By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 29 October, 2016
My guru once told me, “God is in the simple.” With that adage in mind, I have begun to explore the value of chanting in my life. There are many long and arduous sacred chants that are sung by spiritual teachers who believe that their extended recitations may bring about desired spiritual changes into one’s life.
Finding the simple in sacred chants
I particularly remember seeking out a teacher whom I felt had a good meditative practice including singing sacred chants that I might emulate. Attending one of her workshops, I saw how she had committed herself to long and elaborate chants. They were indeed very beautiful and I felt them resonating within me. Later looking at pages and pages of these suggested chants, I began to despair at my ability to stay committed to any one of them. I felt they were too long and complex for me to commit to simple memory. It seemed that I had to always have her papers with me when attempting the sacred chants.
I have lived at an ashram for many years. I am surrounded by murtis (sacred statues) to Jesus, Kali, Buddha, Shiva, Baba Neem Karoli, Nityananda, and Hanuman. One day I sat before one of them despairing over my inability to perform one of these elaborate chants. I realized that my “attempts” were actually interfering with my being able to perform a sacred chant. I was actually stressing out on a practice meant to relax me and enhance my spiritual life. The sacred chant was becoming an effort and not a joy.
Looking at these statues, it occurred to me that any one of them was awaiting me to chant to them. I then thought that I could take a few sacred words, to-wit: Om and Namah and add them to any of the murtis I wished to pray to. I now chant happily away before any of them. And I feel that the murti to whom I chant favors me with their blessing.
Sacred chants musically performed in three CD’s
Upon visiting Ma’s India I am happy to see that sacred chants are now performed in three melodious CD’s by Craig Pruess: Sacred Chants of Shiva; Sacred Chants of Shakti; Sacred Chants of Buddha. These are breathtaking collections of sacred Sanskrit chants from the Indian Vedic tradition. These chants are at once beautifully sung, wonderfully orchestrated and resonate what I desire in chanting—simple, devotional chants.
Chanting these devotional sacred chants, a sacred feeling can arise, giving voice to an innermost feeling of love. For the bhakti yogi who wishes to express feeling for his Beloved, chanting is an answer.
If you have a question about “sacred chants,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.
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