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Cosinuskurve
13 September 2013, 01:31 PM
I'm into the Hare Krishna mantra but I don't feel alright when doing it on japa. A religious group prescribes 16 rounds of japa but I have a hard time achieving just one. I also like mantras like Om namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya for their beautiful sound. I like mantras being spoken or sung slowly. What would you suggest to me?

Araloka
13 September 2013, 07:05 PM
Start with what you are able to do consistently, that is what Srila Prabhupada said. I'm guessing you are probably in contact with ISKCON folks, and really only 16 rounds is required if you are seeking initiation or are initiated. If you are not, there is no prescription.

kriyarameeshh
13 September 2013, 07:48 PM
Sri Matre namaha,

If that mantra was given to you by your Guru, only he can advice you on the number.

If you are doing it out of your choice, you can decide on the number for yourself.

For me, the love and devotion with which we chant a mantra is more important than the number.

Regards,
Rameeshh

Necromancer
13 September 2013, 09:41 PM
I'm into the Hare Krishna mantra but I don't feel alright when doing it on japa. A religious group prescribes 16 rounds of japa but I have a hard time achieving just one. I also like mantras like Om namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya for their beautiful sound. I like mantras being spoken or sung slowly. What would you suggest to me?Namaste.

If you can manage it, 108. :D

Usually, I do any multiples of 9 (as 9 goes into 108), so, 9, 18, 27, 54 etc.

You have problems chanting just one round though? Why don't you 'feel right'?

You should chant whatever mantra your Guru gives or what you feel most comfortable with.

You are obviously a Vaishnava, so for me to suggest a Shiva mantra wouldn't apply anyway. lol

I love the sound of the Gayatri Mantra or Mahamrityunjaya Mantra.

I never finish one round of the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra as I am usually in deep meditation about mid way through it.

....but my favourite Mantra:

Aum Bhatuk Bhairavaye Namah

jopmala
26 September 2013, 02:03 PM
Namaste

Is it right to chant maha mantra ( krishna nam ?) for a fixed round only ? If you are in the line of vaishnab dharma of sri chaitanya mahaprabhu, can you tell me with authority who of the parikars or associates of mahaprabhu used to chant or japa maha mantra on beeds for a fixed round ? chaitanya charitamrita madhya lila 21 chapter says that "karma japa yoga jnan bidhi bhakti tapa dhyana // iha haite madhurya durlava"

smaranam
27 September 2013, 04:37 AM
Namaste

I like mantras being spoken or sung slowly. What would you suggest to me?
To continue speaking and singing the transcendental Holy Names slowly, taste them, and see where it takes you. This suggestion is specifically tailored for you. Yes, om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya (12 syllabled - dvAdashAkshari) is also a very good mantra when sung.

------------------

To answer the question "Why a prescribed number of rounds?"

The answer is not tied to Chaitanya ShikshA or any school. This is general information for any mantra.

1. The prescription is AT LEAST x rounds, not ONLY x rounds. The idea behind that is to stay with BhagavAn, to stay with your inner dweller (antaryAmi) for at least that long, so it keeps your consciousness richer for the rest of the day. Usually people are in the world, have duties, have habits, and schedules, which they go about automatically. They interact with the world as part of it, both voluntarily and involuntarily. If you do a certain amount of japa in the morning and then go into the world it makes a difference in the quality of being.

2. In Bhagavad Gita, Shri KRshNa says "Among yadnya, I am the japa-yadnya" (Chapter 10, Vibhuti Yog - where KRshNa points out the best in all things as His vibhuti). So, this japa is an act of sacrifice, a yadnya for the Supreme Lord. Each name, each syllable we chant is an offering to Him. He is so kind and generous that He notes each utterance of His name. So when you call Him with love a 100 or 1000 or 10000 times, He wants to reward the devotee with puNya - by purifying them first. This way we get purified little by little till the reaction of past karma are all burned by His kindness and Grace.

3. This thread - although not the most ideal, is not a bad place to mention purashcharaN of a mantra.
purashcharaN = pura - (prior) + charaN as in charyA (devotional or sacrificial act, gesture, behaviour)



next post...

smaranam
27 September 2013, 04:49 AM
PurashcharaN of a mantra is a sacred vow to chant the mantra as many syllables it has times 1 lakh (ek laksha). This makes one purashcharaN. Then, complete as many purashcharaN as the number of syllables. (This is done over time, not in one day! :) )

e.g. a simple mantra - dvAdashAkshari - om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya
12 syllables.
One purashcharaN = 12 X 100,000 (lakh, laksha) = 1200,000
That would be 1,200,000 / 108 = 11111.11111 rounds

So 11111 rounds will complete one purashcharaN.


Take Bramhan GAyatri mantra. 24 syllables.
One PurashcharaN of gAyatri = 24 X 100,000 = 2,400,000 mantra repetetions = 22222.2222 rounds of 108 roughly.

24 such purashcharaNs (because 24 syllables) would complete a major yadnya.


* There are certain lifestyle rules and austerities one follows during purashcharaN, it is called anushThAn. e.g. eat a light meal with almost no spices, observe specific sittings for japa such as sunrise-sunset-noon-night, sleep on floor or on a simple mattress, bramhacharya, talk less, etc.

Usually the Guru suggests or the disciple takes it up themselves (because the antaryAmi - KRshNa in the heart gives them that 'buddhi'),
after permission from Guru. If the Guru feels they are ready to do this, gives the green signal.

I suppose this topic must be around in one of the HDF threads, knowing all the vast subjects it has already covered. We can read more about it by searching on the keywords.


Hare KRshNa

smaranam
27 September 2013, 05:08 AM
The devotee got purified in the process, just as an ore of a precious metal is heated and melted till you get pure molten gold.
tapa = heat. This is tapascharyA, an austerity that purifies the person of lifetimes of conditioning, and takes them towards moksha (liberation), or shuddha bhakti (pure devotion), or their true nature, the eternal blissful AtmA - sacchidAnanda (sat + chit + Ananda).

To be purely devoted, one has to let go of anartha ( impurities) accrued via lifetimes of worldly existence. There is so much conditioning one has to wash off. Only then chaitanya shines through, nirapeksha (expectationless) ahaituki (self-motive-less) ananya (one-pointed) bhakti (devotion) shines through, prema - Pure Love of God shines through.

However, there is no deadline as such, so we must identify what works for us, and take it from there. Things will change as we advance.
"I want to sing, I want leisure activities like listening to music, "
all this falls off slowly, till one becomes desireless (except for the desire to serve BhagavAn via this japa yadnya / desire for realizing one's real nature).

_/\_

jopmala
11 October 2013, 06:36 AM
Namaste
Does japa has any place in chaitanya mahaprabhu’s vaishnabism ? Chaitanya charitamrita never says a word on japa. It only says about nam sankirtan. So far chaitanya charitamrita is concerned, it does not mention about any round of nam japa nor any associates of chaitanya mahaprabhu is found to practice nam japa on beeds for specific numbers. Chaitanya mahaprabhu never taught any of his associates to utter a mantra or to japa nam on beeds. All they did is only nam sankirtan. Nam sankirtan has a very special place in the philosophy of chaitany mahaprabhu’s vaishnabism . Before chaitanya mahaprabhu , nam sankirtan was not practiced by other vaishnab sampradaya although they practiced nam japa which is also practiced by various religious groups . Even believer in Islam and Christianity also use to japa on beeds. Therefore nam sankirtan is a unique feature of chaitany’s vaishnabism.Whether japa having prescribed numbers is preferable to nam sankirtan or not is to be ascertained by the bhakta him/her self. Some one may also treat both japa and sankirtan at the same level but vaishnab in the line of chaitanya mahaprabhu should know what chaitanya charitamrita says. In Anta lila chapter 20 it says :


Harse prabhu kahen suna swarup ramaray


Nam sankirtan kalau param upaya
Trans : mahaprabhu says to swarup damodar and ramanand ray that nam sankirtan is the ultimate way in kaliyug.



Sankirtan yajne kare Krishna aradhana


Sei to sumedha paya krishner charan
Trans : such person is very intelligent who performs Krishna aradhana by doing sankirtan yajna and such intelligent person gets shelter at lotus feet of sri Krishna .


Nam sankirtan haite sarvanartha nas


Sarvasubhodaya Krishna premer ullas

Trans : nam sankirtan can make one free from all evils and by doing all good it initiates flow of Krishna prem.


Sankirtan haite pap sansar nasan


Chitta sudhwi sarva bhakti sadhan udgam





Krishna premodgam premamrita aswadan


Krishna prapti sevamrita samudre majjan



Trans: by practicing sankirtan one can destroy pap sansar , can attain chitta suddhi or purification of mind which leads to develop sarva bhakti sadhan and thereby develop Krishna prem to feel premamrita which ultimately takes to association of Krishna or Krishna prapti to enjoy Krishna sevamrita.
Therefore vaishnab in the line of chaitanya mahaprabhu need not pracrice nam japa for any kind of purification etc.


Khaite suite jatha tatha nam laya


Desh kal niyam nahi sarva sidhvi haya
Trans : chaitanya charitamrita says that place, time or rule make no sense for nam sankirtan. We can do it anytime anywhere even while in eating or sleeping without following any rule.

The most important aspect of nam sankirtan has been mentioned in the sloka “ nayanang galad-asru-dharaya ……….” Which means “ Hey sri krishna, when such day will come to my life that my eyes will be filled with tears running down( bigalita asrudhara) ,my voice wil be choaked with emotion or the hairs of my body will be erected in an ecstasy of joy while I will be uttering your name”. This is the state which can be attained through nam sankirtan. I do not know whether any body can enjoy such state of ecstasy by doing prescribed round of nam japa as he has to count .


Regarding purashcharan , chaitanya charitamrita says in 15 th chapter of madhya lila :



Tabe ramananda aar satyraj khan


Prabhur charane kichu kaila nibedan





Grihastva vishoee aami ki mor sadhane


Sri mukhe ajna kara prabhu nibedi charane





Prabhu kahe – krishna seva vaishnab sevan


Nirantar kara krishna nam sankirtan
Trans : when ramananda raya and satyaraj khan prayed to mahaprabhu that being householder how ccould they do their sadhan, mahaprabhu advised them for krishna seva , vaishnab seva and non stop ( nirantar) krishna nam sankirtan.





Ek krishna nam kare sarva pap kshaya


Naba bidha bhakti purna nam haite haya





Dikshna purashacharya vidhi apeksha na kare


Jihva sparse achandal savare udhvare
Trans : only krishna nam can destroy sarva pap and also nava vidha bhakti ( nine steps) also can be fulfilled by doing nam sankirtan.
Diksha or Purashcharya is not necessary for nam sankirtan.

brahma jijnasa
11 October 2013, 12:59 PM
Namaste

It has already been demonstrated by Smaranam and me in another thread that japa has been prescribed for the followers of Sri Caitanya!
"Nam sankirtan and Nam japa" thread: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=11481

It is not true that followers of Sri Caitanya did not practice japa!

regards

jopmala
11 October 2013, 09:56 PM
Namaste

In chapter 6 madhya lila , the word japa does not mean japa on beeds for a prescribed number. read the previous lines and two slokes referered to there.

In chaper 22 and 24 of madhya lila, the word japa was mentioned with reference to vaidhi bhakti which is not recommended in the chaitanya charitamrita . The most important point is there is no prescribed numbers for japa mentioned in the above chapters . if we read chaitanya charitamrita being unbiased , it will be easy to understand that it is nam sankirtan and not nam japa is the basic feature of chaitanya's vaishnab dharma. mahaprabhu himself taught this to his associates. if anyone equates nam sankirtan with nam japa then reading chaitanya charitamrita does have no significance.

brahma jijnasa
12 October 2013, 02:56 PM
Namaste

In chapter 6 madhya lila , the word japa does not mean japa on beeds for a prescribed number. read the previous lines and two slokes referered to there.

In chaper 22 and 24 of madhya lila, the word japa was mentioned with reference to vaidhi bhakti which is not recommended in the chaitanya charitamrita . The most important point is there is no prescribed numbers for japa mentioned in the above chapters . if we read chaitanya charitamrita being unbiased , it will be easy to understand that it is nam sankirtan and not nam japa is the basic feature of chaitanya's vaishnab dharma. mahaprabhu himself taught this to his associates. if anyone equates nam sankirtan with nam japa then reading chaitanya charitamrita does have no significance.

What I can see in verses of Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 22.123 (http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/22/123/):


"(19) chant softly, (20) chant congregationally"
japa — chanting softly; sańkīrtana — chanting congregationally

and Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 24.337 (http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/24/337/) is that japa is one of the most important elements of Gaudiya vaishnava practice. Japa is as important as sankirtana.

Now, as far as prescribed numbers for japa is concerned, no one says that there is a predefined number of times for japa to be performed. Scriptures explain how to practice japa. There is no provision that says japa should be performed exact number of N times.

regards

jopmala
12 October 2013, 11:28 PM
namaste

I would like to know whether chaitanya mahaprabhu him self did ever japa on beeds or any of his associates did japa as far as chaitanya charitamrita is concerced. I would also like to draw your attention to the first chapter of Adi Lila of CC where it says :


krishna bhaktir badhak jata subhasubho karma
seho ek jiber ajnan tamo dharma
jahar prasade ei tama haya nash

tamonash kari kare tattver prakash
tattva bastu - krishna, krishna bhakti,premrupa
Nam sankirtan- sav ananda swarupa

chaitanya mahaprabhu used to advise nam sankirtan everytime. not a single time he is found to advise anybody for nam japa on beeds and what is need of japa if nam sankirtan can be continued. please go through chaitanya charitamrita and see what nam sankirtan is meant for. To me nam sankirtan gives so much pleasure that necessity of japa is not felt at all.

brahma jijnasa
14 October 2013, 09:12 AM
Namaste

All the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu practiced japa. We see in Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 24.337 (http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/24/337/) that Sri Caitanya instructed Sanatana Gosvami to describe how devotees should practice japa. Sanatana Gosvami gave detailed description of this topic in his book Hari bhakti vilasa. Sanatana Gosvami was one of the leading disciples and associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was one of the Gosvamis, leading disciples, who had the task to describe the teachings of Sri Chaitanya or Gaudiya vaishnava sampradaya in numerous books. All followers of Sri Chaitanya were supposed to read those books and learn from them.

Japa can be performed always, and when the person is alone, at all times of the day and everywhere.

regards

jopmala
15 October 2013, 02:13 AM
Namaste
First of all I suppose , you do not treat both nam sankirtan and japa in the same level. If nam sankirtan and japa was considered or treated same then Krishna Das Kaviraj would have written japa in every occassion he mentioned ‘sankirtan’ in chaitanya charitamrita. I think we are not at opposit side in this regard.
2. I am not interested to bring any compare between chatanya charitamrita and Hari bhakti vilas. I think chaitanya charitamrita is most widely read , respected and accepted by the vaishnab who follows chaitanya mahaprabhu. There are many things to talk about but I just want to take you to chapter 4 of Anta Lila of chaitanya charitamrita where mahaprabhu tells sanatan goswami :


Bhajaner madhye sreshtha navabidha bhakti



Krishna prem krishna dite dhare mahashakti



Tar madhye sarva sreshtha nam sankirtan



Niraparadh nam haite haya premdhan

3. please go through chaitanya charitamrita and find the merits of nam sankirtan but I am sure you will find no merit at all of japa so far chaitanya charitamrita is concerned.
4. Lastly ,Adi Lila 4th chapter :

"sri krishna chaitanya gosain raser sadan
Ashesh visheshe kaila rasa aswadan


Sei dware prabartila kaliyug dharma


Chaitanyar dashe jane ei sav marma


Ei sav siddhanta gurha kahite na juyaya


Na kahile keha iahar anta nahi paya


Ata-ava kahi kichu karia nigurha




Bujhibe rasik bhakta na bujhive murha"




That the kaliyug dharma is namsankirtan has been mentioned thousand times in chaitanya charitamrita. No where in chaitanya charitamrita it is said that japa is the kaliyug dharma. So many things people do which have no significance at all still they are doing.It is their prerogative.

I do not know whether prescribed number of japa can fill our eyes in tears or can choak our voice with emotion or can erect the hairs of our body but , yes , nam sankirtan can do all these things ( chapter 20 anta lila of CC). This rasa can not found in prescribed number of japa.

brahma jijnasa
15 October 2013, 01:17 PM
Namaste

First of all I suppose , you do not treat both nam sankirtan and japa in the same level.
...
find the merits of nam sankirtan but I am sure you will find no merit at all of japa


I can agree with you that the importance of sankirtana is higher and described as more important, but it does not mean that the Japa is insignificant or that the followers of Sri Caitanya had never practiced it.
Had japa not been important or had japa never been practiced, it would not have been mentioned in Caitanya Caritamrta.
Sri Caitanya asked Sanatana Gosvami to describe japa. It must have a significance then.

The teachings of Sri Caitanya are based on the scriptures such as Bhagavad gita, the Puranas such as Srimad Bhagavatam etc. I think it would be totally superficial and wrong to think that Sri Caitanya neglected the importance of japa since it is mentioned even in the Bhagavad gita 10.25 (http://vedabase.net/bg/10/25/en) :


yajñānāḿ japa-yajño 'smi

"Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa]"

What is important to note here is that in this chapter of Bhagavad gita Lord Krishna describes all the sublime things in the world that
represents Him. Japa is clearly mentioned as one of the best types of Vedic sacrifices. Of all the possible types of Vedic sacrifices Lord Krishna stands out just japa as something outstanding! The Lord says "Of vedic sacrifices I am japa". How, then, could japa be irrelevant?

regards