Ganesh Jee | Miscellanea-6
Jap or Recitation is the spiritual practice of devotedly repeating a Mantra, generally a specified number of times, such as 108, often while counting on a strand of beads, called a Jap Maalaa, while conscientiously concentrating on the meaning of the Mantra or a single name of god, such as Raam, Krishn, Maadhav etc. The repetition should be dutifully slow. This brings Punya, merit, to the devotee. It should not be thoughtlessly mechanical or the hurried, so-called rapid-fire or machine-gun Jap, which demonstrate ignorance of the Tantra. Such casual, nonchalant negligence and disregard for contemplative traditions brings Paap, demerit, to the devotee, creating internal strife, community opposition and turmoil for all concerned.
Jap is a form of devotional worship, invocation, supplication, praise, adoration, meditation and direct, experiential communion. Unless we are actually in a state of Samaadhi (total absorption), which is rare for most people, Jap provides a means to disengage from our racing thoughts and our memories of the past - mostly the bad ones. The repetition of positive, uplifting, spiritual Mantra over and over again lifts consciousness and causes the Moolaadhaar Chakra to spin clockwise. We feel uplifted. Life does not look so bad, and neither does the past. A sense of forgiveness comes and the future looms bright. The past is forgiven and forgotten.
The power of thought and mind is embodied in sound form, that is, in the Word. The ancient Rishi made this knowledge of the Word into a science and turned their minds toward the inner worlds, invoking the beings therein and offering their thoughts to the Deities and Dev through Vaidik hymns, prayers and Mantra. According to the Ved, the holy scripture that forms the basis of Hinduism, out of the mind of the Deity came the Word, Vaak. Its evolutes precede and give rise to the forms of the inner mind - the astral forms. These subtle forms in turn give rise to the outer, material forms that we see.
By that Word of His, by that Self, He created all this, whatever there is.
The Vaidik view brings increasing confirmation that modern physics is on the right track. Quantum electromagnetic field theories tell us that, in fact, there is no such thing as matter. There are only force fields of time and space that are observable as varying intensities. Thus, a carbon atom is not a bit of matter; it is a time-space-energy force field of a particular intensity.
Nuclear physicists can change the energy force fields in a chamber and transform one element to another. If we knew the carbon mantra and could say it properly, we would cause the particular time-space-energy force field to act and some carbon would precipitate. Certain occult practitioners can actually do this with their minds and cause objects to appear. Such magic does show the correspondence that there is between mind, sound and form. This is the basic mystical reality behind Mantra.
What is important for us to realize is that each Mahaadev can be experienced, expressed, in a Mantra form that corresponds to that Being. This phenomenon is akin to remembering someone by his name rather than his face. When we utter such a Mantra, we call forth the Mahaadev or cause a particular inner truth to rise up in our minds. Then we feel His presence and enjoy.
There are two basic kinds of Mantra.
Sage Yogaswami places tremendous emphasis on the performance of Jap, repeating the name of the Lord with concentration and feeling. He explained, "May we not forget that Mantra is life, that Mantra is action, that Mantra is love and that Jap, the repetition of the Mantra, bursts forth wisdom from within. Jap Yog is the first Yog to be performed toward the goal of Gyaan. Perform the Jap in a temple, under a sacred tree or perform the Jap all your life as a silent Saadhaanaa. It becomes automatic.
Sage Yogaswami enjoined his Shaivite devotees to "Wear Rudraaksh beads and repeat the Panchaakshar. Let your heart grow soft and melt. Chant these five letters and in love you will discover his will. Chant so that impurities, anxieties and doubts are purged. All hail Namah Shivaaya.
Repeating Mantra slowly purifies the mind, like running fresh water continually into a container of discolored water. A fresh stream of water causes the mud at the bottom of a container to rise and flow out over the top edges, eventually to be completely replaced by crystal-clear water. Similarly, Jap cleanses the mind of impurities as the pure vibrations of the Mantra loosen and wash away the impure vibrations.
Jap Ganesh With Aum
Ganesh is invoked through the Mantra Om. The Maandookya Upanishad elucidates the inner meaning of Om, which embodies the highest wisdom. Om or Aum has three syllables. A represents the waking state, U represents the dreaming state, and M represents the state of deep sleep. Aum in its entirety, plus the moment of silence which follows it, represents the Shaanti, the peace beyond understanding. Thus, Aum Jap performed as an invocation to Ganesh, the Lord of Wisdom and Knowledge - while love is welling up from our hearts and tears are for no reason flowing simultaneously - calls forth the knowledge of the entirety of our existence in these four categories of consciousness. These are realms that God Ganesh rules over as Lord of Categories, and this is the knowledge that he can grant devotees who perform Aum Jap and meditation on the meaning of Aum.
For Aum Jap to be effective, the Mantra must be pronounced correctly. The first syllable is A, pronounced as the English word "awe," but prolonged: "aaa." The second syllable is U, as in "roof," pronounced "oo" but prolonged: "ooo." The third syllable is M, pronounced "mm" with the front teeth gently touching and the sound prolonged: "mmmm." Each repetition is sounded for about seven seconds, with two seconds on A, two seconds on U and three seconds on M, with a silence of about two seconds before the next repetition. The three syllables are run together: AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence), AAUUMM (silence). On the first syllable, A, we feel the solar plexus and chest vibrating. On the second syllable, U, the throat vibrates. The third syllable, M, vibrates the top of the head. Thus, proper chanting of Aum also is a high form of yoga, moving energy from the lower Chakra of the body up to the highest Chakra, or energy center - the Sahastraar Chakra at the crown of the head.
Another traditional way to do this Jap is to take a full breath and then chant the AUM three times as you exhale. The first repetition is audible, the second is more quiet and the third is barely audible, as you concentrate within. Then inhale slowly as you visualize the image of our loving Ganesh in your mind. Then repeat the AUM again three times as you exhale. The breathing should not be forced, but natural, slow, gentle and rhythmical. We can use a Jap Maalaa with 108 beads and pass over one bead for each repetition, or do the Jap for a prearranged period of time.
Two other Ganesha Mantra are commonly used. One is "Aum Shree Ganeshaaya Namah", meaning "Praise to Lord Ganesha." This is the Mantra of invocation, adoration and worship. It is repeated at the beginning of Poojaa and it can be used for Jaap, to invoke Ganesh's blessings for the auspicious beginning of a task, project, change of life, community undertaking or simply to offer him our praise. Another special mantra is Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah. This is Ganesh's Mool (root) Mantra. It is also known as his Beej Mantra, for it combines Ganesh's Beej (seed) sound, "Gam," with the phrase, "Praise be to Ganapati." This Mantra is used for Yog Saadhanaa in which we invoke Ganesh and merge ourselves with his supreme knowledge and peace. These two Mantra are not harmful if mispronounced, as sometimes happens, though they should be sounded as properly as possible to be most effective. Most importantly, they must be chanted at the same time each day, and this means exactly the same time, for full Daivik support.
When the Gan and Dev of Ganesh are finally attracted to the home shrine, the room will feel filled with action energy even if it is a closet or a small sacred alcove. The energy will come out of seeming nowhere into the room. This feeling indicates that Ganesh's Gan are present, eager and willing to do whatever they can to maintain Shaanti, peace, within the home and bind the family together. Nothing bad, hurtful or harmful will ever be performed by them, even if fervently prayed for. Only good and goodness will be their actions. They do not condone revenge. They do not deny anything to anyone who is within Dharm's calling. And they do work within the Praarabdh Karm of each individual within the family. Theirs is a calculated job in doing what they have to do to maintain family togetherness, even at great distances.
These Gan are numbered in the trillions, and they are available in every home to serve the devout devotees. Today in China, Japan and nearly every country of the world they work to improve family togetherness, for this is their mission, given to them, detail by detail, by our loving Ganesh. Because of them, family life goes smoothly, protection is immanent, immediate, and all members of the family enjoy the secure vibration of being bound in love, good feelings for one and all and support for each other by every other member. This intricate working of the Praan within the home is what the Gan of our Lord do tirelessly day after day, year after year, generation after generation. By doing so they earn their rewards within the heaven of heavens. After all, humans are tribal and don't do well on their own, unless they are mature, renunciate Sanyaasee of austere orders who thrive on their own bliss. It is Ganesh's Gan who keep the extended families together, perpetuating the wealth from generation to generation, on into the future of futures. Invoke Ganesh through the proper Saadhanaa the same time each day, and he will send his Gan to reward you. Feed them milk and honey and all things sweet, placed upon your altar. This will be pleasing and considered a reward for good works well performed for you, your family and other loved ones.
Ganesh Gayatri Mantra
Gayatri refers to a special three-line Vaidik meter used in Mantra for
invoking and focusing consciousness on the Deity. The three Gayatri below
are intoned during Poojaa and Yagya. They may also be recited as powerful
Jap - repeated again and again, while gently regulating the breath
according to systematic rhythms given by one's Guru to establish a deep
inner connection with Ganesh.
Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on May 17, 2013