Bhajans

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Bebelina, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    In case you don't know, bhajans are mantrasongs in hindi(?) to celebrate the indians gods like Krishna, Ganesha etc.
    I'm not a religion follower per se, but am wondering if anyone here has tried singing these as meditation and what your experiences are like?
    Are you connecting with the krishna avatar/energy for example, and how is this influencing you?
     
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  3. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    Hi,

    welcome back after a long time...
     
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  5. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    I am a Ganesha Follower and as a rule i just say the mantra several times i sleep...dont get much time after or before that...
     
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  7. Rajagopals Registered Senior Member

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    Bhajan’s are usually much simple in its presentation for common man to understand and pray/praise/remember deity in a straight forward manner in much simple language vocabulary than the difficult to understand presentation and structure of complicated mantras.

    Mantra’s are supposed to be chanted (not singing unlike Bhajan) in a precise manner that demands specific focus to voice, pitch, node of the head, body purity, practices in life, deity in mind etc etc A funny myth about Mantra is that if you are using/spelling it wrong the good results of Mantra are taken by the demons from hell and in return they leave their ugly body characteristics to the person who chanted the Mantra

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    Bhajan’s don’t have any such bad effects than the pleasant feeling it leaves in our mind and refreshment that brings forth from the confirmation that our love for the Lord is so pure and we literally sing the same as a method of relaxation as well as religious act of remembering/pleasing the deity.

    In the recent past for the purpose of proliferation of particular sect of belief people have even converted Mantras to Bhajan format which may not be an ideal thing to practice/chant – but may be good to hear ! Attaching a sample
     
  8. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    I prefer my mantra.
     
  9. Jaybee from his cast Banned Banned

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    I prefer The Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up'.


    Jaybee.
     
  10. evolove Registered Senior Member

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    --------------------------------------------

    Sent : Saturday, 28 May 2005 3:31:14 PM
    To : <abes_kids@imagicomm.com>
    Subject : ABES_KIDS: Mantra Speed

    | | | Inbox


    I have a question regarding the recitation (spoken, sung, or thought) of
    mantra. It seems that there are a few different ways of intoning a
    mantra.

    Either at hyper-speed, where the mind somehow locks into the repetition,
    and it speeds up to almost a blur. And then there's another very
    interesting way, which can both be spoken, sung, or mentally repeated,
    and that is to give each vowel a long time, thereby hearing the spectrum
    of its harmonics (which are an inner melody).

    The inner melody of a mantra (say, Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh, or Aleph Heh Yod
    Heh (which both have a great deal of sonic beauty in their harmonic
    composition), is quite lovely if you slowly move from vowel to vowel. It
    would seem to me that the inventors of these, really musical,
    compositions, intended for the composition as a whole to be heard, which
    would (at least for me!), require that the vowels be extended and slowly
    exposed.

    However, it would seem to me that mostly (myself included), mantras are
    intoned very very rapidly with malas, and so the idea-form of the mantra
    is more heard than the pure sound-form. That is how I have primarily
    done it in the past, up until recently noticing this "inner melody" of
    the harmonics of the vowel-sounds.

    What is the purpose of the rapid execution of mantra? Is there a
    technical reason, where the rapidity somehow cuts neural pathways more
    efficiently? Or, is it considered that the idea associated with the
    mantra or the guru's energy in the mantra has greater power than the
    sound-form in all of its beauty and depth?

    Thanks,
    Daniel.

    --------------------------------------------



    I belive the Satyananda Yoga tradition has done some intesive research into mantra and some authoritive and accurate information regarding this.

    The email is taken form a list I'm subcribed to, as I've seen both of these together this morning I've posted this here, perhaps I can continue if it's of interest.

    Much Love
    Damian
     
  11. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you for posting this Damian, and please do continue, it is of interest.
     
  12. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

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    I was forced to learn them when I was young. Totally forgot them now but everyone else in my family knows them and chants them during prayers...I just watch..sometimes in awe really.

    Hindi is hard enough, sanskrit on top of that is really not helping.
     
  13. UltiTruth In pursuit... Registered Senior Member

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    533
    Bhajans are not necessarily in Hindi...
    Generally in Sanskrit as well as any other language.

    But a large number of voices together with music & devotion is something to be experienced.
     
  14. evolove Registered Senior Member

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    64
    Hey Babelina, hope your still interested after all my cutting and pasting

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    this is the rest of the mailng list talk about mantras... sorry it took so long for me to get back... hope it find you well
    For anybody that's interested, these came from the mailing list associated with this site
    http://workofthechariot.com/TextFiles/Trust.html

    Much Love
    Damian

    -------------------------

    > The inner melody of a mantra (say, Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh, or Aleph Heh Yod
    > Heh (which both have a great deal of sonic beauty in their harmonic
    > composition), is quite lovely if you slowly move from vowel to vowel.

    Hi Daniel! Yes, indeed. They are quite lovely when done slowly, esp. as
    you say when we listen on a harmonic level.

    > However, it would seem to me that mostly (myself included), mantras are
    > intoned very very rapidly with malas,

    I would have no idea whether or not mantras are said rapidly in most
    traditions, but being a former student of La Monte Young, I have always
    naturally drifted towards the slower moving ones! ;-)

    Aryeh Kaplan has something to say on this (slow mantras) in a lovely little
    book he wrote called 'Jewish Meditation'. The book is meant for beginners,
    but it is one of the clearest texts on kabbalistic meditation I have ever
    read. And the writing is so warm, it reads like something from Ram Das!

    Anyway, Kaplan talks about a technique of chanting the Amidah where one does
    one word every 7 seconds. One can do this with the Shema, also.

    That's pretty slow, right?

    > What is the purpose of the rapid execution of mantra?

    And this of course is your real question, which I don't have an answer to,
    so I'll let the 'speedy' folks answer it, rather than an old 'slow-poke'
    like me.

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    ------------------------------------

    <<...it would seem to me that mostly (myself included), mantras are intoned very
    very rapidly with malas, and so the idea-form of the mantra is more heard than
    the pure sound-form.>>

    Shabbat Shalom, Daniel and Rhys.

    I've been thinking about asking the same question. So, pardon for "taking a
    ride" on your query...

    In my daily practice I also recite the mantras with a 108-bead mala, and I
    constantly tend to rush the words (or letters). Two years ago I was able to
    chant "Ani Yod, Heh, Vav, Hah" slowly, but soon I was completing the prayer
    beads 7 times in 45 minutes. Roughly 17 times per minute and increasing!

    When I read Kaplan's "Jewish Meditation" (his wonderful and illuminating little
    book) I tried to recite the first part of the Shema the same way he teaches to
    do with the Amidah, but I found this system very distracting and soon I was
    rushing the words again.

    I don't know "what is purpose of the rapid execution of mantras". But I've
    noticed that I can't do it otherwise. For me it helps rather than disturb my
    concentration. However my question remains: can I let my mind rides freely
    through the words of the mantra with the help of the prayer beads, or should I
    insist on keeping a slower pace and stop using the mala altogether?

    -------------------------------------

    So Rhys, I know that La Mont Young does pretty much everything slowly
    and in long time spans, but did he specifically teach you to recite (or
    sing? Did you study raga singing with him?) mantras slowly?

    Terry Riley once told me that when he was studying with Pran Nath,
    sometimes he would wake up early and just listen to Pran Nath
    practicing, to see what he did. He told me that he would start his
    singing practice with over an hour of singing different mantram and
    slokas at the lowest register of his voice. Since then, I've taken up
    that practice with mantras and "slokas" (Shema, etc, sometimes various
    verb roots, or sometimes the name of a piece I am writing if I am in an
    absorptive phase.. I suppose the Book of Names would be a good one, but
    I somehow don't feel attracted to it)

    Thanks for the Kaplan references, I somehow don't have that book
    anymore, though I used to own it. I'll pick it up again and re-read it.
    One word every 7 seconds is pretty slow, but actually, my outbreath is
    about 30-40 seconds long when in padmasana (depending on the day). I
    will do one word (Ex: Yod, or Shema) in one breath. So it takes a while.
    But it really gives you a chance to see the sound unfold.

    Alzira, regarding slowly executing mantras. One thing that helped me to
    keep my concentration was to use a pretty quiet mechanical metronome (I
    use a Tac-Tell, but any would work) I suppose that sounds odd, but I
    would set it pretty slow, and that way I would have something that
    enforce the pacing. Like 4 beats per word, and set the beats pretty slow
    (whatever works for your breath length, I guess would be one way to do
    it). I still sometimes use that, and it definitely seems to help keep
    the mind from wandering around, giving it something concrete and
    reliable to hang on to.

    -----------------------------------

    "What is the purpose of the rapid execution of mantra? Is there a
    technical reason, where the rapidity somehow cuts neural pathways more
    efficiently? Or, is it considered that the idea associated with the
    mantra or the guru's energy in the mantra has greater power than the
    sound-form in all of its beauty and depth?"



    From a somewhat mundane perspective, my experience is that rapid repetition
    allows the mantra to sink into the background of consciousness, allowing our
    attention to focus on some-thing or no-thing else. The pace and rhythm
    seems to allow the mantra to generate itself of its own accord, without us
    having to consciously will that it be so. I would liken this slow
    repetition of a mantra to a kind of gate that shuts off the flow of thoughts
    seeking to interfere with that which you are actively seeking to focus your
    attention on.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that slow repetition requires that more
    attention and focus be placed on the execution of the mantra to the
    exclusion of other thoughts. You don't have time to think of other things
    because the focus remains more on the mantra. In other words, it seems to
    take more of an active awareness to keep it going. So rather than a gate,
    it operates more like a lens that you look through to the exclusion of all
    else, similar to when you look through a telescope or microscope.

    But perhaps others have different experiences. This is merely my crackpot
    theory du jour

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    ------------------------------

    <<...my experience is that rapid repetition allows the mantra to sink into the
    background of consciousness, allowing our attention to focus on some-thing or
    no-thing else.(...) (slow repetition) seems to take more of an active awareness
    to keep it going.>>

    That's exactly my feeling, Joseph. Even starting with slow repetitions I tend to
    make them rapid after a while. I suppose either way is alright. It depends on
    the way you feel more comfortable focusing on Nothing.

    I loved the association you made with the gate and the telescope. But I guess
    you meant RAPID repetition is like a gate, and slow repetition is like a
    telescope or microscope, right?

    Much Light,

    --------------------------------

    "I loved the association you made with the gate and the telescope. But I
    guess you meant RAPID repetition is like a gate, and slow repetition is like
    a telescope or microscope, right?"



    Yes Alzira, thanks for clarifying that. Sometimes the fingers type faster
    than the mind moves.

    Perhaps an even better analogy for the rapid mantra repetition would be of
    an upstream dam blocking the river of thoughts before they flow into
    consciousness.

    -----------------------------------

    > So Rhys, I know that La Mont Young does pretty much everything slowly
    > and in long time spans,

    It is not for nothing that his signature piece is called, *The Tortoise, His
    Dreams and Journeys...* ;-)

    >but did he specifically teach you to recite (or
    > sing? Did you study raga singing with him?) mantras slowly?
    >

    Oh, I didn't do mantras with La Monte. We were both studying with Pran Nath
    and La Monte was also my composition mentor during the early 70s. I sang in
    his grouup, the Theater of Eternal Music, Jon Hassell was also in the group.
    Terry would join us when he was in town.

    > Terry Riley once told me that when he was studying with Pran Nath,
    > sometimes he would wake up early and just listen to Pran Nath
    > practicing, to see what he did. He told me that he would start his
    > singing practice with over an hour of singing different mantram and
    > slokas at the lowest register of his voice.

    We did the same thing. I stayed at La Monte's place of a few months and we
    would get up at around 5 a.m., get the tambouras going, and sing low notes
    for an hour or so to get warmed up. Ppran Nath told us singing low notes
    strengthed the voice) Then an hour of an early morning mantra after that. I
    remember that time fondly.

    > Alzira, regarding slowly executing mantras. One thing that helped me to
    > keep my concentration was to use a pretty quiet mechanical metronome (I
    > use a Tac-Tell, but any would work.

    I'm working on a new mantra involving one of the Names at the moment. What
    I like to work with is a kind of *mantra minus one* tape!

    What I do is record myself at a medium tempo in Pro Tools. I cut and paste
    a stereo track of "x" minutes of chanting (where "x" equals the length of
    the meditation I want to do) in such a way that the chanting is stable in
    terms of its pitch and rhythm. Then I record about 24 more tracks over it
    at various speeds (from slow to extremely slow...)

    This eliminates the need for prayer beads, I just stop when the recording
    stops.

    Regarding fast reps: I remember from my bhakti days that the idea of doing
    this was so that it would go around in your head for the rest of the day.
    Instead of having a silent *Seer* registering all your thoughts, you would
    have the mantra rolling around in the place where the seer usually is, as it
    were.

    I used to go down to the Hare Krishna temple in Brooklyn, and man! After
    chanting that baby for three hours in the early morning, it certainly would
    go around in one's head for the rest of the day, whew!

    Going back to fast reps, if one is doing fast reps very intensely, it has
    the effect of it making it difficult to have other thoughts enter in for
    very long. As Alzira pointed out, it takes more concentration to do slow
    reps. On the other hand, if one is doing slow reps in the context of
    kavannoh, then one will by definition be concentrated anyway.

    I agree with Alzira, both tempo approaches are fine and have their strong
    points. If one finds external thoughts distracting or has a need not to
    have them, then fast reps are probably better. If they are not an issue for
    whatever reason in what one is trying to do, then slow reps are also very
    good to do.

    ------------------------------

    Hey Daniel, i do it both ways. i've found that the faster i intone the
    trancier i feel & when i slow it down and deliberately elongate each sound
    of the name with forceful circulation of breath off the roof of my mouth
    with the tongue slightly touching the roof of my mouth... an energetic
    expansion arrives with a strange trilling sound and i move into a more
    focused trance space that does wonders with the creative process and certain
    perceptions and sensitivities with and about subtle energies happens. thank
    you for raising this question. i once healed a pretty serious burn i
    received by reflexively catching an extremely hot iron off the ironing
    board...i trilled to lessen the pain while i rotated my left hand
    counter-cockwise over the top of my burned hand...within a matter of mere
    minutes the pain, the reddness, the crinkled and nearly cauterized
    wound...were noticeably better & i was in wonderment & elation...i'm not
    sure what worked how & either way i am grateful for this initiation,

    ---------------------------------
     
  15. Gustav Banned Banned

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    this gem is found in the opening scene of garden state. i think the director found this in a religious trinket of some sorts. drove me nuts trying to track down. fruitless search so i ripped clip from movie
     
  16. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i'll take a translation please
     
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    I just opened a few posts around 2005 and found posts by Q that were civil and friendly - it was like some alternative reality - maybe this has something to do with the potency of discussing bhajans

    :scratchin:
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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  19. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    In one of Ravi Shankar's first performances in the west (with the Beatles in the 60's/70's) he somewhat uncertainly addresses the crowd - not sure if they are going to like the bhajans he will perform - but requests them to take it in an open minded mood - the musicians then proceed to tune the sitar and tabla for about 2 minutes - then the crowd goes wild in applause - a some what perplexed ravi shankar addresses the crowd "well if you really liked us tuning our instruments, you should really like this" and proceeds with a melodic glorification of siva
    :m:
     
  20. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i fell victim in a similar situ.

    /dad had a field mth
     
  21. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    what's a field mth?
     
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

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    a temporal extension of a field day

    /straightfaced
     
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    LOL
     

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