Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra,” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.

  

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra,” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: A little puzzled by the pronunciation guide at the beginning that you give, saying it's "Muhn-tra" rather than Man-tra. You mention it's a short "a" sound, which would indeed be the sound of the word Man, which is how this word is usually heard. You seem to be saying Muntra — which is a "u" sound, short "u" — not "a." Which is correct?

Answer: English is a very tricky language in terms of pronunciation. There are so many ways to pronounce the vowels. Luckily, Sanskrit is like the European [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: I really enjoyed this session! I have been intimidated by mantra, so it was nice to learn more about it. As I was repeating the mantras during the session, I noticed I developed a lot of throat and jaw tension...am I doing something wrong, or is it just something new?

Answer: I'm so happy you enjoyed the session. I'm always thrilled to share about mantra. Here are several ideas regarding your throat and jaw tension [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” at the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: Can you repeat how to use your fingers on the mala?

Answer: Thanks so much for your question. To use a mala for your mantra practice, rest the mala on a circle made by joining the ring finger and thumb of your right hand. Have the meru or guru bead (the one with the tassel) at the top and start with the bead to the left of the meru bead for the first repetition. Move that bead clockwise (toward you) with your middle finger as you say the mantra [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: How and what deity would someone new to this start with?

Answer: This is a great question. As I mentioned in the session, when you choose a mantra, you should look for one that draws you--that feels good when you are repeating it. Then you simply leap into the practice [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: I was taught by someone who I believed at the time was very knowledgeable about Mantra's and she said that Saraswati was pronounced "Saras-Fati", but you mentioned that the pronunciation is most important and the spelling is not as important. So what if I were chanting it wrong for 40 days?

Answer: First of all, not to worry. In mantra, as in every spiritual practice, intention is the most important part. Yes, pronunciation is important, but God is good. So long as your intention is pure, the message gets to the right place [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: Is there any difference between "nama" vs "namo"? Like masculine vs feminine?

Answer: Namah and namo basically mean "name". Om namah Shivaya on one level is I am calling out the name of Shiva. Often it's translated as well as Salutations to Lord Shiva or in the old language I bow to Lord Shiva. There are rules in Sanskrit governing whether the form is namo or namah [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: I personally like the third Mantra the best of the three. Thank you for sharing. My question is, is there any difference in the speed at which you chant these? If you become fluent in the pronunciation does speeding it up make any difference rhythmically?

Answer: Yes, the Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is a great one, especially with that tune! Good question about the speed. You can do the mantras at any speed, depending on how you feel and how much time you have. [...]

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: I grew up chanting the phrase "Om Nama Ha Shiva", can you speak to the significance of this Mantra? We would also chant/sing "Sita Rama, a Ram, a Sita Ram, a Ram".

Answer: Om namah Shivaya is a very ancient and very powerful mantra. There are some who say that only Swamis or those under the direct tutelage of a teacher should use this mantra. [...]

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