I am unable to carry out my regular religious ablutions at proper times, owing to my circumstances, as well as my laziness. Will it have any effect if I do not do it in proper time? Can Gayatri Mantra be recited without performance of Sandhya Vandanam?
Whatever you do will certainly have their effects. Unless you are a Gayatri-upasak, you should not chant the Gayatri Mantra as and when you wish. You can chant it as many times as you wish with proper purity, and following the appropriate guidelines prescribed for it in our Scriptures.
I am writing ‘Ram Nam’ and it has solved many problems of mine and fulfilled many desires. But one crucial desire of mine alone is not getting fulfilled. Why is this happening?
That may be because Lord Rama feels that if this particular desire of yours gets fulfilled, it may create problems in the future. With a human mind, it is impossible to know what would happen in future, but one thing, you can be certain: Lord Rama is always right.
What are the do’s and don’ts to perform Japa of the mantra given by the Guru? Can it be chanted all times, irrespective of the location and dress code (i.e. in office attire wearing shoes etc.)?
The “Rama” Nama and Mahamantra have no rules. You can chant it any number of times, any place, any time of the day and in any state.
Other mantras may have their own restrictions and have to be chanted as instructed by the Guru.
How many times can the Moola Mantra be recited every day? Is there a restriction?
There is no limit on the number of times the Moola Mantra can be repeated everyday.
I performed ‘Girivalam’ at Tiruvannamalai this Sivaratri. I chanted Rama Nama all the while, though the fellow-devotees asked me to chant the Shiva mantra. Am I right in doing what I did?
You can chant the ‘Rama’ mantra to any deity. In fact, Lord Siva Himself chants the ‘Rama’ mantra all the time. Hence you are absolutely right in chanting the Rama mantra. Can anyone else be so gullible as Him?
Is “only chanting of a mantra (Guru mantra or Mahamantra ) sufficient for self realization?
While there is no doubt in my mind that Nama chanting is the surest way in kaliyuga for liberation, sometimes i get frustrated when i see the suffering around me. We stay in Maharashtra, where we read about farmers committing suicide every single day. Around us there are so many slums where people consider themselves lucky when they are able to get two square meals a day. I understand that “Nama Prachar” is the main motto of our mission, can we not do some sort of service for these people?
A tree is infected with some pests. One way of combating pests is to spray pesticides on the leaves and fruits. The other, more efficient way is to treat it at the root. Social service is akin to the former whereas spiritual transformation (by way of Chanting the Nama) is like treating at the root.
I chant mantras like’Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ and ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’. Do you recommend that the ‘Hare Rama..’ mantra is better and I chant that instead?
You can chant the ‘Hare Rama ..’ Mantra in addition to all the mantras you are currently chanting, whenever you get time.
I read somewhere that it is an offense to preach the glories of the holy name of the Lord to the faithless. Then what is the way to get the faithless to chant?
There are scriptures. The same scriptures also state that one should follow the words of the Guru without any doubts or questions and act accordingly. Going by that rule, all our masters starting from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are crying aloud to make the people chant the Holy Name to have them liberated! So we take that path.
Every rule has an exception too!
What is the experience connected with chanting Mantras? When does one get mantra siddhi?
Each Mantra has its own Siddhi. One is said to attain Mantra Siddhi when he is able to see the deity pertaining to his Mantra, by incessant chanting of the Mantra.