In this Kali Yuga (iron age) Japa alone is the easy way to the realisation of God. The famous author of a commentary on the Gita and of the Advaita-Siddhi, Swami Madhusudana Saraswati, had direct Darsan of Lord Krishna through Japa of the Mantra of Lord Krishna. The reputed Swami Vidyaranya, the author of the Panchadasi had direct Darsan of Mother Gayatri through Japa of Gayatri Mantra.
At the present moment many educated persons and college-students have lost faith in the power of Mantra, owing to the morbid influence of the study of science. They have entirely given up Japa. It is highly deplorable indeed. When the blood is warm they become hot-headed, proud and atheistic. Their brains and minds need a thorough overhauling and drastic flushing.
Life is short. Time is fleeting. The world is full of miseries. Cut the knot of Avidya, and drink the Nirvanic Bliss. That day on which you do not perform any Japa is simply wasted. Those who simply eat, drink and sleep and do not practise any Japa are horizontal beings only.
A Mantra, in the Hindu religion, has a Rishi who gave it to the world; a metre which governs the inflection of the voice; and a Devata or a supernatural being, higher or lower, as its informing power. The Bija, seed, is a significant word, or series of words, which gives it a special power. Sometimes this word is a sound which harmonises with the key-note of the individual using it and varies it with individuals; sometimes this word expresses the essence of the Mantra, and the result of the Mantra is the flower springing from this seed. The Sakti is the energy of the form of the Mantra, i.e., the vibration-forms set up by its sounds. These carry the man to the Devata that is worshipped. The Kilaka, the pillar, is that which supports and makes strong the Mantra, or the pin which fastens the Mantra together; this is the ceasing of sorrow, by the freeing of oneself from imperfections.
Do not bother yourself about Mantra, Para and Pasyanti, etc. Do Japa of your Ishta Mantra mentally with its meaning and right Bhava. You will realise the spiritual benefits. Why do you waste your time in counting the pebbles on the bank? Take a dip immediately in the Ganges and enjoy the bath. Become wise.
All Mantras have equal potency or power. It is incorrect to say that Om Namo Narayanaya is superior to Om Namah Sivaya or Radhesyam or Sri Ram, and so on. You can attain God-realisation by doing Japa of any Mantra. Valmiki attained God-consciousness by repealing even Mara-Mara. Some people think that Om or Soham is superior to Om Namo Narayanaya, or vice versa. This also is wrong. The state gained by doing Japa of Om or Soham can be attained by doing Japa of Sri Ram or Radhesyam also.
You should not doubt the teachings of the scriptures. Flickering faith will lead to downfall. A man of weak will, who has no faith in Japa, cannot expect to have progress in the spiritual path. If he says, “I am practicing ‘who am I’ enquiry”—this is all wild imagination. Few are fit for “who am I” enquiry.
You must have the Bhava that Atman, Isvara, Devata, Mantra are one. With this Bhava you will have to repeat your Guru Mantra or Ishta Mantra. Then alone you will have Mantra Siddhi or God-realisation quickly.
The Japa of a Mantra can bring to the practitioner realisation of his highest goal though he may not possess knowledge of the meaning of the Mantra. Such a mechanical Japa may take a little more time in realisation than when it is practiced with a knowledge of the meaning. There is an indescribable power or Achintya Sakti in the Mantras. If you repeat the Mantra with concentration on its meaning, you will attain God-consciousness quickly.
Form a strong habit of repeating the Name of the Lord. Then only it will be easy for you to remember Him at the time of death.
To define God is to deny God. You can give the definition of a finite object. How can you define limitless or the Infinite Being who is the source and ultimate cause for everything? If you define God you are limiting the limitless one, you are confining Him with concepts of mind. God is beyond the reach of the gross mind, but He can be realised through Japa and meditation with a pure, subtle and one-pointed mind.
Manasika Puja (mental worship) is more powerful than external Puja with flowers, etc. Arjuna thought that Bhima was not doing any kind of worship. He was proud of his external worship of Lord Siva. He offered plenty of Bael leaves. But Bhima offered to the Lord mentally the Bael leaves of all the Bael trees of the whole world. He was doing Manasika Puja of Lord Siva. The attendants of Lord Siva were not able to remove from the head of Lord Siva the Bael leaves offered by Bhima. Arjuna once saw a large band of people carrying baskets of Bael leaves. He thought within himself that the leaves must be those offered by him to Lord Siva and questioned them thus: “Brothers, from where do you carry these Bael leaves?” They replied: “O Arjuna, these leaves are offered to our Lord Siva by Bhima through Manasika Puja.” Arjuna was struck with wonder. He came to know that Manasika Puja was more powerful than external worship and that Bhima was a better devotee than he.
Manasika Puja can be done by advanced students. Beginners should certainly do worship with flowers, sandal paste, incense, etc. You will have more concentration when you do Manasika Puja. Mentally enthrone the Lord in Simhasana set with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, etc. Offer Him a seat. Apply sandal paste to His forehead and body. Offer Arghya, Madhuparka and various sorts of flowers, clothes, etc. Burn incense. Wave lights. Burn camphor. Offer various kinds of fruits, sweetmeats and Maha-Naivedya. Offer to the Lord the fruits of the whole world. Do not be miserly even in Manasika Puja. In Manasika Puja one man offered only one stale plantain fruit and a handful of gram. A miserable miserly man! Even in Manasika Puja he cannot be very generous and liberal! This world abounds with such deplorable misers! In the end mentally repeat: “Kayena vacha manasendriyairva buddhyatmana va prakritessvabhavat karomi yadyat sakalam parasmai narayanayeti samparpayami—Whatever action I do by the body, by the speech, by the mind, by the senses, by the intellect or by my own nature, I offer all of them to the supreme Lord Narayana.” Also say in the end, “Om Tat Sat Brahmarpanamastu.“ This will purify your heart and remove the faint of expectation of reward.
Without love man’s life is empty. Without love man lives in vain. Love is vital. It is all-pervading. Love is a greater power. Love is the sap of life. Give love. Cultivate this love through service, Japa, Satsanga and meditation.
God is always with you. He will protect and deliver you. Take refuge in Him. His blessings will overflow info your life and transform your mind and body. Develop your consciousness of spiritual things. Make a special effort daily to exercise control over your thoughts, words and actions. Feel His presence in your room. Pray and meditate daily.
Prayer elevates the mind. It fills the mind with purity. It is associated with praise of God. It keeps the mind in tune with God. Prayer can reach a realm where reason does not dare to enter. Prayer can move mountains. It can work miracles. It frees the devotee from the fear of death. It brings him nearer to God and makes him feel the divine consciousness and his essential, immortal and blissful nature.
Surrender everything to Him. Place your ego at His feet and be at ease. He will take complete charge of you. Let Him mould you in any way He likes. Let Him do exactly as He wills. He will remove all defects and weaknesses. He will play beautifully on this body-flute. Hear this marvellous music of His flute, the mysterious music of the Soul, and rejoice.
Make your offerings to the Lord with the same mental attitude as that of Bhilini Sabari. Call the Lord with the same Bhava of Draupadi or with the Bhava which Gajendra had when he called Lord Hari. You will surely meet your Beloved. Develop this Bhava. You will have the Darsan of the Lord immediately.
Feel his Presence everywhere. Strive ceaselessly to fix your mind on the Lord. Try to constantly behold your Beloved in all these forms. Silently repeat His Names. Sometimes sing His Names. Silently do Kirtan. Melt the mind in Him. Rejoice in silence in Him.
If you get up at Brahmamuhurta, at 4 a.m., you will have a clear mind. There is a spiritual influence and mysterious silence in the early morning hours. All saints and Yogis practise meditation at this period and send their spiritual vibrations to the whole world. You will be highly benefited by their vibrations if you start your prayer, Japa and meditation at this period. You need not exert much. The meditative stale of mind will come by itself.
Gaze at the picture of the Lord, your Ishta-Devata, for a few minutes, and close your eyes. Then try to visualise the picture mentally. You will have a well-defined or clear-cut picture of the Lord. When it fades, open your eyes and gaze. Repeat the process 5 or 6 times. You will be able to visualise clearly your Ishta-Devata or tutelary deity mentally, after some months’ practice.
If you find it difficult to visualise the whole picture, try to visualise any part of the picture. Try to produce at least a hazy picture. By repeated practice the hazy picture will assume a well-defined, clear-cut form. If you find this to be difficult, fix the mind on the effulgent light in the heart and take this as the form of the Lord or your Ishta.
The thoughts you create in your mind and the images you form in your daily life help you in making what you are or what you would become. If you constantly think of Lord Krishna, you will become identical with the Lord. You will abide in Him for ever. You will become one with the Deity you meditate upon.
In Bhava-Samadhi the mind of the devotee is highly elevated through pure emotion and devotion. He forgets the body and the world. His mind is wholly absorbed in the Lord.
Contentment, unruffled state of the mind, cheerfulness, patience, decrease in excretions, sweet voice, eagerness and steadiness in the practice of meditation, disgust for worldly prosperity and success and company, desire to remain alone in a quiet room or in seclusion, desire for association with Sadhus and Sannyasins, Ekagrata or one-pointedness of mind, are some of the signs that indicate that you are growing in purity, that you are progressing in the spiritual path.
When you enter the silence through deep meditation the world outside and all your troubles will drop away. You will enjoy supreme peace. In the silence is the Supreme Light of lights. In the silence is undecaying bliss. In this silence is real strength and perennial Joy.
Shut out the doors of the senses. Still the thoughts, emotions and feelings. Sit motionless and calm in the early morning hours. Ignore the visions and coloured lights. Have a receptive attitude. Go alone with God. Commune with Him. Enjoy the abiding peace in silence.
In the Srimad Bhagavata the Lord Sri Krishna says to Uddhava, “I am not so easily attainable by Yoga, Sankhya or discrimination, Dharma, study of the Vedas, Tapas, renunciation, liberal gifts, charitable acts, rites such as Agnihotra, fasts, vows, secret Mantras, resort to pilgrimages, Yamas, Niyamas (moral rules), as by Satsanga (company of Sadhus or the wise) which puts an end to all attachments. It is only by association with the wise and the righteous, that many who were of Rajasic or Tamasic nature—such as Vritra, son of the sage Tvashtri; Prahlada, the Daityas, the Asuras and the Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas, Siddhas, Charanas, Guhyakas and Vidyadharas, many beasts and birds, and among mankind Vaisyas, Sudras, women and outcastes who are of the lowest birth, have attained Me. Vrishaparva, Bali, Bana, Maya, Vibhishana, Sugriva, Hanuman; Jambavan, the bear; Gajendra, the elephant; Jatayu, the vulture; Tuladhara, the merchant; Dharmavyadha, the fowler; Kubja, the hunch-backed perfume-seller; the Gopis in Vraja, the wives of the Brahmanas engaged in sacrifices in Brindavana, and others—all these did not study the Vedas did not sit at the feet of great men of learning for the sake of knowledge. They did not observe any vows or fasts. They did not perform Tapas but they attained Me through association with saints and Sadhus. Through love alone, developed through the company of saints, the Gopis and even the cows, trees, beasts, serpents and others of dull-witted nature, became perfected and easily attained Me whom one does not attain by making great endeavours through Yoga or Sankhya, charily, vows, Tapas, sacrifices, teaching and study of the Vedas or renunciation.
Satsanga or association with the sages removes the darkness of the heart. It is a safe boat to cross the ocean of Samsara. Satsanga elevates the mind and fills it with Sattva or purify. It eradicates vicious thoughts and impressions in the heart. It leads one to the right path and causes the Sun of Wisdom to shine upon one’s mind.
You may do Japa of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ Mantra if you are a votary of Lord Siva, or ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ if you are a devotee of Lord Vishnu. These are very powerful Mantras. None can explain the benefits of Japa, Sadhana and Satsanga. Japa is the rod in the hands of the blind Sadhakas to plod on the road to realisation. Japa is the philosopher’s stone or divine elixir that makes one God-like. Through Japa alone one can realise God in this life.
This book will throw much light on the important subject of Mantra Yoga and the method of attaining perfection through Japa. The First Chapter gives the definition of Japa. The Second Chapter deals with the glory and importance of the Name of God. Different kinds of Mantras are given in the Third Chapter. The Fourth Chapter contains many practical and useful instructions on Sadhana. The Fifth Chapter gives a short sketch of the lives of some of the saints who realised God through Japa.
May God give you inner strength to control the Indriyas and the mind and to practice Japa Yoga and worship uninterruptedly! May you have unshakable faith in the miraculous powers and marvellous benefits of Japa Yoga! May you all realise the glory of Nama, the Name of God! May you all spread the glory of Nama throughout the length and breadth of the land! Victory to Hari and His Name! Glory to Hari and His Name! May the blessings of Lord Siva, Hari, Rama and Krishna be upon you all!
हे स्नेह और करुणा के आरध्यदेव।
तुम्हें नमस्कार है नमस्कार है।
तुम सच्चिदानन्दघन हो।
तुम सर्वव्यापक सर्वशक्तिमान् और सर्वज्ञ हो।
तुम सब के अन्तर्वासी हो।
हमें उदारता समदर्शिता और मन का समत्व प्रदान करो।
श्रद्धा भक्ति और प्रज्ञा से कृतार्थ करो।
हमे आध्यात्मिक अन्तःशक्ति का वर दो
जिससे हम वासनाओं का दमन कर मनोजय को प्राप्त हों।
हम अहङ्कार, काम, लोभ और द्वेष से रहित हों।
हमारा हृदय दिव्य गुणों से पूर्ण करो।
सर्व-नाम रूपों में तुम्हारा दर्शन करें।
तुम्हारी अर्चना के ही रूप में इन नाम-रूपों की सेवा करें।
सदा तुम्हारा ही स्मरण करें।
सदा तुम्हारी महिमा का गायान करें।
केवल तुम्हारा ही कलिकल्मषहारी नाम हमारे अधर-पूट पर हो।
सदा हम तुममें ही निवास करें।
O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient;
Thou art Satchidananda.
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.
Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.
Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy Glories.
Let Thy Name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.
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