Likhita Japa: Writing Mantras

mantra practice Oct 14, 2022

We need meaningful spiritual practice in uncertain times. One of those practices is called Likhita Japa. 

You can write mantras in any language. Sanskrit, however, is particularly well suited for this purpose. The script is called Devanagiri from the root "deva" for divine beings and "nagara," meaning a place or city. Each letter, therefore, is a dwelling place for divinity.

As you write the mantra, relax your mind and bring your heart into the process. Find a way to connect to something deeper and more than yourself. In other words, find a way, your way, to connect meaningfully to the divine.

You can learn to write the mantra Om Namah Shivaya in this example. At first, look at the shape of the letters and copy them. Later, once you get used to their forms, you can recall them from memory.

You can also say the words aloud as you write them to feel the vibrations as you create them on paper. "Shiva" means blessing, so remember that as you write the word. You may write other expressions of gratitude to remember how blessed you are in this moment.

Above (if you click play), is a simple chanting of the mantra that I recorded recently for this purpose. You are welcome to play this in the background as you write and say the mantra as Likhita Japa. 

The practice of Likhita is often a dedicated practice, meaning we write only the mantra. However, in challenging times, we may write other things but remember to return to the simplicity of writing the mantra with devotion.

Growing up in India, children often wrote mantras in a dedicated book. These books would have images of gods or goddesses on the cover. Each year, when we go to India on pilgrimage, we bring back books like these to write our mantras

In Tantra, the number of times a particular mantra is uttered can go into the hundreds of thousands. Writing, therefore, is a wonderful aid to this process. And so, when you begin this practice, choose a specific number of times you will write the mantra and do it for a particular purpose. A dedicated notebook is ideal.

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