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Jaap and Ajapaa Jaap

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Jaap or Jap and A-Japaa Jaap
See also     Anushthaan;      Purashcharan

Before understanding Jaap or Jap, one should understand two more related terms - Anushthaan and Purashcharan. Please read Purashcharan to understand them clearly.

Jaap or Jap means repeating or remembering the Mantra, and A-Japaa Jaap means constant awareness of that Mantra. The letter A in front of the word Japa means "without". Thus, A-Japaa Jaap is the practice of Jap without the mental effort normally needed to repeat the Mantra. In other words, it begins to come naturally in the mind turning into a constant awareness. The practice of constant remembrance stage evolves in stages.

At first, you intentionally repeat the syllables of the Mantra internally, as if you are talking to yourself in your mind. You allow the inner sound to come at whatever speed feels comfortable to the mind. Sometimes it is very slow, as if the mind were wading through a vat of honey. At other times it is very fast, as if flying through the sky without restraint.

With practice, the Mantra Jap is repeated automatically, like a song that you have heard many times, which just comes on its own. Some practitioners consider this automatic repeating to be the meaning of A-Japaa Jap, though there is a subtler meaning also.  Gradually, you merely remember the Mantra with attention drawn to it. It is more like noticing what is already happening, rather than causing it to happen. It is somewhat like the attention stance of listening rather than speaking, though you might not literally hear the sound.

In time, the feeling of the Mantra is there, even when the sound or remembering of the syllables of the Mantra is not there. For example, sometimes people will say, "OM, Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti," where the word Shaanti means peace or tranquility. During the remembering of the word there may be two things--the word and the feeling of peace or tranquility. When the syllables fade away, the feeling may still be there; this is called the remembrance of the feeling of the Mantra.

As the practice evolves, there comes a pervasive awareness of the Mantra, subtler than both the syllables and any surface level meaning or definition. This constant awareness is the meaning of A-Japaa Jap of the Mantra.

Types of Jaap
Jap is said to be of three types - Vaachik or Vaikharee, Upaanshu and Maanasik - the last one the best. When a Mantra is pronounced methodically, clearly and loudly is called Vaachik or Vaikharee Jap. This gives the fruit of all Yagya. Pronouncing a Mantra in a lower pitch separated one word from another or one by one word is called Upaanshu Jap. This is twice the more beneficial than the first one. And when one pronounces the words in mind thinking about the words with its meaning, it is called Maanasik Jap. This Jap completes the Yog. Maanasik Jap is the best. Who pray their Isht Devtaa by Jap, their Isht Devtaa are always pleased with them. That is why who is busy in Swaadhyaaya he can fulfill his all wishes.
[Naarad Puraan, p 127]

Note - Maanasik, Upaanshu and Vaachik Jap, in descending order, are merely helpful in enabling us for the real Jap-Yagya which is Jap by the Soul (So-aham).

Rules for Mantra Jaap (Recitation)
(1) The first thing learn to pronounce  each syllable of Mantra correctly
(2) Whatever the number of Mantra Jap Sankalp is taken, it should always be taken with a calm mind, so that you can fulfill it. Breaking a Sankalp is not good as it lowers one's confidence in Saadhanaa that one may be doing.
(3) Always do Mantra Jap with a calm relaxed mind.
(4) For the best results always chant the Mantra facing the East.
(5) Normally all Jap and Pooja should be done in the morning, without eating and drinking, but if you do have to do any Jap in night then ideally it should be over by 4 am or 4.30 am.
(1) Mantra Jap should be done in a separate room like a Poojaa room so that nobody can disturb you during the Jap. Non-veg items should not be brought into Poojaa room, pregnant and menstruating women, newly born babies should not be allowed to enter the Poojaa room
(2) Do not eat 1-2 hours before Mantra Jap.
(3) Do not get up in between Mantra Jap, or if you do get up, then the Jap is broken and you need to start your Jap again from the 1st Maalaa for that day or night
(4) Do not make sssh sound during the Mantra Jap. Do not shake body during Mantra Jap. If your body itches during Jap then try hard not to scratch the itching, but if somehow you scratch you wash your hands, it again and start again the incomplete Maalaa.
(5) If you have to sit for long hours for your Mantra Jap then, if youu wish, you may apply pain killer ointment on your knees before sitting for Jap.
(6) If you sneeze during Mantra Jap then stop Mantra Jap, apply water to both ears and start that specific Number Maalaa again.
(7) You should get up to go to toilet in between your Jap; if you do then your Mantra Jap is broken for that sitting, for that day or night, and you need to start it again for that day or night
(8) That is why before sitting for Jap you try to finish all your daily chores (gargle mouth with water, wash face neck forehead arms legs etc, or better take bath, put on clean loose minimum clothes according to the weather etc etc).
(1) While doing Jap always try to establish a definite relationship between the sound symbol and the holy idea, so that the idea sprouts the very moment you touch the key of the sound symbol.
(2) Mentally seeing the Mantra written or the concerned deity photo in front of you, with eyes closed
(3) Absolute concentration (feel pleasure and bliss of mind doing the Mantra Jap) - the mind should be concentrated and absorbed on the Mantra and fingers rotating the Maalaa
(4) Speed of Jap - hold the Jap Maalaa tight enough between fingers so that there is grip developed to quickly rotate the Maalaa also making sure that the Maalaa does not slip from fingers and right hand with fingers totally relaxed.
(5) Sit straight with backbone straight during Jap
(6) do not look at watch during Mantra Jap as it tends distracts the mind from Mantra.
(1) Use a rosary bead (preferable of 108 beads) to count your Jap. Always use correct Maalaa for the correct Mantra, for example it may be made of Rudraaksh, or Sandalwood or Crystal etc materials. Use only one Maalaa to chant the name, do not change it.
(2) The rosary bead should not be visible to others, so keep it inside a Go-mukhee (covered cloth), as mala tends to coil inside Go-mukhee instead use Guru Chaadar to cover your Maalaa.
(3) While moving the beads, do not use your first and little finger. Only take the help of your thumb, second and third finger.
(4) While doing Jap the rosary bead should not hang below the navel. The energy of the body gets concentrated at the place till which it hangs. During Mantra Jap, the Maalaa should not touch feet or ground.
(5) Chanting the Mantra should be from the navel and moving towards the center of the forehead. Thus the Jap Maalaa should be rotated clockwise and not anti-clockwise, with right hand held close to heart area.
(6) If during the Mantra Jap the Maalaa falls form fingers then start Mantra Jap again from that Maalaa count.
(7) Do not let anyone else touch your Mantra Jap Maalaa. Do not touch the Mantra Maalaa and Yantra with dirty hands. Keep them wrapped in clean cloth.
(8) Any Mantra should be chanted at least 108 times everyday during morning and evening hours.
(1) Before starting any Mantra Jap do Ganpati Dhyaan then Guru Poojan or Guru Mantra
(2) Have full respect towards the Mantra, its deity and the Guru.
(3) Make no sure no one disturbs you during your Mantra Jap
(4) Your Mantra Jap should be in very low subtle voice which is only audible to the self and not anyone else
(5) Try doing your desired Mantra Jap at the same time everyday, it could be the same time in day or night
(6) If you feel that you might feel sleepy during the Mantra Jap, you may have a cup of strong tea or coffee before sitting for Jap
(7) If a particular Mantra Jap requires specific rules to be followed with it then please do so without compromising.

When the Mantra is chanted very fast, it helps to ward off sins. When the pace is medium, it fulfils worldly desires. When it is very slow, it assists in Spiritual advancement.

Jap depends on Devtaa (God) also, for example, if the Jap is for Shiv then do it with Rudraaksh beads; if it is for Mahaa Vishnu, do it on Krishn Tulasee Maalaa; if it is for Brahmaa Jee, use Sphatik beads; if it is for Mahaalakshmee, use Padm Beej (lotus seed or Kamalgattaa) Maalaa, if it is for Lord Medhaa Dakshinaa Moorty, use pearl - and so on. It depends on Upaasanaa Sampradaaya also. Aasan is also important , better to have Darbhaasan (Kushaasan).

Maanasik Jap is the best Jap. The method is - recite Om while breathing in and Namah Shivaaya while breathing going out.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11