Experiences of the Siddha Yoga Practice of Chanting

Click here to share
While I was eating a snack, I heard Om Guru Jaya Guru Satchidananda Guru. Then I looked at our media player. There was no music playing. I went back to my chair, and it took a minute for me to finish my snack. I never heard chanting in my head before, but I knew that if I would keep the chanting in my head, then I would experience the Guru inside myself.

a seven-year-old Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I was practicing the chant Shivaya Namah Om the whole day for the weekly satsang that was going to take place that evening. Early in the morning on that day, I was totally engrossed in the sounds of the chant as I repeated it in my mind.

Suddenly, I heard a bird chirping. And then after some time, many birds joined in with the first one. I felt as if they were also chanting with me and we were practicing together. I was really enjoying their joyful company.

After some time, while I was on my way to work, chanting on the way, I noticed a very big tree in blossom with beautiful flowers. I was taken into stillness for some time. The tree had become part of my experience of chanting.

I began to chant more joyfully, full of happiness and love for my beloved Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

Chanting is sublime entry into the experience oneness for me. With the focus on the Chanting Tour, I feel like one of my most powerful experiences of chanting has come alive again.
 
On Gurupurnima 1994, we were chanting for several hours at the local Siddha Yoga center. I completely lost myself in the chant. Suddenly, I felt as if immense space had opened up around me, and I thought that people must have moved away from me. I opened my eyes to find that nothing had changed. I immersed myself again in the sacred sounds.
 
Immediately, I heard Baba laughing behind me, asking "So who's chanting?" I looked around, seeing everyone in the hall. I understood that we were all God chanting God's name. With that knowledge, I felt an incredible joy bubble up, encompassing everyone. And I realized how blessed we are to walk this path.
 

a Siddha Yogi from New Mexico, USA

I just had my first experience of chanting for over five minutes. I chanted for a whole satsang, non-stop. I really wanted to learn about the Siddha Yoga songs and traditions. It’s been very exciting to be at the Ashram here in Melbourne a lot. I felt very relaxed and excited at the same time.

At the start, I sat down on a mat and started chanting the words on the board. As I got through to the end, I knew the words and I didn't need to look at the board. I was very proud and pleased with myself for learning the melodies and words of the song, Muktananda Mahan Jaya Sadguru Bhagavan.

an eight-year-old Siddha Yogi from Warragul, Australia

For me, the practice of chanting has been a lifeline to the experience of grace, the experience of feeling the Guru in my heart. Chanting with Gurumayi helps me to easily let go of feelings of unworthiness or separation — there is no room for negativity in a heart that feels so full!

One of my earliest memories of the power of chanting was with Baba. We were preparing to chant Shivaya Namah Om. Baba introduced the chant, directing us to chant with all our hearts. I had no idea how to do that, and inwardly asked Baba for help in understanding. As I continued to chant, I began to feel a powerful surge of energy from the base of my spine. I had never experienced such an intense yearning, love, and surrender, nor thought this was possible. I then understood what it meant to chant with all my heart, and I was profoundly grateful.

I am continually amazed and so grateful for the practice of chanting on this path!

a Siddha Yogi from Texas, USA

For about nine years, every few weeks I would pick up or drop off one of my daughters at boarding school or college. As I drove, I would always play tapes of Gurumayi chanting and would chant along with her.

One night I was returning home late after attending a performance at my daughter's college. I was tired and home seemed like a long way away. I put on the recording of Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya. As soon as the first few notes began, my fatigue left.

I was fully present, focused on Gurumayi's voice, the words of the chant, and the sounds of the music. The more I focused on the chant, the more ecstatic I got. At the same time, I became even more aware of the road and the traffic as I drove. I felt as if Gurumayi were in the car with me and we were chanting call-and-response together. Joy was coursing in every cell of my body.

I played the recording three times. When I reached home, it was after midnight, and the chant was near the end. I parked the car and continued to chant until it ended.

I thanked Gurumayi for this blissful experience, and for accompanying me on this trip.

a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram

Decades ago, when I was beginning my search for the truth, a friend brought me to meet Gurumayi. As I sat among hundreds of people and chanted Om Namah Shivaya, I was immersed in a sea of incredible love.

I did not understand at that time that I had met my Guru, and I continued my search for years. Nonetheless, the love-filled chanting of Om Namah Shivaya lulled me to sleep at night and filled my vocal cords during the day.

Then one morning, while meditating, a beautiful woman in a long, flowing red dress came and hugged me with the most indescribable love. I wondered who this woman was.

Some time later, looking through all my photos, I came upon Gurumayi's picture. I felt a shock of recognition as her eyes beamed love through my being. I fell to the ground, sobbing in joyous gratitude. I heard Gurumayi within saying, "Everything is wonderful!"

I understood that, through all my years of wandering, my Guru had been with me in the sounds of Om Namah Shivaya, patiently, softly, and lovingly bringing me home to her, the Siddha Yoga path, and my Self.

Thank you, Gurumayi. My eternal pranams to you!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

This morning, I drove through a gentle rain to the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland to recite Shri Guru Gita. My focus on each verse was sharp, and my senses were attentive to the rhythms and the chanters around me.

Traveling back home to begin the day's tasks, I found myself driving in consonance with the other folks on the highway, as if there was a symphony already underway and I could easefully tune in and out of it.  The asphalt was glistening after the rain, seeming to reflect the sky with its horizon of possibilities. A flock of seagulls converged in a spontaneous and unusual ballet in front of me, and I was grateful that I was quiet enough to see their dance.

Bathed in the great mantra of Shri Guru Gita and restored in silence, I feel new, alive, and blessed.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

In the early 1990s after a long day at work, I got to my apartment and, instead of reaching for food or other distractions, I decided to recite Shri Guru Gita with great focus. Chanting along with a tape, I was carefully reciting the response verses when, suddenly, my vision shifted. As I chanted, one of the verses lifted itself off the page. I saw, in a flash, that these are no ordinary verses! They are divine, and they exist independent of time and space.  The pages are there merely to provide a background so that my eyes can imbibe the words. I have never forgotten the prasad that came from that one simple yet profound choice—to chant. To reach out to God by chanting.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi. 

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

During a Siddha Yoga satsang this past June, the namasankirtana was Narayana. When the chant began, I was initially distracted, thinking of other things. Then my inner voice said, "Close your eyes and just chant!”
 
As soon as I gave my full attention to chanting, waves of light arose in my heart, and they continued through the whole chant. I now believe that this was my shaktipat initiation. From that day until now, I feel myself becoming one with Gurumayi through chanting. Though she is not physically present in our chanting satsangs, we can feel her presence with us.
 
Siddha Yoga chanting is a practice in which I completely forget myself, in which I feel perfect, at one with the Guru, and completely blissful.
 
Thank you, Bade Baba, Baba, and Gurumayi for this path and for Siddha Yoga chanting, which is one of the practices through which many seekers like me are receiving shaktipat.

a Siddha Yogi from Gandhinagar, India

Chanting is one of my favorite practices! It feels like getting into a vehicle that takes me to a very deep and joyful state.
 
I'm pregnant, and it's beautiful to feel how, when I am chanting, the baby also becomes very peaceful. And the feeling after chanting with him is so magical—I feel a very strong connection!

I know all this is happening because of Gurumayi´s love and her grace. Thank you, my beloved Guru, for these wonderful experiences!

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

When I chant, I feel an opening to a space of awareness that I know is much more subtle than my conscious mind. It is a solid, stable space where I experience love, joy, and ecstasy, as if Kundalini Shakti were coursing through my veins. I feel electric and my face glows with a bright light of life and energy.
 
At these times I think of Gurumayi and all that I received from her in my first Shaktipat Intensive over two decades ago. Thank you, Gurumayi, for this blessing.

a Siddha Yogi from Iowa, USA

I have been recalling an experience of chanting that I had 22 years ago. I was chanting Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya with my parents in my puja room. Slowly, as I got more immersed in the chant, it seemed that only Gurumayi and I remained in the room. We both were lifting our hands and swirling our bodies, ecstatic and full of joy. The energy was very powerful. And what joy!
 
As I recall that day long ago, I am feeling gratitude for my Guru; with her grace, I have experienced such great joy in chanting, not just at that time but again and again.
 
Gurumayiji, my pranam and my gratitude for this divine path. The website has become my mandir, my temple. My gratitude to all the website sevites who give us the opportunity to participate at home.

a Siddha Yogi from Texas, USA

My heart is bursting with excitement at the news of the Chanting Tour.  I love to chant. Whenever I chant in the room in our house where the Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation group meets, I feel the presence of Gurumayi and Baba. I also experience this when I chant in the car, or just working around the house. 
 
Each morning after meditation, I chant the Kundalini Stavah and Shri Guru Gita with the CD's.  It is a peaceful time for me, and my heart warms and opens up to this wonderful practice.  It always changes the way the day goes, and I feel that this puja to God is important.
 
What great prasad to be able to participate in the future Chanting Tour.  Gurumayi has truly blessed us.

a Siddha Yogi from South Carolina, USA

This year's celebration of Mahashivaratri was especially inspiring to me. My whole inner being connected on a deeper level to the mantra. The five-minute recording of Om Namah Shivaya posted on the website made a powerful and lasting impression on me. I listened to it again and again, and it stayed with me all day long, coming back to me especially during periods of silence. And it’s still with me, giving me a renewed sense of support and grace. Whenever I need focus and clarity, I find that version of the mantra is there for me, guiding me from within.
 
I am so grateful for this beautiful gift.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I practice chanting daily with the calendar of namasankirtanas. Each month, I eagerly await the calendar and make time for chanting in my daily sadhana schedule. Sometimes the whole family comes together to chant while doing puja and arati.

This practice has been so helpful for me; it’s a way to attain inner bliss. After the practice of chanting, I feel joyful. I bring this energy to my meetings with people, and I chant while doing my work. This energy connects me with my breathing and allows me to enter my heart. Then mantra japa automatically begins inside me. I stay with the energy of chanting all through the day.

a Siddha Yogi from Khargone, India

Recently, during the noon chants at the Siddha Yoga Sadhana Retreat in Boston, I was transported to a place of total peace, total calm, and quietude.

Each day, as we chanted Om Namah Shivaya and settled into our seats with perfect posture and easy breathing, the chanting took me on an effortless journey to supreme peace, connectedness, and inner bliss. The entire room seemed to expand and include the rest of the world. I could feel my heart expanding and opening like a giant lotus flower. Feelings of sublime love rippled through my being so gently and sweetly.

Having experienced being immersed in the Guru’s love during these chants, I will always think of noon as a special time of the day. Now, at home, I play the mantra all day, and I am transported back to that peace and quietude of the noon chant at the Ashram in Boston.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

I learned what Gurumayi’s Message for 2014 was only after seeing it posted on the website. I tried to comprehend its meaning from day one, but no matter how many times I read it, I felt I couldn't understand it.

But one day, when I sat for meditation and silently chanted the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, I was blessed with new understanding. Each time I repeated Om, it felt so quiet—just like the "soundless sound." And then, when I would come to Namah Shivaya, I could feel the vibrations of the mantra everywhere within me, as if the "soundless sound" had arisen and spread into my entire body. And when each repetition ended, it took me back to that "quietude" where it had all started.

I am very thankful to Gurumayi for her compassion in teaching me with so much care. Though I am far from Gurumayi’s physical presence and live in a place where there is no Siddha Yoga meditation center, I realize that the Guru is everywhere.

a Siddha Yogi from Visakhapatnam, India

When I first heard a Siddha Yoga chant, many years ago, I had the feeling "I've heard this before.” Even though Sanskrit and the music were new to me, the chanting felt familiar deep inside. And I loved it right away.

For many years now, it has been my favorite way to immerse myself in the bliss of this sacred path. Oh, how grateful I am for the nectar of chanting!

A Siddha Yogi from Maine, USA

Last year, after returning home from two blissful weeks offering seva in Shree Muktananda Ashram, I was feeling a bit sad to be away from the Ashram. I went to visit a friend, but the whole time I was there, my mind kept wandering back to the Ashram. I longed to be in that sacred place of love and serenity. I longed to be with my Guru again. I feared I wouldn’t experience those feelings any more now that I was home.
 
As soon as I left my friend’s house and got into my car, I turned on a chant. I wanted to hear my Guru’s voice. I longed to be with her. The gentle opening melody of Nityanandam Brahmanandam streamed out of the speakers and washed over me like a wave.
 
I was transported back to a place of tranquility and love. As Gurumayi began to chant, a smile spread across my face and I felt as though I had discovered a precious jewel residing within my heart. She knows me, I realized. She’s with me. She’s inside my heart. In that moment I experienced Gurumayi as being everywhere.
 
My entire being radiated with joy and devotion. Even though we were physically separated by over a thousand miles, that fact no longer mattered. We were, and always will be, together in our hearts.

an eighteen-year-old Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA

On Gurupurnima 2012, in a beautiful satsang here in Shri Nilaya, we chanted Om Gurudev with Gurumayi.
 
As soon as the chant started, my whole being was awash in deep waves of devotion, and a yearning to be close to God and the Guru. I felt as if my mind had instantly quieted and merged into my heart. The chant became a current of bliss, coursing through my breath and my body. I felt my heart dialoguing in its own language with the heart of the Guru—a divine language that my mind couldn’t quite understand, but that my being definitely recognized.
 
As the chant progressed, I felt united with the Guru, with everyone, expressing through the sacred syllables all my devotion and love, without any mental hindrance. I remember feeling, “Everything is OK. There is nothing to think or worry about." I entered a wide present moment, a space that expanded and pulsated with love, bliss, and profound contentment.
 
For me, the most significant part of this experience was the surrender of the mind to the heart. Chanting experiences like this remind me of what it is to live from my highest Self, where there is no separation, no doubt, no contraction. Thanks to chanting, and my Guru, I know that space of return is always there for me, and that grace will bring me back again and again.

a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram