Japa-Part 2 – Likhit japa

The word likhit means ‘written’. Therefore, this practice is called ‘written japa’. It involves writing the form of the mantra down in a notebook hundreds of times. For example, you can write the symbol of Aum as follows: You can of course choose any symbol that you wish.

The letters should be as small and as neat as possible. This will increase the concentration. Write each symbol with the utmost care, proportion and sense of beauty. Let each symbol be a work of art, at least to you.

As you write each mantra, you should mentally chant the associated mantra. This may not seem to be a meditational practice, but it is nevertheless. If you write pages and pages of symbols and simultaneously chant the mantra, then you will induce one-pointedness and harmony of mind. If you associate this writing with devotion and/or reflection on the meaning, then this is even better. This is a well-known practice in India. During the month of Shravana, Hindus traditionally pick numerous leaves from the bilva tree. The mantra Aum Namah Shivaya is written on each leaf with red powder and offered to Lord Shiva. This practice continues for a month and generates great devotion.

This is a practice you may like to try on a quiet Sunday afternoon, instead of reading a newspaper or sleeping.

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