Want to know more about the power of chanting?


550681_196108370529076_1886022677_nThe Meaning of Brahmananda Swarupa – A Consecrated Chant.

I find often in my yoga classes that folks are bashful and/or reluctant to actually utter the sounds during chanting times during the sadhana/class.  Its not that they are ready to leave but I think if they knew that they are missing such a powerful benefit for their own energies they might just start sharing their sounds to the group chanting.  I often remind participants that uttering Sanskrit words for invocation is not mumble- jumble but a known scientific fact that the sounds actually create the quality of peace with vibrations in their cells, thus a benefit.  If you click the link above this paragraph you can listen to a short video in which Sadhguru from The Isha Foundation explains about one such powerful Chant.  Below is an audio soundclip from Soundcloud that you can listen to the chant for one straight hour and notice any peaceful benefits that come your way. Thanks again to Sadhguru and the Volunteers at Isha Foundation for sharing so much media with us to be able to tap into the ancient science of classical Indian hatha yoga.  Namaskaram OM


100 responses »

  1. What I got from this video clip is that Brahmananda Swarupa is a chant consecrated by Sadhguru to invoke stillness in all those who make it a part of their lives. Brahma refers to the creator. The creator has been described as emptiness, as boundlessness, as light, and as darkness. Whatever is the basis of creation, that’s Brahma. Brahma is also Akhila, which means he’s all-pervading. As mentioned in the video, The word Mantra refers to the blissfulness or ecstasy of the creator. Swarupa is ‘an image’. This means an image of the ecstasy of the creator. It means that which rules. Listening to Brahmananda Swarupa is very peaceful. Although it repeats itself, it gives a sense of aliveness and it feels like it something different within every chant. The sound is very alive. According to the video, when you consecrate a sound like this, it has been done with the intention that a large part of you will become stillness but you will retain the liveliness of life around you. As i am writing this, i am listening to the full hour of Brahmananda Swarupa. I can honestly say from listening to it, it gives me peace of mind and i am better at focusing on what i have to do. An overall sentence to conclude the Brahmananda Swarupa is the whole existence is an image of the ecstasy of the creator.
    Lumi Huseinovic.

  2. In this video, Sadhguru was explaining what a chant is exactly, the meaning of this Brahmananda Swarupa chant, and how it is what they call, a consecrated sound. He started out by stating that a chant is a clever arrangement of sounds. But then he went on to say that it can’t just be some nice sounding words, it has to have a nice meaning to it too. This made me laugh a little, because it is true that we don’t understand what the words mean so we could be chanting anything—even bad, negative words, and we would never know! So, I agree completely that the chants have to have a powerful meaning as well as a powerful sound. It was interesting to learn that the chant works on and reaches the energy level. I can imagine the vibrations of our voices reaching the cells in our bodies. But besides the energy level, we also have to focus on our mind and emotional level. For this, we ensure that the meaning of the sound remains powerful enough to enhance our minds. The sound has to be alive, consecrated, and energized. It makes sense to me, because if we are just sitting there reciting a dull sound, I think that our bodies will interpret this as negative energy. We have to truly focus our minds into this and energize our sounds. I believe that chanting is a very important part of yoga. When we chant together in class, not only does it sound amazing, but it feels wonderful as well. I feel like we are really making a change—I can almost feel it in every one of my cells! I am not quite sure how to describe the feeling I get, but the chanting in class excites me. I would imagine that it would be hard to gain benefit in a yoga session without chanting. I feel like chanting also focuses one’s mind onto what they are doing. With every chant, we are reminding ourselves of what we are doing. I may be wrong, but that definitely helps me when I practice my Isha Kriya. Overall, I believe that chanting is a very important aspect of the yoga practice.

  3. The chant that was being discusses was viewed as consecrated and energized. This highlighted the importance of sounds in mantras, and how the words add benefit by satisfying our intellect/mind. I have to say that I never had this idea explained to me in such a clear manner.
    It was said in the video that Shiva has a million different names, but ultimately he is nothing; he is not one thing. It is for this reason that we can call him whatever we want.
    That which rules the existence is ultimate bliss, and has no name. This was important for me to hear because I find myself sometimes getting confused because there are so many names for the Infinite. Since different religions and spiritual traditions have used so many different names, it is easy to become caught up on semantics. Here we are reminded that the multiplicity of names all point to the same Reality. It is quite shocking to realize that many wars have been fought over the issue varying forms of worshiping the Infinite.
    After watching the video I was left thinking about the different ways humans are able to energize, or consecrate different aspects of their lives. One example can be found in my life. This semester I have spent more effort in making my residence a sacred place, or sanctuary. I have done so by adding symbols of my personality and passion on the walls, as well as organizing the furniture in a way that is conducive to meditation and reflection. I try to keep it as clean as possible, as an expression of what I consider my ‘spiritual maintenance’. This idea of spiritual upkeep has become very important to me recently, as I am coming to a deeper understanding of it’s importance.

    – Conrad –

  4. Words have a power and an energy within them. As Sadhguru says, not only are we gaining power from the vibration in your cells, but the positive meaning of the words as well. This has a lot to do with optimism, and the power of positive thinking as well. When we think positively, we are better off for it. When we release these positive thoughts to the world in the form of chanting, they are able to materialize and become even more real. Through vocalizing positive energy, we give it weight and context and especially power. Thinking in the same vein, it might be beneficial to repete small mantras or positive phrases to ones self throughout the day, to receive the benefit of the positive energy. As it says in the video, energy is all we are, and it makes sense to fill our bodies with energy that is positive.

  5. I have been studying the use of mantras in rituals in my theater histories class. It is interesting to hear the information I have been getting from a textbook from someone who actually practices chanting. I think the most interesting thing about chants and mantras is that what you are saying is not as important as how it makes you feel. The sounds have the power to bring you to bliss. This is a similar idea to Theater of Cruelty, something I learned in my Theater History class last year. In the early 19th century, Antonin Artaud came up with the Theater of Cruelty, and one of the aspects of this movement was that words were stripped of their meanings and definitions, and used only for there phonic elements. Essentially he wanted words to be used as noises to bring about an emotional reaction in his audience. Every time I do this assignment, there is some yoga teaching that I can relate to my other studies; its fantastic to see all the connections in this world.

    Katherine Gilmartin

    • Glad you are finding connections this will prove useful for you always….do know that Sanskrit chanting (different from IK which is english) actually has a scientific manisfestation in the cells to create the actual idea such as: peace, well being, etc.

  6. I had once learned that there are different types of mantras and every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Mantras have always been something I have been aware of. I have created my own, said my own, written my own, but have I uttered them everyday? No. What I love about the Isha Kriya it has given me the power to do so now. As we should all know by now, what you put out into the earth is what you will receive. Your vibrations, your energy, are always reflecting back to you. And I do entirely believe that chanting out loud is good for the soul because you are putting positive energy into the universe and then are receiving it in greater heights. I have always loved chanting, especially with a group. When you are in the right mindset, with a clear head, you begin to feel the rhythm and energy of everyone around you, and it becomes a very powerful thing. But it’s also interesting to me, like this lecture says is that meaning enhances emotion, and for me when I do not understand the meaning of a mantra/chant it becomes depthless. It’s lacks that “soul” that I am looking for. Paralleling this with my Isha Kriya, it was difficult for me to chant the mantra out loud of “I am not the body. I am not even the mind”. I had to understand the words, language, and dissect the meaning to truly fulfill my experience meditating. Soon though, I began getting into it, understanding that I had to let go of both my body and mind to feel the chant and that is when I began to lose myself in the vibration of the mantra. Mantra’s are something you become and they open up a door for your mind and health. When you chant it’s like unlocking a gate that has been kept secret or putting in a lightbulb. There’s this great “ah!”. Sadhguru, in his talk, states perfectly that sound is alive. And when you become the sound you are in the moment, creating movement, and being alive with it. Loved this video! And am really enjoying the spiritual path in this class.

  7. Chants are powerful in the way Sadhguru described it, although with the Isha Kriya I still have trouble separating myself from the words being uttered, I think due to my ability to define each of the words and therefore there are infinite possibilities to their significance. I’m very susceptible to over-thinking making it more of a challenge in practice. I try to focus on the sound and the vibrations of the words along with my breathing and that usually takes me to the space I need to be in. However, I did try the Brahmananda Swarupa chant along with the recording and did find myself tuning out my own voice and the recording out at an earlier point. By the time I was out of the meditative state it had been almost 30 minutes into the recording, which is more than I have ever been able to do, even with just silent meditation. It is obvious to me, that this occurred cause unlike “I am not my body…” I was just focusing on the pleasant mix of sounds of the Brahmananda chant and I think got close to feeling the complete nothingness of the omnipresent energy I was able to channel. Because I could make anything of this chant, and because its meaning, even after watching his explanation of it, had remained so implicit that all I could focus on was its beauty,

  8. I was defiantly hesitant to make any noise when doing yoga. Even deep and loud breathing. For some reason I found it to be embarrassing like I was calling attention to myself. I am not sure where this feeling came from. Probably because in this culture it is frowned upon to make loud noises in front of others especially if you do not know them. Not knowing that many people in the class also made me feel hesitant. But now after I have had many classes I feel more comfortable with the people around me and have stated to understand the practice itself better. As the video says its just an arrangement of sounds that are meant to be helpful to the chanters. The words itself are not the important part, it’s the sound or vibration which is the reason why people chant. If that is true then the langue is not important either. Chanting can be helpful to everyone world wide

  9. The chant at the end of the video is still playing as I begin to write this response.
    The melodic chanting is beautiful and calming just in its existence. The meaning of the words Brahmananda swarupa, as the image of perfect blissfulness brought to us by the Creator, add to the calmness and stillness an individual feels when listening to this chanting. As Sadhguru said in the video, the chant itself is efficacious but an understanding of its meaning can heighten that effect on the chanter.
    There is a large amount of scientific backing to the idea of “affirmations” and chanting seems to be the origin of this idea. Affirmations are acceptances of yourself and repeated phrases that can help the individual and allow them to reach a goal. I know several people who keep affirmations each morning and find that very helpful. “Today will be a good day”, “I will reach -this goal-” etc. These are powerful words and the seeking of bliss through chant is extremely powerful as well. It is interesting to me that this discussion of chant relates to the idea that saying something is bringing you one step closer to achieving it.
    I will continue listening to this calming chant as I complete other homework today.

  10. In studying music, I’ve learned a lot about Western plainchant (“Gregorian chant”) and the consecration of Christian texts within very strict harmonic rules, so as to keep the chant as a whole as holy and as pure as possible. I’d love to learn more about Indian musical traditions and see how the cultures contrast, but the idea of consecration of words/texts/mantras seems to draw a common link between the two cultures! I enjoyed learning about the mantra that Sadhguru discusses in the video, and this text could apply to many cultural and personal beliefs. I believe in the power of affirmation, and after seeing this video, understand the power of affirmation through chant, as Sadhguru says that the sound is energized and alive when we chant it, and is no longer just sound.

  11. Sadhguru’s words about the meaning and significance of chanting are both funny and enlightening. He points out that while the true power of chanting to bring blissfulness lies in the energy of the sounds spoken, all of us have mind which strive to interpret the words we speak. He shows that it is therefore best to give the words a blissful meaning as well – and here he allows even those of us who do not understand the sanskrit to reflect on the meaning of the words. I understand what he means though, that the power of chanting lies in the charged energy of the sounds themselves. When we chant in class, the sounds coming from my mouth feel alien since we are used to only using utterances with clear and direct meaning to us. It is therefore strange and new to make sounds I do not understand and to still feel such power in them. This, perhaps more than anything else, has taken some getting used to this semester, since I am ordinarily a shy person and am not particularly forthcoming even with words I know the meaning of. I therefore sympathize with those students you mention who are embarrassed to participate in the chanting, and I feel that this is an area in which I have made big progress this year.

  12. This video explained a lot about chants. Sadhguru defines a chant as simply a clever arrangement of sound. It is used to help energy levels and guide you properly through your yoga meditation. However because we have active minds and emotions, we have to be careful in what the chants sound like. In theory, we could just disregard connotations and meanings of words and say anything in chants as long as they sound appropriate in guiding our energy. This isn’t the case though. He then defines Barhmananda Swarupa as ‘the image of ultimate blissfulness’. These mantras’ main goals are to achieve ultimate blissfulness in oneself. Sadhguru also touches upon Shiva and how he is nothing and because of this, we can refer to him as anything and by any name. If he were to exist as one thing, we would not be able to do this. The idea of chanting never quite resonated with me but I now understand its purpose for guiding energy and for yoga in general. The idea behind a chant’s rhetoric was interesting to hear about. I never considered that the sounds did not have to necessarily refer to anything. But then it all made sense as to why it couldn’t simply refer to anything when Sadhguru explained it.

    -Max Pollio

  13. Sound is extremely powerful. As a musician, I really do understand the concept of vibrations having a meaningful effect in our Yoga class. There is science behind how certain frequencies and wavelengths have effects on different parts of the brain, and how music and sound can have calming and meditative effects, so I find it extremely easy to believe that vibrations from mantras have a strong effect on the people participating in the room. I can also understand how people are shy to make sound in front of people they do not know well, and how it can be intimidating to try to meditate in front of other people, but I believe that once others get past that intimidation or embarrassment, they will be able to discover and embrace all of the benefits of uttering phrases out loud. My favorite part of the video, aside from the fact that the speaker has a lighthearted sense of humor that is incredibly endearing, is when he discussed how imperative the words themselves are in a chant. If you are not muttering positive words, you are not giving off positive energy. Your mind has great control over how your body receives the exercise, so you have to recite mantras with conviction and positive energy to be able to absorb all of the benefits.

  14. I am one of those people in class who is shy about chanting-I don’t mind doing it-I just don’t want to be the only one and I always wait for someone else to start before I join in. Which is silly, really. Sadhguru says that there is a power in the vibration of the sound as well as in the actual words being chanted. I know this first hand-when I was in labor with my daughter, during the contractions I let out low, almost moaning, but not whining sounds. I didn’t use words, and so, perhaps didn’t have the benefit of the sanskrit that we have in yoga, but those deep “huh”s most certainly helped me relax and the vibrations calmed me immensely-even the midwives were impressed by how calm I was! I should try to remember how powerful that feeling was the next time I am feeling self-conscious in class!

  15. It strikes me that the yoga experience, in tandem with chanting, attends to the whole-energy body, not just the physical movement and position that yoga utilizes. To be making sounds really does take a person to a different place, and perhaps trigger new energy healing to become unlocked…much like drumming. Drumming can be very meditative in the rhythmic quality that it possess, and the most trance-like effect it creates when done in a sustained way, especially collectively.

    The same thing seems to happen with chanting. I definitely felt a difference when one voice was chanting versus when many voices joined in, which speaks to the power of the collective energy being summoned. I think that this is interesting when considering yoga- my mom always does yoga alone, outside…but I almost think that doing yoga with a bunch of people adds to the collective momentum and therefore creates a powerful experience that shows the unification of spirit, and reverberates through all human energy fields.

    I’m really starting to understand how multi-faceted energy is as it relates to the human-animal/spiritual being experience that we call life on Earth.

  16. When speaking on the importance of chanting, it becomes clear that there is relevance beyond volume or sound. The chant, as Sadhguru explains, does not have to evoke a certain thing through the recitation of words – but instead bring one towards complete positivity and better clarity when speaking the words. His jests regarding language and the ability to recite something versus not being able to because of the language barriers most Western yogic practitioners involve themselves in is both comical and truly important. The yogic practitioner must not understand what they are saying, whatever this Sanskrit chant may be, in order to evoke the energy that is necessary to benefit from the process and, as such, the meaning of what it said applies to a better meditation rather than having any actual meaning at all. In this sense, the idea of nothingness is brought up – the chant can mean nothing because it is about nothing yet brings to life energy that is entirely alive and pulsating beyond just being affected by sound. The benefits from this practice and the revelations within this video bring a different notion of the chant into play when considering the practice of the Isha Kriya. Though we are conditioned to think that chanting or speaking in such a way is unnecessary or problematic in Western culture, it is truly inspiring and important to understand the reasoning for these practices and how they actually work beyond what is immediately considered.

    • Excellent….also do know that the yogis of long ago who created the Sanskrit language did so in such a way that the actual idea is tied to the vibration of the words, so the reverberations create and manifest the idea in one’s cells….hence chanting shanti shanti shanti brings peace peace peace to oneself….OM

  17. In the beginning of the semester I found myself having difficulties in audibly saying the chants. However, in understanding the power of the vibrations, it became easier for me to take part of the class chants. I found this clip of Sadhguru important as he discusses the chants. It was interesting that he began it by saying that the sounds are the most important aspect of the chant, except since we are people, with brains and emotions, and not purely energies, the words said are just as important. While the sounds and vibrations may appear to be what helps us in the yoga practice, it is also in the words that we can find healing. The sounds may be beautiful, but as critical people, the content holds importance in what we decide to say.
    My mom always told me not to say negative things about myself because once it’s spoken, it holds truth. This reminded me a lot of Sahguru’s point in regards to words and meanings. Once something is said it holds these energies and this power, and in the energies and vibrations we can find a sense of peace in yoga. Once these energies leave our bodies, they are able to reverberate around us. While in yoga chants, the meaning is not important in theory, the energies remain. As people, we attach meaning and do not wish to say things that do not feel right to us and are not positive. By creating positive energies out of positive meanings, we are able to create vibrations that better our energies, minds and feelings. Which is what my moms point was – don’t let negative thoughts, feelings, and energies into the world because then this negativity can bind to you, which is how I picture the yoga vibrations. Once you are surrounded by the positive vibrations, they can bind to your own energies and thus elevate you.

  18. This video was really great for me! I really enjoyed listening to him speak about the different ways that we address G-d and how it doesn’t even matter really because that existence of a higher power is everything and nothing. I also really liked when he was talking about mantra meanings and language differences. For example, since I do not speak that language, I would feel more comfortable perhaps chanting in a language that I know. I think developing your own mantra would be a great way to gain leverage in your life and start a routine of your own doing.

    I know Hebrew and Spanish for example, and perhaps it is nice to use a language that you aren’t super familiar with or that isn’t your native language to disconnect you from the words themselves and place you in a new context with a 2nd or 3rd language that you might know a bit about. I don’t believe that mantras are one size fits all and I believe that meaning, while it holds some major importance and you don’t want to chant something mean or negative, it is important to chant an intent or a phrase that you feel you connect with. This strengthens its potency, as the act of chanting itself is incredibly powerful. I really loved this video post.

    Raechel Teitelbaum

  19. I completely agree that chanting a mantra aloud creates a positive vibration within us. Although I naturally find myself wanting to remain silent throughout our yoga practices, I find that when I do push myself to speak the words carry much more meaning. That is why this video also put so much emphasis on the meaning of the words we chant. We can say any countless combination of sound, but it must carry positive meaning to us for it to resonate with us. I have noticed that the vibration in the room when we all say “AH” together at the end of Isha Kriya completely centers the body and the mind, creating a sense of oneness. Simply saying it in your mind doesn’t have the same effect because it isn’t an external act. One must push the mantra out to the universe for it to spread positive vibrations in our life. I plan to practice this way of chanting as a way to subdue my negative thoughts, and thus bring me closer to reaching inner peace.

  20. Sadhguru describes chanting as a clever arrangement of sounds. In the video, Sadhguru expresses that chants are more than sounds. They’re powerful emotions. My favorite part of the yoga class you teach is when we as a collective chant the Isha Krya mantra. It’s honestly so empowering. I have noticed that some of my classmates do not chant along, and maybe they’re repeating the mantra silently in their heads, but I would love if everyone participated. It sounds so much nicer, and the room is filled with so much more energies. I remembered the first time we practiced the Isha Krya together as a class, I was a little shy to say the mantra aloud. But the second time we all did the Isha Krya together, I said the mantra aloud and it felt really amazing. It really does make the difference when everyone participates.

  21. From this video I understood chants as being emotions, but in a more tangible sense. When we chant in class together, the room is filled with vibrations coming from every direction, and as a collective we bring out all of our emotions in one singular chant. Chants ground us and are yet another aspect of yoga that makes us feel. Sadhguru brings up how we can only dedicate ourselves to something if we have emotions towards it, otherwise there is no meaning to what we are doing and our performance will lack that passion. My question to this would be what emotions should we be feeling to perform with passion? Positive ones? Negative ones? I guess both would constitute as passionate emotions to a certain degree. Regardless, the sound of the chants are immensely powerful and are physical expressions of our emotions. When we do our chants in class it is interesting to hear different people chant in different ways. You hear some people are very loud and expressive, while others are almost at a whisper. Meanwhile you have people who are in between and chant just enough to feel the vibrations while making their presence known. When I do the Kriya at home, I say the “ah”s just loud enough to feel the movement in my throat, but that is only because my roommate is sleeping next door early in the morning! Do you think the volume of the chants has an effect on the practice?

  22. Sadhguru describes the meaningful meaning of chanting, and how it is more than just sound. He started off by defining Brahmanada, which is ultimate joy\blissfulness. I enjoyed listening to him explain the different words and their significance. These words and certain arrangements of sounds create reverberations that fill the space in the room. Chanting creates an energized and alive atmosphere. Sadhguru’s passion for chants was inspiring and powerful.

    I personally love hearing the vibrations of a room chanting. It is extremely soothing to hear other peoples voices and breath within your body. Specifically for the IK practice, I have a different experience doing it in the class with everyone, verses doing it alone at home. In the class, I am able to consciously hear the reverberations around me in the room. At home, it takes me a little bit more time to get in my body and project my voice.

    It is amazing how our bodies can energize themselves through voice, and state of mind. Positively can be practiced and can turn your day around!

  23. I agree that chants are much more than sounds for energy. I think knowing the meaning fosters a deeper vibration within us and incorporating your voice into the chant that you understand the meaning to helps feed all levels of the human (mental, spiritual, and emotion). These three aspects are so easily unbalanced, but it is crucial to keep them even. As he mentions, the mental/emotional aspect of ourselves are sometimes the strongest, and knowing the meaning of something we are saying truly helps that. I think with each repetition it means more and more. Not in the sense of the definition changing, but the purpose of it blooming more and more within us. Thus, becoming more relevant and apparent in our day to day lives. I thought of the OMs our class says in unison, or the Isha Kyria that we all say together and how each time we repeat it, I feel the vibrations in my throat stronger and stronger. I can almost feel it changing me from the inside. I think this video is really important for learning about chants and for those just starting with them. It is a key psychological understanding that can easily be looked over in something like this.

  24. Even in class I find that listening to the chanting while we are doing our practices and also uttering the sounds during the class helps to create a certain energy in the room. The chanting that is played helps me feel more relaxed, while in certain poses that are more difficult to maintain for a longer period of time but also during shavasana. Hearing the music helps to calm and create an energy in the room that improves the benefit one gains from the practices. I find it really helps to chant along, especially during the IK, but it is even more effective and creates more of this “energy” when everyone joins in.

  25. I feel like chanting can be hard sometimes because of self insecurity. We are so afraid about the others think around us, but we are all thinking the same thing. We are all anxious, but no one can admit it. So, we all feed off of the fear of one another when chanting. I think this is why so many of us can’t chant out loud without fear of looking too out there. I know during Yoga class I try to chant loud because I know the benefits it has on my body. Before, I use to have a difficult time when having to chant out loud. Also, chanting in a group makes me feel a little less anxious about chanting loud because everyone is doing it. Plus, I feel like we are all feeding off of each others energy.

    The video of Sadhguru speaking on the benefits and power in chanting, gave me insight on how we are able to tap into ourselves when we allow our self to cite this mantra. When we have self-awareness and we have self-confidence, it allows us to activate that strength to chant. I think mumbling, helps a little when you are first starting because you are just getting out of your shell. But, in time one should be able to chant loud enough to activate those benefits.

    It is interesting that you say that: it is a scientific fact that the sounds actually create the quality of peace with vibrations in the cells, thus a benefit. This is interesting because this means that there was a study literally conducted to prove this theory. So, since there is scientific evidence it makes me even more interested in finding out how chanting can create peace and vibrations. When I think about it, I do feel my body vibrate in the middle when I chant louder and louder. Its like I feel like I am distributing energy to the top of my throat to down below.

  26. Brahmananda Swarupa is a chant consecrated by Sadhguru to invoke stillness in all those who make it a part of their lives. Brahma, the creator is described as emptiness, as boundlessness, as light, and as darkness. The word Mantra refers to the blissfulness or ecstasy of the creator. Swarupa is ‘an image’. This means an image of the ecstasy of the creator. It means that which rules, listening to Brahmananda Swarupa is very peaceful.
    Chanting is the invocation of beautiful sounds that have beautiful meanings. These sounds are carried by vibrations that are also potent energy. I so enjoy saying the seven ahhhs in the middle of the Isha Kriya practice, I can feel my body becoming a resonating vessel for sound to emanate from. It feel s cleansing and rejuvenating, I joyful way to return to the body after chanting “I am not the body.”

  27. This piece very much resonated with me in how it discussed the sacred nature of sounds and how they can be consecrated just as objects and spaces are.
    My suitemate and I both practice witchcraft and have invoked sound many times in our practice. They prefer to do more quieter chants and prayers, while I incorporate music when constructing a sacred space for worship and meditation. This past Friday night, we actually did a ritual while waiting for the meteor shower and seeing the meteors filled us with such an energy that we ran around, hooting and chanting and making all sorts of sound which just rapidly came out of us. (To answer your question, yes, people did hear us but the police let us be, thank goodness).
    Sound of course is not just emotional or philosophical; it invokes an incredibly physical reaction beyond the vibrations that we feel in our eardrums. How many times have we listened to a loud or deep sound that causes our ribcage to vibrate or our fingers to tingle? Moreover, I am sure we can all point to a piece of music or sound that has given us a “rush” and caused gooseflesh to break out. This sensation is actually known as “frisson” and occurs when a person’s hearing is “violated” in a positive way (1). The article I read on frisson also speculated that perhaps this was some kind of evolutionary advantage, designed to help us stay warm by “resetting” the endothermic heat layer under our skin; this occurs when the hairs on this skin are raised and lowered in response to a rapid temperature change (1). This physiological reaction is related to the discussion on Brahmananda, especially at the point where he mentioned that “sound is consecrated and alive – it is not just sound.” Sound is movement, sound is energy, and sound is all around and transcends boundaries. Therefore, how could we say it is not alive? It is not alive in the sense that it perhaps has a heartbeat or conscious thought, but it still carries an energy which affects all things.
    To further expand on this, I would go to say that sound is so definable and crucial to human culture that it must be alive. How can you know a culture if you do not know the language, or the constructs of said language? How could anyone claim that sound does not have a strong presence when entire relationships and emotional responses are dictated by tone, volume, and frequency when speaking, singing, humming, or in this case, chanting? Why else would we choose our tone and words carefully depending on the situation? Sound is more than a physical vibration; it is an emotional ripple, one that carves out space in the human mind to balance or disrupt energy, to connect or break away. And as discussed in the piece, this can come down to something as simple as a chant. So perhaps the Brahmananda is “ultimate bliss” is that it can be interpreted as a form of sound that is simple yet meaningful, and it operates on an emotionally subconscious but powerful level which digs the roots into the realm of the human spirit and brings us closer to our intuition as autonomous beings.


  28. When I am in yoga, and especially when I first started to do yoga, I found that I was reluctant to chant along with the other class because I did not understand why we were doing it, and therefore thought it was silly. Since I have been doing yoga for a bit longer now, I am starting to understand the reason for the chants, and therefor find myself doing them, nearly every time.

    Chants are important because they are an expression of energy and emotion. We are expressing our energy through our yoga practice but we need the chanting in order to complete our practices. The chanting allows the body to create peace through vibrations created through the chants.

  29. Sadhguru describes chants as a clever arrangement of sounds. I thought this description was beautiful. Ultimately, there exists a type of peacefulness from these sounds. They are unlike speaking, unlike singing, it is unlike yelling (even though it is loud and projects), it is something else. You do not need to know what someone is saying, and somebody does not need to know what chanting means but when you hear it, you know it is a chant. I find this very curious. Why is it that when one does not know anything about it we can recognize it? That is why I think that description of a clever arrangement of sounds is very accurate. I do not know exactly why, even after watching the video why I enjoy those vibrations in a chant. I really do enjoy chanting. Yes, it may be silly at times especially when I feel a bit humorous that day but I enjoy them. There is a kind of peacefulness that I find in chanting. It sounds like a choir, or wind chimes hitting one another with the wind. I find it that peacefulness, that energy much larger when a whole room participates. This is when I most enjoy a chant, with a group. I think it would be absolutely beautiful to chant with thousands of people. This would be extremely powerful. I wish to experience something like this someday.

  30. Name: Tyler L.

    In this clip Sadhguru explains how chanting is more powerful than sounds. They’re also powerful emotions. I also agree with the statement from him about how chanting creates a positive vibration within us. Early on in our class I felt uncomfortable chanting/singing the IK mantra but as we’ve had more classes and the more I’ve been practicing on my own I have become more comfortable with it and have seen benefits during my practice. The vibrations help with the relaxation and focusing and when in a large group filled with tons of positive energy I can notice a huge difference in the benefits.

  31. When we first started the class, I felt a bit uncomfortable chanting even though I knew that it was important. As the class has gone on, I’ve become more comfortable with hearing myself chant and I’ve realized how much chanting does change how you feel during yoga and meditation. I appreciated that this video was able to help me further understand the positive impacts chanting has on our practice and I look forward to being more aware of how chanting effects how I feel in class. I also agree with the statement that knowing meaning of the chant has the ability to make it more powerful because although the physical actions of the vibrations creating energy is a powerful tool in itself, we are also made up of our emotions and minds rather than just our energy. I believe that knowing the meaning of chants connects me more to the energy because I am able to connect emotionally and mindfully to the chant as well.

  32. I love how Sadhguru says that chants are simply a clever arrangement of sounds. It does not matter what the words mean. However, meanings are important to many when practicing the chants. I like how our Isha Kriya involves English phrases, because it really causes me to think upon the meaning of each word. Isha means “that which rules” and is boundless. It stems, in my mind, from a source of creation. Each word has a meaning, and together their vibrations bring about something beautifully peaceful.
    I did find it funny in our first classes when we were all afraid to chant loudly in class, to release sounds from our body and completely relax. I feel that we are getting better and better at it with each session. I love the release, especially when we say “huh” during positions. I can feel it being released. It’s freeing and enjoyable. The 7 chants of the Isha Kriya ring together beautifully with everyone’s participation and the hum of vibrations feels calming.

  33. A major idea that really struck me about Sadhguru’s video was the concept of words not mattering. He explains that all chants are arranging of sounds that touches or activates a certain energy within us. This aligns interestingly with a personal belief that I have regarding words. I truly do believe that words themselves don’t hold as much weight as people think. I believe that the feelings, emotions, and energy behind those words is what matters most. In the same way that Sadhguru explains that AUM doesn’t mean anything, the words we use on a daily basis don’t mean anything unless backed up with inner feelings and energy that eventually become action and behavior. The idea that even the god Shiva can be called anything because he is everything and nothing, thus rendering names useless, really stuck with me as well. Across many monotheistic religions, there are numerous commonalities between each’s interpretation of God. I think that this belief of names not mattering could be very beneficial and could even unite many belief systems under a common idea of theology.

  34. As expressed by Sadhguru, he expresses the ideal of chants as a form of vocal arrangements, and that these vocal arrangements are a robust display emotions. In addition, according to Sadhguru, these chants are more than just a medley, but an essential tool to our practices as aspiring yogis and yoginis. These chants are what mentor us throughout our sessions, establishing the positive energy wavelengths that we encounter throughout our classes. For the manner at which we annunciate is just as crucial as the importance we express within our poses. I can understand this influence, especially through Sadhguru’s explanations of the mantras. Through the teachings of Sadguru, the key takeaway from our mantras is to achieve bliss within oneself. And with that being said, I can understand the importance of our chants throughout our sessions. For our yoga and IK, the influence of breathing through the mouth isn’t illuminated much throughout our class, for we focus heavily on nose breathing. However, when we do breathe or exert mouth breathing techniques, we commonly do it in unison. And through this act of togetherness, we can further increase the spiritual levels of our isha Kriya through our medley of voices in urging our inner strength and focus.

  35. I think chanting serves as the physical release of toxins and negative energy that we tend to hold inside ourselves as we walk throughout our daily lives. It’s physical and produces a sound and demands our attention. It also makes us aware of the inner strength we have that we often neglect or don’t even realize we have.

    Chanting also makes us physically stronger. It improves our breathing and respiratory system. I have been a singer most of my life, and have been trained to breathe and use my lungs and diaphragm properly. I think the practice of chanting also in a way, goes along with the same techniques singers use to do different things musically with their voices.

  36. I absolutely think that the energy created by group chanting is a powerful benefit. It is a form of music that dates back much further than the traditional Western Art Music that we are accustomed to today. Whether it be for the creation of positive energy in yoga or for religious purposes such as Gregorian chant from the Middle Ages, if it had no benefits, it would not have stood the test of time. It speaks as a powerful form of expression that anyone can participate in. You do not have to be a trained singer to participate and the benefits make it a no-brainier to participate.

    Speaking for myself, I happily participate in chanting in class. However, the only setback I have had is the mild self-consciousness of having a higher pitched voice than some others in the class so my voice sticks out a little. I have long since overcome that and while participating in practices like the Isha Kriya, enjoy listening to the cool harmonies that form from many voices on different pitches come together.

  37. This video makes me think of earlier this semester when a lot of students, myself included, were inquiring as to the meaning of ‘I am not my body, I am not even my mind’. It now is clear why we were so curious as to the meaning. A chant rhythmically can feel good, but the meaning enhances the power of the words and the effect they have on the chanters spiritually and mentally. It’s clear now that we were simply searching for it since we felt this lack and disconnect without it. This also has me curious as to the second part of the isha kriya the ah’s. What meaning does ah have? I feel as though it doesn’t have any. Is this bad? Or is the main focus the breaths so it’s okay without meaning?

  38. Personally, I have really enjoyed the chanting we have done so far this year. I find it to be a cathartic, healthy release. It’s also quite hypnotic. Initially, it can feel a bit awkward chanting, especially when you’re new to the whole process. But as the process continues, it becomes mesmerizing, even pleasurable.

    Not only is it a spiritually rejuvenating practice, but also a practical one. As a musician, I find that chanting and holding long notes over a course of 5-7 minutes has greatly improved my breathing capacity and longevity. Concentrating the energy from the diaphragm and out through the mouth creates a bright sense of relief in both body and mind.

  39. I have to admit that I am of those students you wrote about in your post. I have a hard time doing the chanting especially when I do the Isha Kriya alone outside of class. When we do the Isha Kriya in class it is easier to do it since everyone else is also participating. In a previous post I talked a bit about a yoga class I took while in high school and I remember that the class would be silent the majority of the time. I assumed that yoga classes tended to be that way since no chanting was ever introduced in any of mine. But I understand that the chanting is important and has its benefits. The man in the video explained that the chanting can be anything but it important that it contains a positive message. The video is very helpful for those who are new to the practice because it explains what a chant in and highlights the benefits.

  40. I understand the meaning of chanting and uttering actual words and sound now after finishing the audio clip. I still struggle to do it in class but, I’m definitely getting better at this aspect. The vibrations do help it expands everything if that makes sense. The words have energy and power and when everyone is participating it almost feels like a breath of fresh air is moved into the room. You have to be positive when doing yoga so if you’re in that state I believe it will be easier for myself to participate in that part of the practice and get the full benefits of yoga. I’m looking forward to getting better and I’m going into to it fully optimistic at this point in the semester.

  41. Finally a video on chanting. One of the hardest things for my mind to wrap around while doing yoga has actually been the chanting of any kind. Understandable sound is a us-full tool to enhance the mind and emotions, yet i am always caught up by the repetitiveness of chanting. A meaningful chant is better, and one i can understand in English is best.

    My consistent problems with chanting actually has me a bit worried after hearing this talk due to the easy and natural feeling Sadhguru makes it all sound. I know i have to still acknowledge how new i am to yoga but the ultimate blissfulness from chanting seems like I’m missing out.

  42. When listening to this you can hear a display of different emotions in the vocal arrangement. Chanting is more that a melody, it is a tool for us in our sessions. It helps to set a sort of rhythm to follow and help you keep focus when preforming yoga. The nose breathing and mouth breathing that we do in class can be seen as a chant because it puts us in a rhythm and helps clear the mind when we are doing all those different poses and positions.

  43. According to Sadhguru Brahmananda Swarupa is a chant consecrated to invoke stillness in all those who make make the practice part of their everyday lives. Listening to Brahmananda Swarupa invokes a great peacefulness and serenity. In the beginning the repetitiveness used to throw me off but after giving it a chance i could see that the chants doesn’t take away from the influence or the experience. If you practice and consecrate a sound with great intent like in the video, you can achieve that great stillness and retain the life energy you’ve been generating. In my case it was hard to truly let go and chant which stunted my progress. I’ve had to learn to accept all aspects in order to gain self awareness. Saying the chants you really do feel the vibration of the mantra. Mantra’s are something you incorporate onto yourself, which open up gateways to your mind. I can relate this to the isha kriya practice. When we practice in class i can really feel the energy and it is extremely helpful to hear how the sound reverberates around the room. You can feel the vibrations flow through like a wave of energy. One of my favorite lines of yours is “make good sounds”, and now i understand what you meant.

  44. The Sadhguru starts off with saying that chants are a “certain clever arrangement of sounds” and that the words, or meaning, do not matter; however most people want a pleasant meaning attached, something that they can understand. People tend to assign deeper meanings to sounds because they want to create an emotional link with their mind. I found it interesting that he says chanting, simply chanting, for 24 hours straight can be your sadhana, because the words are consecrated and energized and alive.
    I can definitely feel that when we practice our Isha Kriya in class; once everybody actually uses their voices and does the chant it feels as though the room is vibrating with energy and I find that it helps me feel more relaxed during the practice, as I cannot create such a vibration when practicing alone. I admit to using a quieter tone in class because I feel that my voice sticks out; last class I tried to let go of that insecurity and participated more vocally in the chanting which paid off, because I felt more satisfied with the practice.

  45. Listening the chanting audio made me feel very calm and relaxed, as a child my mother used to play me similar chants and prayers to help me fall asleep and it would always do the trick. I feel like it is a beautiful and beneficial thing to give to yourself and others whether you are chanting or listening to one. In the video Sadhguru discussed the meaning behind the Brahmananda Swarupa chant. He stated that overall with chanting the meaning doesn’t matter, but meaning matters to people so chants have a meaningful meaning and a positive energy of ultimate blissfulness. the sound creates new reverberations that fill the room and your energy with positive benefits and happiness. I feel this reverberation in class when we all do the IK together as well as when we OM together. Feeling the vibrations within and all around leave me feeling revitalized and almost in another space, I feel as if I am floating which allows me to truly believe that “I am not the body, I am not even the mind”.

  46. Before taking this course I had never done any kind of yoga with the chanting in unison in the way that we do for IK. Which is why I was extremely self conscious at first to allow myself to do it and to hear my own for. I think the Brahmananda Swarupa chant speaks to the the value of energy and community. I myself can feel the difference in the energy when all our voices come together and that we all in this process together how difficult or easier or whatever our feelings may be towards the IK and that I think it something very powerful. I think the chanting allows us to conserve the energy that we are building within ourselves and amongst each other, the vibrations when we all allow ourselves to commit and participate, are really really amazing and gratifying. It reminds us of our purpose and for us being there and that this is not a passive but a very much active experience that we can really benefit from if we allow ourselves to feel alive and present.

  47. Our minds and emotions are dominant so the meaning of sounds in chanting is important to us. The meaning then reinforces the chanting experience allowing practitioners to speak positive affirmations. Affirmations that allow us to bring ourselves to a place of peace through the energy and vibrations in the chanting sounds. Sadhguru explains, that Isha Jagadisha means the one who rules existence is ultimate blissfulness. The practice of Brahmananda Swarupa allows us to acknowledge the creator and again reinforces mantra’s to remove the ego from blocking growth and happiness. The chanting vibrations have a natural harmonious quality and when the collective group participates the benefits are amazing. I can feel the power of group chanting and the collective vibrations allow the energy of the room to expand beyond those walls. When I practice my Isha Kriya or chant, my body feels relaxed, tension is released and I can experience a full expression of my spiritually. Even in difficult or stressful situations I’ve found myself chanting even if only for 5min to recenter myself.

  48. Sadhaguru starts the video of with a brief and basic explanation as to what a chant is: an assortment of sounds. He states, however, that a chant cannot simply just be an arrangement of sounds but that there must also be a purpose and significance behind it. This is because we are creatures who possess emotion and active minds. Therefore, we need significance to keep us grounded and at peace. In the beginning of the semester I was very hesitant in the participation of the chant , however, as I was doing it alone I began to notice that it helped in keeping me steady with the rest of the practice so I do believe in everything that Sadhguru has been making light of.

    – Samantha Diaz

  49. I loved this audio on sound and chanting. Chanting is a very therapeutic way of ridding oneself of negative energies and when I’m in class I feel a difference in my body, I feel lighter and more connected with my spirituality. I actually sometimes do this when I’m taking bath, which is therapeutic for me, submerging myself in warm water in an intimate space. While pairing this with my chanting I usually end my baths feeling so much more freed from my superficial insecurities and relish in the idea of having a calming experience and a tranquil existence.

  50. The reason we chant is because we have a mind and emotion, and unfortunately that is more dominant than the actual energy we possess. The mind and emotion creates resistance to harnessing our energy and allowing it to flow freely and effectively through our bodies. By creating a beautiful and meaningful chant we can harness the vibrations coming from deep within our bodies, generating energy for others around us to feed off of, while simultaneously feeding off the energy created by the vibrations of others chants. This symbiotic flow of energy allows us to free ourselves from our mind and emotions, and act simply as beings of energy embarking on a spiritual journey to discover more about ourselves.

    I do enjoy when I feel confident enough to add my chant to that of the class’s. I try to concentrate on vibrating my vocals cords deeply using my diaphragm so that others may feel the energy I am releasing and use it for their own positive experience. Chants remind us of the most simple, yet most important lessons in life, and give us the “energy” to follow through with them as a practice in our daily lives.

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