Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chanting Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

You may have done some chanting in a yoga class, or at a Kirtan, which is a concert where lots of chants are sung. Quite a rush isn't it? Really gets the prana moving...

Well, it's meant to do that. Chanting is a whole body, spirit, mind work that fits really well into Bhakti Yoga.

Everything we are, everything that is, is vibration. The entire cosmos is a vibrational continuum, and embodied life is the material expression of vibrational flow. When this vibrational flow is disrupted, imbalances result creating disharmony in the environment or dis-ease in the physiology.

Vibration through speech is a big deal in this tradition. Chanting helps to put us back into balance.

Mantra is a Sanskrit word with many shades of meaning: "tool of the mind," "divine speech." Another, more poetic way of looking at chanting mantra is:

The practice of mantra actually kneads the flesh of the body with sound. The delicate cells of the elaborate bundles of nerves are subjected to a constant hammering, a seizure of the flesh by the vibrations of divine sound.

Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya is known as a Mukti, or liberation, Mantra. It is a potent spiritual formula for attaining freedom. Consistent use of this mantra will eventually, even if over many incarnations, free us from the cycles of rebirth. In this way it mitigates Karma so we are free to make true choices in our lives. True choices, not simply reacting to desire and aversion.

Om is a seed sound for the sixth, or brow, chakra and is the name of the state of existence in which the Indweller (jiva, atman, or soul) has united with the spirit of the all-pervading consciousness.

Namo here means name.

Bhagavate is one who is becoming divine.

Vasudevaya is "the Indweller".

A 'fairly' literal translation would be: "Om and salutations to the Indwelling One, substance of the Divine."

Check out the link to Krishna Das and listen to him bring the full vibrational aspect of this practice to life.


P.S. For literalists, I include the following:

om--O my Lord; namah--my respectful obeisances unto You; bhagavate--unto the Personality of Godhead; vasudevaya--unto Lord Krsna, the son of Vasudeva.


O my Lord, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.