Question on 16 Japa Tips

By:Mahanidhi Swami

a. Please clarify tip 4 “return to mental japa as soon as possible”.

Sanatana Gosvami Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.157-163 describes three forms of japa: distinct loud or soft (vachika) indistinct loud or soft (upamshu) and mentally contemplating each syllable while meditating on the meaning of the mantra (manasic). Most Gaudiya Vaisnavas chant manasic japa silently within the mind without moving tongue or lips. Manasic japa requires the most concentration and absorption. Try it and you will see, it is not easy. Verse 159 says manasic japa is one thousand times more beneficial then regular spoken japa! Words here are just suggestion for improving and intensifying our experience in japa. The main principle is to hear with a concentrated and surrendered heart joined with a mind fixed on the transcendental meaning, form, qualities and pastimes of SRI HARINAMA.

b. Why are you saying chant at dawn and dusk when most say dawn is good and evening in the mode of ignorance? Also in a lecture Srila Prabhupada said to move the tongue during japa, so what to do?

If you can chant manasic japa, that’s best. And surely Srila Prabhupada will approve for he said, ” Judge a practice by the results you perceive. “As the day starts with mangala aratika and japa, it should end with sayana aratika and japa. Of course, the best time to meditate on nama, rupa and lila is 3 am to 6 am.

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