Chanting of the name

Ravi ravi at AMBAA.ORG
Sat Feb 1 12:05:31 CST 2003

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 20:13:40 -0800, savithri devaraj
<savithri_devaraj at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>I think japa-yoga is different from dhyAna.

You are correct, there is difference in understanding of this terminology.
One can say japa yoga is akin to dhaaraNa. But the goal of japa yoga is to
progress to the stage of dhyAna. If you refer to hariharananda aaraNya's
notes on vyAsa bhAshya of patanjali's yoga sutra (see 3-1 and 3-2, p251).
This is clearly brought out. dhaarana is intermittent, like water falling
drop after drop -- that is a idea on which attempts to japa repeats one
after another immediately in its wake. When it becomes dhyAna, author notes
that its like oil or honey flowing continuously (vyAsa uses the word

It is my understanding, I may be wrong, that goal of japa is to proceed to
this state. As Swami hariharananda aaraNya notes, it essentially has to
become a single thought rather than same thought repeating itself again and
again and one attains ekAgrata. And the object that is meditated can be
*anything* according to yoga.  My point is, if you are meditating on X, by
doing japa, the focus should be on X and not on the silence in between.
That way the japa/dhaarana of X becomes a dhyAna. In the context of giita,
in 8-8 even dhaarana is compared to a flow. Probably because, it is  the

(my quote 13-25 is actually 13-24, there seems to be some numbering error
or difference in giita supersite. But I should say, that site has become an
amazing treasure, and now you an create good quality PDF on the fly).

>I have heard that when you foresee unworthy thoughts
>coming, or like to get out of the grasp of unholy
>thoughts, it is good to chant the mantra quite fast so
>that the mind loses its grip on the unwholesome
>thoughts and can easily concentrate on the mantra.

This is correct. By fast, what is meant is not leave so much gap or pause
between repetition. They should follow one after another. If one pauses a
lot and one is  beginner, one  will be lost.

Your corrections are welcome.

Thank you.


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