Forms of Courtesy Japa

(Ways of somehow or other getting your rounds done)

  1. To Do List Japa – Meditating on your to do and shopping lists, sometimes adding and deleting items between mantras. This may also include mentally balancing your checkbook or going over which bills you have to pay. Caution: This process can cause you to lament about how many bills you have to pay, and thus changing your prayers from “Oh Lord, please engage me in your service,” to “Oh Lord, please add a few more zeroes to the end of my bank balance.”
  2. I Hate Him Japa – While chanting, meditating on who hurt you, how badly you were hurt, how much you hate that person, and what you’ll do to get back at him. By the end of 16 rounds your hatred has increased tenfold and you have developed excellent plans and strategies to take revenge.
  3. I am Right Japa – Meditating while chanting about how right you are and how wrong someone else is, and with every mantra you become more convinced how right you are. Also know as “Pump Your Ego Japa.”
  4. Watering the Weeds Japa – You chant so poorly that by the time you finish you feel disgusted, depressed and miserable. Gone are the days of “Chant and Be Happy.” Now it is, “Chant and Be Miserable.”
  5. Beat the Clock Japa – You chant as fast as possible in an attempt to get those bothersome rounds over with, sometimes trying to break your previous record of one round in 3 minutes 59 seconds – which was formerly thought to be humanly impossible – until you proved it could be done if one is intensely motivated to get his chanting over with as soon as possible!
  6. Robot Japa – You chant like a robot. Chanting while totally disconnected from the mood of the mantra. You sometimes wish you could create a robot that would chant your rounds for you. (You even consider paying a householder who needs some extra money to chant your rounds for you.)
  7. Firing Blank Mantras Japa Krsna’s name is chanted, but your mind and heart are somewhere else – and so is He. The sound Krsna comes out of your mouth, but because there is no consciousness, you are firing blank mantras – and you can’t kill your anarthas with blank mantras. Then you wonder why the mantra is not working.
  8. Killing Time Japa – Chanting, but thinking of things to entertain yourself with while you chant so you won’t be so bored while listening to the mantra. In this way you kill time while chanting and thus make chanting 16 rounds quite tolerable by making it much less painful than usual.
  9. Creative Japa – Using japa as a time for brainstorming, thus doing some creative thinking, generating new ideas, and finding solutions to your problems. It is useful to have a pen and paper handy to write down your ideas. Although you may get very few rounds done, and you won’t get the nectar of the name, you will at least end up with a long list of good ideas. But is it really a good idea to ruin your japa to get some good ideas?
  10. Novocain Japa – Your heart is so numbed that you feel absolutely nothing in your heart when you chant. This is also known as ” Stone-Hearted Japa.”
  11. Driving Japa Chanting while distracted by the task of driving, sometimes accompanied by cursing at people who cut you off (i.e. the anti-trnad api sunicena mantra). Of course, the reason you chant while driving is that you get up late, but you have some really good excuses to explain why you need to chant when you drive.
  12. No Japa, Japa While holding your beads you converse with another devotee, moving your beads as you talk. In this way you sometimes finish a so-called round or two by the end of the conversation. (Oh God, please save us!)
  13. Prajalpa Japa – You chant a few mantras and then speak a few words of prajalpa to your friend. You chant a few more mantras and then listen as they speak some prajalpa to you. Then you respond with some even more juicy gossip. This process usually continues for at least half the japa session.
  14. Call and Response Japa You talk to someone, and while listening to you they chant japa. Then they speak and while listening to them you chant japa.
  15. Reading Japa Reading and chanting at the same time. (Note: This would not be a problem if you had two or more heads.)
  16. Left Hand Japa Chanting japa while doing something with your left hand (cleaning, cooking, tinkering, organizing, washing your car, etc.). This is definitely very useful for developing left arm strength, but undeniably useless for chanting good rounds.
  17. Bubblegum Japa Chanting in a way that sounds like you are chewing bubble gum while chanting Hare Krsna.
  18. New Mantra Japa – Chanting a new form of the Hare Krsna mantra, such as “here kitty, kitty, here kitty, kitty,” or “nish, nish,” (or snick snick) and wam, wam, ari, ari. At the end of life when leaving your body, four strange personalities appear at your bedside to take you to their planet because you have been chanting their names throughout your life. Their names are nish, snick, wam and ari.
  19. Entertainment Japa Chanting while watching TV or a movie. Krsna conscious movies are also included in TV Japa. Note: Avoiding the temptation to chant during a TV show and only chanting during the commercials is also totally bogus!
  20. Internet Japa – A few mantras and a few emails, sometimes chanting and reading at the same time.  Inevitably, the beads get put on the table and the right hand lands on the keyboard.
  21. Window Shopping Japa Chanting while window shopping. This commonly happens when making the attempt to knock off some rounds while in a shopping mall.
  22. Boredom Japa You are so bored while chanting that you feel like killing yourself.
  23. Relaxing Japa Lying down or relaxing in a hammock while chanting (often accompanied by coconut water in your left hand), or chanting while getting spa treatments.
  24. Slumber Japa Taking advantage of japa to get a good nap. Another variety of “Slumber Japa” is trying to fight off sleep, but continually failing. This is also known as “Dive Bomb Japa” due to the head constantly rising and diving. When woken up by another devotee, you are upset and reply, “I wasn’t sleeping. I was just looking at the inside of my eyelids while exercising my neck. Just leave me alone.”
  25. Bitter Medicine Japa Your experience of the holy name is like bitter medicine and your face turns in disgust as you chant.
  26. Painful Japa Your mind is so out of control that it is painful to try to control it. Thus, the expression on your face while chanting appears similar to the expression of a person with a knife in their back (or a person with severe constipation). This is often accompanied by banging your head with your hand, or in severe cases picking up a broom or shoe and hitting your head repeatedly with one of them.
  27. Shaking Japa (Also known as “Ants in Your Pants Japa”) – You chant as if you were a toy monkey that was just wound up. This is also known as “Energizer Bunny Japa.
  28. Radar Japa While chanting you constantly look around at anything and everything – and everybody.
  29. Audio Japa – Chanting japa while listening to a lecture, kirtan, song, or the radio. This is quite challenging while listening to the radio, especially when you are listening to one of your favorite songs or some really juicy news.
  30. Sightseeing Japa You walk, or are in a car, and chant while doing some serious sightseeing. You notice every detail of everything you see. You didn’t hear one mantra, but you did take in some good sights.
  31. Shopping Japa Nish, nish, ram, ram, ari, ari-ing your way through the supermarket or mall, chanting a few mantras while reading labels, checking on the price of items, etc. This is especially useful when you rise late and don’t chant many rounds in the morning.
  32. Apathy Japa Chanting with absolutely no desire or enthusiasm to chant. Chanting is the last thing in the world you want to do and with every mantra you become a little more relieved that you are coming closer to the end.

And for your information, there are actually 11 offenses to the holy name. Number 11 is to have your mobile phone on while you chant.