The 4 P’s of Japa

While practising japa every day, I thought to share this principle which works pretty well every time. However, it is quite intuitive and requires you actually start chanting to notice that it’s working.
The major hurdle devotees face while chanting is to bring their minds back to their japa practice. At least, on the individual level it appears to be that way.
Pace – This important principle permeates the entire chanting process. While it is important that you chant at a reasonable pace so that your japa doesn’t become mechanical, sometimes I find slightly increasing the pace to be helpful in overcoming the mind’s own agenda.
Pitch – It is supremely important to connect to chanting the Holy Names. One can easily get distracted and start chanting offensively (lack of attention). Therefore, when the mind gets distracted, slightly augment the pitch (loudness) of your chanting. Together with pace, pitch does a nice job. This forces the mind to connect.
Promise – Always remember that you have promised Srila Prabhupada and Sri Guru that you will honor the vow of chanting which itself is the alpha and the omega of the Krishna Consciousness movement. It really does keep everything in order. Indeed, it is service in itself for it is done to please Radha and Krishna.
Pleasure – While ananda is not the goal of chanting japa, and you should not focus exclusively on ananda or bliss, pleasure is a good barometer to know whether your chanting is up to the par or not. After all, if chanting was not pleasing to the mind and to the soul, it wouldn’t be so popular right. During my fledgling days in Krishna Consciousness, whenever I would give chanting its due attention, I would feel rapturous experiences. Those were formative experiences and keep me tethered to the movement and to the culture of bhakti and jnana till today.
So there you are guys, I’ve shared a little of my humble experience with you. I can also recommend two books that have been instrumental in inspiring me to chant: –
Harinam Cintamani (by Haridas Thakur)
The Nectarean Ocean of the Holy Names (by Sacinandana Swami)
Both are supremely amazing. The second one is a treat.
In the hope that it helps those wading across the terrain of Krishna bhakti. I also remain ever grateful to the whole Iskcon Yatra, especially to Iskcon Phoenix in Mauritius for their love, support and guidance.
Chant and be happy!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

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