Chanting the name of the Lord was my very first experience with Gurumayi. In the 1990s, when I was learning qi gong
, a classmate brought some music to help us concentrate. As soon as the chant started, I burst into tears as I heard such a sweet, pure voice singing “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna
” in the Bhairavi raga
. I immediately felt my heart region unlock to revel in an expanding flow of love. A deep, powerful joy was surfacing under the waves of the syllables, permeating my whole being. I recognized that joy as my very nature, which I believed had been lost since childhood; it was as if I was coming back to life in that moment.
That was the very first gift from that "divine singer" whom I now know as the great Master, Gurumayi. After this nourishing experience, I wanted to hear that chant again. So I did, and I started a new life on the Siddha yoga path.
I am so grateful to Gurumayi for the divine nectar of chanting she has given us, year after year, and for allowing us to experience it in so many ecstatic ways.
For years, I have played CDs of the mantra Om Namah Shivaya
in my home, on the computer, and in the car. And since the Chanting Tour in Australia in 2014, I have been singing the divine name every night according to the calendar of namasankirtanas
on the Siddha Yoga path website. In doing so, I noticed that many chants on the calendar were not available on CD, and I kept wishing that audio clips of these chants would be posted on the website.
Imagine my delight when I recently found that audio clips have now been recorded by the music ensemble and made available on the website! Now I am also chanting these other ecstatic chants that Gurumayi has composed for us. My heart is even more joyful.
For me as well, chanting is a great help in my life. When I am sad or have troubles, I take refuge in chanting. When I need help or some advice, I recite Shri Guru Gita
. When my mind is restless, I recite Shri Rudram
. When I feel dry in my heart, I chant one of the Siddha Yoga namasankirtanas
. Each chant or sacred text is especially powerful for me when I accompany myself on the harmonium.
All the Siddha Yoga chants hold so much grace and power—and there are soooo many of them!
It was the precious Siddha Yoga practice of chanting—its melodies, its words, and its ragas
—that drew me onto the Siddha Yoga path. I feel that the Guru’s gift of shaktipat
brought me home to myself through chanting. Gradually the fruits of my Guru's teachings and of my meditation practice unfolded and I am now a changed person. Bhaktirasa
is inseparable from me.
As I read about Vedavyasa and his sadness, I imagined being in his state before meeting Narada, and what it would be like to take chanting out of my life. I almost cried!
How true this great story is! And the word bhaktirasa captures the quality of how nourishing chanting is for my whole being. At times I can feel the golden nectar raining down on me and circulating through my physical body.
Chants also arise spontaneously within me at unexpected times throughout the day. I relish their visits with delight and—depending on my physical circumstances—I will engage with the chant either silently, by humming along, or by singing out loud! When I end one of these chants, I feel filled with a sense of grace: I have received a gift from Gurumayi because of my receptivity to her sankalpa.
I send my unending gratitude and love to our delightful Guru!
Every evening, I chant the mantra Om Namah Shivaya in a different raga with one of Gurumayi's CDs. I experience the power of the mantra more and more as I chant it with full focus and the understanding that the Lord of the mantra, the mantra, and I are one and that I am repeating my own name. After chanting this way for just a few minutes, I enter a state of samadhi; I find myself one with God in bhaktirasa. It is a state of amazing quietness, love, and stillness of mind.
Thank you, Gurumayiji, for giving us the prasad of mantra japa.
This is such a truthful and inspiring story. It reminded me of an incident in my own sadhana
. One day I approached Gurumayi to ask her how I could experience peace in my body and my mind. With a big smile and much enthusiasm, she answered "Chant!" I wasn't sure it could be that easy, so I asked again. Gurumayi repeated with the same joy, "Chant!"
So I followed her sweet command, and have never stopped since.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for giving us the wisdom of this story, and thank you for the guidance you gave me so many years ago.
I began my early morning rituals, lighting a candle on my puja, playing the recording of Shri Guru Gita, and chanting aloud while preparing tea. I sat with my computer on my lap and opened the Siddha Yoga path website, thrilled to discover the new story about bhaktirasa. As I read it, I heard Gurumayi's voice speaking every word.
There was more I wanted to see, so I opened the Images of the Chanting Tour. As each image flashed forth, my heart streamed with delight! Not only did I see dear friends after many years, I recognized the pure state of bhaktirasa streaming from their hearts. Love in every action, every preparation, every gesture, and look of concentration. I could hear the music in their smiles and in the flowers.
Gurumayi, your vision is unparalleled, and your generosity guides and opens every heart to the experience of pure devotion.
New York, USA
What a wonderful and inspiring story of the two sages. It is so true in my life that despite all the practices that I do—meditation, yoga, seva, contemplation—without the rasa of love and devotion, things become dry for me. Chanting is what brings out the nectar and restores my love for life and all the practices.
Thank you, Gurumayi, again and again, for reminding me and inspiring me to remember the true essence of yoga.
As I read about sage Vedavyasa's home amongst "lush foliage...aflame with color...infused with the air of enchanting fragrances," memories of chanting in Gurudev Siddha Peeth filled my heart. As I continued to read about how the power of chanting released the joy from sage Vedavyasa's heart, I understood more clearly why I become immersed in bliss when I chant. Chanting, for me, is like a divine seasoning that brings out the full flavor, the rasa of joy, emanating from the soundless sound.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this enlightening story.
New York, USA