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A recording of this namasankirtana is available in the Siddha Yoga Bookstore.
Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the Siddha Yoga Guru, composed the words and music of Jaya Jaya Shiva Shambho on the occasion of Mahashivaratri, “the great night of Shiva,” in 1988. In November of the following year, in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Gurumayi chanted this namasankirtana during the first Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive via satellite broadcast in which she imparted shaktipat diksha to thousands of students and seekers in fifty-five cities around the world. Because this chant is so loved by Siddha Yogis, it has become an emblematic namasankirtana in the canon of Siddha Yoga music, chanted in numerous satsangs and celebratory events.
The Darbari Kanada raga, which inspired the composition of this chant, is a melodic pattern brought into Hindustani classical music by the sixteenth-century composer Tansen at the request of storied Emperor Akbar, who wanted a raga that could be sung at night. Darbari means “court” in the Hindi language, and the rasa, “flavor,” of this raga evokes valor, grandeur, and stately magnificence—all qualities of a royal court. Because darbari improvisations are generally done in the lower scale, musicians consider this to be a complex raga to master. Requiring great rigor and technical finesse, a darbari improvisation is often the crowning piece in a classical concert.
Namasankirtana is the repetition of the divine name in song. On the Siddha Yoga path, this Sanskrit word refers both to the practice of chanting the names of God and to the chant itself. Repeating God’s name to music has immense power. In the twenty-five years of my sadhana, namasankirtana has always been of vital importance, as it invariably uplifts my spirit. Whether I am part of the lead group of Siddha Yoga musicians or one of the response chanters in the satsang hall, the experience is sacred. Throughout the duration of the namasankirtana, I imagine that I am inhaling and exhaling sound—the blessed sound of God’s name.
The positive effect that namasankirtana has on my state of being is immediate: as soon as I give myself to the chant by both listening and responding to the melodic lines, it feels as if the music does the rest. Very easily, my heart and mind are cleansed of any thoughts or feelings that might be painful, worrying, or sad. As the chant continues, my entire being feels flooded with love.
For many of us, it is spring and a time of new beginnings. On this Easter weekend, let us immerse ourselves in the Siddha Yoga practice of chanting with a namasankirtana that is associated with rebirth and renewal. Let’s refresh and revitalize our joy and reverence by chanting the name of Shiva—Jaya Jaya Shiva Shambho—and experiencing the Lord’s magnificence within and all around!
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