WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL AIDS TO JAPA SADHANA?JAPA-04
Here,a number of practical hints are given below ;which may be of great use for your daily Sadhana. Neophytes can start real Sadhana from this minute.Kindly note and follow them carefully.
1. FIXED HOURS :--
Most effective time for Japa is early dawn Brahmamuhurta and dusk, when Sattva is predominant. Regularity in Japa is very essential.
2. DEFINITE PLACE :-
It is highly advantageous to sit in the same place every day. Do not change it now and then. When you sit there you will have automatically the mood to do Japa.
Just as you have a mood to study books when you enter a library or pray when you enter a temple so also you will get the mood to do Japa when you sit in your usual Asana.
3. A STEADY POSE :--
A comfortable Asana helps to make the mind steady also, controls Rajas and aids concentration. Concentration cannot be acquired by one whose pose is not steady. Keep the Merudand (spine) always erect. If you droop down like an old man while sitting for Japa and meditation your mind will always waver and wander. Have a steady pose all throughout the period of Japa.
4. FACE NORTH OR EAST : --
This exercises a subtle influence and enhances the efficacy of Japa. Sages and Rishis of the Himalayas help those who sit facing North for Japa because they come in contact with them by facing North.
5. A SEAT --
Deer skin or Kusha-mat or a rug (a floor mat) should be used. Have a Kusa mat, a deer-skin over that and a clean white cloth above. This is the seat prescribed by the Gita. Energy is conserved which is otherwise dissipated without a proper seat.(read Asan)
6. REPEAT ELEVATING PRAYERS :--
Invoking the aid of the Ishtam with appropriate prayer induces a proper Sattvic Bhava. In all spiritual Sadhana divine help is prerequisite (required before). Without it no spiritual progress can be attained and control of the wandering, mischievous mind becomes impossible.
7. CLEAR ARTICULATION :---
Start the Japa pronouncing the Mantra distinctly and without mistakes. Mantra Shakti is quickly awakened, mind is easily elevated and made one-pointed if the pronunciation is clear and distinct.
8. VIGILANCE & ALERTNESS:--
This is very important. You will be fresh and alert when you commence. After a time unconsciously the mind becomes weary, begins to wander and drowsiness overpowers you. Avoid this state. Some sleep during Japa and meditation and imagine to have attained spiritual bliss. This is mere hallucination.
9.ROSARY ( Japa Mala):---
Using a Mala helps alertness and acts as an incentive to carry on the Japa continuously. Resolve to finish a certain number of Malas before leaving the seat. The mind will deceive you if you do Japa without a Mala. You will imagine that you have done Japa for a long time and that you have done more than the required number.
10. VARIETY IN JAPA :---
This is necessary to sustain interest, avoid fatigue and counteract monotony. Repeat aloud for a time, then hum (to make a low, continuous, droning sound) the Mantra and repeat mentally sometimes.
When the real bliss or taste for Japa is acquired then Japa becomes habitual and pleasant. There will be no monotony at all. The variety of Japa is for beginners only. Mental Japa is the most powerful. It directly counteracts the evil Vrittis of the mind and makes the mind pure.
11. MEDITATION :---
Side by side with Japa think of the Lord as present before you and picture His entrancing beautiful form. This practice adds tremendously to the efficacy and power of your Sadhana. The mind is fully engrossed in the form of the Lord by this practice and there is no chance for the mind to get hold of the objects of senses which are like straw or chaff before the bliss of the presence of God.
12. CONCLUDING PRAYER & REST;--
This is important. After Japa is over do not immediately leave the place, mix with everyone and plunge into worldly activity. Sit very quietly for about 10 minutes at least humming some prayer, remembering the Lord or reflecting upon His infinite love. Then after devout prostration (submissively prone position), leave the place and commence your work. Spiritual vibrations will be in tact. You will find it easy to remember the Lord even while at work. Combine prayer with your daily routine and occasionally remember Him. IS THERE A NEED OF CONSTANT JAPA WITH EMOTION (BHAVA)?-
07 FACTS;-- 1-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.
2-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.
3-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.".
3-1-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.
4-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.
4-1-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.
( Says Sri Tulasidasji in his Chopai)
5-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.
6-They should try to feel the Chaitanya and Shakti 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.
7-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.
Don't waste your time in counting the pebbles on the bank . Take a dip immediately in the Jnana Ganga and enjoy the Enlightenment bath.