Is listening same as chanting mantras?

By Madhurie Singh, September 06, 2016

I have spent 13 yrs in South India. Bengaluru, Secundrabad and Hyderabad to be precise.
Each morning we would wake up with the very pleasant sound of mantras. Mostly Vishnu Sahasranamam chanting played on a record player at my neighbour’s home.
Initially it was irritation that slowly transformed to tuning my morning chores. When I started to feel immense peace whenever it was played, I do not know, but it changes my mindset from whatever state to a calm state. I am mostly taken back to my home at ITI colony, Krishnarajpuram, Bengaluru.
After so many years, I had the urge to listen to the Vishnu Sahasranamam again. Thanks to YouTube, found the chanting sung by MS Subbalaxmi.
While listening to it, I wondered, does listening to the mantras have the same effect as chanting?

Listening is a good start but can never be anywhere close to chanting the mantras and shlokas.

As I googled my query, I found a lot of answers, some saying it’s same, some saying it’s not. But one of the comments in this link was a good answer that my logic accepted.
So why is hearing not the same – not as effective – as praising, or chanting, or repetition? If you have two bells and you strike the first, it will vibrate and give out a loud sound. The second bell nearby will feel the vibrations from the first bell and start to vibrate in harmony a little but it will not give off any sound, and will stop vibrating well before the first bell that was struck. It is only by striking the second bell that a large vibration and sound can be had. Similarly, listening to the Gayatri mantra may startup some small vibrations inside a nearby person that are in harmony with it, but once it stops, the vibrations stop with no lasting effects.

Another explanation would to ask yourself if by repeating Roti, Roti, Roti, will you get the Roti in your hand and be able to eat it? If you want to eat the Roti, you have to go to the kitchen, cook it and eat or at least serve it on a plate and eat it yourself, even if it’s cooked by someone else! If your look a the Roti and chant it’s name, will your stomach be full? Similarly, if you want to get the benefit of the mantras, you have to recite it yourself.

Even though I am believe that chanting is better than listening to these mantras, I still will continue to play the shlokas and mantras, with the given routine and time, I like the peace it brings to me and to everyone around me.

Food for your thoughts:

Why schools do not play Gayatri mantra or Surya Sahasranamam or Vishnu Sahasranamam Why children in schools are not taught to recite powerful mantras daily? We have a mine of shlokas that have been proven by scientists to affect brain and body cells if chanted properly.

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