Japa

It is hard to explain the psychic nature. Any indication or glimpse of any type of instructive knowledge that an individual has never seen, heard, done nor believed may be termed a ‘psychic experience’. He begins to hear and believe something that was never heard before. Those who have developed this kind of faculty in their consciousness are termed ‘psychic’.

Instinctively and subconsciously every person is psychic because he has developed this belief to some extent or had a glimpse of the truth and is trying to discover it wholly. He feels that there is something beyond the physical universe.

The inquiring, or jignasu, nature calls forth the necessity to know the invisible. Usually, the inquiry is first made within one’s self, and then more information is obtained from elders and various books. Even the skeptic is aware of the psychic nature of man.

Japa

By the practice of japa, the glimpses of the psychic nature, previously hidden away and stored in the subconscious and unconscious, come to the conscious mind. The more one practices japa, the more one becomes aware of the psychic nature or psychic self. It may be said that japa undoubtedly improves the psychic nature of man as well as influences an atmosphere or a place. There are many places in India to which ‘illogical’ beliefs have been attached, beliefs which have later been found to be correct and verified.

There is a place, for example, where several poisonous vipers live, and yet not one death has been reported after a victim has been bitten. In another place, a snake comes out on the full moon night, blesses people and then goes away.

One day, while I was sitting with my eyes closed in meditation, I felt something like a cold wreath on my neck. A voice uttered, “Swamiji, do not be afraid. In this area and atmosphere the snake will not bite you.” Outside that particular area the same snake may bite and kill a man instantly.

These are just a few examples of places influenced by the vibrations of mantras. It is difficult to say just what etheric currents flow and interact due to mantras, but a certain type of atmosphere does have the capacity to hypnotize a being, whether it be man, animal or insect. The subtle vibrations of japa transform the atmosphere of a place.

Aura

After thorough investigation, it has been found that man has a system of thinking that goes on even though he changes his thoughts from moment to moment, hour to hour and day to day. There are fundamental thought currents which flow slowly and work out the plans of evolution. These undercurrents of thought continuously bring about changes in the personality.

The desires and thoughts change the appearance of the colour of the aura. The subconscious impressions or desires make up the personality, and this personality radiates colours interwoven with the desires of the hidden self. In some cases, the aura is very dark and dense. In some it is very light and pleasantly coloured. Many people can project their aura elsewhere. When mantras are practised, the radiation which continuously affects the aura of a person or place is changed, improved and brightened. Even as the body is affected by the mantra, so is a place.

Life and body, if saturated with mantra, begin to radiate. This is a good reason to practise a mantra in a community for a month, year or longer. Anyone who is slightly sensitive immediately feels the vibration of a holy place of pilgrimage.

Spiritual awareness

Spiritual awareness can be developed and improved through japa yoga. Spiritual awareness is higher than psychic awareness. It is awareness of the Self within. It is a state of unconsciousness to outer and objective consciousness. When one is conscious within, one is unconscious or unaware outside. Through the practice of japa one develops a kind of spiritual vision.

Japa is something like a drug, but in fact, it is not a drug at all. Its effects permeate the seen and the unseen personality of man. In the case of a drug, the effects are confined to the body. In the case of hypnotism, the hypnotic treatment is confined to the mind. But the effects of japa are not only confined to the body and mind, they are widespread, unlimited, expanding from the body to the inner, final Self.

—1968, Munger