Getting a mantra from Amma is most desirable. She gives mantras only on the last night of a program – the night we call Devi Bhava (mood or energy of the Divine Mother). The picture below shows a person using beads (mala) to aid in getting concentration while saying a mantra. Use of a mala is not required and one can say a mantra at any time. It is sometimes useful to develop mantra habits such as always saying the mantra while showering or to resolve to say the mantra while driving to work from street A to street D. A mala can be used while sitting in a still position just as one would do to meditate.
When Amma gives a mantra it is very different and much more powerful than getting a mantra out of a book. She imparts a special spiritual force that is specifically for you. A spiritual bond will be established between you and her. At that time she also removes some of our karma to facilitate our spiritual progress. To follow is an explanation of the Mantra by Amma.
“A doctor: Is initiation (giving of the mantra) necessary? Can’t perfection be attained without that?
“Mother: Partial perfection can be attained. In Kashmir, apples will grow abundantly. They can grow in our village also, but will not bear that much fruit. There will not be much flavor either. They should be grown very carefully. Guru’s presence is the favorable circumstance. If there is no Guru, one should be very careful. There are possibilities of falling. God’s Presence cannot be felt without purity of heart.
“The purpose of initiation is mental purity. Milk will spoil in a dirty vessel. First the vessel should be cleaned. Only then can milk be poured into it. Besides that, initiation will also help awaken the inner divine power. The mantra which is of the nature of power enters the heart of the disciple from within the Guru, a knower of Brahman. Just as water is used for external cleanliness, internal purity is gained through initiation. When a spark of fire is blown upon and ignites, it becomes a great power.
“There is a natural way of making yogurt by adding a little buttermilk to warm milk. If this is kept still for a day, it will turn into yogurt. In a similar manner, initiation transmits a portion of the Guru’s power to the disciple. It will enable the disciple to develop the power fully if he works on it sincerely and applies self-effort. Great power can also be created if mantras are chanted repeatedly.” Amma, Awaken Children vol 1