The Mother Divine
Change Font Size 
Questions by readers- Answers by The Mother! These answers are in no way definitive; nor do they make any claims to authenticity. These are supposed to answer the seeking. The insights contained in these answers issue from patrons of The Mother, among who are saints, holy men, scholars and advanced seekers. To submit a question, send email to Do not feel disappointed if The Mother does not publish the answer to your questions. The Editorial Board will choose questions to be published in The Mother depending upon its significance and service to the spiritual seekers at large. However, we will strive to answer most queries and personally communicate the answers to those who put forth genuine queries. Editor.


I did japa again yesterday. A part of me is afraid that japa will make me depressed because I was so depressed when I was doing this before. Is that an irrational fear? Does japa at all bring any sorrow?

S. I. Ohio University, US.


It is a totally irrational fear. Japa NEVER makes one feel depressed. It does not stimulate sorrow. It removes depression and sorrow.
Do we give up eating food saying, "you know what I used to eat food when I was in grief and now the thought of food brings me sorrow." Nonsense!
These associations are useless. Go on, do Japa and never stop doing it.


I had a natural liking for the mantra “Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari” from my childhood. After my Diksha when I got the Mahamantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, I gave it up and switched to Mahamantra. But that old mantra kept cropping up in my mind. Sometime back, when I checked with Guruji, he said I can use the old mantra sometimes. Since Mahamantra is long, I use it when I have more time. But when I am hard pressed for time, I use the “Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari”. I seem to get the same effect from this mantra as well? If I do them one after the other, I don’t realise the difference. Why?

Rajesh Samant, Mumbai


You have got a true insight through experience. All mantras work with the principle of frequency of vibration. Each syllable has a specific sonic value which works in conjunction with the other syllables. When all ingredients come together, things become potent. Ammonium nitrate, diesel, Semtex come together in a particular proportion to make a bomb. In the same way syllables of mantras come together and explode. Though the Mahamantra is a sixteen-lettered mantra, it is made up of only three words “Hare”, “Krishna” and “Ram”. Now, think of your other mantra Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. It has four words—“Ram”, “Krishna”, “Hari” and one “Jai”. Of these four, the first three are same as Mahamantra. So this one has the ingredients of a Mahamantra and a Jai. In effect, it has similar sonic power. No wonder this mantra “Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari” was greatly used in the bhakti movement of Maharashtra, just as the Mahamantra was used in the bhakti movement of Bengal. Just three syllables “Hari”, “Krishna” and “Ram” caused a spiritual revolution in these states.


I want to visit the Guru at a regular interval of say 3 months, spend a few days with him, in the way he decides. The objective is, as time passes, I would like to urburden myself from the bonds of samsara- the worldly life, and submit myself totally at Guru’s feet.


This is a fine sentiment. The very idea that at some point you would like to totally surrender to Guru’s care is laudable. Your bhakti is noteworthy. But I would like to warn you against the perils of being attached to the Guru more than the Guru Principle.
There are two entities here. Guru, the person. And Guru, the tattva (principle). Guru Vyakti and Guru Shakti. Though Guru’s person embodies Guru Tattva, it’s important to appreciate Guru Tattva separately and perhaps preferentially. The more time you spend with the Guru, the more you are likely to gain spiritually from his presence and his wisdom, but it will also expose the human side of the Guru to you, some aspects of which may not be to your liking or in line with the picture you have painted of your Guru. Now, if the Guru’s person somehow commands less respect or appreciation from you, or disapproval, you stand to lose. Because if the person is gone, the principle is gone too.
On the other hand, if you devote yourself to the Guru Tattva in Guru’s Person, you benefit because Tattva is impersonal and perennial source of inspiration. You can serve the Guru personally by attending on him, pressing his feet, doing his errands etc. You can serve the Guru principally, in tattva, by following his commands and practising his teachings. The latter is service of the Guru Principle and you must inculcate that more. Guru Nanak once said, do not worship me, worship and follow my teachings. That is why Guru Vaani is so important in Sikhism. There is no loss in Tattva due to subjectivity. Besides, Guru does not want the disciples to serve him, he wants the disciple to realise God. Because in disciple’s realising God, wherever, the Guru’s mission is fulfilled.


When you can't get a song out of your mind and intermittently keep humming it too. When a similar thing happens with Naam is it considered as doing naam? Does hearing enjoy equal benefits? And when you wake up with naam on your lips what does that mean?
Tarun Das, New Delhi


When the Naam plays on and resonates, effortlessly, as if from memory, like a film song that goes on, it is not to be treated as Naam Japa. It is just a strand of memory. It has played on, more because of its musical rhythm than content. Which is why some of the worst item songs possess us. But it’s a blessing in the case of Naam, because memory of Naam is a good thing.
Somehow, the song or Naam has entered subconscious depths and is issuing from there. Again a good thing when it comes to Naam. Because deeper impression is made of Naam.
When we wake up with Naam, it may be assumed that Naam was playing mutely through the sleeping hours continuously or intermittently and manifested consciously as soon as we woke up. This is a kind of Ajapa Japa. In Ajapa Japa, we train the mantra to pair with breathing, so mantra happens automatically due to its association with prana/ breath.  In this instance, the process is untrained and pairing is with consciousness.
The masters therefore suggest that the first thought of the day as soon as one wakes up and last thought before one retires in the night should be one of God/ Guru. Because those are powerful moments which can condition whole day/ wakeful hours and whole night/ sleep or dream hours. A thought posted in these deep pockets of first and last thoughts, can enter the subconscious. This is also the reason it is easier to hypnotise a person by asking the person to close the eyes.
A memory is less real than a thought!
Shravan bhakti is superior because one is listening continuously and consciously as against unconsciously remembering in the earlier instances. Doing things out of a reflex does not conduce to merit while doing things with deliberation and awareness counts a lot. That’s why the texts always use the term “kashta-purvak” in sadhana. No kashta, no Samskara—that’s the logic. We remember that which we strive on and forget things that happen without our awareness. So sadhana with awareness is treated superior to the conditioned reflexive sadhana without awareness.
Hope this answers.


Ramana Maharishi said that a Jnani sitting in silence does more good to the world than anyone else. I am alone chanting Naam. Does my chanting change, serve or help the world? I am not a jivan Mukta, just an ordinary person. The world is supposed to be a manifestation of God and there is no separation between all beings at a deeper level. Please elucidate.
How can I best serve God (universe)? This question has been in my mind for some time. What has Thakur said about this?

What Raman Maharshi has said is true and profound.

The “being” of individuals and so also of the world is internal and external. The charity, philanthropy, service understood in conventional, social sense is an external thing.
Virtue, goodness, meditativeness, is internal thing.

Being good and doing good are both charitable. Though being good does not seem so because it is not manifest.

Raman Maharshi’s presence itself transformed people, no external service was needed.

Being itself assists the welfare of mankind insofar as it modifies the internal self of other beings for betterment.
Both are needed, but the internal one is more important.

Your chanting is certainly doing good to the universe as it does to you.

In Sanskrit the word “par” which is often used as a prefix, has two meanings. 1. Other 2. Higher/ Supreme/ Transcendent (God)
Thakur said Par is Parameshwar, the Supreme... in other words the “other” is God.

Thakur spoke in terms of Paropakaar (Welfare), ‘par’ means ‘other’ and ‘upakaar’ means help/do favour/ seek welfare. Now, Thakur first of all explained all “otherness” in terms of God. Everything other than self is God, he said. So service unto other is service unto God. Since we are all fractions of God, there remains no otherness. There is God in us, and all otherness is God too. Hence the world is our own extension. Doing good to anyone is doing good to oneself. The same when it comes to spiritual evolution—evolution of the individual is evolution of the universe.

So whatever you do internally i.e. through meditation/ Naam/ Japa etc, or externally through service to other mortals, reaches the world.