Constant Japa With Bhava Needed
by Swami Sivananda
Keep the spiritual ideal before you always and struggle hard to confront and overcome the difficulties one by one. Then only you will get spiritual strength (Atma Bala). Constant remembrance of the Lord and feeling His Presence will help you to realise the goal. When a mental habit of Nama Smarana and Japa is formed by practice for 3 or 4 months, the mind by itself will do the Smarana whenever it is released from office work. It will automatically move to the background of thought. This is your spiritual asset.
If you remember God at the time of death, you can certainly realise Him. Lord Krishna gives His word of assurance: "He who, casting off the body, goeth forth thinking upon Me only at the time of death, he entereth into My being; here is no doubt of that." (Gita Chap. VIII-5). But you can remember God at the time of death only if you have practised such remembrance throughout your life.
Form a strong habit of repeating the Name of the Lord. Then only it will be easy for you to remember Him at the moment of death also.
If you do Japa of a Mantra 13 crores of times, you will have Darshan of your Ishta in physical form. If you are sincere and earnest, you can do this within 4 years.
In 14 hours, you can do 2000 Malas of Hari Om Japa. In 7 hours you can do Japa of one lakh of Sri Rama Mantra. In half an hour you can do 10,000 Sri Rama Japa.
Chitrakuta is a wonderful place for meditation. There is the river Mandakini with clear, sparkling water. Bhaktas of Sri Rama can have Darshan of Lord Rama in six months if they do Japa of Rama Nama in Chitrakuta in right earnest intently, living on a diet of milk and fruits. So says Sri Tulasidasji in his Chopai.
For some who practise Japa or recitation of Mantra daily the repetition becomes mechanical. They do not feel any bliss during the repetition. They will have to generate the Bhava and think of the meaning of the Mantra and attributes of the Lord. They should try to feel the Chaitanya and Sakti of the Mantra and His Presence in the heart and every atom of the body. Then they will feel a peculiar holy thrill in the heart, bliss and supreme peace which is beyond description.
It is not the number of Japa that should be taken into consideration. There must be purity, concentration and Bhava (feeling) while doing Japa. This is more important.
Do not bother about Matra, Para and Pasyanti. Do Japa of OM mentally regularly with meaning and Bhava. You will realise the spiritual benefits. Why do you waste your time in counting the pebbles on the bank? Take a dip immediately in the Ganga and enjoy the bath. Become wise.