Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(excerpts from a seminar of Swami Tirtha on the holy name, Ludashto, July 2013)

What are the different understandings of the holy name outside bhakti tradition? I’d like to read from non-vaishnava sources of the Indian tradition, just to see that all are vaishnavas.

First from Mantra-yoga-samhita. This part is about japa. In the Gita Krishna says: “I am japa[1]; it doesn’t mean He is the rosary, but japa-meditation.

“That which from thinking (manana) gives liberation from the material world (trana) is called man-tra. That by which with the japa, (the repeated utterance or recitation of the mantra according to certain rules) the sadhaka is protected or liberated is called mantra. With persistent japa, a sadhaka undoubtedly attains siddhis. Withdrawing his mind from the worldly objects, one perfectly following the meaning of the mantra, should perform japa, neither with fast nor with slow, but with medium speed. Repeated utterance or recitation of a mantra is called japa. Japa is of three kinds: manasa, upamshu and vachika. Manasa-japa is that which is inaudible even for the person performing japa. Upamshu-japa is that which is audible only for the person performing the japa. And vachika-japa is that in which the mantra is audibly recited. The upamshu-japa is ten times and the manasa-japa is thousand times more fruitful than the vachika-japa.

“Japa with a very low speed produces disease. And japa with a very fast speed produces destruction of wealth. A mantra which has been infused with life or vitality becomes decidedly fruitful.” Means if you chant properly, with heart and soul, then it definitely will bring the fruit. “Without giving life to the mantra, japa only in the combination of a few alphabets never gives any siddhi, even though japa is performed millions of times. When japa of a mantra is performed a 100 000 times strictly with accordance with that form which is natural and real characteristic, then the fruit of that japa is equal to 10 million japas.” What does it mean? If you perform it properly, it is hundred times more effective. “This opens the knot of the heart, all the organs become strengthened, tears of joy and feeling of thrill of the hairs come to the sadhaka, he receives the orders of the deity and his voice becomes overwhelmed with joy – there is no doubt about all this.”

Manu-samhita says: “All the Vedic rites, oblations and sacrifices pass away. But through this imperishable syllable om is to be known Brahman and also Prajapati. The sacrifice of invocation – that means japa – is said to be better by tenfold than the regular sacrifice, if inaudible it is hundredfold better and thousand fold if mental. The four household sacrifices, accompanied by regular sacrifices are not worth the 16th part of invocation by japa. By that invocation even a brahmin becomes no doubt perfect, whether he performs anything or not and then a brahmin is called maytra, or well-disposed.”

Now in more friendly waters: “Nitay would employ any means to make people chant Lord Hari’s name. Chaitanya said: “The name of God has very great sanctity. It may not produce an immediate result, but one day it must bear fruit. It is like a seed that has been left in a building; after many days the house crumbles and the seed that falls in the earth germinates and at last bears fruit.” This is from Ramakrishna.

About the holy names and the best chanting Ramakrishna says: “By repeating the name of Krishna or Rama a man transforms his physical body into a spiritual body.”


(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 10.25


Leave a Reply