What is “Ajapa Naam yoga (incessant prayer)?
Prayer is a multi tier phenomena. It may be for material gain (personal or social), for spiritual gain or selfless (out of love alone). It may mean expression of ones desires in language. It may mean repetition of God’s name only.
When prayer means repetition of God’s name (NAAM) it needs a medium –
- Loud Chanting (BAIKHARI) – needs musical tune, rhythm, vocal participation in group or solo. However, this prayer is limited to a short period.
- Whisper Chanting (MADHYAMA) – needs rosary beads or finger counting as medium. This method also has limitations such as defined period, engaged hands etc.
- Silent Chanting (PASHYANTI) – needs the support of one’s breathing as the required medium. This kind of prayer has fewer shortcomings.
If repetition of God’s name (NAAM) is tied-up to the inhalation and exhalation then there is no need …… nor there’s a time limit. It goes relentlessly. This is pashyanti and is the process for Ajapa Sadhana.
However, it needs practical demonstration by a teacher who has achieved mastery over the technique. One should not try just by reading literature alone. It may lead to breathing troubles.
The silent chanting on breathing is not easy until a spiritual power is infused into the Naam that is to be repeated.
How can devotees be blessed with AJAPA JAPA or (Sadhana)?
The spiritual power could only be infused into another person by a spiritual preceptor (GURU) if
- He has stored within himself the required spiritual power, like a battery, to be able to transmit direct power and is authorized by the divine power to transmit it to others.
- He has become transparent enough to act as a medium (like a low resistant Copper wire) to be able to transmit power from the perennial source. Here the word “transparent” means lowered ego of the “medium – Guru” who has surrendered himself to the will of the supreme preceptor, (the divine commandant - SADGURU). Power supply of the first is limited but the power of the second is un-ending (comparable to a pond & a snow fed river respectively).
Unless this power is infused into the recipient, his inherent yet dormant power (KUNDALINI SHAKTI) does not wake up. This process is comparable to a lamp which has oil in its container, also it has a wig yet it does not emit light unless it is kindled by a contact of the burning wig of another lamp.
When the KUNDALINI-SHAKTI is awakened and the power impregnated NAAM starts its incessant prayer (AJAPA-JAPA) it lasts till the last breath.
The concept of Ajapa – Japa (or Sadhana)
- AJAPA means involuntary or automatic and JAPA means repetition of “NAAM”. Breathing is also a natural involuntary process.
- The two involuntary processes are wedded together by a spiritual knot. The two become mates and the bond is inseparable henceforth.
- Ajapa continues while you work, relax, eat and drink, while you chat or meditate, even while you go to the toilet or in to deep sleep. It continues knowingly or unknowingly. (Note:1 Watching the natural breathing in itself is Ajapa. In old SHIVAGAM and Buddhism simply watching (i.e. fixing the mind to) the inhalation and exhalation is a process to keep the mind in the present so that its roaming in the past or fancy dreaming in future is abated.
- The duo work together like two wings of a bird. As the breathing infuses Oxygen into blood while inhalation and purifies the gross body so does the “JAPA” burns out the filth of the finer body-lust, greed, anger, vanity, jealousy, etc. etc. Exhalation (breathing) purges out impurities of the gross body so does exhalation (of “NAAM”) purges out impurities of the finer body by forcibly opening the doors of the heart and let go the burnt out filth.
- Hence at the initial stage a new spiritual aspirant is amaze and bewildered to observe that whenever he sits in solitude to observe the inhalation and exhalation process of his breathing along with NAAM, he finds that all the suppressed thoughts, guilt pangs of the wrong deeds, failures & successes in life, loathsome desires, happy moments, etc. starts to play in his mind and he can even visualize some of the incidents with very minute details.
- If various thoughts some good and some disturbing keep playing through your mind, it’s a good sign. This means“AJAPA-JAPA” has started working. Initially it acts like a cleaning gear with all the necessary gadgets to clean our body, mind and soul. While cleaning the body and mind this sadhana works at a very subtle level and purifies the thoughts arising in the mind and also help to clear out the disturbing thoughts of the past. So sometimes if the disturbing or negative thoughts are emerging while you are practicing the JAPA just observe the thoughts and let them go. No need to react. Let the Sadhana take care of it. Know for yourself that serene days are ahead when this cleansing process has advanced.
- “AJAPA-JAPA” is very unique as it continues irrespective of your effort or mental attention. In a day (24 hours) one breathes more than 12500 times and hence JAPA is also of the same number.
- Incessant prayer (AJAPA) occurs at the “PASHYANTI” means observation with full awareness. The aspirant’s only effort is to keep gazing as long as possible.
- A natural Question: – if “NAAM-JAPA” is independent of a person’s effort then where is the role of observation and awareness?
Answer – Unless one observed what is happening inside, there is no feeling of joy & NAAM-JAPA” has nothing in it accept joy, ecstasy and rapture.
- However, the restless nature of the mind is initially unable to concentrate for a long time on any subject or object unless it is of its liking. “NAAM-JAPA” is dry in its initial stage, so the mind does not like to concentrate on “NAAM-JAPA”. It becomes a scuffle between the consciousness and the truant mind to bring it back to school. There are numerous reasons which help in increasing the restlessness of the mind. Out of which the food of the mind is the principal culprit.
- Whatever we receive through our five senses (eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue) turns into a food of the mind Psycho-somatic relations is very strong. The five sense organs (visual, audible, olfactory, tactile and taste) respond to the messages sent by the five physical organs which again send them as psychic stimuli to their master organ, i.e. the mind which then starts relishing, be it morally or spiritually acceptable or not unless and until the enlightened part of the brain, i.e., the conscious mind and the unconscious mind act as a scanners. As such the mind (MANA in Indian terms) is referred to as the eleventh organ, more related to the body than the consciousness.
- Shree Shree Brajiswarananda Das (Pathak Baba)