Chanting is one of the main Siddha Yoga practices through which Siddha Yogis have been engaging with Gurumayi’s Message for 2014. Chanting leads to the experience of the essence of Gurumayi’s Message. Baba and Gurumayi teach that chanting is the easiest means to experience God. And chanting was the focus of this satsang for children and families.
Gurumayi told the participants that we would soon be chanting, and said, “After the Chanting Tour in Australia this past spring, every time we talk about chanting we cannot help but remember the glory of that Chanting Tour.”
The historic Siddha Yoga Chanting Tour: Australia 2014—Satyam Shivam Sundaram took place during March and April in Australia—and all around the world via the Siddha Yoga path website.
Gurumayi then introduced Carlos del Cueto, who was the Siddha Yoga music teacher and conductor for the Chanting Tour, and told us that Carlos is now serving on staff again in Shree Muktananda Ashram. Everyone applauded Carlos, who was the conductor for this satsang as well. He immediately stood up and offered his pranams to Gurumayi. As Carlos stood there beaming, Gurumayi said to him, “Carlos, tell us one sweet moment from the Chanting Tour in Australia.”
Carlos shared this story:
One of the sweetest moments was after the satsang in which I had taught everybody a technique I’d learned from Gurumayi for how to breathe while chanting. A few days later, a Siddha Yogi came to me to thank me for teaching this technique. She said that her life had been transformed by it—not only her chanting. She shared that she’d been suffering from insomnia for a while. However, for the last three days she had been recalling and practicing this breathing technique, and now she was finally able to sleep again at night. So it was very clear how Gurumayi was teaching everybody in Australia through the seva I was offering. And Gurumayi, when I heard this woman sharing, I was very moved to know that your presence was so strongly felt by the new seekers, as well as those who have been following the Siddha Yoga path for a long time in Australia.
I loved hearing this anecdote from the Chanting Tour, because it’s such a wonderful example of the powerful and often unexpected ways that Gurumayi’s teachings transform seekers’ lives. In the SYDA Foundation I had the privilege to offer seva in the Content Department for one year. I learned that keeping a record of such stories and giving them to the Shakti Punja Area is one of the key ways that everyone can contribute to the Siddha Yoga legacy.
After the satsang, I learned that Carlos had been so impassioned by his experience of the power of Siddha Yoga music during the Chanting Tour that in May he wrote a letter to Gurumayi. In this letter he shared with her an idea that came to him during the Chanting Tour. Carlos had met many long-time Siddha Yogis throughout Australia who shared fascinating stories and information from past years about Siddha Yoga music. On the Chanting Tour, Carlos also trained new musicians, many of them young people. From this experience, Carlos recognized the importance of documenting this history as part of the Siddha Yoga legacy.
He wrote to Gurumayi, “Of course, at the heart of this history would be how Baba and you have shaped Siddha Yoga music into what it is now–– knowledge that is important and that will be even more important for newer generations of Siddha Yoga musicians.” Carlos also proposed to SYDA Foundation Management that he champion this project, and his proposal was accepted.
After everyone in the satsang had heard this inspiring story from Carlos, Gurumayi invited the parents to share about how they are inspired by their children’s chanting.
One mother of a nine-year-old boy from New York City said:
When we are doing household chores, or when we are outside in the yard, my son will spontaneously go into a chant. He may sing Jyota se Jyota Jagao or a chant he has heard when visiting Shree Muktananda Ashram. I’m really touched by this, and he inspires me to chant wherever I am.
A mother of two boys, aged seven and eleven, from Mexico turned to her sons and asked their permission to share. With big smiles they nodded yes. She said:
We love chanting at home. We chant before we go to bed. And something happened recently which was very sweet. The abhanga sung in the Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang is Shri Guru Sarikha, “My Guru’s Protection.” Recently our oldest boy had been experiencing a lot of fear. I remembered the abhanga and the meaning of the words. So we sat as a family and read the abhanga. Then we started singing it first in English, then in Marathi. My son started crying and crying, and it was very beautiful because I experienced that he was feeling the Guru’s protection and that his fear was dissolving. Now I often hear both of my sons singing “My Guru’s Protection.” Somehow it has gone really deep inside of them. And they know that the Guru’s protection is always behind them.
A mother of a four-year-old girl from New York City shared:
I got a wonderful phone call last night from a sevite, letting me know about this satsang. But my daughter got a call of a whole other kind, because she wanted to chant all day yesterday. All day long, she was singing Jyota se Jyota Jagao and other Siddha Yoga chants. Then she called a family friend to tell them, “Gurumayi is my Guru!” What I take away from this is the level on which she and many children are tuned in to Gurumayi’s energy and Gurumayi’s "call." The phone call to me about the satsang was not the only call. My daughter was feeling it all day yesterday. There’s something so magical about the way children just are themselves and express their love whenever it comes to them. So thank you, Gurumayi.
“Thank you,” Gurumayi said. “Beautiful.”
It was very moving for us to hear the shares about the children from their parents— about this raslila connection with Gurumayi which the children feel so strongly. I thought about how we can all learn from their example and strive to attune ourselves more and more to the Guru’s grace. We would soon be having the perfect opportunity to do just that, through chanting....