Jai Ram! Jai Hanuman!
Yes, I’m feeling much more centered today. As you can tell from my previous post, I had been neglecting my meditation practice. I was aware that I was spinning out of control, yet instead of sitting quietly—to figure out the source of the internal conflict—I began to push forward with even more diligence. This created both physical and mental anguish.
The mind is very powerful. The ego can cause the mind to play incredible tricks on you to keep you from connecting with the Truth within. I've experienced this many times. The ego doesn’t want to give up all control and say, “Okay, you win. Go be happy! You don’t need my protection any longer!” No, the ego doesn’t let go that easily. Here’s a perfect example: while I was in the throws of anxiety, I kept saying to myself, “I’m much too anxious to chant. I’m much too fidgety to sit for meditation right now.” This is how the limited mind/ego takes control!
IF WE WAIT UNTIL EVERYTHING IN OUR MINDS, BODIES, AND LIVES ARE IN PERFECT ORDER BEFORE WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO CHANT AND MEDITATE, BELIEVE ME-- WE WOULD NEVER GET THE CHANCE TO CHANT AND MEDITATE!
Well, maybe once or twice a year; however, you get my point. The reason that we chant and meditate is to stay connected or reconnect with our source, with our Self—the Great One within.
Yesterday, after being both physically and mentally spent from a day at my brother Tommy’s house, I went home and sat before my puja. I was in the mood to chant, and began to sing “Jaya Hanuman, Jaya Hanuman”. I decided to put on one of my favorite Krishna Das CDs—Breath of the Heart. I listened to the first chant—Baba Hanuman—three times. This chant pays homage to my beloved Hanuman, the greatest devotee of God ever. In the Hindu epic the Ramayana, Hanuman is given a jeweled necklace from Sita (Ram’s wife—Ram representing ‘God’). Hanuman cracks a few pearls with his teeth and, not discovering Ram inside, discards the necklace. He then rips open his chest and reveals that Ram lives inside his heart (see photo).
Hanuman reveals Ram (God) in his heart.
Hanuman is one of my favorite aspects of God. He represents all that is good and devotional ('Bhakti' means love and devotion in Sanskrit). I suspect that it may be difficult for people who don’t subscribe to devotional worship to understand how the thought of Hanuman could illicit so much love in my heart, but it’s important to remember that when I worship Hanuman, it’s not that Hanuman is ‘another God’. No, Hanuman is the great devotional aspect of the One. There‘s only One God. However, the Hindu religion celebrates the many aspects of God (over a thousand of them!), not too unlike how Christianity celebrates three aspects of God with the Holy Trinity. My love for Hanuman actually takes me closer to Jesus in my heart.
Here are the words to the Baba Hanuman chant:
Baba HanumanNamo... Namo...Anjaninandanaaya
I bow, I bow again and again to Anjani's son,
HanumanJaya Seeyaa Raama, Jai Jai Hanumaan
Victory to Sita and Ram,
Victory to HanumanVictory over the darkness of suffering...
Jaya Bajrangbalee, Baba Hanuman
Victory to the one with the body of a thunderbolt
My Baba, Hanuman.
Sankata Mochan kripaa nidhaan
You are home of all Grace.
Destroy all my problems, calamities and sufferings.
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosaaee
Hail My Lord Hanuman
Kripaa karahu Gurudeva kee naaee
You are my Guru, bestow your Grace on me.
Sankata Mochan kripaa nidhaan,
You are the destroyer of Suffering, the abode of Grace
Laala Langotta, Laala Nishaan
You wear a red langotta and carry a red flag
Hare Raama Raama Raama, Seetaa Raama Raama Raama
Let the river of these Names take you...
Let yourself float in the beauty of your own heart
into the ocean of Love that fills all space,
that ALWAYS is...
that ONLY is.
After absolutely losing myself to this chant, I paid homage to the Goddess Kundalini Shakti (Holy Spirit) by chanting the Kundalini Stavaha, as sung by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. In her book Courage and Contentment, Gurumayi says—
“Chanting helps remove physical blockages within your body. Sometimes you may feel your breath is getting stuck, but when you give yourself to the chant, your breathing naturally becomes quite deep. Chanting creates a clear passageway…You become filled with deep and unshakable contentment.”
May everyone who reads this post find the deep, unshakable contentment that meditation and chanting have to offer. Whether you find it in a church, a temple, a mosque, by a river, in a forest, while walking on the sidewalk of a busy city street, while lying in bed, while holding a child, whatever gets you there….may we ALL find the peace, joy, and freedom that is always within our reach; always within our hearts. Moreover, when we lose our centers, may we open our eyes to the angels around us that offer us their love and guidance, whether in the form of a friend, a teacher, a loved one, or a stranger. Love is always there for the asking.
tags: jaibhakti, hanuman, Krishna Das, meditation, chanting, Gurumayi
//om Guru om//