It is said that you can achieve total liberation in 2-1/2 years with this simple chant. However the path isn't an easy one.
If you want to attain liberation
in this lifetime, wear white for 2-1/2 years, and chant "SA-TA-NA-MA"
2-1/2 hours every day for this time. If you miss a day, you have to start over.
For those of you who can't wait to get started:
SA TA NA MA Meditation
Sit cross-legged, focus your eyes at your third eye point, start with hands in Gyan Mudra (stereotype meditation position; palms up, index fingers folded under thumbtips, other fingers extended, resting on the knees). As you proceed, move thumbs to each finger in succession:
Sa - thumb and index meet
Ta - thumb and middle fingers
Na - thumb and ring fingers
Ma - thumb and pinky
then thumb and index meet as you get to "Sa" again
Giving equal time duration to each syllable, chant,
"SA" on the pitch E, "TA" on the pitch D, "NA" on C, and "MA" on D again. In other words, you descend in pitch for the first three syllables, and then rise again for the last syllable.
For those of you who aren't ready for total liberation, you'll find that in smaller doses this meditation can still be a life changer.
The easy beginners version is simply to chant it for 3 minutes out loud.
31 Minute Version
If you want a deeper experience, try 31 minutes. If you chant it for 31 minutes, you start by chanting it out loud for 5 minutes, then whisper it for 5 minutes, then say it to yourself silently for 11 minutes, and whisper it again for 5 minutes, then finally chant it out loud for the last 5 minutes.
This chant/meditation is a karmic spiritual purifier. Like any form of meditation, you may find all your "garbage" getting lifted to the surface, and this may be difficult to confront. You may find yourself feeling "heavy" or "down" afterwards when you see your junk coming up. If you are serious about your practice and chant it for 31 minutes or more, you will probably want to chant "Guru Guru Wa Hay Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru" afterwards. This surrenders your garbage to Guru Ram Das, the 10th Sikh Guru, the guru of compassion, healing, and miracles. Typically you would chant that for 5 minutes, 31 minutes, or... another 2-1/2 hours. There are different melodies for that chant, and any of them would be chanted continuously, out loud. (As opposed to whispered and silently).