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Thread: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

  1. #11
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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    You can try a mantra that is more rythmic. You don't have to do japa of a formal mantra, instead you can do a hybrid of kirtana and japa. This is a better method for most people. This mantra is great for this purpose.

    राम राघव राम राघव राम राघव रक्ष माम
    rAma rAghava rAma rAghava rAma rAghava rakSha mAm.

    कृष्ण केशव कृष्ण केशव कृष्ण केशव पाहि माम
    kR^iShNa keshava kR^iShNa keshava kR^iShNa keshava pAhi mAm..

    When doing dhyana it is better to use descriptions from shastras to visualise. Look at chapter 99 of the patala khanda in the padma purana. Here there are 22 dhyana shlokas for Krishna you can use before doing japa or archana.

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    Thumbs Up Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Fantastic, thanks. This is good to know. I did read somewhere that it's OK for a non-initiate to simply chant the Lord's name(s). The idea is to keep Him fixed in mind.

    Now, is each line a recitation on one bead, using a mālā alternating them, or are both lines a complete recitation on one bead?

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Fantastic, thanks. This is good to know. I did read somewhere that it's OK for a non-initiate to simply chant the Lord's name(s). The idea is to keep Him fixed in mind.
    That is right, everyone can chant the names. You can read in the Vishnu Purana how Vyasa elevates women and shudras, because they don't have any obligatory nitya karmas (like Sandhyavandana/ agnihotra) to perform and can simply start chanting the names of Vishnu.

    Now, is each line a recitation on one bead, using a mālā alternating them, or are both lines a complete recitation on one bead?
    Mantras are never alternated between beads. Every bead is a repetition of the last one, so chant the two lines on each bead. If doing this 108 times is too much, you can also buy a shorter mala with less beads.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 18 February 2012 at 02:14 PM.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    That is right, everyone can chant the names. You can read in the Vishnu Purana how Vyasa elevates women and shudras, because they don't have any obligatory nitya karmas (like Sandhyavandana) to perform and can simply start chanting the names of Vishnu.

    Mantras are never alternated between beads. Every bead is a repetition of the last one, so chant the two lines on each bead. If doing this 108 times is too much, you can also buy a shorter mala with less beads.
    OK, I gotcha... it's one complete mantra, like the Maha Mantra, which I did once the 108 times. Now that took concentration and kept my mind from wandering.

    I think I understand now why a guru gives an initiate a mantra that is specific for that initiate.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    OK, I gotcha... it's one complete mantra, like the Maha Mantra, which I did once the 108 times. Now that took concentration and kept my mind from wandering.

    I think I understand now why a guru gives an initiate a mantra that is specific for that initiate.
    A guru is also restricted in initiating a disciple in a mantra he is initiated in himself. Generally, when people get initiated into a lineage they recieve the same mantra as everyone else. Some lineages have different mantras for more advanced practicioners, but that is generally based on the secrecy of the mantras, not on how long they are. Also, all dvijas during upanayana get initiated in the same mantra (gayatri), although some hold the view that kshatriyas and vaishyas have their own mantra which are even longer than the savitri gayatri. The traditional attitude after initiation is more like "just do the japa and suck it up" and is not accomondating to people's preferences. But doing kirtana or using informal mantras/shlokas for japa or recitation is a different story and allows for more personal freedom.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 18 February 2012 at 02:37 PM.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    A guru is also restricted in initiating a disciple in a mantra he is initiated in himself. Generally, when people get initiated into a lineage they recieve the same mantra as everyone else. Some lineages have different mantras for more advanced practicioners, but that is generally based on the secrecy of the mantras, not on how long they are. Also, all dvijas during upanayana get initiated in the same mantra (gayatri), although some hold the view that kshatriyas and vaishyas have their own mantra which are even longer than the savitri gayatri. The traditional attitude after initiation is more like "just do the japa and suck it up" and is not accomondating to people's preferences. But doing kirtana or using informal mantras/shlokas for japa is a different story.
    I'm learning something new everyday! Thanks.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Namaste.

    I thought I would share what I believe was the problem in thinking Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya is not "my" mantra. It turns out that it is a combination of rhythm, breathing and disciplined concentration. I'll tell you why...

    Sunday afternoon I was prompted, admittedly by anger at something, to go out for a long, fast-paced walk. I have not done this in several years. During this trip, which was 3 miles in about an hour, I broke into a run. Something else I have not done in a good 5 years (I used to be a runner).

    I was breathing rhythmically...how can you not when walking 3 mph and running 10-12 mph? (I'm a slow runner). I found myself absorbed in each moment thinking of nothing, that is, my mind cleared, and mentally chanting Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya in a very rhythmic and peaceful manner. It just popped into my head. I had that feeling that I believe Yajvan once described as being like a jar with the air is inside, but the jar in in the air. I told of this sort of feeling once before... the belonging, and connection of all things. I returned home much calmer and peaceful. Endorphins? OK, if one wants to think so.

    Moreover, during my prayers on Monday night for ShivarAtri, I did japa with Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya. I was getting a feeling of warmth washing over me, like a warm ocean wave. And no, I was not sitting by a heating vent! I had to reign in my thoughts and re-direct them back to my japa a few times, but it comes down to discipline, discipline, discipline.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    The maha mantra is very rhythmic, pleasurable and deep. Go for it.

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    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    I chant or recite the Maha Mantra and the Rama nama mantra on a daily basis, often several times a day. Because I listen to a collection of bhajans and kirtans as I'm driving, I often find that one will pop into my head at any time during the day, even at my desk at work. I will begin mentally chanting or singing it for a while, sometimes stopping what I'm doing, clearing my mind and reciting. I've been doing that with the version of Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya I found that resonates with me, as I mentioned in my last post. I find myself mentally reciting it quite often, as I do with others that call on God's names. Maybe I've been too fixated on believing that using a mālā is the only proper way to do nama japa. I read this article on japa, and realized how wrong I've been.

  10. #20

    Re: Mantra japa or nama japa for me?

    Sorry if I posted my question at the wrong thread. I've been searching for japa mantras on the net and I noticed something.

    Om Gam Ganapataye Namah and also some of the Ganesh Siddhi mantras with all ending with 'Namah'. I assume that when reciting, one should say it as 'Na-ma-haa' not as 'Na-ma'?
    'Whenever a devotee wishes, with unwavering faith, to worship me in a particular form, I take that form.'
    - Bhagavad Gita 4.1

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