(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Helsinki, 2011)
It came to light that someone had listened to Prabhupada’s japa tape and raised the question to a sannyasi. He said:
“It seems that sometimes Prabhupada is not chanting the full maha mantra”.
The answer was:
“He may not chant the full maha mantra in spoken words but he is fully chanting it in his mind!”
That is a fact because:
‘bhava-grahi-janardana’ – the intention when the meditation is there. So we are not in the movement who are chanting mantras (in the maha mantra) in the same way as the vedic mantras are being chanted.
In the vedic yajña if one syllable is slightly pronounced wrong, then the whole meaning of the yajña changes! The whole result changes! It must be done precisely and it is known that traditionally in vedic yajñas that there were several priests. One of them was the main priest who was simply sitting at the side. Whilst the other priests were chanting the mantras, the main priest was sat at the side and he was not just chanting the mantras, but he was chanting the mantras to counteract all the mistakes that were made.
So if any mistakes were made by the other priests, than the main priest would quickly chant a mantra to counteract the mistake that was made. So therefore, it was very important to pronounce it exactly!