By Mahanidhi Swami
This is the last article in our series of articles on Sri Guru and Mantra Tattva, offered in glorification of Srila Vyasadeva and all divine preceptors on the most auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.
Here we will discuss the meaning of attaining siddhi, or perfection in chanting one’s diksha mantras. Of course, we should always try our best in all our sadhana practices. And at the same time, we must always remember that ultimately the desirable result and perfection will come only by the mercy of Sri Guru and Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
There is no restriction regarding the number of times one can chant his diksa mantras. Vedic scriptures suggest chanting the Gopala or Krishna mantra and Kama Gayatri 108 times to get the best result. Some Gurus prescribe chanting each mantra thirty-two times, twenty eight, ten times each, or even many rounds of special mantras like Kama Gayatri.
The main point is to regularly, without fail, chant your diksa mantras the number of times requested by your spiritual master. There is no bar, however, to chanting more if time permits. In this regard, Srila Prabhupada once said we should chant a minimum of sixteen rounds on the japa beads and unlimited rounds off the beads. Kirtaniya sada harih!
According to mantra sastras, mantra-siddhi (perfection in a particular Vedic or pancaratrika mantra) can be attained by chanting it one thousand times the number of syllables in the mantra. For example, you can attain perfection in the eighteen-syllable Gopala-mantra by chanting it 18,000 times; the twenty-four syllable Kama-gayatri by chanting it 24,000 times, and so on. The Hare Krishna maha-mantra, however, is independent of this concept, for even one pure recitation of Hare Krishna can give the highest perfection of pure love of God.
What does it mean to attain mantra-siddhi? It means one gets perfection in that particular mantra, and quickly receive the benefits or fruits of that mantra. Generally, siddhi means obtaining whatever the mantra offers. For example, Hanuman mantra-siddhi gives darshana of Hanuman and benedictions such as strength.
The Brahmanda Purana provides another example of mantra-siddhi: “Reciting the Nrsimha Kavaca 32,000 times with a purified heart grants the most auspicious of all auspicious things. Material enjoyment and liberation are understood to be already available to such a person.”
Lord Brahma himself achieved mantra-siddhi after chanting the Gopala-mantra thousands of times. He attained the perfection of hearing Krishna’s transcendental flute. Then in his trance of meditation, Brahma saw Lord Govinda and the spiritual world of Goloka Vrndavana.
Mantras are extremely powerful and can award desired boons, benedictions, powers and perfections. But such attainments are not appreciated by devotees aspiring for the unalloyed service of Radha and Krishna in the pleasure groves of Vrindavana.
Our beloved prema avatara, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, taught us to desire only one perfection, namely Radha-Madhava’s nitya-seva birth after birth.
Setting the direction and perfection for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Gauranga Mahaprabhu prayed, “O My beloved Lord Sri Krishna! I only want to serve You birth after birth without any motivation or cessation.”
This is the final perfection to be attained by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and one’s diksa mantras. Krishna’s devotees are always eager to chant, meditate upon and serve Their sweet and merciful Radha and Krishna.
Thus we continually chant and serve the Divine Playful Pair, Radha Govinda Yugala, knowing that Sri Guru and Sri Krishna will arrange everything we need to attain Vraja prema bhakti. Indeed, there is no greater perfection or mantra siddhi then this attainable in all the three worlds!
(Excerpt from Gayatri Mahima Madhuri by Mahanidhi Swami)
Radha-Shyamasundara nitya prema seva ki jai!
Om tat sat!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!