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Nama Japa is an excellent path for people, especially of kali yuga, to get any benefits in life and also to get moksha.

In ashtanga yoga, there is a step called pranayama, which regulates breathing. The inhale time, retention time, and exhalation time are important in pranayama.

In some advanced mantra sadhanas, sadhakas associate the mantra Japa with their breath. It depends on the mantra and the corresponding guru may provide the timings.

But for nama Japa, is there any direct or indirect relation with breathing?

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  • Mantras are aksharas of universe. When you chant the mantras in proper way technique the guru teaches you, has impact on the Prana. Jun 12 at 13:17
  • There are 3 steps in mantra japam. First is with voice/sound, second is is lips moving/ no sound, and third is mentally with no sound or movement. As the highest is mental japam, there is no direct relation between pranayama of the breath and japam. Jun 13 at 13:01
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    sometimes during mantra jaap the breath automatically stops for some time, or becomes very slow. which is the same result you get after pranayaam Jun 14 at 3:38
  • @Youwillnotknowme Yeah, a similar thing I need.
    – hanugm
    Jun 14 at 5:00
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    archive.org/details/KriyaEnglishIII in this link the author also says the same thing, achieving a breathless state Jun 15 at 16:56

2 Answers 2

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Indeed they r related, but the relation can't be merely understood from a layman's perspective.

Let's take the example of Ràm Naam. Shastra says-

राशब्दोच्चारणादेव मुखन्नीर्यन्ति पातकाह्। पुनः प्रवेशभीत्यात्र मकारस्तु कवाटवत् ।।

When u open ur mouth to say "Ra" the sins will go out & when u say "m" and close ur mouth so they can't enter back.

Now there is a technique followed where u take ur sins to trgh the right nostrils up to navel point and breath (its contempleted). Then the sadhaka assumes that his inner fire has burnt all his sins. Now the ash that is left is thought to be removed from the left nostril. (The procedure was quite complex even though I don't remember. In case I find the complete procedure will update it here.) So, u see what's striking is that in both ways the sin is thrown out. When u say Ràm the air goes out from the mouth, same as in that breathing technique, n in both ways the sins leave.

Now was that related to breathing?

Yes, it was but when u look into other paths, where this breathing technique is followed in Karma yog. And naam jaap is more concerned in layman's terms to Bhakti yog. So, tbh it isn't that sound to link two far-spread branches.

Apart from it, now, isn't it wonderful that, what u could have to do all by yourself, like imagining a fire, burning the sins, then thinking of ash n throwing it from nostrils. That's far more complicated, right? Imagine,u got the same fruit by a mere jaap of the word Ràm.

So, have faith in the name despite to what Sampradaya one belongs. Be it Shakta, Shaiva, Vaishnava, or any. Because every deity got a Sahasranama, n thus the namjaap has a special place despite differences in sampradayas

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  • The verse which you have provided seems very interesting to me. It's the first time I'm coming across such a concept. 😯😀 Can you tell me from where you are quoting it? I want to read more about it.😄
    – LSSJ Broly
    Jun 17 at 5:24
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Sri ramakrishna said on 2 October 1884,

A man may be united with God either through action or through inwardness of thought, but he can know everything through bhakti. Through bhakti one spontaneously experiences kumbhaka. The nerve currents and breathing calm down when the mind is concentrated. Again, the mind is concentrated when the nerve currents and breathing calm down. Then the buddhi, the discriminating power, becomes steady. The man who achieves this state is not himself aware of it.

While doing japa, one's mind becomes concentrated so the breathing calms down.

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