Monday, 16 June 2014

Sankirtan or Kirtan - The singing of Lord’s names with faith and devotion

Sankirtan or Kirtan

Sankirtan is the singing of Lord’s names with faith and devotion.
In Kali Yuga by the singing of the Lord's Names are obtained all the fruits that were available to our forefathers who lived in the preceding Yugas by severe penance, austere mode of life, performance of sacrifices and such other unimaginably difficult ways of attainment.

I quote the words of four great masters about kirtan and the power of the name of God.
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‘Chant the name of the Lord always.’

 By chanting the mantra, its vibrations spread all round you. You will then meditate for yourself and others. By holy chants alone, I will lead and win any war in this world. Whatever happens, all the devotees of God will be saved by Divine Will.
                                                                                                 ~ Haidakhan Babaji

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‘Bhakti is the same as vichara (Self-enquiry).’
~ Sri  Ramana Maharshi
      Really there are only two methods, Enquiry and devotion. One leads to the other. A devotee concentrates on God.
      A seeker, follower of the Jnana-marga seeks the Self. The practice is equally difficult for both.

           Since God is verily the Self, love of the Self is love of the God and that is bhakti. Jnana and Bhakti are thus one and the same.
       Service, like prayers, japa and even businesss done in God’s name, lead to the highest Goal; Self-realization.
     Complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self enquiry or through bhakti-marga.
           Self-enquiry is possible for mature minds, not for immature ones.
       For the immature ones, japa nama, worship of images, pranayama, visualizing a pillar of light and similar yogic and spiritual and religious practices have been prescribed.
 ~ Sri  Ramana Maharshi
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‘By calling God by His name you make Him come to you.’
      Q: The repetition of the name of God is very common in India. Is there any virtue in it?
       M: When you know the name of a thing, or a person, you can find it easily. By calling God by His name you make Him come to you.
      Q: This constant repetition of a few words, is it not a kind of madness?
  M: It is madness, but it is a deliberate madness. All repetitiveness is tamas*, but repeating the name of God is sattva-tamas* due to its high purpose. Because of the presence of sattva*, the tamas will wear out and will take the shape of complete dispassion, detachment, relinquishment, aloofness, immutability.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

      *  GUNAS:  Gunas are the three qualities of nature and mind.
                           Sattva (light, purity, balance, harmony).
             Rajas (activity, passion, distraction).
           Tamas (inertia, dullness, stagnation).

         GUNAS & MIND: The gunas are the main substance of the mind.
             Sattva makes the mind calm, pure, one-pointed, introverted, luminous and joyful.
     Rajas makes the mind extroverted, passionate, distractive, agitated, gives pleasure and pain.
                    Tamas makes the mind dull, obscured, cloudy, perversed, inert, inattentive and self destructive.

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‘Japa ultimately results in Samadhi or communion with the Lord.’
      Japa Nama is an important limb of Yoga or divine life. A mantra is divinity. Japa is the repetition of the mantra or the names of the Lord.
In Kali Yuga, practice of Japa alone can give eternal peace, bliss and immortality. Japa ultimately results in Samadhi or communion with the Lord.

      Sankirtan is the singing of Lord’s names with faith and devotion.
When you sing His names, feel that Lord Hari (God) or Ishta Devata* is seated in your heart, that every name of the Lord is filled with divine potencies, that the old vicious impressions in the subconscious mind (Samskaras) and desires (Vasanas) are burnt by the power of the name and that the mind is filled with Sattva or purity, that Rajas and Tamas are completely destroyed, and that the veil of ignorance is torn down. This kind of mental attitude brings the maximum benefit of Sankirtan.

     It is not the number of Japa or the length of time of Kirtan that counts for spiritual growth but it is the intensity of Bhava with which the Lord’s names are sung.

*  Ishta Devata : The form you love to adore God.  viz. Krishna, Jesus Christ  etc.)

~Swami Sivananda

  Verdad, Simplicidad, Amor
  Truth, Simplicity. Love
  Om nama Shivay