Japa - Talk II - Page 1 of 6

Once a person is committed to mentally repeating a given chant, his or her mind automatically goes to japa whenever it is free. Just as water draining from the mountains creates new ravines, a new track is created towards which the mind repeatedly goes. In this way, japa becomes a way of keeping the mind meaningfully occupied. As well as being a useful activity, it is also a prayerful one.

Eventually, a time comes when the mind enjoys a certain composure. Because you apperciate that any distraction or agitation is transitory, you do not come under its spell. A mind that knows this has a certain depth, a certain tranquility, even before such agitation begins. In conjunction with the vision of the teaching that you are the whole, japa is very effective.Even without any exposure to vedanta, japa is beneficial in that it keeps the mind meaningfully occupied.


Japa is a tool that enables you to negate any distracting or improper thought by replacing it with the chosen chant. It gives you an occasion to eliminate chain thinking and to be aware of the interval, the silence, between thoughts. This is why I refer to japa as a discipline.

In keeping with the teaching, you understand this silence as something natural. You also develop the capacity to nip in the bud any thought you do not care to have. In all these ways, then, japa is helpful in gaining mastery over the mind.

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