I emerged from the winter months considering Kirtan and what I might want to learn and teach in the new season. Over the winter we chanted mantras for health and healing. It seemed to be the thing to do, so we did, and it was. I had a strong feeling, and a vision for those Kirtan gatherings. My question was: What can I do to help those in the midst of troubles? The answers came… Mantra is powerful! Its effect reaches the depths of the individual soul, and as far and wide as the imagination can consider – it knows no bounds!
I sat, and considered, and the Gayatri Mantra popped in. I searched my music for versions, which I knew I had a few of. I’ve always listened to the Mantra and you know how you do when you don’t know the words, your mind slides over them, makes them up, catches the tune, and the drift, but not the details. I found the words and looked at them – and I listened to them. It was difficult for me and it was difficult for me to posture my mouth and breath, matching them to the words.
What I did was copy the words, pronunciations, and meanings onto a single sheet that I printed, folded, and put in my pocket. I carried it and looked at it from time to time. I had also found a video of Deva Premal with Miten, explaining her family history with the Mantra and chanting and teaching it to a group of teenagers. I watched and listened. It took a good day. The next time I picked up my guitar to play it, the difference was amazing! I got the words, the tune, the cadence. Not that practice wouldn’t make it more natural to me, more mine. The point was, I could do it! That’s the deal with repetition of Mantra. The more we practice, the more we embrace, and make the words and their vibrations our own, the more they are truly ours. We take them in, circulate them through the breath; in this way, become them. Practice, repeat… the keys.
This season’s Kirtans will center around The Gayatri Mantra. I will teach it up and down this beautiful spot on the earth – in Missoula, Polson, Kalispell, Whitefish – wherever I can.
I start this Saturday, May 21st, at The Fitness Center, 123 West Alder in Missoula. Here’s the flyer: http://perfectly-well.com/blog/00-resources/2016/kirtan-flyer-missoula-2016-05may.pdf
Location: The Yoga Fitness Center, 123 W Alder, Missoula
Date/Time: Saturday, May 21 ~ 7-8:30pm
Please come if you can!
Here is Deva Premal’s 2-hour rendition of Gayatri Mantra, with beautiful images in the background:
The Meaning of The Words
Aum (or Om)- God/Brahma
Bhoor – Pranic energy
Bhuwah – Destroyer of sufferings
Swaha – Happiness bestowing
Tat – God or Spirit
Savitur – Bright Sun/God (Also the name of a specific deva, Savitur)
Varenyam – Greatest
Bhargo – Destroyer of misdeeds
Devasya – Supreme God
Dheemahi – Knowledge imparted/understood
Dhiyo – Intelligence
Yo – Who
Naha – Our
Prachodayat – Enlightenment
There are many recordings of The Gayatri Mantra. SpiritVoyage has a compendium of them here: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/mantra/Gayatri-Mantra/MAN-000002.aspx