Everyone in the world starts repeating /chanting the name of God every morning, throughout their life and they call it Japa (chanting). They understand it as remembering God. But this is a wrong way of remembering. God has no name therefore He cannot listen to your words. It is like calling a deaf person by his name and wasting energy and time. What you do every morning can be called Rutna (reciting) and not Japna. Japa takes place in the Mana (mind). Mana is the place where God appears or resides. If your mind calls Him then He is there.
When you are repeating a word by mouth, check where your mind is? What are the feelings and thoughts in your mind? Check whether your mind is doing the same thing that your tongue is doing? You will find your mind elsewhere and doing something else there. People generally tell me that during Japa they find that their mind is always somewhere else and doing something different and moreover their efforts to control their mind fail. You can do Japa only when your mind is in your control. People also feel that their mind runs quicker to other things when they sit to Japa. Your tongue is saying God whereas your mind is saying money, power or disease. Two opposite things are happening in you. This is not Japa. Japa is unification of mind and body. Japa is doing one thing at a time by mouth and mind both. Japa is possible only when your mind and body become one. Until you reach this state, you are only reciting. Repetition of word is not Japa otherwise when a child crams a new word by repetition it would have also been called Japa.
Japa transforms your mind spiritually whereas Rut does not create any divine feelings. Japa fills your mind with compassion and love for every being, Japa detaches you from the worldly things, Japa develops quality of forgiveness in your mind, Japa gives you wisdom and conscience, it makes your mind flexible and firm, whereas Rut makes you egoistic and stubborn.
Japa is a state of meditation, Japa is a state of feeling Him in your mind. Find your Sadguru to learn to bring your mind to whatever you are doing physically, to connect your mind to your body and to go into the state of Japa. If the people of the whole world could change their Rut into Japa, this earth would become a so-called heaven.
He is one and His names are many. Love is one feeling but this feeling is called by different words by the people of world. Pain is one feeling but it is called by several words. Japa makes you realize this truth and then Rama, Muhammad, Christ, Krishna become different names of one God. You see Him now and not His names. You see the clay and not the different statues made from it. You can use the clay to make either Krishna or Christ. You can also use the alphabets to write Muhammad or Ram. Japa is a way to realize the truth that He is there and He is one only.
This article by Pavan Jain was published in his fortnightly column titled “Mind Mantra” in the Hindustan Times, Lucknow edition.