Hari Bhakti Vilas on Chanting Japa

SIDDHA KSETRESU TIRTHESU DEVATANANCA SANNIDHAU
SAHASRAM SATA KOTINAM ANANTAM VISNU SANNIDHAU

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/25 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)
If one chants his japa in a transcendental place (such as Vrndavan), or a
place of pilgrimage (such as Risikesa, Dvaraka, Badrinatha, Jagannatha Puri,
etc.) or near the place of demigods, (according to Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s
Digdarsini-tika, "demigods" refers to great demigods like Lord Siva) he
receives the results 1,000 X 1,000,000. And if one chants near the Deity of
Lord Sri Visnu (Krsna), he achieves unlimited results.

MRADUKA USNA SUPAKVAN CA KURYAD VAI LAGHU BHOJANAM
NA INDRIYANAM YATHA VRADDHIS TATHA BHUNJITA SADHAKAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/46 from NARADA PANCARATRA)

If one claims himself to be devotee, he must eat a small amount of sweets,
steaming hot deep fried preparations, and should avoid any food which
agitates his senses.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his Digdarsini-tika quotes a verse from
Saradatilaka, "Those who claim themselves to be devotees should eat their
meal in the afternoon, consisting of vegetables and different kinds of
fruits, roots and grains."

BRAHMA PATRE CA BHUNJITA MADHYA-PATRA VIVARJITE
DAKSAM BRAHMOTTARAM VISNUR MADHYA PATRAM MAHESVARAM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/47 from NARADA PANCARATRA)

After cutting the middle portion of this Palasa leaf, one should eat on the
other portion of it. On the right side of this leaf is the place of Brahma.
On the left side is the place of Lord Visnu and in the center is the form of
Lord Siva.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami says that a Brahma leaf is the leaf from the Palasa
tree. It is necessary for a devotee to cut off the middle portion of this
leaf.

YASTU BHAGAVATO BHUTVA NA GRHANATI GANITRIKAM
ASURI TASYA DIKSA TU NA SA DHARMAYA VIDYATE
GANITRIKAM GRAHITVA YO MANTRAM CINTAYET BUDHAH
JANMANTARA SAHASRANI CINTITO’HANCA TENA VAI

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/70,71 from VARAHA PURANA)

After becoming a devotee or engaging in the devotional service to the
Supreme Lord, one who does not accept a japa mala, his initiation is said to
be demoniac. This kind of initiation is not very beneficial for religious
principles. One who chants on the beads properly, I (the Supreme Personality
of Godhead) think of this intelligent person for thousands of years.

ASTOTTARA SATAIH PURVA PANCASADBHIS TU MADHYAMA
KANYASI PANCA VINSATYA PARIMANAM VIDHIYATE

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/73 from VARAHA PURANA)

The beads which have 108 seeds (beads) are said to be of he topmost quality.
The beads which have 50 seeds are said to be of medium quality. The beads
which have 20 seeds are said to be of the lowest quality.

TULASI KASTHA GHATITAIR MANIBHIR JAPA MALIKA
SARVA KARMANI SARVESAM IPSITARTHA PHALA PRADA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/112 from NARADA PANCARATRA)

One should understand that beads made out of Tulasi wood seeds is said to be
fulfilling all kinds of desires in every activity or function.

TULASI SAMBHAVA YA TU SA MOKSAM TANUTE’CIRAT

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/113 from GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)

The mala which is made out of Tulasi wood seeds is said to be certainly
rewarding liberation.

ANAMA MADHYAM AKRAMYA JAPAM KURYAT TU MANASAM
MADHYAMA MADHYAM AKRAMYA JAPAM KURYAD UPANSUKAM
TARJANIM TU SAMAKRAMYA JAPAM NAIVA TU KARAYET
EKAIKA MANIM ANGUSTHENA AKARSAN PRAJAPEN MANUM
MERAU TU LANGHITE DEVI NA MANTRA PHALA BHAG BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/114,115 from SIVA AGAMA)

Keeping the beads on the mid of one’s ring finger, one should chant in
murmuring sound. One should not keep beads on the pointing finger and chant
japa. Chanting japa with the pointing finger has been rejected. One by one,
putting the beads inwards and chanting japa is recommended. Oh dear wife,
one should not jump over the head of japa beads. Otherwise he will not get
the results of his chanting.

TATRA ANGULI JAPAM KURVAN SANGUSTHA ANGULIBHIR JAPET
ANGUSTHENA VINA KARMA KRTAM TAD APHALAM BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/116 from SIVA AGAMA)

If one chants japa on the fingers, he should chant also using the thumb.
Chanting japa without using the thumb does not give any success.

KANISTHA ANAMIKA MADHYA CATURTHI TARJANI MATA
TISRO’NGULYAS TRIPARVAH SYUR MADHYAMA CA EKA PARVIKA
PARVA DVAYAM MADHYAMAYA JAPAKALE VIVARJAYET
EVAM MERUM VIJANIYAD BRAHMANA DUSITAM SVAYAM
ARABHYAN ANAMIKA MADHYAT PRADAKSINAM ANUKRAMAT
TARJANI MULA PARYANTAM KRAMAT DASASU PARVASU

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/117,118,119)

Chanting on the fingers, namely the ring finger, the middle finger or the
fourth finger are accepted for chanting japa. On these three fingers, there
are three parts to be used, and one part of the midfinger, all together ten,
to chant japa. This means that one should reject using the first two parts
of the midfinger to chant japa. Brahma has stated that the first two parts
of the midfinger are said to be the Meru or head of the beads, and he has
himself rejected to use it. One should start from the middle of the ring
finger and carry on in a clockwise until the pointing finger’s root and thus
altogether they become ten. One should hold his fingers together and chant
japa.

ARABHYAN ANAMIKA MULAT PARIVARTET VAI KRAMAT
TARJANI MADHYA PARYANTAM JAPED DASASU PARVASU

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/122 from GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)

Beginning from the middle of the ring finger and continuing clockwise to the
root of the pointing finger and chanting japa in this way numbering ten.

NA SPRSED VAMA HASTENA KARA BHRASTAM NA KARAYET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/124 from GAUTAMIYA TANTRA)

One should not touch his beads with the left hand nor make them fall from
the hand.

APAVITRA KARO NAGNAH SIRASI PRAVRTO’PI VA
PRALAPAN VA JAPED YAVAT TAVAN NISPHALAM UCYATE

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/132 from VYASA SMRTI)

Chanting japa becomes fruitless if somebody chants in an impure condition,
with dirty hands, without a seat, in nude condition, with a covered head,
while talking prajalpa. Therefore one should chant japa carefully.

VADANNA GACCHANNA SVAPANNA ANYAT KIMAPI SAMSMARAN
NA KSUT JRAMBHANA HIKKADI VIKALIKRTA MANASAH
MANTRA SIDDHIM AVAPNOTI TASMAD YATNA PARO BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/133 from NARADA PANCARATRA)

While talking, walking, sleeping or thinking about some object, hungry,
while stretching the body, while having hiccups, while mentally disturbed,
in such condition if someone chants japa, he does not receive the perfection
of chanting. Therefore one should endeavor to give up all of these functions
to chant properly.

ANGULI AGRESU YAJJAPTA YAJJAPTAM MERU LANGHANE
ASANKHYATAN CA YAJJAPTAM TAT SARVAM NISPHALAM BHAVET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/135 from VYASA SMRTI)

One who chants japa holding the beads on the tip of the fingers, who jumps
over the head bead or who chants japa without counting how much he has
chanted, then that japa is said to be fruitless.

APAVITRA KARO’SUDDHAH PRAJALPAN NA JAPET KVACIT

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/137 from MANTRARNAVA)

One should not hold japa beads or chant with dirty hands, in an unclean
condition or while talking with others.

ANASANAH SAYANO VA GACCHANN UTTHITA EVA VA
RATHYAYAMA SIVE STHANE NA JAPET TIMIRA ANTARE
UPANAD GUDHA PADO VA YANA SAYYAGATAS TATHA
PRASARYA NA JAPET PADAVA UTKATASANA EVA VA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/139,140 from MANTRARNAVA)

Sitting without a seat, while lying down sleeping, while walking, while
standing, while on a path, in impure places such a crematoriam or in dark
areas are the forbidden circumstances to chant japa. Wearing shoes, climbing
on a carrier, in the sleeping condition, spreading two legs, and on an
impure asana, one should not chant japa.

NA . PADAM AKRAMYA NA CAIVA HI TATHA KARAU
NA CA ASAMA AHITA MANA NACA SAMSAYANO JAPET
NA KAMPAYET SIRO GRIVAM DANTAN NAIVA PRAKASAYET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/142 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)

While chanting japa, one should not let one’s leg climb another leg and arm
climb upon another arm, in an unsteady mind, or in a doubtful condition.
While chanting, one should not shake his neck or head, and not to show one’s
teeth to others.

YAKSA RAKSASA BHUTANI SIDDHA VIDYADHARA GANAH
HARANTI PRASABHAM YASMAT TASMAD GUPTAM SAMACARET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/144 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)

If one chants japa while keeping his japa beads outside of his bead bag,
then his japa is forcibly stolen by semi-demigods, demons, ghosts, perfected
living entities from Siddhaloka and Vidyadharas, the dancers in the heavenly
planets. Therefore one should not keep his beads outside of his bead bag.

YADI VA YAMA LOPAH SYAT JAPA ADISU KATHANCANA
VYAHARED VAISNAVAM MANTRAM SMARED VA VISNUM AVYAYAM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/148 from TRAILOKYA SAMMOHANA TANTRA)

If somehow, due to certain circumstances, somebody breaks the stated rules
to chanting, then he should chant a Visnu mantra or remember the
imperishable Personality of Godhead, Sri Visnu.

TRIVIDHO JAPA YAJNAH SYAT TASYA BHEDAN NIVODHATA
VACIKAS CA UPANSUS CA MANASAS CA TRIDHA MATAH
TRAYANAM JAPA YAJNANAM SREYAN SYAD UTTAROTTARAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/155 from NRSINGHA PURANA)

Japa yajna is of three kinds. Please listen. Chanting with a sound
vibration, chanting with a murmuring condition and chanting within the mind.
These three kinds of chanting are respectively one better than the other
[chanting in the mind is best].

YADUCCHA NICA SVARITAIH SPASTA SAVDAVD AKSARAIH
MANTRAM UCCHARAYED VYAKTAM JAPA YAJNA SA VACIKAH
SANAIR UCCHARAYEN MANTRAM ISAD OSTHAU PRACALAYET
KINCIT SAVDAM SVAYAM VIDYAD UPANSUH SA JAPAH SMRTAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/156,157 from NRSINGHA PURANA)

Chanting japa is of three kinds, higher class, lower class and svarita class
which is melodiously chanting clearly where every word can be heard by
others. That is called vacika. Any japa mantra chanted in murmuring sound,
where ones’s two lips move very minutely and one can only hear a few words
out of it, that chanting is called upansu.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his Digdarsini-tika writes that one who is
chanting japa melodiously, with high and low sounds, in a swinging
condition, it is called svarita where others can hear every sound vibration
clearly. Therefore, it is said that one should chant openly. But better is
to chant japa in such a way that one can hear it himself only.

UPANSU JAPA YUKTASYA TASMAT SATA GUNO BHAVET
SAHASRO MANASAH PROKTO YASMAD DHYANA SAMO HI SAH

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/159 from YAJNAVALKYA SMRTI)

One hundred times better than chanting japa in clear or loud condition is to
chant japa in mumuring condition where one can hear himself. One thousand
times better, still, is chanting within one’s mind, because chanting within
the mind is equal to meditating on the Supreme Lord.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami clarifies this situation in his Digdarsini-tika,
stating that chanting within the mind is one hundred times better than
chanting in murmuring condition which is one hundred times better than
chanting with the sound vibration.

NADOSO MANASE JAPE SARVA DESE’PI SARVADA
JAPA NISTHO DVIJA SRESTHAH SARVA YAJNA PHALAM LABHET
ASUCIR VA SUCIR VAPI GACCHAN TISTHAN SVAPANNAPI
MANTRAIVA SARANO VIDVAN MANASAIVA SADA ABHYASET

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/161,162 from MANTRARNAVA)

Oh best of the brahmanas, in all conditions and always one should chant japa
in one’s mind because it has no faults. Therefore, anyone who is engaged in
chanting japa, gets the results of performing all kinds of sacrifices.
Whatever condition he may be, whether purified or unpurified condition,
walking condition or still (standing or sitting) condition, sleeping
condition, one should take shelter at the feet of chanting japa alone and
chant japa within one’s mind.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks regarding chanting japa within one’s mind,
that because chanting japa within mind has no faults, therefore one should
chant japa within one’s mind. This is the best japa of all. Here "the best
of brahmanas" refers to those who chant japa. In all conditions, one should
take shelter in chanting japa without considering the time, place and
circumstances. This is the understanding here.

JAPENA DEVATA NITYAM STUYAMANA PRASIDATI
PRASANNA VIPULAN BHOGAN DADYAM MUKTIS CA SASVATIM

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/166 from PADMANABHIYA)

If one chants japa regularly to please the Supreme Lord, then the Supreme
Lord, being pleased, will increase one’s spiritual advancement and give one
the eternal liberation.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami says in his Digdarsini-tika that eternal liberation
means achieving the eternal abode of the Supreme Lord, Vaikuntha dhama.

ATAH KURYAD JAPAM NITYAM SAKTYA NIYATA SANKHYAYA

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 17/199 from NARADA PANCARATRA)

One should chant regularly, according to one’s capacity, a fixed number of
rounds every day.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami says in his Digdarsini-tika, that according to one’s
capacity, one should regularly chant a fixed number of rounds each day and
account the number each day. "One should not chant less or more japa day
after day". When the fixed number of rounds is completed one should finish
chanting japa and engage in other service.


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