Question: Can mantra meditation take you all the way to the Goal?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly a mantra can take you to the Goal. A mantra has power. The mantric power can easily take one to the Highest, as prayer and meditation do. Chanting a mantra is also a form of approaching God. It has its own efficacy and its own approach towards the Highest. There are many people who have realised God only by repeating a mantra. Many, many Indians have realised God by repeating the mother of all mantras, the Gayatri Mantra:

Aum bhur bhuvahsvah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah pracodayat.

Other mantras are also quite helpful, but if you can chant this one every day most soulfully, it will definitely take you to the Highest. It is for the highest illumination that seekers chant this mantra.

If a spiritual Master gives you a specific mantra, he will offer his own spiritual power inside that mantra. If you repeat the mantra soulfully, you are bound to get fulfilling experiences, and eventually you will be able to realise God. But if you practise a mantra, it should come directly from a spiritual Master who is a God-realised soul. He has to give it to you personally. There cannot be a third person involved. If someone in India tells one of his unrealised disciples, "Since you are representing me in America, you can give mantras," then the mantra you get from that person will never, never illumine you. An ordinary person who has merely studied the scriptures will not be able to offer you illumination through a mantra. If a spiritual Master, a realised soul, gives you a mantra, then only will the mantra offer you measureless power.