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re: japa vidhi clarification

From: M.G.Vasudevan (
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 00:24:55 PDT

Dear Srivaishnava perunthagaiyeer

The following procedure is adopted during the japam for easy counting.
Start from the little finger bottom rEgai and go up on same little finger
and count three,
next top rEgais of ring and middle finger [two adding to five], 
then next three rEgais of index finger [three adding to eight], 
next bottom rEgais of middle and ring finger [two adding to ten]. 

Thus the total achieved is ten in a clock wise manner. 
The centre rEgais of middle finger is considered as perumaaL and ring finger
is considered as thaayar. The long finger bigger in size is perumaal. On the
right is thaayar- [vadivaai nin vala marbinil vaazhginRa mangaiyum

Thus while counting for the japam also, we are doing a pradhakshiNam of
perumaal and thaayar. This is what was said to me as upadhEsam on the
upanayanam day and till this day, it is being followed by me.

I also referred the book written by Prakrutham Sri Azhagiya Singer [Sri
Villivalam swami] [refer p 266] wherein the above procedure of counting
"ten" is given [of course without the mention of perumaaL and thaayar]. 

While counting with the japamaalai there are two points, which I want to
mention here. 

First, while doing the  pushing of beads for counting, the index finger
should not be used to push the beads, but use the middle finger and thumb. 

The 109th bead, which is the separator or identifier, is called mEru and
that should not be counted as 1 and should not crossed while continuing with
next 108. 

Instead you rotate the maalai with both hands [if required], so that you are
starting again and not crossing to start next 108.

Dhaasan Vasudevan M.G.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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