 years old they used to attain a fairly good level of spiritual standards and when they performed poojas and rituals even the Gods used to come down. Now a days people start doing Om Namah Shivaya or Maha Mritunjaya mantra japa only when they have a serious problem. Though one thing is for sure. these remedies slowly wash away the negative karmic influences and improve the positive effects in an indivisual’s life. By performing these poojas etc. your troubles may not vanish totally but the intensity of trouble is reduced and you get the inner strength to face them with courage and confidence. Over the years people have been prescribed these mantras and they have defeniately benefited. Mantras do work. That is why they have been recited for so many thousands of years.
A few Precautions Rules and Regulations:
A lot of people are worried about the rites and rituals to be followed for performing poojas, reciting stotras and doing mantra japa. There several types of poojas of the deities and some of them can take a whole day. The way a pooja is performed also varies depending on ones regional and traditional back ground. Various pooja books and websites prescribe long preparations and rituals for poojas. It is not possible for every one to perform a pooja like an ordained Vedic priest. Hence our scriptures allow one to do a pooja "Yatha shakti" or as per ones capability and convenience. Doing it with faith is what really matters. The minimum is: Take bath, wear clean clothes, light a lamp and an incense stick and offer some prasad - if you don't have anything at home the simple milk or sugar will do. Preferably keep an idol or photograph of the deity.
While doing pooja or mantra japa, preferably, repeat preferably and if possible, set aside a particular place to sit, face east or north, sit on an asan - preferably silk or woolen. If you cant manage these don't stop doing pooja or japa!
For mantra reciting, a lot depends on the type of mantra you intend to recite and the purpose. Some people recite some mantras daily. It is up to their convenience. The normal number of times a mantra is recited is 3, 11, 21, 27, 54 and 108 or more.
For specific Graha shanti, the number of times the mantra to be recited is prescribed. The prescribed time limit during which it should be completed is one mandala or 40 days. You are given a grace period of 8 days, taking into account any emergency or illness. So maximum 48 days.
If you have taken a vow to do a certain number of japas in a certain number of days – We must do as vowed! No short cuts and no excuses. So think and calculate carefully (use a calculator please!) and keep an emergency cushion, before you take a vow!!
For most other mantras for specific purpose or siddhi, the time limit is 48 days. The minimum number of times the mantra is to be recited to give results, is (if a person lacks time, an extra 25% prescribed to compensate for any mistakes in pronunciation, counting and wavering of concentration ) 1,25,000 times total.
For the daily japa there are no restrictions. For the specific purpose and period oriented recitals - non-vegetarian food, alcoholic drinks and sex outside marriage are prohibited. Advisable to avoid onions and beneficial if u can avoid/reduce spices.
There are some highly ritualistic tantric mantras and poojas which should be conducted under strict guidance from a learned person.
After saying the main mantra japa, preferably you must recite the gayatri mantra 108 times.
Om Tat Sat