A mantra is to be chanted in the way it is to be chanted. Then only the expected result will come. That is why the Gurus give importance to the utterance of the words in the mantra and they are not much bothered whether the student understood the meaning or not.
These days we are having many ways and means to understand Sanskrit. Some spiritual leaders are trying to explain the meanings of various mantras and making the public aware of the importance of these mantras. Persons who are having interest can understand by hearing or viewing the videos that are coming from various channels. There are very good books in which we will get the meaning of these mantras. But it requires a lot of patience and time to read and understand them.
K Mohan @ Moga
'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
Even this challenging situation would ease
In all rituals, the mantras were written in the language that was in vogue in that period only and not with any intention. Now everybody has a common language, that is English, so we all communicate with each other in English though our own language is different. So, accordingly, they did all mantras in Sanskrit or Urdu etc. Learned persons are guiding others who are intending to follow.
I blindly followed mantras in my life till my wife's death as the author has said. But when I did rituals for my wife after her death, I could not utter even a single mantra without tears as I understood the meaning of the mantras since I had learned Sanskrit. The mantras have such effective meaning and one common man cannot control himself or herself if he/she knows the meaning of the mantra or its inner meaning.
There is a write-up by Adi Sankara on mother's importance. Originally it was written in Sanskrit. With the help of a learned person, I got the translated version. While reading it, one cannot control his or her tears as each and every difficulty faced by a mother is depicted. We can read it simply but if we understand the meaning, we cannot move to the next stanza with ease.