Japa workshops and retreats are powerful ways for devotees to make major improvements in their chanting and increase their taste for the Holy Name. The programs are designed to take one’s chanting to a new level and thus strengthen and inspire one’s Krishna consciousness in profound ways.
By focusing time on japa, devotees are able to deeply connect with the Holy Name and gain personal insight into the particular ways in which they have been negligent in their chanting, what this is costing them, and specific ways in which they can improve. The devotees also look at how their daily activities affect their japa. Most importantly, these programs create an increased desire to improve one’s chanting and give japa more priority. Read more about goals and principles of japa courses.
Following are some of the common formats of Japa courses that are conducted at various ISKCON Centers.
The Japa Workshop
All the principles taught in the Level One Japa Retreat are covered in the Japa Workshop although less time is available for chanting, exercises and discussion – and there is no 64 rounds day. It is held at a private location, either on temple property or in a rented location (a location in which the workshop will not be disturbed by visitors). Devotees do not stay overnight (although if you prefer to have an overnight workshop, this can be arranged).
The Japa Retreat
The Japa Retreat was developed by Sacinandana Swami to help devotees go deeply into their chanting— and thus go deeper into their relationship with Krishna. Seeing how easy it is to take chanting for granted, Maharaja saw the need to create an environment in which devotees would get more out of their chanting, overcome bad habits, and begin to relish the Holy Names in ways that would have a transforming effect on them. Thus, the Japa Retreat is held at a retreat center where all the devotees live together for the entire retreat.
The most important principles and practices from the Japa Retreat are covered in a six hour workshop. This program is designed for those who don’t have the time to attend a workshop or retreat.
Japa and Kirtan Workshop
In this workshop, we focus equal amounts of time on japa and kirtan. This helps devotees not only improve their japa, but aides in developing the proper moods in which they can deeply enter and become absorbed in kirtan. We explore the relative importance of japa and kirtan, the differences between the two, and how they work to enhance one another.
The aim of this workshop is to increase the devotee’s attachment and taste for both japa and kirtan thus inspiring and helping them give the chanting of the Holy Names more priority and attention in their lives.
Kindly contact your nearby ISKCON Center for availability of such courses.
Following are some of the famous teachers of Japa courses:
His Holiness Sacinandana Swami
His Holiness Romapada Swami
His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami
His Holiness Chandramauli Swami
His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Maharaj
His Grace Bhurijana Prabhu
His Grace Mahatma Prabhu
His Grace Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu
His Grace Braja Bihari Prabhu
Her Grace Narayani Mataji