I often advise the new initiates to undertake a purash-charana immediately after initiation. The word purash-charana means ‘a foot forward’, which entails undertaking a special observance. A beginning of purash-charana, for example, would entail a repetition of the mantra 1,25000 times on the mala. Then the mantra becomes a habit and is absorbed by the kind. Knowing the number of minutes it takes to complete on mala of your mantra, and how many minutes are available daily, you can decide on the number of sessions required in the day. One session should be at your fixed time while the hours of the other sessions may vary.

On completing 1,25,000 repetitions of the mantra, get in touch with your preceptor, who will advise you to either observe the same again, or do it differently. At a certain point of your progress, the preceptor may assign:

  • Special modes of breathing with the mantra;
  • Chkras or centres of consciousness to meditate upon; and
  • Certain interval visualizations, or internal rituals.

He may assign any of five pillars of sadhana:

  • stillness
  • celibacy
  • silence
  • fasting
  • conquest of sleep to a lesser or greater degree

For guidance, you have to remain in touch with your preceptor. Try to put aside three days, seven days, 10 days, or a month, every year to forget the world and enjoy the freedom of a retreat for an intensive practice of the mantra.

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