560 – Chant with your heart

Ajapa Japa Sadhana as explained by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

When we chant, we are uttering from the mouth, when we chant from the heart, it is called Ajapa. Ajapa Japa is a complete sadhana and through it one can have direct experience of samadhi.

In order to attain Samadhi, one has to have complete control over the breath. The reason is that the breath is suspended and Kumbhaka takes place spontaneously. In the practice of Ajapa japa, there is only continuity of the breath and mantra. The breathing remains normal throughout the practice even in samadhi, there is no change.

In the Shastras it is said that one should practice Anahata japa, which is unending. Therefore, we need a method of repeating the mantra so that it never ends. This is achieved through the practice of Ajapa japa, when the mantra is adjusted with the breathing process. Thus, the awareness of the mantra continues through out the practice without any break.

Three important points are kept in mind in the Ajapa Japa sadhana. Deep breathing, relaxation and total awareness. During the sadhana, one maintains complete and unceasing awareness of what one is doing. There is no mechanical breathing, one remains aware of every ingoing and outgoing breath. One makes the inhalation long and the exhalation long. There is no sound.

Be aware and visualize the breath

One sits still. Then one counts the inhalation as one in and the exhalation as one out. Five breaths are done, and then repeat this three times. Next count till ten, three times. Now become aware of the ingoing and outgoing breaths. When you inhale, visualize the breath as rising from the navel to the throat.

When you exhale, visualize the breath descending from the throat to the navel. Become aware of the movement of the prana in the breath. Now synchronize So with inhalation and Ham with exhalation. There is no pause between So and Ham. After Ham, pause a little. This is one round.

After one has integrated the breath with the mantra, centralize the awareness either at the eyebrow center or at Anahata chakra for a few minutes. Create a mental vacuum. Think only of Shoonya, the vacuum. No engagement with thoughts. Then resume the sadhana again.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati gave this sadhana in 1963. It is the most wonderful description of Ajapa Japa and it is uncomplicated to follow. This sadhana is as old as the Upanishads and it is also called the Ajapa Gayatri, which the Jiva continuously repeats.

Aim Hrim Klim


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