Essential Disciplines for Japa Sadhana


The aforesaid supernormal benefits of japa are attainable only if the japa is performed as a spiritual Sadhana -with absolute faith, sincerity and piety (of thought, sentiments and conduct) under unperturbed observance of the prescribed disciplines.

Some common disciplines essential for every kind of japa Sadhana are – the cleanliness of the body and mind of the sadhaka and that of the place and its surroundings where the japa is performed. The calm and stable state of the  sadhaka’s mind is a natural requirement for meditation during japa. The following guidelines are usually prescribed to meet these prerequisites. Japa should be performed in a neat and tidy condition of the body, after having bath, wearing clean cloths etc. The clothing should also be such that the body would be free and relaxes while sitting in the posture of sukhasana, which is supposed to be the most soothing sitting posture for japa. Wearing shoes or use of leather is also prohibited during all japa sadhanas. The sadhaka should sit on a clean cloth sheet or kusasana spread over the floor in a silent corner of the house or any suitable place outside, which is neat and peaceful.

While performing a japa, the sadhaka should let his mind free from every kind of negative thinking, anger, jealous, excitement etc. The sadhaka should face the East in the morning, North in the noon and the West in the evening and should feel the presence of the divine illumination in the corresponding direction. According to the scripture entitled “Tantra Sara”, the purity and engrossment of the mind and continence over the body functions- is a mmust for a sincere practice of japa. The Kulanava Tantra adds that the sadhaka should eat self earned austere vegetarian (Satvika) food.

The speed of japa should be normal and set at one’s natural frequency of speech. It should not be too slow so as to cause dullness, neither too fast that would cease the clarity of pronunciation. The Sastras also mention that grasping control over the bodily actions, vital energy and mental agility and strengthening the sraddha and visvasa in the presence of Siva and Sakti is necessary for the attainment of ultimate success (siddhi) in a jap Sadhana.

Pictures and idols of the manifestation of God in whom the sadhaka has affectionate faith, or posters/ photographs of some saints and great personalities often provide inspiring company at such places. Performance of some rituals of worship, presence of fresh flowers and plants in the surroundings add a purity and serene beauty of this atmosphere. With gradual progress in the Sadhana, the refinement of the sublime domains of consciousness in and around the sadhaka also becomes more important. In order to maintain the sacred ambience, only the people of high moral character and piety of mind should be allowed to visit the place of Sadhana.

According to the Ling Purana (85/106-8) the japa performed in the house gives average benefit, that performed on a bank of a river is over one lakh times more effective and this positive impact is further enhanced if the japa is performed at a spiritually energized temple or asrama of a saint at a mountain of the holy Himalayas or in fromt of a cow, the divine Dhruva Tara (the pole star), rising Sun, fire of a havan kunda or a dipaka (a lamp of refined ghee). The effect of japa is maximized if it is performed with an awakened feeling of thou presence in the sadhaka’s own inner self.

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