Definition

Japa can be defined as the continuous repetition of a mantra2. The suffix 'a' in front ofj apa implies that the process ofj apa becomes spontaneous. That is, japa is transformed into ajapa when the mantra repeats itself without effort; the mantra has been planted so deeply through japa that one's whole being pulsates with that mantra. Japa requires conscious effort, whereas ajapa requires no effort. It is said that japa comes from the mouth whereas ajapa comes from the heart. Japa is the preliminary practice and ajapa is the perfection ofj apa.

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