Major piece of work done today! Met with my friend Morgan and we hashed out the details for our upcoming class on Yoga and Chanting. The name is actually much jazzier- Mindful Yoga & Sacred Chant. The format- about an hour of yoga followed by a half hour or so of chanting- very exciting. The idea is that opening with yoga clears and balances the nadis, or energy channels in the body, allowing for sound then to flow forth with ease, and taking the work that has alre ady been done to another level.
The discussion led me to looking for a picture for our flyer. I found two gems in my files. The above is where the different seeds sound in the Gayatri Mantra
emanate from the subtle body. If you don't know the Gayatri then this may not make a lot of sense. They are just a bunch of different syllables floating around. However, if you know the chant then you can look at the picture and follow the path of sound.
Bhuh bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Then I found this gorgeous drawing by my Sanskrit teacher's teacher and guru, Dr. Ramamurti Mishra, known to many as Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, which I believe is inspired by a drawing from an ancient text. It is a drawing of the subtle body with the major chakras and nadis. In the drawing, the nadis seem to flow outside of and around the body but they are actually all contained within the body. The different nadis and chakras respond and correspond to different
frequencies which are designated by the Sanskrit writing on the chart. The writing in larger Sanskrit letters on the top right says "Pranayama" and underneath the drawing (not shown) it says, "The cosmic state of meditation of I-AM." Thus, we can infer from this that control of the breath, pranayama, will lead us to the perfected state- or to the awareness of our own perfection. Even in a simple black and white drawing we can see how the subtle body is illuminated and vibrating at a very high frequency.
Every Sanskrit syllable (seed sound) has a very specific vibrational quality and by chanting we experience the effect of those sounds. The vibrations charge the brain and travel through the nervous system and the subtle energy system. In
the Vedic tradition, all of the different deities in the Hindu pantheon carry the vibrational qualities of the seed sounds
contained within their names.For example, the vibrational quality of the sound "Ga" or "Gam" (the "a" is pronounced like a short "u" in English, ie "gum") is that it removes obstacles. Hence, Ganesha, the Hindi deity with the head of an elephant, is the Remover of Obstacles. If we want to remove obstacles in our life we can chant, "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha". "Gam" is the seed sound for Ganesha- so we chant that sound first which is packed with potency and potential. "Ganapataye" is another form of Ganesha's name- the vocative. We are calling on Ganesha... and "Namaha", we bow down to him.