“Japa in Sanskrit is derived as “janmana paati ” that which saves the seeker from births. Birth is the consequence of good or bad karma.”
There is great Importance of Japa , or recitation of Mantra in one’s Life
Japa or chanting mantra is the best ointment for a restless mind. Mantra chanting is a beautiful eternal travel of a mind from deception to realization, from pessimism to optimism and from mortality to immortality.
In the beginning chanting mantra could be very monotonous and not a very exciting project. This is the reason we insist on spiritual discipline. Mantra chanting is a devotional garnishing of a mind to silence one’s erratic thoughts or to divert one’s negative thoughts into the channel of positivity. Way to success in spirituality is only through iron determination, self-discipline and obedience towards one’s Guru.
Time, place and posture to chant mantra
Early morning and evening hours is the best time to chant mantra. A soft cushion can be spread out especially facing east or towards north. If possible try to practice it in the same place, same time and to sit with your spine absolutely straight and make sure the surface you are sitting should be hard, any undulating surface would otherwise make your posture wrong. In fact an aspirant will start getting outstanding results if practiced every day for two hours in solitude and slowly going deep into meditation. During chanting allow the mind to flow with the mantra with a complete understanding of each and every word of it. Inhale deeply chanting your mantra not with your physical tongue but with your mental tongue and exhale in the same order, deep and slow.
Mantra is chanted in three ways;-
- Vachic (chanting with physical tongue) – In the beginning mantra is chanted with a slight whisper with your physical tongue audible only to your own ears. It should be kept secret and, never be disclosed even to closest person.
- Upanshu (inner voice) – Second stage, the mantra is chanted very slowly and deeply with meditation, only with your inner voice.
- Mansik ( mental tongue) – This is a stage when your mind becomes so mature and attached to the mantra that it goes on effortlessly on its own even when the mind is not conscious about it. Mind unfolds itself and expands its dimensions with the deep meaning of mantra and gradually evolves into the ultimate quest for the supreme conscious truth.
Our body starts feeling very light and elevated. However, for a serious seeker it should be practiced not less than eight hours. Mantra chanting definitely expels all the negative energies and provides our mind with a strong fence of positive energy of not only, one’s personal God but also with the vibrant energy of one’s Guru. Mantra’s have an electrifying effect on its seekers and awakens the dormant spiritual centres of the body.
Explore the Mantra
An aspirant has to be a traveller, an adventurer and smart enough to take up the challenge of an unexplored explorations of one’s true all pervasive self.
Japa or chanting mantra has a great significance in one’s life. It not only dissolves all our sins but also abolishes our latent desires. Just by simply reciting Lords name one’s inner instruments are also purified (mind, intellect, subconscious mind and Ahamkara or ego or self-asserting principle), increases our power of concentration and furnishes our mind with deep yearning for God.
Gradually this love for God and longing for his cosmic vision subsides and gets transformed into ‘Quest’, to know the true nature of God. One strives to know the non-dual reality of God or ‘Absolute Knowledge’. It also gives supreme bliss to a man well established in “Brahman” or ‘Absolute Consciousness’.
Nowadays, the sincerity towards mantra chanting is hardly observed in sadhaks or seekers. Either they are interested in bookish language of scriptures to bloat their ego without truly imbibing the depth and essence of the scriptures, or are interested in spiritual stunts of Hatha yoga, Siddhi, Samadhi ,Vipashna, Kumbhak and so on…but none interested in sitting quietly, silently for hours chanting the mantra in remembrance of one’s beloved Ishwara. The goal for what the other disciplines or school of thoughts are striving for, can be attained all at once only through Japa .The power of mantra is that what needs to be explored, all these stages start unrolling when one does his Japa with complete sincerity
- restraint of breath
- withdrawl of all the senses
- absorption of mind in supreme spirit. Mantra, God and the individual soul (Jiva) becomes inseparable.
However, it is very sad that we have become so used to with the difficult circuses of life that simple straight paths shown are not readily digested. We waste so much of our vital time in attainment and fulfilment of gross, mundane worldly desires. Had we invested one fourth of our effort in attainment of God we would have conquered the three universe. Devotion is that restitution or barter with God where the dirt of our mind is replaced with goldmine. If we chant the mantra with complete honesty and purity, that in due course of time we get so addicted to the sweet taste of mantra that it would become difficult for us to give it up .Greatest irony is, nobody is interested in effortless profit but only in efforts of gross profits visible to the naked eye.
In all divinity Maa says, “I assure you, great sages assure you, scriptures assure you if you take Lord’s name everyday even for a second in doubtless surrender and honesty it will definitely wash away the sins of millions of births and awaken you in new horizons.”
Doubting Guru Mantra is a Moral Sin
Even our Nobel Sages and our unchallenged scriptures are of the same opinion that doubting one’s Guru mantra could be a great moral transgression. They even say that the most sinful act of taking someone’s life is not considered as great an offence, so much so, doubting one’s Guru Mantra or the divinity of the divine. However Guru should also be competent, a scholar of scriptures and well established in ‘Supreme Brahman’…………………………………………..
Shri Krishna Says in Bhagvadgita:-
…………………………………………………………4th chap.shloka no.40
“Spiritual Ignorance, faithless, and a sceptical mind shall destroy himself. Doubting mind neither gets this world nor the world beyond, he does not find happiness anywhere”.
According to our Shri Udiya Baba’s commentary on this Shloka, he says:-In this shloke three typical nature of a Sadhak are discussed :-
- Spiritually Ignorant –One who attaches more importance to ever perishable world to non-perishable self(Atman), one who is not yet ready for renunciation of actions or karma, or walk boldly on the path of supreme Liberation or Moksha.
- An atheist-One who does not have any faith in either one’s Guru nor in eternal scriptures.
- Sceptical mind-Karma(path of action) or selfless service and Gyan (path of knowledge)both the paths leads to liberation, but a confused deluded person is incapable to decide of the two paths which path leads to final emancipation. These are the three categories of people
However, of these ignorant and faithless person would still be excused or granted liberation. There is no relief or forgiveness for a sceptical mind but of course a repentant heart is always forgiven. Doubting mind is actually the fruits of one’s bad deeds. This is the reason he finds no relief in this world and the world hereafter. One who does not have any faith in the discipline of actions, shall be unable to perform any righteous actions. This is the reason he does not find happiness in other realms as well. One who’s this world is destroyed how can he find joy in other world. Thus one should have doubtless faith in one’s Guru and scriptures. It is with their grace the ignorance perishes and he awakens in “Absolute Bliss” and also the disqualification of a doubting mind is removed and replaced with pantheism or absolute faith.
Story of a person addicted to mantra
Maa narrated a story which her Gurudev, Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, had shared with them:-
This must be some forty-fifty years back. Maharajji used to say ‘I had a friend who used to be with me always .My friend everyday used to do 100 malas which was equivalent to 10,000 mantra chanting.’ Many years passed away following this disciplined, routine life, and yet he doubted about his affinity in God name, and he believed that his bad tendencies had not yet extinguished. He came to Maharajshri one day and told him that, so many years I had been taking Gods name but I think I still do not have intense desire for God. He said he did not find Mantra chanting very stimulating nor very inspiring. He often used to visit Maharajji and would repeat the same thing.
Maharajji one day in order to teach him a lesson told his friend “if your mantra is not proving to be that worthwhile or helpful then why do you continue it ,just stop chanting the mantra.” Maharajji’s friend in order to confirm asked again “do you really think I should stop chanting the mantra.” Maharajji curtly replied ‘Yes, you should’. He became very quiet and silently left the place. After sometime he came back again and said, ‘ I tried hard, but it seems this mantra does not leave me.’ Again Maharajji replied with firmness in his voice “if truly you are not gaining much out of your Mantra, I am ordering you to leave it.”
Hearing this tears started rolling down his eyes, and started saying “for God’s sake! Please take back your orders”. He was weeping unstoppably and kept on murmuring, “I cannot live without chanting mantra. I would prefer to die but mantra chanting should never leave me.”
Even before we realize we get so addicted to Japa, that we do not even come to know that when from our tongue it has been gulped down to our throat and from our throat has penetrated right into our heart. We find our loving Lord sitting on a lotus at the centre of our heart enchanting and mesmerizing his Bhakta with his cosmic vision. Mantra itself becomes our beloved God and His divine love transcends in every pore of our body and vibrates with His name. This is no fairy tale story but a well proven fact and the divine experience of all great saints.
Believe, Resort and Drench yourself in the power of Mantra.
Monk Who Lived In Mantra
Let me tell you another story which Maharaj Shri had once narrated us:-
‘In Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, near the banks of river Narmada there lived a young monk at Gaurighat, very much unknown to people. One day Chaitanya Giriji, Mandaleshwar of Kailash Ashram in Rishikesh was coincidently in the same Ghat taking his bath in the river Narmada. Swamiji after taking his bath in the river noticed a strange thing. A very young monk lying down on the banks of Narmada at 10a.m in the morning and it seemed he was passing his time in lethargy. Swamiji, himself a strong spiritual disciplinarian was shocked to see a monk wasting and spending his days in idleness. Swamiji could not resist and went near to him, and with a sarcasm in his voice told the monk,”Goodman, being such a young monk you are spending your days in laziness. Wake up and take Lords name. This youth is not to spend your days in idleness.” The young monk was not at all perturbed nor anxious at swamijis words. Instead he spoke very politely with swamiji and asked him to hold his hand and put it near to his ears. When swamiji put the hand of the young monk close to his ears he was stunned to hear lords name Ra…m..Ra……m ..Ram…….resounding from his hands. The monk now said to put his ears on his head the same echo of mantra could be heard coming from his head as well. He now pulled swamiji close to his chest and the same intoxicating effect of the mantra of R….am….R….am….Ram….could be heard reverberating from his chest. He asked swamiji to put his head on his feet, to swamiji’s astonishment Lords name could be heard echoing from his feet as well. Swamiji was completely astounded and stupefied by this experience and was ashamed of his misbehaviour and bowed down at the young monks divinity.
Create Miracles And Not Wait for Miracles
Remember, there is nothing miraculous about it, this can happen with anyone and everyone who timelessly chants his mantra without wasting a single breath of his life. Shri Udiya Baba Maharaj our Param Gurudev used to say that there are eight obstacles which comes in a sadhak’s life:-
- desire for luxuries
- ambition of fame
- to seek praises
- finding faults in others
- to increase one’s requirement.
Thus a seeker should be very alert and cautious in his life not to fall a prey to the greatest juggler, Maya. So, do not waste your golden time in search of any miracles, or seek any supernatural powers, nor have any ambition to become a great monk. Only desire and long to take God’s name with pure love and surrender. Keep chanting your mantra while walking, sitting, eating, drinking, even while performing all your daily duties and at anytime, anyplace. When you are talking to someone mantra stops on its own but restarts as soon as the conversation is over. There is so much strength and power in mantra that it won’t leave you till it makes you unite with your divine Lord. Mantra chanting is the simplest and easiest technique given to an aspirant to overcome one’s strong attachments towards this impure body of bones, flesh, skin, and excreta. We are so devoted to this ever perishable, decaying body that even for a second we do not forget to identify ourselves with this body as ‘me’ and ‘mine’. Japa is the purest and most effortless way to get rid of all conditions and conditioning of the mind. Chant the mantra not with just physical tongue but also with your mental tongue.
Let your heart , mind and soul be always ignited with the bonfire of mantra, let it not extinguish. This is the miracle of Mantra that it uproots and uplifts your mind from grossness only to converge and sublime in Supreme Divine.