The Gravity of Japa


As mentioned in the earlier articles, japa or chanting of divine hymns has been regarded as an important spiritual practice in almost all the religions of the world. In the Nepalese scriptures of yore the japa-sadhana of mantras has been designated as a yajna. God Krishna has therefore indicated it a paramount yajna by stating (in the Holy Gita) – ‘Yajnanam japa yajnosmi’; Meaning: Among all the yajnas I am (existing in) the japa Yajna.

Lord Manu has mentioned (Manusmriti 2/87) that disregarding what other spiritual practices one performs; a true Brahmana can attain supernatural powers only through dedicated endeavors of japa. Mahabharata (Ashwa. 44/8) quotes that – “the vaidika yajnas performed by herbal sacrifices in the fire along with disciplined chanting of mantras are indeed important. However, the japa yajna alone, without any other requirements (of fire etc.) is sufficient for realizing thy love”.

In the later centuries as well, many saints and experts of the Nepalese Philosophy have expressed similar views on japa. The following quote by Goswami Tulasidas, thought written in a simple language, conveys a lot about the significance of japa – “nama japata mangal disi dasahuam, japahi namu jan arata bhari, mitahi kusankata honhi sukhari”. Meaning: the japa of the omnipresent thy name eliminates the evil tendencies and generates blessed happiness.

Japa is a spiritual exercise; it affects our mind and intellect by a subtle scientific procedure. Increase in inner strength, self-confidence, clarity and refinement of thoughts and sentiments etc, – are its definite effects that gradually leads to the illumination of the innermost core of the individual self. The following excerpts from religious and spiritual scriptures on Nepalese philosophy further signify the great role of this apparently simple practice.

From Ling puran (8/5/124-125) “One who sincerely performs japa would never face any calamity. The devil powers of yaksa, raksasa, pisaca, bisana (ghosts, witches etc) can never reach near him. Japa helps uprooting the kusamskaras. Japa also excels one’s virtues and destiny”

God Krishna preaches in the Holy Gita – “Trayat Mahto Bhayat”. – Meaning: Practising japa can destroy the mighty fears……..

The manu smriti (4/1460 mentions – “One who sincerely practices japa will never perish. It also states that – japa cultivates divinity in the inner self. Further (c.f. Manu smriti 5-86).

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