Mantra Japa
by Swami Krishnananda

(Spoken on February 9, 1997)

When you recite a mantra, recite one mantra only, not twenty mantras. You must have some Narayana mantra, or whatever it is. A Narayana mantra is good. Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Narayanaya.

When I was a little boy, I used to do four hours of japa every morning. I was only about fourteen years old. At about 3:30 I would get up and take a bath, and then until 8 o’clock I would sit. I did japa of every god because I didn’t know at that time which god would actually be beneficial, because I had no teacher. I myself taught myself. Ganapati, Vishva, Devi, Narayanaya, Krishna, Narasimha, Hanuman, Nara Narayanaya – I left out nobody, and my father was very annoyed. “See this little boy simply sitting like a yogi in the early morning.” Before he got up, I would get up, so he would criticise me. “Instead of studying and doing something, he sits like this for four hours.” I was like this right from the beginning, this kind of peculiar internality of my life. So many hours I did japa, continuously, because I wanted the blessing of every god. Even a Narasimha mantra also was a god. I got it from my grandfather, my mother’s father. He told me it is a very dangerous thing, terrible, but you must do it.