Meaningful recital of the mantra is to undertake japam and it would take one closer to God, Swami Gautamananda, president of Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, said on Sunday.

Speaking on the second day of the special Bhaktha Sammelanam as part of the centenary of Ramakrishna Movement in Kadapa on Ramakrishna Mission campus at Putlampalle here, the Swamiji said bhajan is a form of corresponding with the God and meditation is a form of God interacting with us as per the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Gautamananda said.

Swami Sithikanthananda, secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, Vijayawada, described japam and meditation as means of sanctifying one's mind and leading to peace.

A.R.K. Sarma, vice-president of Tata Teleservices, Mumbai, said Ramakrishna Math started a japa yagnam for the benefit of devotees who could not systematically perform japam due to their family lives. A person able to perform koti (crore) japams is a rich man, but not in terms of his wealth, Mr. Sarma observed. Swami Supriyananda said a man's spiritual life depicts qualities of four yugams. Sthothram gives pleasure and Ramakrishna enjoyed happiness by rendering keerthanas. Namam depicts God and every sthuthi and sthothram is in praise of God, but unfortunately the interest in hearing devotional sthothras is on the wane, the swamiji remarked.

Swami Gautamananda rendered a keerthana to mark the end of the session.

Earlier, the programme began with a devotional song on Sri Ramakrishna rendered by T. Sripriya of Tirupati.

Devotees of Ameenabad and Kothapalle rendered devotional songs and students of Chalivendram Church's Prasanth High School in Prakasam district presented a skit on vigraharadhana in the second session today.

Swami Sevyananda of Ramakrishna Ashram in Rajkot said interaction with seers and noble persons is possible by God's grace and reading Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrutham would give a feeling of interaction with the great seer.

Dr. Mangamma of Kurnool said Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi preached about sacrifice and service by practicing them. Vivekananda Vidya Niketan students and girl students of Anantapur presented short skits.