Japa Yoga

Japa (Sanskrit: जप) is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name.

Maa speaking with a group of Rishikesh Yogis in Haridwar February  21, 2016
If you keep chanting the sacred mantra OM, the mind naturally comes into a peaceful state of Shanti (stillness) which eventually becomes Shunya (emptiness). After dissolving into this nothingness, all movements and mudras that spontaneously occur in the body are pure Shakti (power) only. The Prakash (light of God) shines in everyone, and the Supreme Divine Light pulls this light to Itself. Yogis do sadhana and meditation to achieve this state. If we discover that pure illumination and power within ourselves, or if we have the good fortune to meet a Sant-Mahatma or Seer of Truth (Yogi in whom it is fully manifest), the purpose of our life has been fulfilled. We can live 100 or any number of years, but ultimately we have to reach to this place - the goal of human birth is to realize Atma (our true and essential Self).

Only the God Power within can bring benefit to your life. How much can you really learn? Ultimately you need a practical realization of this spiritual power in order to fulfill your human birth. The destination is the same for everyone, though the ways and methods may be many and varied; we all have to go there from whence we came.

We are from different countries, but the Divine Power has connected us, and that is the reason we have been brought here together. You are all the children of the Supreme Power and that Power of Love is within you. Singing Bhajans and chanting the divine names is a joyful way to connect with that Power. When you chant or sing alone it is not so profound, but if you chant along with other devotees, the power of love has started already to rise, so you can instantly feel that pure vibration within yourself.

Eyes cannot see you. You are the source of sight. RUMI

Can you look at your own face? It is physically impossible to observe one's own face, but one characteristic of Gurus, is their power to reflect our faces back to us, mirroring our imperfections, as it were, in their own perfection. As we cannot see ourselves directly, it can only be shown to us through a reflective medium. That is the reason that the Shakti creates a Mala (garland) of beings/persons - the first one mirrors one quality to us, and the next one shows yet another, and so it goes on around and around the complete circle, until we recognize ourselves in each other. The beads are spread all over the place, and Gurus picks up the pearls and strings them together on the same thread, thereby creating a complete and perfect necklace. Everyone has a different role to play in this creation. All the powers like Ganapati, Lakshmi, Kali have specific duties to perform in this world. Everybody has their own work to complete, but ultimately we have to rise above this active creation. The Guru cannot carry you along, the physical Guru doesn't even go anywhere with you. The role of the Guru is only to point you to the right path and then manifest other disciples or guides who further show the way to you, as you traverse the necklace of your Self. God works through Gurus, and its own powers (deities, demigods, gods and goddesses). Everybody has to go alone. We can be shown the way, but in reality it is up to us to do the work.

When we go to a Seer of Truth, even if we go with complete devotion, we still don't know what we will find there or how it will benefit us. We have to seek only Truth, because Truth alone is Satya (true). If you come in the company of a Satguru (knower of Truth) it is beneficial to surrender yourself in devotion to him/her. Whatever faith and love you take with you to the Guru, only that will be reflected back to you. Accept the Divine Name from a Satguru - in fact, take everything from the Guru. Then you will realize that the Guru is always within you.

Hari Naam Shakti hai

All Names of God are forms of spiritual power. How we do the Japa (repetition)) of the Naam, depends on our own inclination. We can chant Om Namah Shivaya, Hari Om, Hare Krishna, Jai Maa etc. All Divine Names are full of power and every mantra is a doorway to that power.

It is encouraging to meet people who are moving on this path. It is very difficult to meet such devotees, because normally people stay away from this path or run away from spirituality - even though it is something that is required of everybody.

So you have come here, so only go again after you have tasted it. Only the luckiest amongst people get it, not everybody gets it.It is very difficult to get an opportunity to find a Satguru and to sit with a Satguru. Rishikesh is very powerful place and all the ancient Rishis have meditated and done Tapasya there for long periods. It is a very powerful place and a great Shakti there. Now a little pollution is also there, but don't look at it. Just be within yourself and do your practice. Do your meditation and keep your attention on your third-eye. Wherever you will go, you will find that power with you. God wants the ones like Meerabai who were able to find it. God wants more people to become like Meera, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Nanak. These Tapasvis have come. Wherever you go, go with complete faith and devotion and you will get something. However you practice your meditation, keep on doing it. If you do it while walking or sitting with eyes closed, just keep doing that, and stay connected to the power. For everybody it has been written down how it has to happen, and so different people have got it in different ways. Just by stitching shoes, Saint Ravidas achieved the goal of life. Buddha was a son of a king and by seeing a dead body he renounced the world. For years he didn't take any food. So it is already written in our destiny. The great Yogis have come into this world and fulfilled their destiny. Krishna came and did his work. Here you have also come, so you also have to do your work. Those Yogis all found the steps to heaven. Maa has also found it. We all have to learn from the great Tapasvi and meditate. Meditate in the right way, so that you don't remain just the way you are, but you become That. So Ham. Meditators are the ones that God really loves. God loves the Tapasvi.

Tapasya Yagya hai

When a Tapasvi performs fire sacrifice, he learns to control fire, and anything he wants he will get. The fire goes back to Fire and divine light goes back to Divine Light. Ignorance abides in ignorance. Similarly, the inner light merges into it source. Even while living in this creation, you will come to realize that you are different from this creation. We have to rise above this creation, by rising above all the desires and attachments. This body is made up of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space, so we have to rise above these elements. Just like there are five elements, there are also five deities Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Ganesh and Gauri which reside in the human body. The Guru also gives Diksha (initiation) of Panchnaam (five names) which enables us to rise above the five elements. Then there is a possibility of rising to Satlok (the realm of Truth). We are from the abode of Truth and we have to rise up to this spiritual plane of existence. Rise above it all. We have to go beyond these elements of this material world, we have to rise above the five deities and we have to keep remembering the five names. That is how we can achieve enlightenment. We have to understand the chakras, and how the power starts moving through these centers of consciousness. The really profound spiritual experiences occur above the Ajna Chakra at the top of the head. There is another eye at the back of the head. From here we can feel higher powers. We have to wake by 4am and do sadhana until around 7am and then have breakfast and relax. During the day you can keep remembering the Panchnaam, and keeping your attention on the third-eye. In the evening you can also do more meditation, keeping a firm resolve to achieve your goal. Aim for the best, and the best will come! When relaxing, just feel that you are in the lap of God, and that God is taking care of everything. These rules are for the ordinary people, but Sadhus and serious Sadhakas should meditate up to 16 hours daily.

Keep your mind focused. Bhakti creates Shakti. Whatever Maa does, she does it for God. Everything is being offered to God. That is way to  lead your life in a proper way. You should only seek out pure places, because whatever company you keep, you become that ultimately. So it is good to live in a Sattvic environment, together with others of pure heart. You should live in a sanctified environment. The Saints and Seers with whom you associate should be pure. Be always pure yourselves, live in purity, and reside in a pure place, maintain its holy atmosphere. So for that, it has to be recognized what is pure around us, and what is not. By realizing the difference, you find the way to Truth, because the power of Truth is always pure. Live and let live, and live with pure devotion towards God. You never know when your life force will leave this body. The soul is bound within the body and it has to be released. While having full devotion and love towards God, keep on serving everybody around you. When suffering comes to you, it comes to make you strong. So don't become frightened by it, just endure it with courage, and it will only strengthen you. Choose the path of Truth always. One way leads through thorns and the other through flowers. If we move on the thorns we become strong, but when we move on the flowers we become very weak. Whatever pain and suffering we have faced, they have made us stronger - these are the thorns on the path. And whatever comforts we have had enjoyed, they are the flowers that have weakened us. All these thorns have provided us with the power of forbearance and endurance, though there is a natural tendency to only remember the thorns. Happiness is hidden behind pain, and misery is hidden behind happiness. That is how it is.

First we have to love ourselves, love everybody and love God; only then we can realize God. The people who hate others, they will never realize God. Accept all pain and pleasure, happiness and misery, and just remain devoted to God. You never know how next year will be spent, so just remain in the present moment. Dissolve yourself in the ultimate Reality. Become so meditative that you dissolve perfectly in Truth, and go away from each and every desire of the senses. This is certainly possible through devotion. Devotion has that power.

Bhakti se Shakti, Shakti se Mukti

From devotion you get spiritual power, and through power you achieve liberation. All the people who donate and do seva, they also do it for liberation. On the path of Bhakti, we can easily get liberated, while smiling and laughing. God is love. Whenever you see the form of any Deities or Sages, they are always smiling and have love for everybody. So do not hurt others and do not insult God. We were all sent here by God, so do your duties as prescribed, and consider them as works of God. By doing this, you will merge with God. Sages have found the Truth of God, and then composed or revealed the scriptures to others. It has been written down many times and still they are writing. Maa is blessing all of you so that you can all become liberated and achieve the goal of your life. Whatever someone has, only that they can give. Maa has only this, so she is giving this to you. When you meditate, you will discover the power in these words. God will help you to achieve your desires. Keep on searching for it and keep on meditating, and you will definitely get it.

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Listen here to Maa chanting the Divine Names with these yogis at the end of the discourse....

The scriptures state that for each Yuga (age), a particular method of God realization is particularly appropriate: in Sat-yuga, one attained the Absolute through deep meditation; in Treta‐yuga, through sacrifices; in Dvapara‐yuga, through Deity worship; and in Kali-yuga, through Japa of Naam.

Japa is a Sanskrit word derived from the root jap, meaning "to repeat quietly and internally." Likewise, Japa yoga can be practiced verbally or mentally. Repeating the mantra aloud has the advantage of shutting out external worldly sounds. This is called vaikhari japa. The next stage, as the mind becomes more focused, is a whispering or humming repetition, called upamsu japa. Finally, one reaches silent mental repetition, or manasika japa. This is the most powerful form. Another type is likhita japa, which is writing of the mantra. When practicing Japa yoga, all the mantra repetitions are considered moments of connection with the true Self. When the mind adjusts to the power and vibration of a mantra, mind and mantra eventually become one.

Bhakti Yoga is the path of the heart. Praising the Divine cuts through the mind, opening us to a deeper level of yoga. Sanskrit Mantras are sacred formulas, pure sound vibrations which have spiritual force behind them. By chanting in Sanskrit, the mind is freed from thinking about meaning, allowing us to fully immerse in the experience of sacred sound and open-hearted devotion. Through prolonged repetition of mind‐dissolving sounds, the mind slowly drops away, allowing blissful states to arise. A pre-requisite for a deep inner spiritual experience is a tranquil and focused mind. Through this Mantra Yoga we are released from our mental distractions and can unite our heart with the Divine, to rest in the true nature of consciousness. Practicing Japa regularly can also help concentration and improve our mental-emotional health.

Read here a comprehensive description of Japa Yoga given by Swami Sivananda

Bimba Pratibimba

Bimba Pratibimba is a Sanskrit term meaning "the source of light and its image or reflection"Bimba is like the string that connects the flowers in a garland - it supports the entire universe while being present in all living beings. The individual soul is only the reflection of the Atman on the mind; this reflection gives rise to a separate sense of ego. The doctrine of Pratibimbavada states that the whole universe is merely a projection of the mind and has no essence of its own; the mind projects its own contents on the world and believes it to be separate from itself.

A spiritual practitioner seeks to harmonize the microcosm (pratibimba) with the macrocosm (bimba) through various practices, one of which is Yoga. Pure light (Atma Jyoti) cannot be seen directly. Vairagya (dispassion) means that even though, without the reflecting medium I cannot recognize the original, I have to give up my attention to the medium of reflection and pay attention only to the light of consciousness which is being reflected.... http://advaita-academy.org/original-and-reflected-consciousness-2/

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Realise the Truth of this world