Preparation for mantra

|| Preparation for mantra ||

What type of clothes should be worn during performance of Japa?


Dhoti and Kurta are cheap and convenient wears, which, besides meeting the above objectives, also serve the purpose of religious and cultural integrity. Dhoti and Kurta are also easily washable. In those regions where Dhoti-Kurta are not traditional wears, clean-washed Pyjama may be used. Socks should never be worn during the Sadhana. These are considered as dirty as shoes. (However, to ward off extreme cold, one may wear clean socks reserved exclusively, for this purpose). Though traditionally a yellow Dupatta (Angavastra) on shoulders is recommended, it is not mandatory. Ladies may wear yellow Saree or a loose traditional wear. For Group performance, it is advisable to keep stock of spare clothes for the visiting participants.


What is the significance of Havan?

Jap and Havan are basic ingredients of an Anusthan. After initiation (Dikcha) the worshipper (Sadhak) makes a total surrender to Gayatri and Yagya (his spiritual parents), which are inseparable. Invocation of both is done through specified procedures during the Anusthan.


What is the ideal ‘Bramhabhoj’ after completion of the ‘Anusthan’?

After Poornahuti in the Havan. Traditionally it requires feeding Brahmans or young maidens. Qualified, deserving Brahmans are not easily available, these days. Alternatively, maidens (who being symbolic of mother power of God the Matri Shakti, are fed to augment faith) are offered food, but at times they are not permitted by self-respecting parents to take food in a stranger’s house.


What is the time of the day recommended for Jap during an Anusthan? Is it necessary to complete Jap at a stretch?


The best time is in the morning for all spiritual activities.And yes mantra chanting can be done in instalments ,the maximum breaks taken can be upto six.Although one should try to talke less breaks.


What is “VAAM MARG”?

Sadhanas are carried out in two ways. These are designated as the ‘Dakchin Marg’ and ‘Vaam Marg’ or Tantra. The Vaam Marg, on the other hand, is the technique of pulling out bio-energy from living beings and utilizing it for exercising psychic control over others and for exorcist activities. Tantriks call this energy as Durga or Kali. In practice, the Tantrik excites the bio-energy of an animate being by violently killing it or inflicting excruciating pain on it by extraction of flesh or blood. It is tempting for some highly egoistic and ambitious persons to acquire extraordinary powers through Tantra, But its practise is extremely complex and dangerous.

Is Akhand Yagya permissible?

Yagya should be completed in a fixed time during the day only. The reason being the possibility of insects, worms etc. getting killed in the sacred fire, which makes it a violent and profane act. It is not usually advisable. Is taking a bath essential prior to Jap?


It is advisable to take a bath before sitting for a jap,the saadhak should maintain cleanliness ,but again changes,in daily routine can be taken into account.  We prescribe cleanliness of body and clothes, it is not considered mandatory for all occasions. Situations may arise when the worshipper finds it difficult to adhere to this rule strictly. Under such circumstances, one should not discontinue the routine of worship. Besides cleanliness, the objective of these preparatory rituals is to help the worshipper in getting rid of lethargy. A sick or weak person may wash his arms, feet and face, or if possible wipe the body with a wet cloth.


On what should one concentrate during Upasana?

Saadhk believing in Divinity ‘with form’ (Sakar) are advised to concentrate on an idol or picture of Gayatri, whereas those having faith in formless God (Nirakar) may concentrate in the central, part of the sun, all the while imagining that the ethereal solar energy, it is necessary to concentrate one’s thoughts exclusively on the deity.


Is Jap permissible along-with other activities?

One may perform Jap even while walking or without taking a bath or during other physical activities. On such occasions, however, it should only be a mental process without movement of lips, larynx and tongue. This is called an Upaanshu jap. Instead of taking the help of a rosary, a clock may be used for keeping a count.


How is it possible for illiterate persons and children to do Gayatri Sadhana, for whom the pronunciation of the Mantra is somewhat difficult?


Illiterate persons who cannot utter Gayatri Mantra correctly, can perform Jap of Panchakshari Gayatri “Om bhoor Bhuvaha Swaha.” If they cannot utter even these words correctly, they can perform Jap of “Hari Om Tat-Sat.” This also serves the purpose of Panchakshari Gayatri Mantra.


What is the difference between a Yogi, a Guru and a Swami?

All these terms define different concepts.
A Yogi is one who practices Yoga. It can be referred to occasional practitioners or sometimes full-time aspirants
Having reached a certain degree of realization on the path the Yogi can become a Guru and have disciples. The Gurus of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers are Sri Swami Vishnu-devananda and his own Guru Sri Swami Sivananda.
The Yogis traditionally embrace either the householder path after their training or sometime the monastic life by renouncing the world and becoming a Swami or renounciate.


Why do Yogis breathe through the nose both when inhaling and exhaling ?

Because it is more natural and because the nose in an integral part of the respiratory system, allowing the air to be heated, moistened and filtered.


I know that one should not change one’s Mantra, but I have been initiated into a Mantra and since then, I have developed more devotion to a different deity and I feel the vibration of its corresponding Mantra more powerfully. Should I switch anyway?

Many meditators share the experience described above. And yet it would be a major mistake to switch Mantras. It is a common mental pattern to get bored with something we have been doing over a long period of time. Everything else seems very new and refreshing in comparison. However, regularity is essential in order to go deeper and deeper in meditation.


Should I follow a Vegetarian diet  during jap?

A healthy motto is: “Eat to live, not live to eat”. It is best if we understand that the purpose of eating is to supply our being with the lifeforce, or Prana, the vital life energy. So the greatest nutritional plan for the Yoga student is the simple diet of natural fresh foods. Any change in diet should be made gradually. Start by substituting larger portions of vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts until finally all flesh products have been completely eliminated from the diet. 

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