As we know a Japa(recitation of Mantras,names of Gods etc) can be of the following 3 types:

1)Vachik-A japa where recitation is loud enough so that both the performer & others(present around him) will be able to hear it.

2)Upanshu-A japa where recitation is like whispering.No one(except the performer himself) will be able to hear the recitation.

3)Manasik-In this case the japa is done silently, completely in mind.While chanting even the lips and tongue are not supposed to touch each other.

We have been repeatedly told by our Gurus that among all the above 3 types of japa its the "Manasik Japa" that's considered the best.

The following sloka from Nrishinga Purana says the same.In fact it says that Manasik japa is the best form of japa followed by Upanshu japa followed by Vachik japa.So,the most beneficial form of Japa is "Manasik" whereas the least beneficial is "Vachik".

Vachikshcha Upanshuscha Manasartrividhah Smritah Trayanaam Japa Yajnanaam Shreyaath Syaduttarottaram||-Meaning-Among the 3 forms of Japa (Vachik,Upanshu & Manasik)the 2nd one is better than the 1st one and the 3rd one is better than the 2nd.

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Now,apparently and rationally, it should be the other way round,because Vachik japa requires the most purvanga(preparation) whereas Mansik japa can be done at any place at any conditions(of suchi etc).

Question-Why "Manasik Japa" is considered the best form of Japa?

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  • The purpose of Japa is to cleanse the mind. Manasik Japa directs the entire power of the mantra to cleanse the mind and hence is most effective. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Oct 6 '16 at 15:56
  • @PradipGangopadhyay If so what are the purposes of the other 2 forms of japa?In pujas marjana mantras(directed towards hrudi pavitrakarana i.e internal/mental cleansing) are always recited loud.Why?If cleansing of mind is the sole purpose of japa then why it is important consider several external factors.eg which asana to sit upon(ex-woolen,kusa) and which not to sit upon(ex-wooden etc) etc? – Rickross Oct 6 '16 at 16:49
  • Manasik Japa is very hard to do in practice. It is very hard to ensure that the entire power of the mantra is directed towards the mind. The loud recitation of mantras in Pujas is for benefit of others so that people present in the Pujas can also recite the mantras. Such loud recitation obviously does not cleanse the mind. The other factors like asanas should be chosen so that the person doing japa is not distracted while repeating the mantra silently. For example people are advised not to do spiritual practice near noisy crossroads. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Oct 7 '16 at 2:17
  • @Rickross - We also can see that some people do the japa in the form of writing i.e. they personally or in groups write down the name of god like "Shree Ram" many thousand or millions of times ,in notebooks .Is this also a kind of japa procedure told ? Or its a new one.? – SwiftPushkar Oct 7 '16 at 9:20
  • @SwiftPushkar Yes.that's called "Likhita" japa. – Rickross Oct 7 '16 at 12:59

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