Question: How effective is Japa Yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: In true japa, the seeker has to repeat a particular mantra which is given to him by his Master. If he does not have a Master, then his mantra can be revealed from within. A seeker can also determine inwardly how many times he should repeat his mantra if he has no Master to tell him.

If a follower of Japa Yoga needs purity, the Master will tell him to repeat a particular mantra a few thousand times daily. If he needs mental knowledge, he will have to do a different mantra. For each divine quality the aspirant wants, he must chant a different mantra. The aspirant may have decided to repeat the name of God ten or fifteen thousand times, with the expectation of a certain result. But while he is chanting the name over and over again he may actually be thinking of something else. The lack of one-pointed concentration and soulful attention while one is chanting takes away most of the effectiveness of the mantra. If you repeat the name of God ten thousand times while thinking of something else, you cannot expect to get any result. It does not matter how many hours you chant, if you do not chant sincerely and soulfully. But if you do chant properly, then Japa Yoga can be most effective.