I thought devotees would find these brief notes on japa of interest.
Japa Outline by Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu
1. We are fully and eternally related with Krishna on the spiritual
A. The relationship is there whether we are theists or atheists,
practitioners or non-practitioners.
B. We may be conscious of the relationship or not, and our consciousness
may also be in various manners strong, weak or distorted.
2. If we are not pure devotees, that relationship is to some degree or
A. The full relationship is /prema/.
B. Brokenness in various ways characterizes all else.
3. /Maha-mantra/ /japa/ is, in the beginning, a preliminary
demonstration of interest in restoring the relationship.
A. The use of the vocative case in three names Hare, Krishna, and Rama
voices our request for a relationship, for a re-union.
B. We call to Krishna, and he responds.
C. The next question to confront us is: “Are we interested in pursuing
this relationship-building further””and how far?”
4. At each step we must decide to go forward, to hesitate, to back out
somewhat or altogether.
5. Since there is a broken relationship, it must be concluded that we
have /reasons/ for having broken it.
A. As we come closer to Krishna through chanting, his utter perfection
and kindness become revealed to us.
B. We then must acknowledge the fact that we alone are wholly
responsible for the breach, and the standard finding of “fault on both
sides” by counselors and mediators does not apply in this case.
C. Another name for a broken relationship with Krishna is “sin.”
6. The /reasons/ will become revealed to each of us, so that we can
A. We are not fully aware of them.
B. It will become clear that we harbor deep feelings of animosity,
resentment, anger, and so on toward Krishna.
C. We become repentant and humble.
7. We become grateful to Krishna because we realize that although we
turned away from him he did not turn away from us.
A. In spite of everything, we are able to chant the holy names.
B. Krishna has sent his agents to bring us back, and they have labored
8. Frankness and humility are foundations of progress.
A. Concealment, or being in a state of self-concealment (“in denial”)
must be vanquished.
B. Pride is the symptom of a broken relationship and of concealment also.
9. Signs of advancement are increasing honesty or frankness and humility.
A. The false ego is being dissolved.
B. We experience its dissolution as self-destruction and hence as
painful to the degree that we still identify with the body and mind.
C. Gradually what is painful becomes delightful.
10. To the degree that we become frank and humble to that same extent
our appreciation and love for Krishna increases.
11. In this way we become fixed in our practice and attain a natural,
ever-increasing appetite for devotional activities.