Why japa is so effective

Last time we saw that there is no theoretical objection for the naam japa to lead us towards ultimate Truth, the nirgun form of God. Now, we will see that it actually does so, if it is done properly.

Now, the abstract form of God is in the form of Sat-Chit-Anand, i.e. Existence, Knowledge, Bliss. These three words describe one and the same entity. If we get hold of any of these three attributes, then the other two come for free (buy 1 get 2 free!!). We have already seen that this Bliss aspect of God is something that is independent of everything in this world. It has to be so. Otherwise that thing on which it is dependent is more deeper than God, which is absurd by the very definition of God as the ultimate Truth. Therefore, to see the effectiveness of our japa, we will see how it leads us to this unattached, independent bliss.

As we have seen, this bliss is always with us. It is like the air around us. We have taken it for granted and hence we have ceased to give it any importance. Now, when the air around us gets polluted enough to threaten our comfortable life, we sit up and try to rectify the problem causing the pollution. Exactly in the same manner when our inherent happiness gets too much disturbed by the choices we have in our life (what is important to me, why should we live, how do I determine that my life is full etc. etc.) we wake up and try and see deeper meaning of life.

It is no coincidence that the Gita was told to Arjuna when he was completely overwhelmed by grief and the cause of that grief was nothing but the life he has chosen to live from his birth (identifying himself to be Kshatriya, knowing very well his rights as a prince etc.). Anyway, this aside we come to spiritual path when suddenly we see that our life is incomplete, whatever that means to you or me. Till then we were happy, you see. Therefore, when we come to the spiritual path, we have developed a notion of what causes happiness. How we define that our life is full and complete etc. All our definitions were based on things of this world, because we didnt know anything better till now. Now to see that bliss is independent of all our preconceived notions of obtaining happiness, we must first obtain bliss without any of the earlier means. For example, if we remember God after having a good meal and thank Him for providing us such a meal and felt a surge of bliss afterwards, we might get confused that this happiness is because of full stomach. It need have come because of God. As long as a possible explanation with old means remain we will not be fully convinced about the independentness of the Bliss. Chanting the name of God quietens ones mind and suddenly we get a glimpse of the Calmness, the Bliss. If we do this at all times and see that this bliss is not caused by any external means but the japa, we see an easy way to obtain bliss. Just chant the name of God and be happy! Thus, japa helps us in removing the self imposed dependence of happiness on certain things of this world.

However, the full work of japa is still not done. Now the Bliss seem to depend on japa. Therefore in the final stage of sadhana even this japa must vanish. We should see that Happiness is our very nature. It is independent of not just on any worldly thing but also of spiritual practices. Japa somewhat like the famous Cheshire cat in Alice in the Wonderland. It vanishes leaving its smile behind, you see. Another example is: we take a thorn in our hand and with its help remove the thorn stuck in our skin. But after removing the thorn, we must keep aside both the thorns, the one with which we have removed our troublemaker also has to be discarded.

This state is what is called ajapa japa (the repetition without any work). This form of japa makes your life nothing but the flow of Bliss, the Bliss that is independent of anything around you. Outwardly, you may still have to face difficulties, you may still get good or bad work done and get praised or scolded for it and so on. The life goes on. But you have a constant access to the Bliss, Atmananda. That is why in the Gita, it is said that it is very difficult to know who is dnyani by his (or her) outward behaviour.

But all this has a starting point in chanting the name of God in all the circumstances of your life (otherwise how would you know the independentness of happiness from that circumstance?). So remember God when you are having bath, catching your bus, facing the wrath of boss or accepting a promotion, eating your breakfast or waiting desperately for your evening tea, while making love or having a fist fight, taking care of your parents or having arguments with them. It is this kind of constant japa that will liberate you from all activities.

So it has been said and so it shall happen!!


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