The Sanskrit word 'Japa' means chanting a Mantra repetitively or repetitive recital of Mantra. Japa also means meditation performed with the focus on an object of divinity. The practice of Japa gives mental peace, increases focus, liberates self, and helps to achieve goals.
A 'Mala' is a string of beads. The Mala used to practice Japa (repeated chanting of mantras) is called a Japa Mala. It is a spiritual rosary. of The Japa (chanting) is done in a set of 108 at one time, so a Japa Mala is mostly made of 108 Beads or Seeds. The Japa Mala is ultimately a tool to meditate by concentrating and focusing on the repetition of the Mantra, rather than keeping count of the number of chanting. The Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains have different methods of chanting on the Japa Mala. The repetition or japa should be dutifully slow. It should not be thoughtlessly mechanical or the hurried or rapid-fire japa. Japa being ucchahi loud recitation is less effective. Japa being upamshu soft recitation is more effective. Japa being manasikam within the mind is most effective.
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