As I prepare to head to a Kirtan tonight, I got to thinking about words as symbols, as vibration, as a place from which we transform. I think about the words we say (some unspoken) and the intention those words put out into the universe beyond their ‘dictionary meaning.’
Words are more than our way of articulating the thoughts in our heads. A saying from the Vedas describes speech as the essence of humanity. We connect with each other through spoken word, but words are more than just sound. Words produce actual physical vibrations. It’s this thought vibration that connects human consciousness.
Sanskrit, the oldest language known to man, is considered by many to be the original language from which all other languages have emerged. It is believed by some of the most ancient spiritual leaders and yogis to be ‘the language of the gods’. And, that every single sound of this sacred, mystical language has a transcendental vibration with powers of transformation.
Over centuries, as we come to know the vibrational significance of a word or sound, we can associate that word with a meaning and effect just like we do with symbology.
Think of a peace sign, and what it invokes. The sheer repetitive energy placed on this symbol by millions of people over the ages in turn invokes feelings of peace when we see it and use it.
A mantra is the same. It is a sound or word that, when repeated over and over as in a chant, is capable of transforming, and there are multiple layers of meanings and symbol associated with mantras. Mantras create waves of energy through intent and thought. As you raise this energy with intent through chanting or repeating the mantra, you can begin to direct the energy.
In yoga, we often “Om” before and after our asana practice. Loosely translated, Om means “I Am Existence” or “I Am the All.” By chanting an Om before any form of yoga, you open the gateway of connectivity with the universe, and with the divine light inside of you. Om is the symbol for the entire universe.
In kirtan, we take this concept to a higher level. Kirtan is a form of devotional or Bhakti yoga which is typically led by a musician or singer in a group; and is yet another pathway to stillness. There are typically instruments, and the group sings mantra “hymns” for lack of a better term, in a a call and response format. The leader sings a mantra, and the group sings it back. Over the course of the song, the pace increases until you reach the peak vibrational intent. Where meditation is passive & receptive, kirtan is active; raising energy to transform us blissfully to stillness.
When I think about every day language as having the possibility to raise this type of energy, it changes how I think about language. I have a FAR way to go before I could consider myself of pristine vernacular, but just bringing awareness to the concept of word as energy with intent has me choosing my words more deliberately. Of course, I reserve the right to be human.
How will you raise energy with your words tonight?
– Your Charmed Yogi