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IS JAP MALA ESSENTIAL PART OF JAPA YOGA ?JAPA -05


WHAT IS JAP MALA (Rosary Beads) ?...

06 FACTS;-- 1-Japa mala is a string of prayer beads used for reciting or chanting a mantra or other forms of spiritual exercise or sadhana, generally known as "japa/jaap". The mala beads are in sets of 27, 54 or 108 repetitions. A jaap/japa mala is very popular among Indians. A jaap mala is a very practical tool for meditation. 2-Rosary beads is used to keep the mind focussed on the meditation. It is a known fact that the mind tends to wander off all time, especially during the meditation practice. If your energy is low at the time of meditation, you can fall asleep. If the energy is too high, you can be distracted in other ways. During such times, the japa mala provides the much needed anchor.

3-The prayer beads are moved in rhythm with the breath and the mantra, and hence both-sleep as well as excessive mental distraction are prevented by this action upon the beads.A Rosary Beads when around the neck is also a wonderful accessory to meditation. This personal mala which when used regularly with a personal mantra, absorbs the vibrations of the practice and the mala becomes like a close friend or a comfortable piece of clothing.

4-The japa mala, when worn also acts as a talisman and maintains a positive flow of energy throughout the body. Repeating a mantra with or without a counting device is known as Japa. It is a practice used by aspirants of all religious – jews, Christian, Hindus, Muslims, as a powerfool tool to control the mind. They all believe that an idle mind is the devil’s workship, and they accomplish practical work on themselves by doing prayers or japa, often with a rosary. 5-Types of beads Mala, the counting device for japa, is generally preffered of 108 beads. Japa can be done using a Mala, With a mantra ( With or without Aum at the beginning and end, with the name of a diety, with bijas or bija mantras (bija = seed), aloud, silently. 6-When reciting a mantra with a mala meditation, you recite the entire mantra on each bead (not one bead per word). You can also use affirmations with your mala, repeating the affirmation with each bead. The recitations can be done silently, as a whisper, in song or spoken out loud In doing japa with a mala, one should

OBSERVE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES;--- 11 FACTS;-- 1. The mala should be used by the right hand. ( only one hand should be used). 2. The index finger and the little finger should not touch the beads.The index finger is extended and never touches the mala beads. The index finger is related to the ego, something which ideally is kept out of prayer, meditation, and devotional work. To move through the beads the thumb lightly pulls each bead through or over the middle finger with each prayer, affirmation, or mantra that is recited. 3. The beads should be held by the middle finger and the ring finger and should be turned with the help of thumb. 4. There is always an extra bead hanging out side the row of beads, whose total number is usually 108. This 109th bead is called Sumeru.If the mālā lacks a bindu, the energy is said to become cyclical and wearers who are sensitive may become dizzy. 5. The aspirant should start the mala at the first bead next to sumeru and should end on the last bead before sumeru. 6-The hands that hold the japamala must be kept at the same level as the heart. The fingers used to hold and rotate the beads are the thumb, middle and ring finger of the right hand, while you do not use the index and little finger. 7-Adapting the pace of the japa according to your breathing is useful to maintain concentration. A faster, out loud repetition can be a valuable aid when the mind tends to wander. Do not be hasty, but precise and persevering. Make sure that the practice becomes a pleasure and devote yourself to it several times during the day, even while you are doing other activities. 8-The most common of mala bead configurations is the 108 bead mala. But in truth the beads are 109 beads. The 109th bead is called the guru bead or meru bead {meru meaning “mountain”}. This is the center bead which can vary greatly from mala to mala and tradition to tradition. Some use a specific style of bead with a tassel hanging off it, often with the tassel color either representing a specific deity or intention. In other configurations of beads the guru bead may be a specific type of gemstone which would signify the intention and purpose of the mala beads. 9-The guru bead is a very important bead since it represents either your own guru or teacher, your deity, or your Higher Self {all depending on your tradition and views} along with your intention. When praying with your mala you never cross over your guru bead. When you start your meditation you start at the first bead to the right of the guru bead. You then go through all the beads until you get to the last bead before your guru bead. You can stop there, hold your guru bead and say a prayer to your deity, say a prayer for your teacher, or set an intention and then stop your meditation. 10-In some traditions it’s common practice to do a second round to bring you back to the point where you started your meditations. If you were going to do this you would turn your mala so that the last bead is now on the right again. 11- The beads are held in the right hand as the left hand is seen as impure in some traditions {you could also think of things like “left hand path” as being a possible factor in deciding which hand to use}.

Right hand symbolizes ;---

SHIVA THE TRUTH & LEFT HAND TO MAHAMAYA..... WHAT ARE THE BEEDS & SEEDS ?---

07 FACTS;- The materials that make up a set of mala beads set the intention of what the beads will be used for. It’s not uncommon for a jap mala practitioner to have different sets of mala beads for different intentions. The beads or seeds that make up your mala will help with setting your intention. Pick something that resonates with the purpose of your work and the energy and intention that you wish to draw into your life.. 1-Rudraksha – Rudra means “Lord Shiva” and Aksha means “teardrops”, making Rudraksha “Tears of Lord Shiva”. It is said that Lord Shiva went into a deep trance meditation for the well-being of all living creatures of the earth and when he finished and opened his eye tears fell to the earth. These tears were in the form of seeds which grew to trees, later being called the Rudraksha tree. The seeds used for mala beads are the dry seed capsules of this tree. This makes rudraksha malas sacred to Shiva but also helps in healing the heart center and balancing the chakras, promoting inner peace, as well as granting knowledge, power, and enlightenment. This is one of the most popular and traditional materials used for making mala beads. 2-Sandalwood – an aromatic wood that is very calming and soothing, helps to promote humility and the ability to focus the mind for meditation. Sandalwood beads are not cheap and are becoming harder and harder to source. Be cautious of sandalwood malas that are sold cheaply; many times these are not true sandalwood beads and are simply another type of wood that has been treated with sandalwood oil or perfume to give it the sandalwood scent. 3-Rosewood – actually red sandalwood, these are sacred to Lord Ganesh and are used for work to remove obstacles, protect from negativity, and healing work that involved the blood and circulation; carries a very warm and protective energy. 4-Lotus Seeds – used for work involving spiritual growth and the ability to rise above obstacles, especially while on the path to spiritual enlightenment. 5-Bodhi seed – seeds from the Bodhi tree; these represent the Buddha’s enlightenment which was attained while sitting under a Bodhi tree; represents spiritual promise, dedication, and faith. 6-Gemstones – like selecting crystals or gemstones for any kind of work, use the color and properties of the specific stone to help in picking out the best . 7-Guru Stones Some malas will be made of one of the woods or seeds listed above but will have guru stones made of a specific gemstone rather than a tassel or larger bead of the same material. With these kinds of malas, pick one with a crystal or gemstone that resonates with your main intention or that is sacred to the deity you are working with. When it comes to tassels, the color can vary, which provides you with an opportunity to pick out a mala with a tassel color that resonates with your intention. WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND REJECTING TWO FINGERS IN JAPA;

HAWAN & PRANAYAM (INHALE ;EXHALE ; HOLD)?----------- A-Actually our five fingers represent FIVE PLANETS ;FIVE CHAKRAS, ;FIVE MAHABHUT----see chart--- FINGER......MAHABHUT.......CHAKRA..............PLANET 1-THUMB......FIRE........MANIPUR CHAKRA......VENUS 2-INDEX F.....AIR.........AJNA CHAKRA.............JUPITER 3-MIDDLE F...SPACE......CROWN CHAKRA.........SATURN 4-RING F.......EARTH.........HEART CHAKRA.........SUN 6-LITTLE F......WATER.......SACRAL CHAKRA........MERCURY B-Index & little finger represent EGO & LUST respectively.

C-Ring finger is considere holy because Sun points out KNOWLEDGE. ...Without awakening these chakras ,,,we should avoid their touch. For a bhakt who is imbibed in nishkam bhakti bhava;-- there is no ruling.... WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND 108 BEADS ? a-There are 114 chakras in the body. There are many more, these are the major ones. You can see them as 114 junction boxes or confluence of nadis. These junctions are always in the form of triangles. Because it embodies movement from one dimension to another, it is referred to as a “chakra,” which means “wheel” or “circle,” but it is actually a triangle. Out of these 114, two are outside the physical body. Of the remaining 112, only 108 can actually be worked upon, the remaining four just flower as a consequence. b-The number 108 has manifested in the human system because it is a significant number in the making of the solar system. The diameter of the sun and the distance between the earth and the sun is 108 times. The diameter of the moon and the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times. The diameter of the earth and the diameter of the sun is 108 times. And hence, 108 is significant in various spiritual practices.

c-Regardless of the meaning of 108, it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras, the mantra be remembered with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.Below are some of the many reasons that have been given, as well as a few other points of interest. None of these reasons are being promoted here as more or less true then the others---- 28 FACTS;--- 1-9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108. Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2x2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108 2-Desires: There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals. Lies: There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell. 3-Delusions: There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance. 4-Heart Chakra: The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization. 5-Sanskrit alphabet: There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108. 6-Pranayama: If one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come. 7-Upanishads: Some say there are 108 Upanishads, texts of the wisdom of the ancient sages. 8-Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersection has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body. 9-Pentagon: The angle formed by two adjacent lines in a pentagon equals 108 degrees. 10-Marmas: Marmas or marmastanas are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body. 11-Time: Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future. 8 extra beads: In doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to God and Guru. 12-Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a second. The number that naturally exists on Earth is around 100. 13-Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole. Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108. 14-Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names. 15-Gopis of Krishna: In the Krishna tradition, there were said to be 108 gopis 16-1, 0, and 8: Some say that 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity. 17-Silver and the moon: In astrology, the metal silver is said to represent the moon. The atomic weight of silver is 108. Numerical scale: The 1 of 108, and the 8 of 108, when added together equals 9, which is the number of the numerical scale, i.e. 1, 2, 3... 10, etc. where 0 is not a number. 18-Meditations: Some say there are 108 styles of meditation. 19-Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600. 20-Paths to God: Some suggest that there are 108 paths to God. 21-Smaller divisions: The number 108 is divided, such as in half, third, quarter, or twelfth, so that some malas have 54, 36, 27, or 9 beads. 22-Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of Hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names. Jain: In the Jain religion, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 virtues respectively. 23-Sikh: The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in a string of wool, rather than beads. 24-Buddhism: Some Buddhists carve 108 small Buddhas on a walnut for good luck. Some ring a bell 108 times to celebrate a new year. 25-Chinese: The Chinese Buddhists and Taoists use a 108 bead mala, which is called su-chu, and has three dividing beads, so the mala is divided into three parts of 36 each. Stages of the soul: Said that Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey. 26-Meru: This is a larger bead, not part of the 108. It is not tied in the sequence of the other beads. It is the guiding bead, the one that marks the beginning and end of the mala. 27-Dance: There are 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions. 28-Praiseworthy souls: There are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls. TRADITIONAL EMPOWERMENT OF MALA;--

03 FACTS;-- 1-Empowering a mala can be done in different ways depending on your preferences, your traditions, and your practices. 2-Once your mala and your intention is chosen you decide on your prayer, mantra, or affirmation that will be used with it. In order to charge your mala with this specific intention you would use your chosen mantra or affirmation every day for 40 consecutive days on the same mala. As of the 41st day the mala is considered charged with your specific intention and can then be worn or carried like a talisman to radiant and attract this specific energy. 3-Once a set of mala beads is charged with a specific mantra, if a different mantra is used with them, that original energy it is charged with is “erased” or “reset”. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to have different malas for different intentions since each set will work with one specific thing. RUDRAKSHA MALA & MEDITATION;---

02 FACTS;-- 1-A Rudraksha mala is commonly made by using five mukhi rudraksha beads, which are available easily and in different sizes. Usually 7 mm to 10 mm sizes are good to be handled by fingers. A mala for chanting of mantras, known as Jap Mala has 108+1=109 beads, although 54+1 and 27+1 beads can also be used. the +1 bead in the continuous mala is known as Meru mani (or Meru bead) and it functions like a stopper while counting the mantras. 2-The Jap is usually done in the following manner.----- A-Each bead of the mala is charged with a specific letter and this procedure is known as Martika Pratishtha. B-Akshamalokaupnishad details have been given about this along with methods to purify and charge the mala. For a general user, a rudraksha mala can be used just by following the rudraksha pooja procedure. C-Chanting of mantras on a mala is called Jap Yog and a Lord Krishna has enunciated it in Bhagvatgeeta, it is best form of Yogic practice. D-People who follow the rituals strictly use specific malas a mentioned below for the different Gods------ 1-Vishnu --------- Shankhmala (of conch shell) 2-Ganesh ---------- Gajadant (ivory from elephant tusk) 3-Govind Krishna -------- Tulsimala 4-Surya -------- Pravalmala 5-Shiva ---------------- Rudraksha

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MALA;-- Different types of malas are recommended in epics for different objectives as mentioned below:-------- 13 FACTS;-- 1-Complete Success and fullfillment of desires -------Rudraksha Mala 2-For Nirvana (to overcome cycle of birth and death) Muktafal mala 3-For kanti (beauty)-------- (sandalwood) Chandan mala 4--For attraction (Vashikaran) Praval Mala 5--To attain kingdom Rudraksha Mala 6--Maran (to harm someone) Ber mala (Berry) 7-To affect enemies (Vidveshan soap nut) Arishatakmala (Reetha) 8-Full destruction of enemies (Sarvashatrunash) Asthi mala(Bone) 9-For oratorial skills Sphatik malas (crystal) 10-Destructions of Ghosts audumbar mala (fruit) 11-Sattvik nad Rajasi Accomplishments Silver beads 12-Bhairavi Sadhana mala Gold, Silver or Mukta 13-There is mention of special malas. For eg., rudraksha with gold for Lord Shiva and Vishnu ( known as Hariharatmika Mala) and rudraksha and silver for Shiva and Brahma.

TRADITIONS & PROCEDURES OF RUDRAKSHA MALA;- There are certain traditions and procedures, which are to be followed for ritualistic usage of rudraksha malas during jap and these are:----- 19 FACTS;----- 1. Nails should not touch the beads, Use only the forepart of your fingers. Usually thumb and middle fingers are used for rotation. 2- While doing jap, the mala beads should come toward you. (devotion, grace of the Lord coming towards you.) 3- Keep the mala in a bag (known as Gomukhi) while in use or afterwards. 4-. The positioning of your God whom you plan to meditate should be at level higher than the mala level. 5-. Face East while doing jap and keep your backbone straight. Sit in normal Sukhasan (Sitting normally by cross-folding of legs) or Padmasan which requires pr active. 6- Always sit at fixed place. 7- Always do jap at a fixed time 8- Always do jap by heart. 9-. Focus on the Ajna Chakra located between two eyebrows. 10-Jap can be silent, upanshu or by normal utterance (upanshu jap is the one in which the sound uttered can only be heard by you). Silent jap requires better focusing and concentration and is the best. 11- Mantra can be: given by guru, chosen by you, or Om 12- Do not share your mala with anyone. 13- Do not wear a jap mala and vice-versa. 14-. After completing one round on mala, use balls (made of ruktachandan , sindoor, lac or cow dung) to count the numbers of rounds of the mala. 15-Direction to face while doing jap depends on your objective, although facing east is recommended as most common practice. Other options are: 1.... Face west if objective is solely for wealth. 2... Face North for mental peace, protection, health and knowledge. 3... Face East to attract a person within the self, for sadhana and spiritaulity. 4....Face South for tantric practices. 16-The mala can be made using cotton silk , silver, copper or gold. If it is thread, it can be red or black. The Rudraksha beads should be strung face and tail to tail. The natural shape of rudraksha is such that when strung face to face and tail to tail, the beads will maintain natural distance and look balanced. 17-After each bead is strung, the maker should utter Om to remember the supreme lord for ending and restarting the effort. To enssure that two beads do not touch each other, use a bigger knot ( knot diameter should be twice the hole diameter), in case a thread is being used.

18-Alternatively, use metal wire loops and caps to make the bead rigid so that it does not rotate. if rudraksha bead rotates using a metal wire then the bead will get damaged due to friction of rudraksha with the metal wire. 19-For higher mukhi beads, which are rare and expensive, always use wool thread inside the hole of rudraksha bead even if metal wires are being used so that these do not get spoiled over a long period of time– may be several years — due to friction in case bead becomes free. ........SHIVOHAM......