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10. జపము (Japamu)


If you do not get into a stage of service to the Master early then you must perform austerities and penances, to come out of the clutches of sensuality.

Japa does not mean growing a beard and sitting under a tree in a forest. Even what we do under our meditational practices is Japa. As a matter of fact, if we take the Hindu culture, if we take any temple town, there will be people in the verandah of the house doing Japa. They will be doing Gayatri mantra, Rama japa, Tirumantra, and other such prayers. They are not going to the forest with a beard. That would be sanyasi logic.

A person doing japa will be remembering God. There need not be a reason for it. We call it Jikar in Urdu which is of two types. Japa done in the heart and Japa is also done with the uttering of name loudly. Japa is not restricted to Hinduism. Christians also use rosary beads. We see it in Islam also.

If we want to come out of the clutches of sensuality, and if there is no assistance of Pranahuti, if there were no Point A and Point B, we have no other option but to do Japa. Then comes the question how many times? Is it a 1000, 100000, 108? There will be a count. If you do no service to God - service to God is what was done by the squirrel. If you don't do any service, then austerity and penance are inevitable. If you don't get into a state of service to Master early (as mentioned in the story of Squirrel), then you will have to do severe practices of Japa (austerity).

What is Japamu? Japamu is part of austerity. What is austerity? We say austere practices. What does it mean? It means reduction of wants. Practicing severe restraints on food. The main point is, they are severe practices. Instead of eating two times, you eat only once. Stomach should not be full. Instead of being full, it should be half full. These are some of the austere practices. We observe fast on certain auspicious days. All these come under austerity. Severely restricting the intake of food and other comforts. Sleeping on hard floors is another way of observing austerity, sleeping less for a maximum of 5 to 6 hours.