Srinivas Sista sista at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Wed Aug 12 14:47:21 CDT 1998

> On japa, my understanding is this. Anything that is said aloud is
> lower form japa. For beginner it may be required. Not said aloud,
> chanted mentally with lip movement is better than the former.
> Best is to chant internally with no external movement.  Just
> because, this is the best the lower forms should be not
> ridiculed. They serve the purpose when the best is not possible.
> At times when the mind is scattered, it is better to say it
> aloud than not meditate at all. Especially when you hear what you
> say aloud, slowly the mind will become quiet and one can switch
> to complete internal meditation.  A good prelude like saying
> shlokas will set a good atmosphere for meditation. Those who do
> sandhya will know that by the time one gets to gAyatri japa, mind
> will be quite ready to take on the meditation deeply.
> This is my understanding. I may be wrong.

I too came across the same classification. When I was initiated into
the Mrityunjaya mantra, my guru told me that in the initial stages one
should do japa aloud so that the shabda swaroopa is fixed firmly. Later
only with the lips moving so that the nuances in sound are clearly perceived
eventhough they are not uttered aloud. Then one will be fit to take on
pure mental repetition without losing the mantra form.
(I, being a monkey, experimented with the reverse order and did find that
he was right :-))

Srinivas Sista.

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