June 17, 2019
Japa means repetition of a mantra. Repeating OM is japa. It is easy. “Om…Om…Om…" It is tranquil, so beautiful. But it can also be mind numbing, deadening. The mechanical repetition of a mantra may not produce much of an effect.
If one goes on for half an hour or more saying “Om…Om…Om…” even if you are on the verge of madness, or greatly disturbed, I predict that you will fall asleep. It does not matter whether you believe in its use as a verbal indicator, as the name of God, if you sit or lie and keep on repeating Om, you will inevitably drop off to sleep. So it has some effect — to produce sleep and to run the manufacturers of tranquilizers out of business.
I'm not criticizing those who do japa mechanically, but I am pointing out that the mechanical saying of Om has no spiritual value. Spiritual meaning is different. The Sanskrit for the English word "meaning" is artha. Now what is the artha of Om? What does the label "Om" signify? What is the substance it denotes? It is for each one to find out.