We are collectively and personally going through hard times and it seems like a never-ending cycle. It might seem like it's coming out of nowhere, but the ancient texts and scriptures in the yoga/hindu practice knew these times would come to us. They created hymns, mantra, and more to help guide us through. The Age of Technology has brought us closer together, but also has divided us even farther apart. The key to moving through these hard times is connecting to mindfulness, self-inquiry, community, and other practices that are in this ancient system.
So what ancient practice will help me on this journey?
To remember how we started in this world, we have to go back to the start of creation. Creation is always happening and there is no end of time and nothing is completely destroyed forever. The knowledge or wisdom of this is called Veda.
The Vedas scriptures are divinely inspired and were heard (shruti) by ancient sages. They are made up of the Rig (oldest and most authentic) Veda, Sama (melodies and chants) Veda, Yajur (mantras used for rituals) Veda, and Atharva (procedures for everyday life) Veda.
Each veda provides the knowledge to create spi(ritual) practices to guide us through the cycle of creation and remind us to turn to its many forms (air, fire, sun, etc.) to live a balanced life. The chants, mantras, and hymns are part of the Nirguna Bhakti. This form of bhakti (devotional practice) is the devotion to the formless divine.
By turning to the vedas, we come back to the main teachings of the yoga/hindu tradition, which is knowledge (jnana), devotion (bhakti), and karma (action). These three elements provide us a guide to navigate through hard times. It is a reminder of the divine within us and to live how Neem Karoli Baba said, "Love everyone, feed everyone, and remember God."
During times of grief, struggle, and stress, the ego wants us to control and make it all about us. The truth is that we are never alone and we are always in divine play (lila). Creation, destruction, and transformation is constantly flowing to guide us to the next part of our journey. The key is to tap into this ancient practice to continue to love, accept, and surrender in the continuous cycle of life.
The Mangalam Chant:
-naming and blessing each and every part of creation
-mangala - auspicious, lucky, and fortunate
-Bhavatu - very well, okay, and amen
Bhumi-Mangalam, Udaka-Mangalam, Agni-Mangalam, Vayu-Mangalam, Gagana-Mangalam, Surya-Mangalam, Chandra-Mangalam, Jagat-Mangalam, Jiva-Mangalam, Deha-Mangalam, Mano-Mangalam, Atma-Mangalam, Sarva-Mangalam-Bhavatu-Bhavatu-Bhavtu
May there be peace in earth, water, fire, and air, the sun, moon, and planets, in all living beings, in body, mind, and soul. May that peace be everywhere and in everyone.
One of my favorite recordings of this chant is "All Good" by Girish.
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Molly Sommerhalder, Owner of Swan in the Lotus Yoga and Wellness, LLC
Swan in the Lotus came to me after years of connection to myself and my Goddess, Saraswati. My blog will provide inspiration to travel with courage on this life journey and provide lessons to find joy, love and self-care!