Ramana Maharshi: “Japa means clinging to one thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts,. That is the purpose (of Japa). It (should eventually) lead to dyana (=meditation), which (in turn) ends in Self-Realisation or jnana.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)
Question: How should I carry on Nama-japa (=chanting the holy name of God)?
Ramana Maharshi: “One should not use the Name of God mechanically and superficially without the feeling of devotion. To use the Name of God, one must call upon Him with yearning and unreservedly surrender oneself to Him. Only after such surrender is the Name of God (would) constantly (be) with the Man.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” [Deuteronomy 5:11] [NIV 2011]