A: For your first experiment with mantras, I recommend you work with only one mantra for a full forty-day discipline. After that, work with any combination that makes sense to you. Remember, mantras work with energy - both yours and what you bring in from the universe - so if you work on more than one thing, try to keep them at least in the same general area.
Q: I notice that in your books you say that after the age of 28, the endings of many mantras should be changed to Swaha from Namaha. I'm working with Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha and I am 35 years old. Do I need to change the ending?
A: Some Mantras do not, as a rule, change their endings. Here are mantras that do not change endings except for certain special circumstances:
Om Gum Ganapatayei NamahaQ: I sometimes say mantras silently when I am around other people. Is this OK?
Om Dum Durgayei Namaha
Om Eim Hrim Klim Chamundayei Viche Namaha
Om Sri Dhanvantre Namaha
A: Ultimately, saying mantras silently is the most powerful way to say them. The silent repetition stimulates the corresponding petals of the chakras so that energy is brought into the subtle body.
Q: I have heard the one must receive a mantra from a guru for it to work. Is this true?
A: Those who have unwrapped the power of a mantra through many repetitions achieve something called "Mantra Siddhi." This means that they have attained some measure of power and proficiency with the mantra. At this point, they may give a mantra to others "with power," meaning that the recipient will achieve results faster than doing it without having received it "with power." However, Sanskrit mantras are your spiritual birthright since they are directly linked to the chakras. They will work even if you read them from a book and begin practice.
The minimum number of repetitions to achieve Mantra Siddhi is generally recognized as 125,000.
Q: I want to do a mantra on behalf of another person. Is this OK?
A: Praying for another person is a good thing to do for anybody at any time. However, Sanskrit Mantra is not exactly prayer because in is proactive and specific, whereas prayer leaves the mechanism of an answer up to Divine authority. Therefore, I recommend that where possible you ask permission from a person to undertake mantra work on their behalf. If this is not possible, then start with a prayer that this energy be used for their highest good and begin. I also recommend that you begin with the declaration that while you are performing this mantra on someone's behalf (state their name) that you are by no means taking their karma.
Parents have an automatic right as well as responsibility to perform mantra work on behalf of their children.