The aim is to create a situation where the chosen mantra repeats itself continuously and spontaneously twenty-four hours a day. The mantra should overwhelm your whole attention; it should be a permanent background to all thoughts and actions. No matter what you are doing, work or play, there should be constant awareness of the mantra. This brings about incredible one-pointedness of mind and in time all problems and mental fluctuations are soothed away.
The mantra should also be synchronized with respiration. Therefore, a person who has perfected ajapa will repeat the mantra about 21,600 times every day (i.e. 15 respirations per minute or 900 per hour). Actually, however, the number of mantra repetitions will be much less, for continuous practice of ajapa leads to such mental and physical relaxation that the breathing rate will drastically reduce. At an advanced stage the breathing rate at times may be two or three times per minute.
The whole body and mind should unceasingly vibrate with the mantra. This is not easy, for at first great mental effort is required to prevent the mind wandering here and there. Effort is required to train the mind to repeat the mantra as japa. As soon as the mind wanders then the mantra will be forgotten. But when the process becomes spontaneous as ajapa, then no effort is required. You will be forced to be attentive to the mantra; you will be attracted to the mantra like iron to a magnet. To attain this stage, however, will require much time and effort. But if the stage of continuous ajapa is reached, then one’s whole life will be transformed. The mind will become a perfect reflector of experience and consciousness.
Very few people will be able to repeat the mantra throughout the day. Therefore, it is sufficient to repeat the mantra, synchronized with the breath only for the duration of the set meditative practice of ajapa that will be described shortly. This will bring many benefits if it is done diligently, though not as many as continuous ajapa day and night.