Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

proper pronunciation

Question of Shyamasundara: When we recite the Maha-mantra in japa meditation is there a certain correct way, or we are just chanting it?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, cry! Cry! This is the proper method. But what did you mean?

Shyamasundara: Well, I mean that I have come across a couple of times on a mention that each mantra is supposed to be chanted and pronounced in a specific way and with a specific rhythm and so on.

Tirtha Maharaj: But this mantra is a maha-mantra, it’s a super mantra. So it is not restricted and even the reflection of that mantra will help. Like you have here some sausages called Sachi. Sausages are not really beneficial in spiritual practices. Still as this is the name of the mother of Lord Chaitanya, sooner or later people who buy or sell, they will be purified. So even the reflection of the holy name will help.

But what is the proper pronunciation of the name Krishna? You know that this is Govinda. Because He is the sweet cowherd who will make us happy. But what is the proper pronunciation of the name Radha? This was the proper pronunciation – when your voice chokes up. When you cannot say. Until you can pronounce your mantra, you are not in ecstasy. When you are in ecstasy, you cannot tell your mantra. Just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the procession of Lord Jagannatha. He was dancing in front of the cart and He was shouting: “Ja ja ga ga du du…” This was all that He could say. This is ecstasy. So, when next time your spiritual master comes and asks: “Have you chanted your rounds?” you say: “No, I was in ecstasy, my dear master!” That is a false excuse.

Once a devotee asked Shrila Prabhupada: “Prabhupada, when I am chanting, I just feel like a blue person appearing to me and it’s such a wonderful feeling!” Prabhupada said: “Go on chanting, it will disappear.”

Real chanting is something very deep.

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