August 12, 2017
Once the disciple has been initiated into the mantra, he does japa. Japa is repetition of a mantra. The disciple should realize the meaning of the mantra. The meaning of the mantra is the reality it stands for. Hence, the realization of the meaning of the mantra is the same as the realization of truth, self, God or cosmic consciousness or what ever that may be called, as long as you realize that the word is not the truth.
Ramana Maharishi asked the disciple to focus his attention upon the sound of the mantra, and first see where it comes from and secondly who utters it and who is hearing it. The answer is "oneself" — not as a word but as the reality!
If that is so, why should one do japa which implies the repetition of the mantra?
The obvious answer is: if one is able to realize the self immediately one utters the mantra once, and it is not necessary to repeat it at all. However, if one is unable to find the source of the mantra, the self, one repeats the mantra.