What is Ajapa Japa?
This Japa is spontaneously happening with every breath. This Japa is fixing the awareness on the internal rhythm of that natural Japa. From the subjective point of view, it is Ajapa; whereas in an objective point of view it is Japa. Being aware of the Japa that is already intoned into the breath is Ajapa Japa.
Consider yet another pattern: Inhale-Exhale-Inhale-Exhale. There is no pause in between. Note that it does not start with Inhale since it is a cyclic pattern. The chanted Mantra here is Hamsohamsohamsa. It is an advanced Ajapa Japa.
Ajapa Japa and Kundalini Awakening
There are two ways in which this Mantra is used for awakening the Kundalini. One method is prolonged mental awareness of the spontaneous process of Ajapa Japa. This method is known as Anusandhana. Another method is the conscious recitation of the Mantra ‘Soham’. This recitation is like a Subjective Japa of any other mantra. There are the will and activity on the part of the performer. Hence initially it is not an Ajapa Japa. By constant repetition for a very long period of time, it becomes a spontaneous repetition. It will become Ajapa Japa in due course. This results in Kundalini awakening.
Initially, Soham and Hamsa matra Japas are not Ajapa Mantra Japa. They become so only on regular practice.
Ajapa Japa in Vijnana Bairava Tantra
Verse 24 of Vijnana Bairava Tantra says, “Para Devi who is the nature of Visarga expresses herself upward in the form of exhalation and downward in the form of inhalation. Fixing the mind steadily on the origin of inhalation and exhalation the supreme state is revealed.”
When we decode this verse, we get this. Para Devi is chanting the Mantra Ha with exhalation and Sa with inhalation. If we fix the mind on the origin of exhalation (the point of suspended animation), we get the Mantra Hamsa. If we fix the mind on the origin of inhalation, we get the Mantra Soham. As a result, the supreme state is revealed.
In Hamsa Mantra, Ha represents Sakthi, Sa represents Siva and M represents Jiva. Hence it is also called Trika Mantra that represents three realities.