Likhita Japa – The Written Mantra as Devotional Practice
In Mantras: Words of Power, Swami Radha describes Likhita Japa as “the written version of repeating mantra…the mantra is written down in lines like sentences, or in shapes and forms…in any design that will help to reinforce your devotions…this repetitive writing brings peace, poise and strength within.”
Lynn Fairey, a long-time Resident and Teacher, has practiced Likhita Japa since the early 1980’s. “I find there’s something alive and active in this practice, it becomes a part of me as I am immersed in the mantra. The repetition connects me with the vibration of the mantra and it becomes very meditative. The interaction I experience when I sit with my developing Likhita is a devotional practice for me.
Over the years, I have kept my Likhita in a dedicated journal – Swami Radha told us to keep our written mantra near our bed or altar because they have a subtle effect on the subconscious. Likhita Japa is also a very ‘convenient’ form of mantra because I can practice it anywhere, at any time.”
- Choose a devotional object or image that you would like to draw or copy for your Likhita.
- Trace or draw it with a pencil onto a paper size of your choice. Taping a poster with paper over it onto a bright window will help to bring the image through clearly.
- Use a mantra to outline, or fill in, or surround the image. Use pens and colours that are meaningful to you.
- Take time as the image emerges to use it as a meditational focus. Ask it questions. Listen to the response you receive.
- Give thanks for the practice.
Start simply, possibly with a special book only for Likhita. Get used to writing and offering the mantra without any special form as a practice. You will find your writing will become more refined. Explore different pens and get a feel for them. At some point you will start to develop a personal style and a practice that comes from your own experience.
- High quality paper
- Many coloured pens with extra fine tips
- A poster of a deity you can trace or a devotional image you can put on paper