måndag 21 maj 2007
Bhakti yoga practice includes chanting the Hare Krishna mantra softly to oneself. This is called japa.
While chanting, one generally keeps the sacred japa beads in a bead bag to keep them clean and off the floor. One side of the bag is large enough to insert your hand, with your index finger coming out the smaller hole on the other side helps you hold on to the bag. Place your beads in the bag, and you’re ready to go.
Bhakta yoga practitioners decide on a minimum number of mantras they want to chant each day. The main purpose of the beads is to keep track of the number of mantras chanted. Fingering the beads also help one focus on the sound of the holy name of Krishna.
There are 108 beads and one larger bead, known as the head bead. Beginning with the bead next to the head bead, gently roll the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand while chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then move to the next bead and repeat the mantra.
In this way continue chanting on each of the 108 beads in the strand. This is known as one round of japa and takes between five and ten minutes for most people.
If you are going to chant more than one round of japa, then, without chanting on the head bead, reverse the beads and start your second round on the last bead you chanted on, moving the beads in the opposite direction of your last round. If you have a string of counter beads tied to your bead bag, keep track of the number of rounds you have chanted by moving one counter bead for each round you chant.
Chant clearly and try to hear the holy names with attention. Some chanters find that looking at the mantra or a picture of Krishna helps them concentrate. If that works for you, that’s fine. But remember that the goal is attentive hearing.