Showing posts with label Japa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japa. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Mala? When And How Are Malas Used By Hindus?

 


 (“garland”) This term refers to any kind of necklace.

Flowers garlands are common in India, and are presented as presents to deities (who wear them around their necks as decoration) or as a symbol of welcome and respect to any valued visitor.

Garlands or necklaces constructed of more durable materials are essential elements of religious adornment, and in certain instances, they have strong sectarian associations.

Many Shaivas use rudraksha beads in their malas, which are an aniconic version of Shiva, their patron god.

In the same manner, many Vaishnavas would wear a mala fashioned from the wood of the Tulsi plant, which is thought to be a manifestation of the goddess Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort.

Malas used for ceremonial reasons may be fashioned from nearly any material, despite the fact that these materials function as sectarian markers.

Materials like amber, rock crystal, coral, semiprecious stones, and gemstones—materials that are durable, expensive, and not produced by human hands—are the most popular.

Malas are used to maintain track during mantra recitation (japa) by passing one bead between the finger and thumb with each recitation for ceremonial reasons.

Typically, 108 pieces are strung on such malas.

One bead on each mala is distinguished from the rest, and mantra recitation always starts with this bead.

Mount Meru, the mythological mountain that serves as the cosmic pivot for the whole created order, is represented by this bead.

When one reaches the end of the mala and returns to the Meru bead, one should change ways, according to tradition.

By never passing over the Meru bead, the wearer is metaphorically circling Mount Meru as the universe's center.

Malas are potent religious artifacts that are said to be charged by their owners' spiritual energy because of their connection to regular religious practice.

As a result, malas are practically never traded, with the exception of a guru's gift to a follower.

The majority of malas are only touched by the owner.

As a barrier against potentially corrupting outside influences, those doing recitation would typically cover their hand and mala in a fabric bag (known as a gomukh or "cow's mouth").

The ban against fixing and reusing a damaged mala stems from the belief that a mala absorbs its owner's spiritual vitality.

A mala is said to shatter because it gradually pulls out its owner's bad spiritual powers, according to popular belief.

A mala should be abandoned after it has been shattered to avoid the owner coming into touch with this potentially harmful energy again.


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Hinduism - What Is Japa?


 (as in "muttering," "whispering") Individual recitation, generally the repeated utterance of a specific mantra or heavenly name(s), frequently with the use of a string of beads (mala) to execute a certain number of repetitions.

This kind of recitation is normally done as a private religious act, with just the reciter's voice heard and no other people present.

Japa is a Hindu practice that emphasizes the advantages of repeatedly chanting the holy name; such repeats are said to have eventual spiritual effects.

Japa is especially significant in the Gaudiya Vaishnavas sect, which was established by the Bengali saint Chaitanya and emphasizes public recitation of the holy name.

 


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Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Yogic Techniques to Improve Concentration


Psychic, Powers, Superhero, Magic, Eyes


TRATAK (STEADY GAZING). 


A candle flame, the moon, a dazzling star, a mandala, a beautiful flower, or the eyes of a portrait of your guru or a saint are all examples of external objects to which the gaze is focused without blinking and with entire focus. 

To practice tratak on a photo of your guru, Jesus Christ, Krishna, or a saint, sit in a comfortable and relaxed position and hold the photo of your choosing at eye level and one arm's length in front of you. 

With your eyes open, stare at it steadily with full concentration and interest for a minute or two, then close your eyes and envision the face and eyes of the Master, guru, or saint you've been staring at. 

By envisioning these Masters in your spiritual eye, you can tune in to their consciousness. Within the lotus of your heart, feel their presence, love, joy, light, and vitality. 

Remember, no matter how much love you have for the personalized image (saint, guru, deity, etc. ), the object of devotional concentration should always be regarded as just one expression of God, lest we lose sight of the unity that exists behind the multiplicity of manifestations — the un-manifested godhead, that which is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. 

We must move beyond personality worship and form worship to attune to the divine Consciousness that gives and manifests love, light, joy, and knowledge via the form of personality. 



JAPA 


Japa is the practice of repeating any of God's Names in order to cultivate devotion and focus the thoughts on Him. Repetition can be done aloud, in hushed tones, or silently to oneself. Japa is commonly performed using mala beads or a rosary that contains 108 beads. 

The number 108 has special meaning since ancient yogis calculated that a normal individual takes 21,600 breaths in 24 hours; 200 times 108 = 21,600. One hundred and eight is also a spiritual number, as it is divisible by nine. When done with attention and a total surrender to God, mental japa prepares the mind for profound meditation. 

Consistent japa practice cleanses the mind and redirects the flow of attention away from extraneous objects and toward God. Sit in a comfortable meditation position and focus on the heart chakra (anahata) or the space between the brows (the spiritual eye) to practice japa — see page 86. 

The mind may be readily controlled by focusing the thoughts and closing the eyes on the inner spiritual eye. In your right hand, hold your japa mala or rosary. Hold the first little bead next to the bigger sumeru bead between your right thumb and middle finger and recite your mantra once with focus. Continue with the next little bead, repeating the mantra. 

Continue working your way around the mala, one bead at a time, until you've completed all 108 mantras. When you return to the sumeru bead, do not cross it to begin the following round; instead, turn the mala and start from the last bead before the sumeru.



KIRTAN 

Kirtan, or chanting, is a powerful tool for channeling and focusing the mind's energy inward toward God. Chanting devotional songs stimulates the heart's innate love and dedication. 

It has the potential to arouse in us a desire to know and be closer to God. It provides us a taste of the Self, which is happiness. Chanting also promotes feelings of love, joy, and serenity. 

Ask yourself, "Who am I chanting to and why?" before you begin to chant. 


Chanting is half the fight


This is crucial if you want to transcend your ego. When we chant, we should experience the presence of the Lord in our hearts. 

Chant with love and dedication, and focus your thoughts solely on God. Listen carefully to the lyrics and experience the chants' energy and vibratory force as you chant. 

Concentrate on the spiritual eye (ajna chakra) or the heart chakra with your eyes closed. 

Begin by chanting aloud, allowing the words and rhythms of the chant to fill your body and mind, then progressively lower the volume while increasing the inner experience of the chant until you reach the super-conscious level, when you may transform internal vibrations into spiritual realizations.

These encouraging remarks from a great Master are a fantastic source of encouragement for anybody who is really looking for God.



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