satatam kirtayanto mam
It is significant to note that the great teachers of nama-siddhanta in the South, Bodhendra, Ayyaval, and Sriguru-svamin who came after them, were all of them followers of the Advaita, tradition whose foremost consolidator was Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada.
They drew their primary inspiration from Sri Sankara's Gita-bhasya, as also from his commentary on the Visnu-sahasranama. To the question, why is the worship of God in the form of prayer greater than the other modes? Sri Sankara gives the following reply in his Sahasra- nama- bhasya: "The reason for its greatness is that it does not involve causing injury to other beings does not depend on other persons, sacrificial material, etc., and is not conditioned by place, time, etc."14
Among the texts cited by Sri Sankara is the one from the Mahabharata which says, "Of all dharmas, japa, indeed, is said to be the supreme dharma; with non-violence towards all beings, japa-yajna proceeds." The declaration of Sri Bhagavan in the Gita, "Of sacrifices, I am japa- yajna,"15 is also quoted.
Commenting on this passage, Anandagiri says in his gloss that japa-yajna is superior to all other sacrifices, because it is free from violence, etc. The Lord says in the Gita (ix, 14), "Constantly praising Me and striving (to reach Me) with firm resolve, and offering obeisance to Me, these devotees ever united with Me, worship Me through devotion."
namasyantasca mam bhaktya
14 asya stuti-laksanasyarcanasya adhikya kim karanam? ucyate - himsadi - purusantara - dravyantara - desa- kaladi - niyamanapeksatvam adhikye karanam.
15 Gita, X. 26.