The Nectar of Living

Siddha Yoga Chanting Satsang with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
for Families and Children

Bhagavan Nityananda Temple
Shree Muktananda Ashram

An Account by Mallika Maxwell
July 31, 2014

Part IV

Click here to read Part I, Part II, and Part III

After the parents had shared how they were inspired by their children’s chanting, Gurumayi said, “So now I would like to ask the children how you get inspired when your parents chant.” She added playfully, “I know it’s a very difficult question, because usually children like to tell their parents, ‘Can you please not sing?’ But there are moments when you may like when your parents chant. So, let’s just stay with that. If you’d like to share, young ones, please tell us how you get inspired when your parents chant.”

Many children enthusiastically raised their hands to share.

A ten-year-old Siddha Yogi from California said:

Sometimes in the car my mom will play a chant, and we’ll just start chanting along—having so much fun. And the next thing you know, she’ll say, ‘Let’s put on a different song. Let’s play Jyota se Jyota Jagao…Let’s play Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya.’ And so we’ll listen and chant along to all the chants, one after the other. We have so much fun!

Hearing this young Siddha Yogi’s share, I was reminded of the many car rides I took to and from school as a child growing up in the Boston area. I had an hour-long commute each day, but the time would fly by since my mom always played CDs of Siddha Yoga chants. My brother and I would chant along at the top of our lungs. We would memorize the verses of aratis and hymns and quiz each other on the words. It was so joyful to chant as a family—and now, hearing the same joy being shared by these families, I knew the legacy of the Siddha Yoga practice of chanting continues.

A nine-year-old whose parents are staff members in Shree Muktananda Ashram said:

Sometimes I’m in my house doing something, and spontaneously one of my parents just starts chanting.

Then with a huge smile she continued:

Sometimes I get annoyed because I need to focus on what I’m doing, but a lot of times it’s really nice, and I start chanting with them.

A twelve-year-old from Australia shared:

When I was little, or little-er, I had bad dreams a lot. Then my mom would start singing a chant to me. And she still does that now to help me get to sleep every night.

Another twelve-year-old, from California, said:

I remember when I was really little, like three or four, and I couldn’t go to sleep at night. My dad would pick me up and chant three chants. Usually I would fall asleep. Every night he did that. He still sometimes comes to my room and starts chanting three chants. It is always three chants. I get to pick two of them and he picks one.

As it was now time for chanting, the sharing session was concluded. Gurumayi thanked the children for sharing about being inspired by their parents’ chanting. Then she asked, “Do all the parents feel safe?” Gurumayi laughed and at once, all the parents said “Yes!” So Gurumayi continued, “The parents feel safe and the children feel great—that means we’re in the right place.”

Then Carlos introduced the chant Shri Krishna Nila Krishna. Gurumayi composed the words and melody for this namasankirtana in 2000. It was first chanted in the Golden Tales—Lives of the Saints, a series of seven plays performed in Shree Muktananda Ashram entirely by children.

Carlos shared that in this chant we praise Lord Krishna, by chanting “Hail to beloved Krishna, blue Krishna, youthful Krishna. Hail to youthful Krishna, enchanting Krishna who plays the flute.” The chant is in the Tilang raga. This raga is typical of songs sung by the gopis in Gokul and Vrindavan, the villages where Lord Krishna grew up.

Carlos introduced the ensemble, which included a number of young Siddha Yogis. Playing second harmonium was a nine-year-old whose parents serve on staff at the Ashram, and who was playing in the Temple for the first time. One of the vocalists was a twelve-year-old from Australia, who had been trained as a lead chanter during the Chanting Tour. And a fourteen-year-old from Canada was playing tabla.

I had the feeling that with the "fresh, young spirit" of these musicians offering seva in this satsang—and of all the children participating in the satsang—this chant with Gurumayi would be so special for them and their parents; it would be something they would remember forever.

The voices of the children floated throughout the Temple, sweet and bright.

Shri krishna, nila krishna, bala krishna, jay jay.
Manohara, muralidhara, bala krishna, jay jay.

As both young and seasoned voices blended in the call and response of the chant, and we connected our voices with Gurumayi, it felt like the raslila—like the sound of Lord Krishna’s flute calling the gopis to dance under the moonlight by the sacred Yamuna River.

Gurumayi motioned to Carlos, the music conductor, to take the chant into a crescendo with rounds of jay jay! jay jay! I experienced that the physical boundaries of the Temple transformed into sparkling points of blue light spreading Gurumayi’s love and the power of Siddha Yoga chanting to every parent and every child throughout the global Siddha Yoga sangham. I felt that the Yamuna river was flowing throughout the world, carrying its purifying effects as all our voices became one voice. Dear reader of this account, during this chant, you yourself may have experienced something special—a gentle breeze blowing from the Guru’s house, a sudden pulsation of love, a moment of intuition, the flowering of inspiration, the strong desire to complete an unfinished task, the impulse to give selflessly….

 

 

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