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Learning The Alphabet (Thoughts On Chanting Japa)

The other morning I was having trouble waking up. I had spent the night awake, mostly, thinking about a lot of things. Sometimes, I just can't turn my mind off at night. So, by the time it was time to get up and chant, I was really tired, and laying there in that kind of half-awake state. Strange and interesting things come into the mind in that state, and so this particular morning, for whatever reason, I was thinking about how children learn the alphabet.

A is for Apple, B is for Boy, C is for Cat....

At the same time, I was also thinking about getting up to chant, so the two thoughts mixed. I started going over in my mind the letters of the alphabet and things related to chanting. That got me up, I was excited by this concept and wrote down all the things that I'd thought of.

I've worked with this for a few days, and adjusted a few things, but basically, this is the list. It's really helped my chanting, so I thought I would share it with everyone here, in case anyone else might be helped by it.

The Japa Alphabet

A - Appreciate (appreciate the opportunity to chant)

B- Believe (believe in the power of the holy name)

C- Concentrate (there is only now, only this)

D- Devote (devote yourself to the holy name, become a servant of Nam Prabhu)

E- Energy (put energy into your chanting)

F- Focus (focus on the sound)

G- Gratitude (thank Nam Prabhu, cultivate thankfulness for Him)

H- Holy (remember that this is sacred)

I- Invest (invest all of yourself in chanting)

J-Joy (Krishna is the source of all joy/bliss/happiness, chanting is joyful)

K- Krishna (this is Krishna)

L- Love (love the holy name)

M- Mercy (beg for the Lord's mercy while chanting, and also realize that chanting IS the mercy)

N- No (no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way ~ in Kali Yuga)

O- Open (open your heart, be receptive to the holy name)

P- Persevere (keep chanting as best you can, even when it's difficult)

Q- Quest (this is the journey to Krishna, a great and wonderful quest that keeps unfolding)

R- Reach (reach deeper, there is always more you can can give, further you can go)

S- Surrender (turn yourself, your life, over to the holy name)

T- Talk (chanting is a conversation with Krishna)

U- Uncover (uncover yourself, it helps us to stop trying to hide things from Krishna, He knows anyway)

V- Vision (this is the method for developing spiritual vision)

W- Want (really want Krishna, pray to want Krishna)

X- eXcell (become an excellent student and servant of the holy name)

Y- Yearn (yearn to associate with the holy name, or yearn to desire to yearn)

Z- Zero (there is zero difference between Krishna and His name)

~ ~ ~

*Right now a lot of us are upset about the outcome of of the election, the state of the economy, the abuse of humans, the abuse of cows, the lack of spiritual focus of society in general and thousands of other things. I'm not advocating "do nothing else" but really, chanting is the thing that is going to save the planet, so first, and foremost, focus on that.

My husband, Keshava das, sent me a text message the other day related to some of these problems, here's our conversation:

Keshava: "God save us from ignorance"

Navasi: "God is chanting. That's the only thing that's going to save us, individually, and collectively"

Keshava: "Yes!"

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

* Navasi's blog
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Fri, 11/07/2008 - 04:27 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
How To Use The List

Here are some suggestions for ways that this list can be used to help with chanting japa. I've used these ways, though I'm sure there are more.

Keep the list with you while chanting.

Review the list and think deeply about each point before chanting.

Choose one of the letters and try to practice it during a round. Then choose another letter for the next round, or rounds.

(you might get so absorbed in chanting you don't want to stop after one round to look at the list again ;)

Review the entire list and think about the points after each few rounds, like 4, for example.

Some other ideas would be to select one letter on the list and try to apply it to your chanting for a few days at a time, you might want to make some "reminder" notices to put around your house to keep it on your mind. Then later, when you're chanting, that would be easier to apply.

Those are just a few things I've tired and also some other thoughts. I'm sure there are lots of ways, another just came to mind, that would be to each day, write about what one of the letters means to you, in terms of the holy name, and your chanting.

Writing helps our understanding.

*you also might want to make your own alphabet with correlating points that are particularly relevant to your own chanting.

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 06:28 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Alphabet soup

I loved your alphabet. So many things are there to be "Krishnized".
Thanks so much for sharing it!!

Without getting into a big discussion about politics, not every devotee is upset about the election. Persons, politics, and positions are complex. Devotees voted for both candidates in this and the last election.

Everyone has their conviction and arguments. Things are never black and white if we look at them closely.

This is only the second election I have participated in. If every devotee and Hindu was a registered voter, we would have some political clout! The Christian Right is a small though vocal and influential group.

Your friend in Krishna,


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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 07:14 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Every Letter Counts

Hare Krishna, Karnamrita,

I'm so glad you liked my alphabet. Thanks for letting me know. That's the idea... "Krishna-ize" everything!

Without getting into a big discussion of politics either ;) ...

I just would like to point out that I didn't say that everyone was upset by the outcome of the election, I only said "a lot of us are". I didn't even mean only devotees there either, I meant the world as a whole and everyone and anyone who might be upset, about that and also the others things I mentioned there.

: )

I couldn't agree with you more about the political clout involved if every devotee and Hindu voted!!!

Yes, yes, yes.... I see a whole lot of colors and every shade imaginable in that situation...... (which is also why it's important to respect each other's views, and I agree, there's not a whole lot of black and white about anything in this world)

If no one attempts to influence, certainly no one is going to "be influenced". I'm proud of you for voting :)

Not to discuss politics or anything .......

: )

Your friend in Krishna,

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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 02:35 — Go-Seva
Go-Seva's picture

So insightful, I love this version of the alphabet! It's so wonderful and a nice reminder. I am going to print it out and memorize it, as it is also very useful. And yes, all there really is in this miserable material existence is the Holy Name.

It is all I think about, even if I cannot chant verbally. It is my only salvation, a constant reminder of my real position as surrendered spirit soul when I am bobbing in this ocean of material sorrows that is attempting to drown us all.

Thank you for this teaching of the alphabet, Prof. Navasi prabhu!

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 07:24 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Think About It...

I'm glad this inspired you Lisa!

Thanks for letting me know.

That's wonderful that the holy name is all you think about!

Maybe someday, it will be all I think about too :)

Krishna, Krishna, Krishna!

Truly, chanting is the only salvation for us all. Thank God we have the maha-mantra.

Hare Krishna!

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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 00:35 — DBB
DBB's picture

Hare Krishna, Navasi Mataji !

Very good ! Very inspiring !


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Thu, 11/06/2008 - 07:27 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

Wonderful Durga!

I'm glad you were inspired!

Becoming inspired about the holy name is wonderful, inspired about chanting the holy name, even better!

Ki Jai!