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Thread: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Last weekend, I was introduced to Kirtan. I went to the workshop because I was interested in learning from another point of view (other than Christianity) how to use music as a spiritual practise.

    I am entranced. We sang with this version of Deva Premal's Gayatri mantra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arNh-Jchevk
    Absolutely incredible. At some point, I could almost enter a trance state. There was something so very special about chanting ancient sounds into the space. I really can't effectively put it in to words, but it's as though these sounds have a life of their own and have the power to pull me into another stream of consciousness.

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Hmmm,had not heard of this,BUT it reminded me of Tibetan chants and Mongolian throat singing.

    Tibetan chanting.


    Perhaps not for everybody,but for me good for meditation.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    Hmmm,had not heard of this,BUT it reminded me of Tibetan chants and Mongolian throat singing.

    Tibetan chanting.


    Perhaps not for everybody,but for me good for meditation.
    Definitely not for me! Well, to listen to anyway.

    I like Kirtan as it mixes Western music with the ancient Sanskrit mantras, so it's easy on my ears.

    I'd love to know if there are any Hebraic chants that are used in worship/devotion.

    One of my friends is a sound engineer and says he knows he's putting on a good show for his audience when he can feel it in his body. I have also heard a rumour that good DJ's for clubs will pick songs that resonate at the same frequency of the sex organs or the heart. It's all reminiscent to me of the story of creation and how God uses the spoken word to create. There's a link there I'm not fully comprehending as yet.

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    If you mean by Hebraic chants hebrew,you might mean perhaps Jewish "Cantors"

    Here on youtube.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    If you mean by Hebraic chants hebrew,you might mean perhaps Jewish "Cantors"
    Yeah... it's just not the same, is it? lol.

    The Mantras offer profound simplicity. The example you posted sounds more like something only a trained person can do.
    Last edited by Azvanna; 20 Sep 2016 at 15:40.

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    In my mind these types of expression are less about the "Music" and more in the breath patterns effect on the "Singer" themselves. The breathing patterns can effect your brain in some ways. Because you are so concentrated on the "Singing" you are using the sounds to help control the breathing cadence.

    Sounds and music have always been a part of spiritual practice it seems forever.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

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    Copper Member Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azvanna View Post

    I am entranced. We sang with this version of Deva Premal's Gayatri mantra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arNh-Jchevk
    Absolutely incredible.
    I hadn't heard that rendition before, but it's very nice. I have a few recordings of hers. This is my favorite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDnamSM3Z3s (I don't know who performs it).

    The Gayatri Mantra is from the Rig Veda (3.62.10). This mantra is one of the most well-known and revered mantras of Hinduism.

    om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
    tát savitúr váreṇiyaṃ
    bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
    dhíyo yó naḥ prachodayāt

    "We meditate on that Being (the divine light and energy) who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds."

    it's as though these sounds have a life of their own
    They do! Sound is energy, it is the energy of the universe. Hindu belief holds that the universe was created by sound. OM is that sound. That's why Vedic mantras are so highly revered.

    If you are interested in learning more, let me know. I don't want to hijack the thread right off the bat.
    śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ


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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbjorn View Post

    If you are interested in learning more, let me know. I don't want to hijack the thread right off the bat.
    Thank you for the translation! I am interested in whatever you have to say on using sound in your practise. I wasn't asking questions because I'm not sure what to ask yet! So just chime in with anything

    I've seen a few different translations of Gayatri Mantra since but the one we were given in the workshop is:
    Hail to Deity!
    Like the Sun, excellent, radiant, honourable, giving life,
    providing safe passage and inspiration,
    and speaking guidance.

    The other Mantra we sang with was Om Puurnam Adah, which is profound in its simplicity. i"m sure you know it, but I'll post it for others:

    The outter world is perfect, the inner world is perfect,
    from the perfect springs the perfect,
    Take from the perfect, and only the perfect remains.

    But of course, we sang in Sanskrit.

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    In my mind these types of expression are less about the "Music" and more in the breath patterns effect on the "Singer" themselves. The breathing patterns can effect your brain in some ways. Because you are so concentrated on the "Singing" you are using the sounds to help control the breathing cadence.

    Sounds and music have always been a part of spiritual practice it seems forever.
    Really good point! A perspective I didn't consider.
    Last edited by Azvanna; 29 Sep 2016 at 13:25.

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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    I'd never even heard of Kirtan but you've piqued my interest so thank you for starting this thread! I often find myself humming or making vocalisations when when meditating to certain tunes. It feels involuntary, especially as I'm often in a trance or at least alpha state when it happens. I guess there is just something very natural and soothing about the use of the voice in the trance state. It's definitely something to add to my lists of things to explore further.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Copper Member Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Re: Kirtan and using voice in meditation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azvanna View Post
    Thank you for the translation! I am interested in whatever you have to say on using sound in your practise. I wasn't asking questions because I'm not sure what to ask yet! So just chime in with anything

    I've seen a few different translations of Gayatri Mantra since but the one we were given in the workshop is:
    Hail to Deity!
    Like the Sun, excellent, radiant, honourable, giving life,
    providing safe passage and inspiration,
    and speaking guidance.
    There are many, many translations, all of which pretty much give the same idea. So yours is not far off. Sanskrit is a highly inflected language. It lends itself to structured poetry, as well as being ambiguous at times.

    You'll notice that with the exception of om bhur bhuvah svaha, there are 3 lines of 8 syllables. That is called the gayatri meter. There are many, many "gayatri mantras" for all the deities. They are used as prayers, asking for the deity's blessings for illumination. Many other shlokas (verses from hymns) use the gayatri meter. It is a way of keeping fidelity when orally transmitting the Vedas and other scriptures.

    The use of sound is very important, because it is energy, though the gods are beyond language. It's the sound. When you go from temple to temple, you will hear the priests using the same chanting meter. I try to do the same, though some of my mantras and shlokas (verses from scriptures) fall a bit short.

    The other Mantra we sang with was Om Puurnam Adah, which is profound in its simplicity. i"m sure you know it, but I'll post it for others:

    The outter world is perfect, the inner world is perfect,
    from the perfect springs the perfect,
    Take from the perfect, and only the perfect remains.

    But of course, we sang in Sanskrit.
    Was it this one? It's actually quite long. It's from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Sometimes just a verse or three are taken from a hymn and recited, chanted, sung.

    oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ
    pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
    pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
    pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
    oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ


    Another mantra used frequently is

    asato mā sad gamaya,
    tamaso mā jyotir gamaya,
    mṛtyor māmṛtaṃ gamaya
    oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ


    Lead me from falsehood to truth,
    Lead me from darkness lead me to light,
    Lead me from death to the immortality.

    A mantra of Shiva, as the conqueror of death, called the Mahā-mṛtyuñjaya Mantra, literally "Great Death-conquering Mantra":

    oṃ tryambakaṃ yajāmahe
    sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam

    urvārukamiva bandhanān
    mṛtyormukṣīya mā'mṛtāt

    oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

    We meditate on the Three-eyed Reality (reference to Lord Shiva's internal 3rd eye)
    Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
    May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality,
    Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.

    I hope this helps. As you are exposed to other things, please feel free to ask about anything.
    Last edited by Thorbjorn; 30 Sep 2016 at 08:44.
    śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ


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