By Vibhuti King
My box of chant CDs arrived in the mail! Sent to us Svaroopa® yoga teachers by our Ashram, they are part of the Mandali programs to expand our yoga community locally. Teachers pass the CDs on to their own students as “thank you” gifts, just for them being our students. Coming from our Guru, Swami Nirmalananda, these CDs carry an even greater gift: Her Grace.
At the end of class today, I invited each student to choose their CD. I was delighted that many already had some of Nirmalananda’s CDs. Some requested a duplicate of their “favorite.” The CD was getting worn out!
Students chatted about which chants they liked to listen to depending on how they were feeling. They described how a certain chant expressed their joy or yearning. They discussed which chant was good to listen to before meditation or while driving. And all agreed that chanting along with the CDs helped them to feel closer to the whole Svaroopa® yoga and meditation community. Until this gratitude gathering, I had no idea that these chants mean as much to them as they mean to me.
I am grateful for this time of sharing, of community, of coming together around the ancient practice of lifting our voices to that which uplifts us. We all have so much to be grateful for. Often it’s more than we know. This sharing allowed me to see my students in a deeper way. It showed me how they turn to their practice to express themselves and how personal these chants are to them.
One woman began to chant the words of “Asato,” and others joined in:
Asato ma sad gamayaa
Tamaso ma jyotir gamayaa
Mrtyor ma amtram gamayaa
Lead me from untruth to truth
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from the fear of death to the nectar of immortality
The woman who began this chant a cappella later shared how that chant saw her through a very dark time. We have so much to be grateful for. Thank you to my students and thank you to my teacher, my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda.