In this Iron Age, Japa Yoga is an easy way for attaining God-realisation.
Japa is the repetition of any Mantra or Name of the Lord with Bhava and feeling.
Japa removes the impurities of the mind, destroys sins and brings the devotee face to face with the Lord.
Every Name is filled with countless powers; just as fire has the natural property of burning things, so also the Name of God has the power of burning the sins and desires.
5. Sweeter than all sweet things, more auspicious than all good things, purer than all pure things, is the Name of the Lord.
Name of the Lord is a boat to cross this Samsara. It is a weapon to destroy the mind.
The repetition of the Mantra again and again generates great spiritual force and momentum and intensifies the spiritual Samskaras or impressions.
Mananaat Trayate iti Mantrah: By the Manana, constant thinking or recollection, one is released from the round of birth and death; so it is called Mantra.
Repetition of Mantra raises vibrations. Vibrations give rise to definite forms. Repetition of Om Namah Sivaya gives rise to the form of Lord Siva in the mind; repetition of Om Namo Narayanaya gives rise to the form of Lord Hari.
The glory of the Name of God cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can certainly be experienced or realised, only through devotion, faith and constant repetition.
Japa is of three kinds, viz., Manasic Japa, Upamsu Japa or humming, and Vaikhari Japa, loud and audible Japa.
Mental repetition of Japa, Manasic Japa, is more powerful than loud Japa.
Get up at 4 a.m. and do the Japa for two hours. Brahmamuhurtha is most favourable for Japa and meditation.
If you cannot take a bath, wash your hands, feet, face and body, and sit for Japa.
Face north or east when sitting. This enhances the efficacy of the Japa.
Sit on a Kusha-grass seat or deer-skin or rug. Spread a white cloth over it. This conserves body-electricity.
Do some prayer before starting the Japa.
Have a steady pose. Have Asana-Jaya or conquest over Asana. You must be able to sit in Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for three hours at a stretch.
When you repeat the Mantra, have the feeling or mental attitude that the Lord is seated in your heart, that Sattva or purity is flowing from the Lord to your mind, that the Mantra purifies your heart, destroys desires and cravings and evil thoughts.
Do not do the Japa in a hurried manner, just as a contractor tries to finish his work in a hurried way. Do it slowly with Bhava, one-pointedness of mind and single-minded devotion.
Pronounce the Mantra distinctly and without mistakes. Do not repeat it too fast or too slow.
Use not the index finger while rolling the beads. Use the thumb, the middle and the ring fingers. When counting of one Mala is over, revert it and come back again. Cross not the Meru. Cover your hand with a towel.
Be vigilant. Keep an alert attention during Japa. Stand up and do the Japa when sleep tries to overpower you.
Resolve to finish a certain minimum number of Malas before leaving the seat.
Mala or rosary is a whip to goad the mind towards God.
Sometimes do the Japa without a Mala. Go by the watch.
Practise meditation also along with Japa. This is Japa-Sahita-Dhyana. Gradually Japa will drop and meditation alone will continue. This is Japa-Rahita-Dhyana.
Have four sittings for Japa daily—early morning, noon, evening and night.
A devotee of Lord Vishnu should repeat “Om Namo Narayanaya”; a devotee of Lord Siva, “Om Namah Sivaya”; a devotee of Lord Krishna, “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”; a devotee of Lord Rama, “Om Sri Ramaya Namah” or “Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram”; a devotee of Devi, Gayatri Mantra or Durga Mantra.
It is better to stick to one Mantra alone. See Lord Krishna in Rama, Siva, Durga, Gayatri.
Regularity in Japa Sadhana is most essential. Sit in the same place and at the same time.
Purascharana is repetition of the Mantra Akshara-Laksha, one lakh of times for each letter.
Japa must become habitual. Even in dream you must be doing Japa.
Japa Yoga is the easiest, quickest, safest, surest, and cheapest, way for attaining God-realisation. Glory to the Lord! Glory, glory to His Name!
O man! Take refuge in the Name. Nama (Name) and Nami (Lord) are inseparable.