Chanting in a group is very powerful for many reasons:
1. You receive the benefit of the square of the number of people chanting.
For example, if there were 10 people the chants would be times 100, so one mala would be 10,800 instead of 108. This is also very helpful because different people are open in different ways so the group chanting can help you to experience those effects as well.
2. Satsang (spiritual community) is a necessity on the spiritual path and for spiritual growth.
When you come together in a community, you receive the support of the mass consciousness. The consciousness of a group of people who meditate is going to be very different from a group at a bar. This helps to uplift us. We need this support as we are working against real negative forces in our spiritual practices and as we also live in a world of duality.
3. You have an opportunity to learn more mantras and/or practice pronunciation of mantras you are already working on.
4. The group set practice times can be very supportive to your own practice and help give you momentum to move forward.
5. When we chant out loud in the group we purify on the heaviest level as chanting out loud purifies tamas.
Tamas is dark or heavy energy that keeps us stuck, as opposed to rajastic (more worldly energy) or sattva (spiritual energy).
Photo courtesy of Gauri Desrochers.