What Is Japa?

An excerpt from “The Wisdom of Sri Chinmoy”, by Sri Chinmoy. There are many Sri Chinmoy Centres around the world. In Toronto his devotees run a wonderful vegetarian restaurant named Annapurna at 1085 Bathurst St. (just south of Dupont).

Hindu Saint Sri Chinmoy

Hindu Saint Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy: Japa is the repetition of a mantra. If you want purity, then today repeat the name of God five hundred times. Then every day increase the number by one hundred. That is to say, tomorrow you will repeat the name of God six hundred times, and the day after, seven hundred. After one week you will repeat the name of God twelve hundred times. From that day start decreasing the number daily by one hundred until you again reach five hundred. Continue this exercise, week by week, just for a month. Whether you want to change your name or not, the world will give you a new name. It will call you by the name Purity. Your inner ear will make you hear it. It will surpass your fondest imagination.
Let nothing perturb us. Let our body’s impurity remind us of our heart’s spontaneous purity. Let our finite thoughts remind us of our inner infinite will. Let our mind’s teeming imperfections remind us of our soul’s limitless perfection.
The present-day world is full of impurity. It seems that purity is a currency from another world. It is hard to obtain this purity, but once we get it, peace is ours, success is ours.
Let us face the world. Let us take life as it comes. Our Inner Pilot is constantly vigilant. The undercurrents of our inner and spiritual life will always flow on unnoticed, unobstructed, unafraid.
God may be unknown, but He is not unknowable. Our prayers and meditation lead us to that unknown. Freedom we cry for. But strangely enough, we are not aware of the fact that we already have within us immense freedom. Look! Without any difficulty we can forget God. We can ignore Him and even deny Him. But God’s compassion says, “My children, no matter what you do or say, My Heart shall never abandon you. I want you. I need you.”
The mother holds the hand of the child. But it is the child who has to walk, and he does so. Neither the one who is dragged not the one who drags can be happy. Likewise, God says, “My divine children, in your inner life, I give you inspiration. It is you who have to aspire with the purest heart to reach the golden beyond.”