The approach to japa has been holistic - religious, spiritual, scientific, Vedic, Vedantic, Yogic and Tantric.
Professor Panda is internationally reputed for his scientific interpretations of the Vedas and the allied Vedic literature. He has also authored a number of widely acclaimed books. His approach is truly integral, synthetic and holistic.
The yoga of the realization of the Reality (Janna-yoga) uses the panama-japa and the pranava-dhyana as a ladder to ascend the steps to reach the summit. Philosophically speaking, the Janna-yoga is primarily non-dualistic. None the less, the onkara-japa plays a prominent role in the spiritual practices of non-dualism.
The Patanjali-yoga of eight limbs, otherwise known as the Ashtanga yoga or the raja-yoga, advocates the japa of the panama, the ohm that designates Invar (God). If properly done, the japa becomes hyena, one of the higher limbs of the eightfold yoga.
Mantra-japa is vitally important in Tantra. Although Tantra-Yoga is an important branch of yoga, a few realize that Tantra has anything to do with yoga. The Kundalini Yoga is an exclusive branch of Tantra. One can hardly separate hath-yoga and Tantra. Band has, mudras and nyasas are the contributions of Tantra-Yoga. A tantric can hardly achieve anything without the purascarana japa. Notwithstanding these facts, any book on japa rarely deals with any tantric japa.
It is heartening to note that yoga has been popularized throughout the world. Most yoga schools limit their activities to physical postures (yogasanas), sometimes with a little addition of Pranayama and meditation. Most yoga schools do not give much emphasis on the three higher limbs of the yogic practices, namely, Dharana, hyena and Samadhi, Yoga practices, for the improvement of physical health and for preventing and curing diseases, are not discredited here. At the same time, it is emphasized that the mental and the spiritual health can hardly be neglected. Further, it is to be noted that the primary goal of Yoga is spiritualization of oneself and that liberation (mochas) is to be sought by making Yoga a means.
We have a conviction that the japa technique of Yoga is comparatively easier than the other ones. In spite of this fact, many yoga schools hardly give any importance to this technique.
We went through the scanty number of yoga books on japa. A few of them are reasonably good and we have been immensely benefited by them. Nevertheless, we have a feeling that a lacuna does exist and it is to be got over. And hence is this attempt to write this book.
With regard to japa-yoga, our approach has been holistic and synthetic. Essentially, we are non-dualistic and monotheistic in a wider frame, which binds diverse theories of dualism, polytheism and pantheism. We are firm and steadfast about the fact that Being is formless and a single one only. At the same time, we do accept forms and multiplicity by accepting the phenomenon of manifestation from the Unman fest and also by recognizing the psychological need of forms for avoiding abstractions and for better mental concretization. Thus, we have drawn no line of demarcation. Thus, we have drawn no line of demarcation between yoga and Tantra, Vedic and non-Vedic systems, dualism and non-dualism, form-worship and formless worship, devotion and knowledge, science and spirituality and the sundries.
This book on japa-yoga has systematized japes of diverse systems. It has elaborated the techniques in simplified ways. It focuses on the methods of doing the japa. It is up to the reader to choose one or more of the techniques of japa for his/her adoption out of the cafeteria-presentation.
The japa is usually regarded as a religious activity. We have not denied that. But we have philosophized it and that is the reason for short discourses here and there on different philosophical systems. As a religious activity, it is based on faith. As part of philosophy, it is based on rationality, logicality and analysis. We have leaned more on spirituality than on religion.
It is hard for some people to accept the japa as a science. We do not agree with them. This book on japa-yoga has a lot of science, especially medical science with special reference to the treatment of diseases. Any reader can practise the japa methods and ascertain the benefits obtained. Any medical scientist may do experimentation on the efficacy of the japa-methods for preventing and curing diseases. It is hoped that doctors, in the future, may prescribe the japa-techniques in addition to their medical and/or surgical therapies.
The japa-sadhana is partly subjective and partly objective. Objectivity which is a key-word in scientific experimentation may not wisely exclude this partial subjectivity while evaluating the experimental result.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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