Write down daily in a note book your Ishta Mantra or Guru-Mantra, for half an hour. When you write the Mantra, observe Mouna. Write the mantra clearly in ink. On Sundays and holidays, write this for one hour. In a common place collect your friends also and let them write the Mantras. This is Likhita Japa. You can develop a wonderful power of concentration. Prescribe this to all of your family-members. Incalculable spiritual benefits are derived from Likhita Japa (Mantra-writing).
Of the various methods of Japa described in the scriptures, viz., Vaikhari, Upamsu and Manasika, etc., Likhita Japa is very efficacious. It helps the Sadhaka in concentration of the mind and gradually leads to meditation.
An aspirant should select the Mantra of his tutelary deity or Ishta, according to his liking or inclination. Repetition of the same Mantra with meaning and Bhava should be practised both orally and in writing. For oral Japa, the help of a Maala or rosary is required. For Likhita Japa a note book and a pen should be used. In Mantra-writing there is no restriction about any particular script. It may be written in any language.
The following rules may be observed while practicing Mantra-writing: -
1. Regularly and punctuality of time should be observed. This would itself bring the requisite help and be of the utmost benefit to the Sadhaka.
2. Physical and mental purity should be observed. Before sitting for Mantra-writing, the face, hands and feet should be washed. Effort should be made to keep the mind pure during Mantra-writing. Drive out all worldly thoughts while writing Mantra.
3. Continue to sit in one pose as long as possible. Frequent change of a pose or Asana should be avoided. Sitting in one Asana would increase your power of endurance and also considerable energy will be preserved.
4. Observe silence during the practice. Too much of speaking results in wastage of energy and wastage of time. Silence helps in an increased turnout of work.
5. Avoid looking hither and thither. Fix your eyes on the notebook. This would help concentration of mind during the practice.
6. Repeat the Mantra mentally also while writing it in the notebook. This will make a threefold impression in your mind. Gradually your whole being will be involved and engrossed in the Mantra.
7. Fix a particular number of Mantras for one sitting. This will keep your practice intact and you will never get out of touch with the Mantra.
8. When you have once started the practice, do not leave it till you have finished the daily quota of one sitting. Do not allow your mind to be diverted to other engagements, as this would be an obstruction in the Sadhana. Have at least half an hour's writing at one sitting.
9. To help concentration, one uniform system of writing from top to bottom or from left to right, may be maintained during a particular sitting. The whole Manta should be written at once in continuity. Do not break the Mantra in the middle when you come to the end of a line.
10. When a Mantra is selected by you, try to stick to it tenaciously. Frequent change of Mantra is not advisable.
The above rules if strictly observed, will help you much in your quick evolution. You will develop concentration wonderfully. By prolonged and constant practice the inherent power of the Mantra (Mantra - Sakthi) will be awakened, which will fill your very existence with the Divinity of the Mantra.
The notebook should be well kept and treated with respect and purity. When completed, it should be stocked in a book and kept in your meditation room in front of the Lord's picture. The very presence of these Mantra-notebooks will create favourable vibrations requisite for your Sadhana.
The benefits of Mantra-writing or Likhita Japa cannot be adequately described. Besides bringing about purity of heart and concentration of mind, Mantra-writing gives you control of Asana, control of Indriyas, particularly the sight and the tongue, and fills you with the power of endurance. You attain peace of mind quickly. You approach nearer to God through Mantra-Sakthi. These benefits can be expreienced only through regular and incessant practice of Likhita Japa. Those who are not conversant with this Yoga should start the practice immeidately and even if they take to this practice for half an hour daily, they will relelise its benefits within six months.
Source: Excerpts from the book on "JAPA YOGA" written by Swami Sivananda