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Nityananda Gauranga Writing (Lekhana) Yoga

[Nityananda Gauranga Akshara Para Brahma Yoga]

By His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada


Lekhana is the Sanskrit word for Writing. Akshara means the divine infallible Syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra which are non-different from and the direct incarnations of the Para Brahma or the Supreme Absolute Truths Lords Nityananda Gauranga Themselves. The Nityananda Mantraraja has 5 divine Sanskrit Syllables and Gauranga Mantraraja has 4 divine Sanskrit Syllables, each of which is non-different from the Supreme Lords Nityananda Gauranga Themselves. Thus the Syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are the Akshara Para Brahma Incarnations of Their Lordships Nityananda Gauranga, which facilitate the conditioned souls of Kali Yuga to effortlessly and offenselessly connect (in Sanskrit, the word Yoga means to connect with God) with the Supreme Personalities of Godhead and the Sources and Origin of everything in creation Their Lordships Nityananda Gauranga Themselves and thus to chant the pure Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Therefore this most sublime Yoga is named as Nityananda Gauranga Writing (Lekhana) Yoga or Nityananda Gauranga Akshara Para Brahma Yoga. The most simple, easy and powerful process of this extraordinarily miraculous and merciful Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga is described towards the end of this essay. This Yoga is not something new but is being practiced by thousands of spiritual aspirants in India from ancient times in order to increase their total absorption in the Syllables of the Holy Names of the Lord. Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga is strictly an addition and not a replacement to daily Japa and Kirtana of the Holy Names of the Lord and it greatly enchances the quality of our daily Japa and Kirtana of the Holy Names.


In the most pure and authentic Vaishnava Manual Shri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa compiled by the great Acharya Shrila Gopala Bhatta Goswami and commented on by the great Maha Bhagavata Shrila Sanatana Goswami, we find the following description in Chapter 17:


atha japa-bhedah, tal-lakshanadi ca


"Now, we will describe the three diverse kinds of Mantra Japa Yoga or chanting on beads and their characteristics."



trividho japa-yajnah syat tasya bhedan nibodhata |

vacikas ca upamsus ca manasas ca tridha matah |

trayanam japa-yajnanam sreyan syad uttarottarah ||155||


The Narasimha Purana states : "The Japa Yajna Yoga or the sacrifice of chanting on softly beads or fingers is basically of three kinds. The differences in these three kinds of Japa can be elucidated as follows. The first kind of Mantra Japa is known as Vachika (loud) Japa Yoga, second is called as Upanshu (murmuring) Japa Yoga and the third is known as Manasa (mental) Japa Yoga."


yad ucca-nica-svaritaih spashta-sabdavad-aksharaih |

mantram uccarayed vyaktam japa-yajnah sa vacikah ||156||


"That Japa Yajna Yoga (sacrifice and yoga of chanting) which is performed by loudly and openly chanting the Mantra with clear and distinct pronounciation of the Syllables and Names in the Mantra and which is accompanied by the loud recitation of Mantra in a high or low or a melodious svarita tone is known as Vachika Japa Yoga."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


ucca-nica-svaritaih uccena nicena tvaritena va udattanudatta-svarita-samjnaih svarair ity arthah | svarena yuktaih spashta-sabdavadbhir aksharaih | ata eva vyaktam mantram uccarayed yat ||156||


"The Japa Yoga which is accompanied by loud, soft or melodious utterance of the mantra in udatta, anudatta or svarita notes with a high pitched accent is known as Vacika Japa Yoga. Since this kind of Japa Yoga is performed by the clear, loud, distinct (not slurred) pronounciation of the Mantra, therefore Vachika Japa has to be audibly uttered and thus can be heard clearly."


sanair uccarayen mantram ishad aushthau pracalayet |

kincic chabdam svayam vidyad upamsuh sa japah smritah ||157||


"The second kind of Upamsu (murmuring) Japa Yoga is performed with the slow utterance and recitation of the Mantra with a little movement or murmuring of one's two lips. Thus the sound vibration of the Mantra is very low and can be only heard by oneself."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


svayam eva vidyaj janiyat shrinuyad ity arthah ||157||


"Thus Upanshu Japa Yoga means that the chanter himself or herself softly recites, hears and understands the meaning of the Mantra.”


dhiya yad akshara-srenya varnad varnam padat padam |

sabdartha-cintanabhyasah sa ukto manaso japah ||158||


"Manasa Japa Yoga or Mental Japa Yoga means the repeated and intense practice of deep contemplation and meditation on the meaning of each and every Syllable of the Mantra in one's heart as one slowly progresses from one syllable or part of the Mantra to another while chanting it mentally."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


varnad ekasmat kramenanya-varnam vyapya | evam padat padam vyapya | ittham sabdasya arthasya ca yac cintanam anusandhanam tasya abhyasah punah punar avrittih ||158||


"Mental Japa Yoga means that one meditates with one pointed attention on each Syllable of the Mantra. When the meaning of one syllable of the Mantra permeates the heart of the chanter during Mental Japa Yoga, then the chanter should move on to concentrate on the meaning of the next syllable of the Mantra. Then the mind should be focused on the divine meaning of a word of the Mantra and then one should go on to the next word of the Mantra. In this way the constant drilling and training of the mind and the heart by Mental Japa Yoga to repeatedly investigate, visualize and realize the transcendental meaning of each word of the Mantra through the process of deep and profound contemplation, reflection, and meditation on the Mantra is the most powerful form of Japa Yoga Meditation or Chanting."


tatra ca yajnavalkyah-

upamsu-japa-yuktasya tasmac-chata-guno bhavet |

sahasro manasah prokto yasmad dhyana-samo hi sah ||159||


In the Yajnavalkya Smriti, it is stated: "Upanshu (murmuring) Japa Yoga as described above is one hundred times qualitatively more powerful than Vachika (loud) Japa Yoga. Manasa (mental) Japa Yoga on the other hand is one thousand times more powerful because Mental Japa Yoga is on the same platform of Meditation."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


upamsu-japa-yuktasya japah sata-gunah syad vacikaj japac chata-guno bhaved ity arthah ||159||


"The above statement that Upanshu Japa Yoga is one hundred times more powerful means that it is one hundred times more powerful than Vachika Japa Yoga."



pasu-bhave sthita mantrah kevalam varna-rupinah |

saushumnadhvany uccaritah prabhutvam prapnuvanti hi ||160||



In the Mantrarnava, it is stated that: "Those who chant the Mantra while simply uttering the syllables but not meditating on their meaning, are chanting the Mantra in animalistic consciousness. But the utterance of the Mantra with profound contemplation on its meaning arising through the sushumna (subtle nerve channel) which runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head enables the chanter to attain mastery and perfection over the art of chanting if the mercy of the Lord is there.”


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


saushumnye sushumnakhya-nadi-sambandhini adhvani cchidra-marge uccaritah santah | prabhutvam samarthyam ||160||


"When someone performs Japa Yoga with the sound vibration of the Mantra passing through and arising from the hole of the sushumna nadi (channel), then one becomes a sage and attains mastery and success in Japa Yoga chanting if one has the mercy of the Lord."


na dosho manase japye sarva-dese’pi sarvada |

japa-nishtho dvija-sreshthah sarva-yajna-phalam labhet ||161||


"There can never be any fault or defect whatsoever in Manasa or Mental Japa Yoga, and thus it can be performed in all places, at all times and in all circumstances. O best of the brahmanas! Thus that most fortunate person, who is staunchly and irrevocably engaged in Japa Yoga always achieves the sublime fruits of performing unlimited fire sacrifices at every moment."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


ata eva manaso japah paramottama ity aha-na dosha iti | dvija-sreshtha iti tatratya-vipranam sambodhanam | dvija-sreshtha ity eka-vacananta-patho’pi kvacit ||161||


"Thus Manasa or Mental Japa Yoga is Paramottama, which means Supermost form of Japa Mantra Yoga Meditation, since it has no faults of any kind. Dvija-sreshtha is used in a singular tense in this verse to indicate the best of the brahmanas who engaged in chanting Japa."


asucir va sucir vapi gacchams tishthan svapann api |

mantraika-sarano vidvan manasaiva sadabhyaset ||162||


"Thus one should incessantly practice the chanting of Mental Japa Yoga whether one is in a clean or unclean condition, moving or stationary, and sleeping or awake. In this way, one who takes exclusive shelter of the Mantra in all circumstances is a learned and self-realised soul."


Digdarshini tika (commentary) by Shrila Sanatana Goswami:


mantraika-sarana ity anena purascaranadi-paras tu yathokta-desa-kaladav evabhyased ity abhipretam ||162||


"Thus it is understood that one should take full shelter of Mantra Japa Yoga, which is independent of preliminary purificatory rites, the place, time etc."


kim canyatra-

manasah siddhi-kamais tu pushti-kamair upamsukah |

vaciko maranoccate prasasto japa iritah ||163||


In another scripture, it is stated: "If one desires siddhi or the supreme perfection of life, then one must engage in Mental Japa Yoga. If one desires spiritual and material prosperity, then one must engage in Upamsu or Murmuring Japa Yoga. And if one desires perfection at the time of death, then Vachika or Loud Japa is the most suitable."


Vaishnava Tantre


japat sata gunam punyam rama nama pralekhane.


In the Vaishnava Tantra it is stated: "Writing the Mantra with full concentration is one hundred times more beneficial and powerful than Japa Yoga chanting because pralekhana (writing) forces the mind to deeply focus on the syllables of the Mantra which are completely non-different from the Mantri (Lord) Himself and the process of Mental Japa Meditation automatically takes place by this Writing Yoga."


Commentary by Swami Gaurangapada:


While writing or inscribing the syllables of the Mantra, one is forced to perform the deepest meditation on the form of the syllables of the Mantra, so Writing Yoga forces the deepest Mental Japa Yoga to automatically take place. This Lekhana (Writing) Japa Yoga is the topmost. All the Vedic scriptures constantly state that the syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are non-different from Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga Themselves. Also while writing the Mantra, the chanter is forced to perform concentrated Mental Japa of the Mantra which as described above is one thousand times more powerful than Loud Japa. Therefore, Writing Japa Yoga is one hundred thousand times (100 x 1000) more powerful than Vachika Japa Yoga Meditation or Loud Chanting.”


Thus the benefits of Nityananda Gauranga Writing (Lekhana) Yoga cannot be adequately described. Besides bringing about purity of the heart and concentration of the mind on the syllable form of God, Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga imparts the chanter with the power to control one’s senses, increases one’s power of concentration, memory and endurance and quickly grants one the qualification to see the divine form of Lord Gauranga-Krishna face to face while chanting. Nityananda Gauranga Mantraraja Shakti (potency) and its benefits are fully accessible and experienced by the chanter by the regular practice of Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga by writing at least 20 or 50 or 108 times daily each of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas. Recollection, Absorption, Meditation, Constant Rememberance and the Supreme Trance (samadhi) are the five progressive levels of Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga.


One simply requires a finger and some free space or a pen and paper to practice Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga. It is the easiest and sublime Yoga. The procedure is very simple. Whether one is sitting, relaxing, walking or standing, one has to take one’s forefinger of the right hand and slowly write the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas in Sanskrit anywhere in the empty free space (sky) in front of oneself while mentally chanting (Mental Japa) and concentrating on the Sanskrit syllables of the Mantrarajas. If one feels that it is embarrasing to write the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas in the space with the forefinger in front of others, one can do it when one is alone or one can write the Mantrarajas on a piece of paper. One can write the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in a similar way.


The more bigger one can write the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas in the space in front of oneself or on a piece of paper, the easier it is to mentally focus and concentrate on form of the syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas which are divine and non-different from Their Lordships Themselves. One can even write on a piece of paper but if one writes in small size, the form of syllables is not easy to concentrate on while writing. Thus writing in space is recommended (or writing in big letters on paper) as one does not require any external paraphernalia (like ink, pen or paper) and also one can increase the size of writing the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas to any proportion in order to increase one’s concentration on the Mantrarajas. One can write and meditate on the syllables of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra too in this way. In advanced stages of Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga, one can also simply close one eyes and deeply meditate on writing the syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in one's heart itself and thus get absorbed in the form of the Divine Syllables and Pastimes of the Lords.


In the Varaha Purana, it is stated:


ashtottara-sataih purva pancasadbhis tu madhyama |

kanyasi panca-vimsatya parimanam vidhiyate ||73||


"One round of Mantra Yoga should be either one hundred and eight (108)times which is the best, or fifty (50)times which is medium or twenty (20) times which is the lowest."


Thus Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga comprises of slowly writing the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas a minimum of twenty (20) or fifty (50) times each daily (if one hundred and eight times each is not possible) in free space with one’s forefingers or in a bigger font with a pen on paper with full concentration and full meditation on the transcendental syllables of the Mantrarajas. Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga enables us to develop a wonderful power of concentration and subdues the mind thus making us qualified to loudly chant and sing the Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna Mahamantra with rapt attention with our mind and heart focused on the transcendental form of the Lord. The process is simply: Meditation on the Syllables of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will very quickly bring us to the advanced level of Meditation on the transcendental Meanings of the Syllables which is the Meditation on the Holy Forms, Qualities, Abodes, Associates and Pastimes of the Lord.


Thus Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga is a nice addition (not be done as a replacement) to the normal and primary daily Japa and Kirtana chanting practice of the devotees. Kirtana is the most primary limb of devotion.  Therefore Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga is not meant to substitute the direct Japa and Kirtana chanting of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra but as an useful and very powerful supplement to enchance the quality of our Kirtana and bring life and realization into our normal daily chanting. Try for yourself and experience the results! As they say the proof in the sweet is to eat it rather than simply speculating about it whether it is sweet or not.


You will instantly experience the Akshara Para Brahma Bhagavana Lord Gauranga-Krishna i.e. the Lord Who is non-different from the form of the very Syllables of His Holy Names, through this sublime and easy process of Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga. Therefore Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga is also called as Nityananda Gauranga Akshara Para-Brahma Yoga. The transition from Syllable Meditation to Form and Pastime Meditation is so easily and rapidly accomplished by this Yoga. By practicing Nityananda Gauranga Writing Yoga, it is guaranteed that one will quickly progress to the advanced stages of Mantra Japa Meditation Yoga very soon which is to directly realize the transcendental Form and Pastimes of the Lord while chanting the the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.


We wish all of you all success in communion with the Syllable Incarnations of God and we hope you will try it out even for one day