What is The Purpose of Japa?
Let’s reflect for a moment on what a mantra actuallly is. The mantra is the divinity within you. It’s that universal consciousness, source and energy within you. That’s it.
The purpose of Japa is to let the mantra unleash the power within you. Swami Veda states in his book “Mantra & Meditation” that the repetition of the mantra doesn’t add any power, it actually unblocks the power that is already within you.
Within the Hindu tradition there are literally thousands upon thousands of mantras. There is much power in the practice of mantras. It is said that you can attain almost anything with the practice of the right mantra.
There are many who believe that there is a mantra for anything you desire, from buying a new car, a house, finding the right partner, all the way up to enlightenment itself. But for now let’s start slowly and focus on how to do Japa with a mala.
There are Basically 5 Ways to Perform Japa
These 5 stages are dedicated to refining the mantra and penetrating the deeper levels of the mantra experience.
The practice of Japa can be done by writing down one’s mantra, a hundred, a thousand or ten thousand times. The aim of this exercise is to create an awareness of the mantra within you. This can be a creative proces, follow your imagination. Use a pen, a pencil, a paper, a blackbord, diffirent colors or anything you like. The practice should be done lovingly, as if you are writing the name of your lover, again and again.
Japa can also be perform outloud, that is chanting with friends or in a group. The chanting can be accompanied by music. This creates an atmosphere of sharing love, devotion and spiritual energy.
In the next stage one may whisper the mantram with one’s lips as if you are saying something to yourself.
4. Preparing for Mental Repetition
Gradually you will lose interest in using your voice and you will enter spontaneously the next stage, that is repeating the mantra with the mouth closed. There can be some slight movement of the tongue or movement in the back of your throat.
5. Mental Repetition
Over time you will be drawn to silent mental repetition. In this stage the body is fully relaxed, there is no movement of the tongue. The mantra is remembered only in the mind.
Some Great YouTube Videos
1. Just watch Swami Saraswati explaing how to use the Japa mala
2. A great video of the Yoga Prasad Institute explaining the different stages of Japa.
Swami Sarasvati talks about life, yoga and meditation, whilst showing how to use meditation beads (japa mala) .
Mantras are mystical sounds that elevate the mind, japa is the continued recitation of a mantra. In this short video the methods of chanting a mantra or doin…