Having provided an overview of the doctrine of the Logos which is at the center of Christian spiritual realization, we are in a position to understand the significance of the universal practice of invocation of the Divine Name, which in this context is Jesus Christ. This leads naturally to a discussion of Hesychasm in the East and its Western counterpart: the Rosary. However, before we delve directly into Hesychasm it will help us to situate this Christian method within the context of invocation as a universal practice, and to explain how appropriate this is to the Kali Yuga.
To begin with, the New Testament instructs believers: “in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” This along with the injunction to “pray without ceasing” are the basic principles of the Hesychast, and they have their correspondences in other traditions, namely Amidism and Sikhism.
In Hinduism we can refer to yoga, which is something quite different than what goes under the same name in the West. What we encounter in the West, which involves a regimen of exercises and physical postures with an eye toward concentration and calm. These actions are derived from the traditional yoga of India, but they are its most external aspect and are derived from only one of its parts, called hatha-yoga. Yoga means literally ‘union,’ and this is why the individual who has achieved spiritual union in this life is called a ‘yogi’. Thus, yoga is not limited to a set of physical postures but is rather a doctrine and an orthodox ‘point of view’ in Hinduism itself. In addition to hatha-yoga, which should be seen as a kind of preparatory practice designed to remove any physical barriers to contemplation, there is also raja-yoga, the ‘royal art,’ which is more directly concerned with spiritual. More to the point of our discussion here, we also find japa-yoga, which is nothing other than ‘prayer without ceasing’ through the use of a mantra or formula involving the Divine Name.
In Japan, the corresponding practice is called Nembutsu, while in Islam we can refer to dhikr Allah, the ‘remembrance of God’ involving, again, the invocation of His Name.