Japa means chanting. Mantra means that which protects your mind. Mantra Japa means chanting of the mantra. The Buddha said that “we are what we think”. Japa is a tool to work with our thoughts and purify them. Purification happens when we chant the name of God and associate each thought, feeling and action with God. The science behind this method is simple. You cultivate a habit and that habit solidifies into behavior. You first do the Japa then the Japa does you.
Pick one Japa mantra to start it may or may not remain the same throughout your life, unless it was given to you by your Guru. The power and potency of a Japa mantra given by the Guru is the highest. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t find a Guru. You can start with your own practice. One usually finds the right Japa mantra over months and years of beginning the practice. it will come to you.
Beliefs vary by religion, but the power of Japa does not. It doesn’t matter if you chant the name of God or as a matter of fact the name of your husband, your mother or anyone as long as you associate that with positivity and all good things then every chant is guaranteed to be effective. Associate your Japa mantra with virtues, with spiritual goals or even worldly goals. You are assured to achieve them, if you do the Japa with sincere devotion. The power of Japa is such that Hanuman could cross the stretch between two landmasses separated by an ocean just by chanting the name of Shri Ram. At the same time Shri Ramji had to build a bridge to cross over to Lanka. Without going into the details of this legend let’s see how you can do Japa effectively to purify your thoughts in 5 simple ways:
- Pick a name of God associate a loving feeling and chant the name. It doesn’t matter if you chant it loudly, just whisper or say it in your mind. The more important thing is to chant incessantly in whatever you do.
- Before you eat anything look at the food, chant the name of your God and blow on it silently and softly for a few seconds. You may want to do this discreetly or just visualize in your mind doing this. This will purify your food with the vibrations of the chant and help your sadhana (spiritual practice)
- While you bathe, chant. Chant when you apply soap, chant when you wash yourself, chant when you are done, while chanting think that the water is purifying your body and also your thoughts and keep at it.
- Chant when you have feelings of greed, lust, anger, jealousy etc. It doesn’t matter if the chanting is interrupted with a stupid or guilty act in such feelings. Think that these feelings were given to you by God and keep chanting.
- Chant when you have feelings of joy, love, happiness, kindness, compassion etc. Chant while you get those feelings. It doesn’t matter if the chanting is interrupted with what you are doing during such feelings. Think that these feelings are a blessing of God and keep chanting.
You may think these 5 things are stupid or idiotic, but believe me they are absolutely effective. Try it out before labeling them and start reaping the benefits of Japa.