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Some years ago I was requested by our noble brother Sir S. Subramania Iyer of Madras to investigate a mantra which he had been using for many years, which had been given to him by Swami T. Subba Rao, a great South Indian occultist. I looked into the matter with considerable care, and also made use of it afterwards, for it was very remarkable.
This mantra is found, I am told, in the Gopalatapani and Krishna Upanishads, and is composed of five parts, as follows: (1) Klim, Krishnaya, (2) Govindaya, (3) Gopijana, (4) Vallabhaya, (5) Swaha. As one meditates upon this with intent each syllable makes a line in such a position that a five-pointed star results, as in Fig. 17.
And as the mantra is repeated these stars pile up behind one another to form a tube having this five-pointed form of cross-section, which makes a channel for spiritual force coming from Shri Krishna, who is the same Being as the Lord Maitreya, the present Bodhisattva or World-Teacher, the Great One who entered into the body of Jesus as the Christ. With this force coming through it the mantra can be used for many purposes, such as healing, or the removal of fire and other elementals, as well as for general good.
I found, however, that there were three stages in the process. With the recital of “Klim”, which it is said is called “the seed of attraction” by the Hindu occultists, the attention of the Source of the force is attracted and what may be called a kind of downward door or valve is opened; then, throughout the body of the mantra the force pours into the form; and finally, with the sound “Swaha”, that force is sent out to do its work.

C.W. Leadbeater, “The Hidden Life in Freemasonry”.

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What is Japa?

Repetition of any Mantra or Name of the Lord is known as Japa. Japa is an important Anga of Yoga.

It is a spiritual food for the hungry soul. Japa is the rod in the hand of the blind Sadhakas  (aspirants) to plod on the road to Realization. Japa is the philosopher’s stone or divine elixir that makes one God-like. In this iron age, practice of Japa alone can give eternal Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

Japa is repetition of the Mantra. Dhyana is meditation on the form of the Lord with His attributes.

There is meditation or Dhyana with Japa (Japa-Sahita-Dhyana); there is meditation or Dhyana without  Japa (Japa-Rahita-Dhyana). In the beginning you should combine Dhyana with Japa. As you advance the Japa drops by itself; meditation only remains. It is an advanced stage. You can then practice concentration separately. You can do whatever you like best in this respect.

Name (Nama) and the object (Rupa) signified by the Name are inseparable. Thought and word are inseparable. Whenever you think of the name of your son, his figure stands before your mental eye, and vice versa. Even so when you do Japa of Rama, Krishna or Christ, the picture of Rama, Krishna or Christ will come before your mind. Therefore Japa and Dhyana go together. They are inseparable.

Do the Japa with feeling. Know the meaning of the Mantra. Feel God’s presence in everything and everywhere. Draw closer and nearer to Him when you repeat the Japa. Think He is shining in the chambers of your heart. He is witnessing your repetition of the Mantra as He is the witness of your mind.

Mantra

‘Mananat-trayate iti Mantrah’ – By the Manana (constant thinking or recollection) of which one is protected or is released from the round of births and deaths, is Mantra. That is called Mantra by the meditation (Manana) on which the Jiva or the individual soul attains freedom from sin, enjoyment in heaven and final liberation, and by the aid of which it attains in full the fourfold fruit (Chaturvarga), i.e., Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. A Mantra is so called because it is achieved by the mental process. The root ‘Man’ in the word Mantra comes from the first syllable of that word, meaning ‘to think’, and ‘Tra’ from ‘Trai’ meaning ‘to protect’ or ‘free’ from the bondage of Samsara or the phenomenal world. By the combination of ‘Man’ and ‘Tra’ comes Mantra.

A Mantra is divinity encased within a sound-structure. It is divine power or Daivi Sakti manifesting in a sound-body. The Mantra is itself Devata.

The sacred Mantra or the Divine Name is a vital symbol of the Supreme Divinity directly revealed in the innermost depths of divine communion to the sages of Self-realization in the hoary Vedic and Upanishadic times. These symbols are in the nature of unfailing keys to gain access into the transcendental realms of absolute experience.

Mantra Yoga is an exact science. A Mantra, in the Hindu religion, has the following six parts. It has got a Rishi (a man of Self-realization) to whom it was revealed for the first time and who gave this Mantra to the world. He is the Drashta or Seer for this Mantra. Sage Viswamitra is the Rishi for Gayatri. Secondly, the Mantra has a metre (Chhandas), which governs the inflection of the voice. Thirdly, the Mantra has a particular Devata or supernatural being, higher or lower, as its informing power. This Devata is the presiding deity of the Mantra. Fourthly, the Mantra has got a Bija or seed. The seed is a significant word, or series of words, which gives a special power to the Mantra. The Bija is the essence of the Mantra. Fifthly, every Mantra has got a Sakti. The Sakti is the energy of the form of the Mantra, i.e., of the vibration-forms set up by its sound. These carry the man to the Devata that is worshipped. Lastly, the Mantra has a Kilaka – pillar or pin.

This plugs the Mantra-Chaitanya that is hidden in the Mantra. As soon as the plug is removed by constant and prolonged repetition of the Name, the Chaitanya that is hidden is revealed. The devotee gets Darshana of the Ishta Devata.

Sound and Image

Sounds are vibrations. They give rise to definite forms. Each sound produces a form in the indivisible world, and combinations of sound create complicated shapes. Repetition of a Mantra has a mysterious power of bringing about the manifestation of the Divinity, just as the splitting of an atom manifests the tremendous forces latent in it. When a particular Mantra appropriated to a particular god is properly recited, the vibrations so set up create in the higher planes a special form which that god ensouls for the time being. The repetition of the Panchakshara Mantra – Om Namo Sivaya – produces the form of Lord Siva. The repetition of Om Namo Narayanaya, the Ashtakshara Mantra of Vishnu, produces the form of Vishnu.

Glory of Divine Name

The Name of God, chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully, is sure to give the desired result. Just as burning quality is natural to and inherent in fire, so also, the power of destroying sins with their very root and branch, and bringing the aspirant into blissful union with the Lord through Bhava-Samadhi, is natural to and inherent in the Name of God.

The glory of the Name of God cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can be experienced or realized only through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Name.

There is a Sakti or power in every word. If you utter the word ‘excreta’ or ‘urine’ when your friend is taking his meals, he may at once vomit his food. If you think of ‘Garam Pakoda’, ‘hot Pakoda’ (fried delicacies), your tongue will get salivation. When anyone suddenly shouts ‘Scorpion!

Scorpion!’, ‘Snake! Snake!’, you at once apprehend the scorpion or the snake and jump in fright.

When anyone calls you a ‘donkey’ or an ‘ass’, you are annoyed and you show anger. If anyone says, “You are a nice person,” you smile. When such is the power of the names of the ordinary things of this world, what tremendous power should there be in the Name of God! God is the completion or the fullness of existence. Hence, the Name which denotes Him, too, is full and perfect. Therefore, the power of the Name of God is incalculable, for it is the height or the zenith of power. The Name of God can achieve anything. There is nothing impossible for it. It is the means to the realization of God Himself. Even as the name of a thing in this world generates the consciousness of that thing in the mind, the Name of God generates God-consciousness in the purified mind and becomes the direct cause of the realization of the Highest Perfection or God.

Varieties of Japa

Repeat the Mantra verbally for sometime, in a whisper for sometime, and mentally for sometime. The minds wants variety. It gets disgusted with any monotonous practice. The mental repetition is very powerful. It is termed Manasika Japa. The verbal or loud repetition is called Vaikhari Japa. The loud Japa shuts out all worldly sounds. There is no break of Japa here. Repetition in a whisper or humming is termed Upamshu Japa. Even mechanical repetition of Japa without any Bhava has a great purifying effect on the heart or the mind. The feeling will come later on when the process of mental purification goes on.

Write down daily in a notebook your Ishta Mantra or Guru Mantra for half an hour. When you write the Mantra, observe Mouna. Write the Mantra clearly in ink. On Sundays and holidays, write this for one hour. This is Likhita Japa You can develop a wonderful power of concentration.

The benefits of Mantra-writing or Likhita Japa cannot be adequately described. Besides bringing about purity of heart and concentration of mind, mantra-writing gives you control of Asana, control of Indriyas, particularly the sight and the tongue, and fills you with the power of endurance. You attain peace of mind quickly. By prolonged and constant practice the inherent power of the Mantra (Mantra-Sakti) will be awakened, which will fill your very existence with the Divinity of the Mantra.

In Mantra writing, there is no restriction about any particular script. It may be written in any language.

Practical Aids to Japa

Select any Mantra or Name of God, preferably that given to you by your Guru, and repeat it from 108 to 1,080 times daily (one to ten malas).

Always keep your Guru-Mantra a secret. Never disclose it to anyone.

It is better to stick to one Mantra only. See Lord Krishna in Rama, Shiva, Durga, Gayatri and in everyone.

Get up at 4a.m. and do Japa for two hours. The early morning period (Brahmamuhurta) and dusk is the most favourable time for Japa and meditation. This is when Sattva (purity or steadiness) is predominant.

Take a bath or wash your hands, feet, face and mouth before sitting for Japa in the morning. At other times this is not absolutely necessary. Do Japa whenever you have leisure, at the three junctions of the day – morning, noon and evening – and before going to bed.

Face east or north during the practice. This enhances the efficacy of the Japa. Sit on a deer skin or rug. Spread a piece of cloth over it. This conserves body-electricity. Sit in a separate meditation room or in any suitable place, such as a temple, on a river bank or under a banyan or peepul tree.

Maintain a steady pose. Attain mastery of the posture. You must be able to sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana for three hours at a strech.

Reslove to complete a certain minimum number of malas before leaving your seat.

Recite some prayers before starting the Japa.

A rosary is a whip to goad the mind towards God. Use a rudraksha or tulsi mala of 108 beads.

Do not allow the mala to hang below the navel. Keep the hand near the heart or the nose.

The mala must not be visible to you or to others. Cover it with a towel or handkerchief, which must be clean and washed daily.

Use the middle finger and the thumb of the right to roll the beads. The use of the index finger is prohibited.

Do not cross the meru while rolling the beads. Turn back when you come to it.

Sometimes do the Japa without a mala. Use a watch.

Do mental Japa for a time. When the mind wanders, do the Japa aloud, or whisper the Mantra for some time and come back to mental Japa again as soon as possible.

When you repeat the Mantra, have the feeling or mental attitude that the Lord is seated in your heart, that purity or Sattva is flowing from the Lord into your mind, that the Mantra is purifying your heart, destroying desires, cravings and evil thoughts.

Do not do the Japa in a hurried manner, like a contractor who tries to finish his work in a short time. Do it slowly with feeling, one-pointedness of mind and single-minded devotion.

Pronounce the Mantra distinctly and without any mistakes. Repeat it neither too slowly nor too fast. Increase the speed only when the mind wanders.

Be vigilant and alert during Japa. Stand up when sleep tries to overpower you.

Try to associate the Japa with the rhythm of the breath and meditate in the form of your Deity. Keep a picture or idol of the Deity in front of you. Think of the meaning of the Mantra while repeating it.

Regularity in Japa Sadhana is most essential if success is to be achieved. Sit in the same place and at the same time every day.

Do not beg for any worldly objects from God while doing Japa. Feel that your heart is being purified and that the mind is becoming steady by the power of the Mantra and the Grace of the Lord.

Observe silence and avoid distractions, calls and engagements.

It is important not to leave the place at once after the Japa is over and mix with everyone or plunge into worldly activity. Sit very quietly for at least ten minutes, humming some prayer, remembering the Lord and reflecting upon His infinite love. Then, after devout prostration, leave the place and commence your routine duties and activities. In this way the spiritual vibrations will remain intact.

Continue the current of Japa mentally at all times, whatever be the activity in which you are engaged. Carry on your Sadhana with tenacity and perseverance, without a break. Realize the glorious goal of life and enjoy supreme bliss.

Mantras for Japa

    Lord Krishna:
    Maha-Mantra :
    Hare Rama Hare Rama
    Rama Rama Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna Hare HareOm Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
    Om Sri Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Namah
    Om Sri Krishnaya Namah
    Sri Devi:
    Om Sri Durgayai Namah
    Lord Ganapati:
    Om Sri Ganapataye Namah
    Sri Hanuman:
    Om Sri Hanumate Namah
    Lord Hari:
    Om Namo Narayanaya (Ashtakshara)
    Hari Om
    Hari Om Tat Sat
    Jugal (Combined) Mantra:
    Sita Ram
    Radhe Shyam
    Radhe Krishna
    Sri Kalika:
    Om Sri Kalikayai Namah
    Sri Lakshmi:
    Om Sri Maha-Lakshmyai Namah
    Lord Shiva:
    Maha-Mrityunjaya Mantra:
    Om tryambakam yajamahe
    sugandhim pushtivardhanam
    uurvarukamiva bandhanaan
    mrityor mukshiya maamritaat.
    Om Namah Shivaya (Panchakshara)
    Lord Rama:
    Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram
    Om Sri Ramaya Namah
    Sri Rama Rama Rameti,
    Rame Rame Manorame
    Sahasranama Tattulyam Rama Nama Varanane
    Om Sri Sita-Ramachandradhyam Namah
    Sri Ram
    Sri Saraswathi:
    Om Sri Sarasvatyai Namah
    Lord Subramanya, Kartikeya:
    Om Sri Saravanabhavaya Namah
    Sharangati Mantra (for surrender):
    Om Sri Ramah Sharanam Mama
    Om Sri Krishnah Sharanam Mama
    Om Sri Sita-Ramah Sharanam Mama
    Sharada:
    Om Sri Bala-Parameshvaryai Namah
    Tripurasundari:
    Om Sri Tripura-Sundaryai Namah
    Vedantic Formulae:
    Om Soham
    Om Tat Tvam Asi
    Om Aham Brahma Asmi

.

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

See Japa Yoga I  and  Mantra Yoga Sadhana

Japa, The Easy Sadhana

Name and Nami are inseparable. Remember His Name. Chant His Name. Sing His Name. Glory to His Name. Victory to His Name, which blesses us for ever and confers immortality, supreme peace and eternal bliss.

Constant repetition of the Names of the Lord (Japa, Smarana) is an easy means for crossing the ocean of mortal Samsara or earthly existence. This is more suitable for the householders.

Meditation is different from Japa. Japa is the repetition of any Mantra. When the mind is made to dwell on the form of your Ishta Devata as well as on the Divine attributes, such as Omnipotence, Omniscience, etc., it is called meditation.

You should cultivate Bhakti or devotion if you want to attain success in Mantra Yoga. Bhakti Yoga and Mantra Yoga are interblended. They are inseparable.

That man who does not repeat the Lord’s Name lives in vain. It is better to die than to live without His Name.

He who does Japa of any Mantra must lead a virtuous life. Then he will realise the maximum benefits of the Mantra.

Japa and Dhyana are more important than Asana and Pranayama.

You should not doubt the teachings of the scriptures. Flickering faith will lead to downfall. A man of weak will, who has no faith in Japa, cannot expect to have progress in the spiritual path. If he says: “I am practising ‘Who am I? enquiry,” this is all wild imagination. Few are fit for the ‘Who am I?’ enquiry.

Repeat any Mantra of a Devata you like best and feel its influence on the mind and the body and its revelations. This is better than mere study of books. Books, doubtless, will help you and throw much light. But what is wanted is real Sadhana or practice. Observance of Brahmacharya, truthfulness, Ahimsa, right conduct, recourse to Sattvic diet are necessary during the practice.

There is rhythm in the repetition of a Mantra. Rhythm is metre. Rhythm is flowing motion. Rhythm is harmony of pronunciation and proportion. Rhythm is recurrence of accents. This rhythm causes harmony in the practitioner. The hypnotic rhythm of Mantra repetition causes stillness in the mind.

If you feel very weak, you can stop the practice of Asanas for some time. But Japa should be continued at all times. It is a mental and physical tonic, besides a purifier and giver of Moksha. Karmas have to be purged out. An eager aspirant gets all sorts of diseases, because he is hurrying up for union with the Lord. Many evil Karmas have to be exhausted or worked out. Aspirants should be absolutely fearless. Disease is a messenger from God. Disease is a guest of this house, body. Diseases are tests to try the sincerity of the aspirant. Seekers after Truth should have unshakable, unflinching, unswerving faith at all times, in all conditions of life. They should not be discouraged. Regular study of the Ramayana, Japa with Dhyana, morning and evening walks, should be regularly practised.

Kamal got a severe scolding from his father Kabir for prescribing Ram Nam for a merchant, to be repeated twice for curing leprosy. Kamal asked the merchant to repeat Ram Nam twice and yet he was not cured of this disease. Kamal reported to his father about the incident. Kabir was very much annoyed and told Kamal: “You have brought disgrace on my family by asking the merchant to repeat Ram Nam twice. Repetition of Ram Nam once is quite sufficient. Now ask the merchant to stand in the Ganga and repeat Ram Nam once from the bottom of the heart.” Kamal followed the instructions of his father.

The merchant repeated Ram Nam once only with Bhava from the bottom of his heart. He was completely cured of leprosy. Kabir sent Kamal to Tulasidas. Tulasidas wrote Ram Nam on a Tulasi leaf and sprinkled the juice over 500 lepers. All were cured. Kamal was quite astonished. Then Kabir sent Kamal to bring the corpse that was floating in the river. Sur Das repeated Ram Nam only once in one ear of the corpse, and it came back to life. Kamal’s heart was filled with awe and wonder. Such is the power of God’s Name. My dear friends, my educated college youths, my dear barristers, professors, doctors and judges! Repeat the name of the Lord with Bhava and Prema from the bottom of your heart and realise supreme bliss and immortality this very second.

Mantras For Japa

In this iron age or the Kali Yuga, Name of the Lord is the support for a man to cross this ocean of Samsara. There is an indescribable power (Achintya Sakti) in the Name. This Sakti takes man to the Lord.

Of the various kinds of penances, in the form of action or austerity, the constant remembrance of Krishna is the best. (Vishnu Purana II-Chap. VI verses 134-135).

Those who meditate on the form of Lord Krishna may repeat mentally the Mantra: Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Vasudeva is another name for Lord Krishna. It means: “All-pervading intelligence.”

Bow down to Lord Narayana and utter the words ‘Jaya Narayana.’ Do mentally Japa of “Om Namo Narayanaya.” Do eight lakhs of this sacred Mantra. This will form one Purascharana. Then do Haven. Feed the Brahmins and the poor people. You will have wonderful spiritual experiences.

Japa of OM and Mahavakyas such as ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ will strengthen Vedantic Samskaras, purify the Chitta and eventually lead to the attainment of knowledge of Self.

Every Mantra should be preceded by Pranava or OM. Omkara gives full life to the Mantra.

All Mantras have equal potency or Power. It is quite incorrect if you say one Mantra is superior to another. You can attain God-realisation by doing Japa of any Mantra. Valmiki attained God-consciousness by repeating even Mara-Mara. Some people think that OM or Soham is superior to Om Namassivaya or Om Namo Narayanaya. This is also wrong. The state gained by doing Japa of OM or Soham can be attained by doing Japa of Sri Rama or Radheyshyam also.

Rama or OM is a veritable sword for destroying the Rakshas-mind. It is a true boat to cross this vast ocean of Samsara. It is a strong weapon for conquering this world. It is a fire (Jnana-Agni or the fire of wisdom) to burn ignorance, this body, the Samskaras and the Vasanas. It is the incantation or Mantra for awakening the Soul. It is a magic band to soothe the shattering nerves. It is the “open sesame” to open the infinite realms of eternal Bliss and supreme peace. Hold this mysterious sword, break all links with the world and destroy the bonds of Karma and mind, annihilate ignorance, crush the tendencies and enter boldly the vast domain of illimitable joy and eternal sunshine.

Ajapa Japa

Do Ajapa Japa. The Prana will be absorbed in the Nada (Anahata sounds of the heart). All the Vrittis will perish.

If you are a very busy man and if you lead a travelling life always you need not have a special place and a special time for meditation. Do Soham Japa and Soham Dhyana along with the breath. This is very easy. Or associate Rama Mantra also with the breath. Then every movement of breath will become a prayer and meditation. Remember ‘Soham.’ Feel His Presence everywhere. This will suffice.

Likhita Japa

Likhita Japa or Mantra-writing is a sharp goad to direct the mind towards God. Fix the mind on the Lord. Think of His attributes when you write the Mantra. Forget the environments. Forget everything. Remain alone with your Ishta Devata. Daily write the Mantra in a notebook with ink for at least half an hour, observe Mouna. You can write the Mantra in any language. Stick to one Mantra, your Guru Mantra or Mantra of your Ishta Devata.

On Sundays all the members of your family can sit together in the evening and write for one hour in a notebook any Mantra Hari Om or Sita Ram or Sri Ram Jaya Ram or Om Namah Sivaya or Om Namo Narayanaya, observing Mouna for one hour. You will feel wonderful peace and strength. Practise this even for a day. This is for the benefit of your family members. You can sit in a common place or a temple with some of your friends and can have this solid, dynamic spiritual practice. Keep up the internal Bhava when you write the Mantra. Do not look hither and thither. You will have more concentration in this practice than in Japa. I have introduced this practice in Bihar, United Provinces and Punjab and various other places. Thousands have derived immense benefits. Even educated persons who were once atheists have taken to this practice. If you can do this practice daily, you will realise marvellous benefits indeed.

Benefits of Japa

Japa is a marvellous divine soap for the mind. Japa gives a nice refreshing, exhilarating spiritual bath. It wonderfully washes the subtle body or Linga Sarira or astral body. It cleanses it of its various kinds of impurities. Japa purifies the heart. Japa steadies the mind. It destroys the Shad Ripus. It destroys births and death. Japa burns the sins. Japa scorches the Samskaras. Japa annihilates attachment and induces Vairagya. Japa roots out all desires and makes one fearless. Japa removes delusion and gives supreme peace. Japa develops Prema and unites the devotee with the Lord. Japa gives health, wealth, strength and long life. Japa brings God-consciousness. Japa awakens Kundalini and bestows eternal bliss.

Santosha (contentment), Santi (peace of mind), balance of mind, inner spiritual strength, fearlessness, absence of irritability of mind are some of the signs of spiritual progress. These are the fruits of practice of Japa of any Mantra.

When Allopathy, Homeopathy, Chromopathy, Naturopathy, Ayurveda and other ‘pathies’ fail to cure a disease, the Divine Namapathy alone can save you. Name of the Lord is a sovereign specific, a sheet anchor, an infallible panacea and a cure-all for all diseases. It is an ideal or supreme ‘pick-me-up’ in gloom and despair, in depression and sorrow, in the daily battle or the struggle for existence.

Name of the Lord is the seed of the tree of spirituality. It is the destroyer of the impurities of the mind. It bestows supreme peace, eternal Bliss and infinite Knowledge. It infuses divine love in the hearts of the reciters. It is the fountain-head of all happiness. May that Name, the giver of Immortality, remove all your fears and bring solace and supreme joy to all!

Name of Sri Rama is sweeter than the sweetest of objects. It is a haven of peace. It is the very life of pure souls. It is the purifier of all purifying agencies. It quenches the consuming fire of worldly desires. It awakens the knowledge of God which is dormant in our hearts. It bathes the aspirant in the ocean of divine bliss. Glory to Sri Rama and His Name!

The most heinous sins of men disappear immediately if they remember the Lord even for a moment. (Vishnu Purana VI, 8-10).

There is a mysterious power in the Name. There is an inscrutable Sakti in God’s Name. All the divine potencies are hidden in Lord’s Name. It is a cream or quintessence of Chyavanaprash, Makaradhvaja, almonds, Vasantakusumakara or Svarna Bhasma or gold oxide. It is a mysterious ineffable divine injection ‘1910194’.

There is no true happiness for him or her here and hereafter who has forgotten the Lord. There is no real peace for him who leads a selfish life and who separates himself from others on account of pride and egoism. Constant remembrance of the Lord will eradicate all miseries and sorrows and will confer immortality, bliss and peace on the devotee. Self-sacrifice will destroy selfishness and egoism. Self-sacrifice is the only shortest route to divine union.

The divine Name will eradicate the disease of birth and death and bestow on you Moksha, liberation or Immortality.

Name of the Lord is a potent unfailing antidote for those who are bitten by the serpent of Samsara. It is a nectar (Amrita) that can confer Immortality and perennial peace. Yama is terribly afraid of those who repeat the Name of the Lord. He cannot approach them. Markandeya, son of Mrikandu, attained eternal life through repeating the Name of Lord Siva. He realised the Supreme and fearless state.

A Bhakta repeats the Mantra of the Lord during Puja, worship, and touches his heart, his head, tuft of hair, arms and hands. There is Chaitanya in every letter of the Mantra. Through repetition of the Mantra and touching the parts of the body with repetition of the parts of the Mantra, the aspirant is gradually divinised. There is spiritual awakening. Spiritual currents are generated. Tamas and Rajas are destroyed. He is filled with pure Sattva. He becomes identical with the object of worship. He attains the same world of, or proximity with, or the same form of or absorption into, the Lord.

Constant Japa With Bhava Needed

Keep the spiritual ideal before you always and struggle hard to confront and overcome the difficulties one by one. Then only you will get spiritual strength (Atma Bala). Constant remembrance of the Lord and feeling His Presence will help you to realise the goal. When a mental habit of Nama Smarana and Japa is formed by practice for 3 or 4 months, the mind by itself will do the Smarana whenever it is released from office work. It will automatically move to the background of thought. This is your spiritual asset.

If you remember God at the time of death, you can certainly realise Him. Lord Krishna gives His word of assurance: “He who, casting off the body, goeth forth thinking upon Me only at the time of death, he entereth into My being; here is no doubt of that.” (Gita Chap. VIII-5). But you can remember God at the time of death only if you have practised such remembrance throughout your life.

Form a strong habit of repeating the Name of the Lord. Then only it will be easy for you to remember Him at the moment of death also.

If you do Japa of a Mantra 13 crores of times, you will have Darshan of your Ishta in physical form. If you are sincere and earnest, you can do this within 4 years.

In 14 hours, you can do 2000 Malas of Hari Om Japa. In 7 hours you can do Japa of one lakh of Sri Rama Mantra. In half an hour you can do 10,000 Sri Rama Japa.

Chitrakuta is a wonderful place for meditation. There is the river Mandakini with clear, sparkling water. Bhaktas of Sri Rama can have Darshan of Lord Rama in six months if they do Japa of Rama Nama in Chitrakuta in right earnest intently, living on a diet of milk and fruits. So says Sri Tulasidasji in his Chopai.

For some who practise Japa or recitation of Mantra daily the repetition becomes mechanical. They do not feel any bliss during the repetition. They will have to generate the Bhava and think of the meaning of the Mantra and attributes of the Lord. They should try to feel the Chaitanya and Sakti of the Mantra and His Presence in the heart and every atom of the body. Then they will feel a peculiar holy thrill in the heart, bliss and supreme peace which is beyond description.

It is not the number of Japa that should be taken into consideration. There must be purity, concentration and Bhava (feeling) while doing Japa. This is more important.

Do not bother about Matra, Para and Pasyanti. Do Japa of OM mentally regularly with meaning and Bhava. You will realise the spiritual benefits. Why do you waste your time in counting the pebbles on the bank? Take a dip immediately in the Ganga and enjoy the bath. Become wise.

Swami Sivananda

See Japa Yoga II  and   Mantra Yoga Sadhana

 

See Gayatri Mantra

 

See Lord Shiva Mantras

 

See: JAPA

 

See: Mantra Yoga Sadhana II

 

See: Mantra Yoga Sadhana

 

See: Vajra Guru Mantra