Definition - What does Japa Meditation mean?
Japa meditation is a form of meditation that uses mantras to quiet and focus the mind. A mantra can be a single-syllable sound, word or phrase that is repeated silently or chanted aloud. Japa is a Sanskrit word that means “muttering” or “repeating in a murmuring tone.”
Japa meditation has been a part of yoga practice since ancient times, and it is a common practice in many different schools of yoga, but it is an integral part of Mantra yoga's tantric path.
Yogapedia explains Japa Meditation
Perhaps the most common and well-known mantra used in japa meditation is the primordial cosmic sound of OM or AUM. Japa meditation is used for different purposes to achieve specific goals and to aid in achieving enlightenment and the goal of the yogic path, union with the Absolute Reality. Although important to yoga, japa meditation is also practiced as a religious ritual in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Japa meditation may be practiced with the aid of a japa-mala, a rosary-like string of beads that usually has 108 beads. Smaller strings of beads are also sometimes used.
Japa meditation positively affects physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. It reduces stress, thereby offering a range of physical and psychological benefits. Spiritually, it promotes higher states of consciousness and awareness.