Posts Tagged ‘mantra seminar’

For the very first time, Art of Living teachers under the guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, organized an introductory course in Mantra Sadhana (chanting). The Mantra Sadhana Seminar teaches the correct intonation and meaning of popular ancient Sanskrit Mantras. It is open to anyone who is interested and no background in Sanskrit is needed.There are many ancient Sanskrit Mantras that are chanted as part of daily spiritual practice and Indian tradition. They have a subtle effect on the state of mind and the environment. The consciousness is very ancient and so are these mantras. The purpose of mantra chanting is to uplift the mind and bring happiness and peace all around. By knowing the meaning we connect with the essence (feeling) of the mantra and can dive deep into ourselves.

The course was taught for the first time during Dec.18-23, 2010 by Prof. V. Sastry, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It was organized by Vikas and Aparna Chawla at the Art of Living center in Metuchen, New Jersey. Prof. V. Sastry is a professor of engineering at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. He is an Art of Living teacher, a well respected Priest and has been chanting mantras since his childhood. The seminar was presented in a very accessible way and everyone enjoyed it.

Prof. V. Sastry (center) with course participants

When asked about the universality of the mantras Prof. Sastry said: “Anybody who understands the meaning has a feeling. For feeling there are no boundaries, right? Love. Everybody experiences love. Kindness, generosity, beauty, magnanimity, greatness, all these are common and there are no restrictions of language or barriers of land, race, creed whatsoever. These mantras are universal and they have eternal value, not just today, 100 years from now, 1000 years from now. Since 5000 years they have been helping people to raise to higher levels of consciousness, for blossoming in their minds and to experience that supreme peace and bliss which is the goal of human existence. This is achieved through correct mantra chanting. Knowing the meaning, you get the feeling.”

It is important to chant the mantras correctly. The sound of the mantra itself has an impact and a distortion in pronunciation distorts the impact of the mantra and the impact can be very different from what is intended. Prof. V. Sastry gives the example of the mantra “Samgachadwam” which means “Let us move together” and encourages community spirit. Often in our courses we say this incorrectly as “Sangha Chatwam” which means the opposite. “Sangha” means community and “Chatwam” means “destruction” and this means “destroy the community”. So while we intend to encourage community spirit, due to the distortion we are promoting the opposite. The mantra is from the Rig Veda. It reads as “Samgachadwam, samvadadwam samvomanaamsi jaanataam” which means “Let us move together, let us speak together, let us think together”. The course teaches the right way to chant the mantras.

Aparna Chawla (right)
coaching the beginners

Upcoming courses:
Mantra Sadhana Seminar – Track A
Mantra Sadhana Seminar – Track B
Mantra Sadhana Seminar – Repeater
Vedic Chanting Series ( Narayana Suktam and Mantra Pushpam )

Here are some course experiences:

“This has been an amazing experience for me. I took the Art of Living course two years ago and I’ve always been drawn to the bhajans. And as awkward as it felt to me initially, because it was so different from my upbringing, it was just a pull. This course has been amazing for me. I feel that this really has created a transformation in me. My meditations these past six days have been so, so deep. I was in a place that was not comfortable for me and I really feel that this has lifted me out of that. And at the same time that I feel so uplifted, I have gone so deep. It’s really been amazing. Thank you to everybody. Thank you all. It felt so comfortable, it was presented so beautifully and for someone with very little background what I’ve learnt this week I didn’t think I could learn in a year. And the knowledge is beautiful and I am so grateful for the opportunity.” ~~ Kristen, Randolph, New Jersey

“I grew up with my parents chanting these mantras. I heard them, growing up. So I would wake up to the sound of my mother chanting these. But I have never been educated in these mantras. I feel something was always missing. And Sastryuncle you finally have filled it. I feel so grateful. There are no words to express my gratitude. I feel there was a seed always within me. You finally water it and nurtured it and it sprouted and I’m really grateful. I thought that this was so esoteric. I mean, it is deep but it’s so simple. The simplicity is the beauty behind it and there is the depth in it. I go home after chanting these mantras and they keep going through my mind and I feel so happy and so contented. I am finally going inward and I can genuinely say that it’s a journey inward. I am going to chant these mantras and go through life with confidence and reverence and respect.” ~~ Najuk, Piscataway, New Jersey

course participants

“There are no words in which I can express my gratitude to you. I know something is growing inside me. This is something that will really take me to another level. This is universal knowledge. This belongs to all of us, to all of you. Again, I can’t express my gratitude to you. All of you, I feel so connected with all of you. It’s been incredible. This is one of the best courses I’ve taken with Art of Living” ~~ Narcisco, New York

“Mantras have always fascinated me since childhood. Because I never understood the meaning but still they made me feel good. I used to wonder how that can happen. That was the fascinating part. I used to like it and enjoy it but there was some vacuum. I used to feel a little let down that I didn’t understand what it is. So it’s great that this Christmas Sastryji has come as Santa Claus and given this gift to us of the meaning of the mantras. This is the first time I have realized that the feeling goes with the meaning and that has filled the gap that was felt for such a long time.” ~~ Hasit, Edison, New Jersey

“For me this course has been many things. There is something very universal about these things called mantras. There is something sacred about them. For the past five days I have been getting up and chanting. What it’s done for me, it’s the vibrations, it’s helped me with my sadhana even more. It makes me go deeper with my sadhana. The meaning, the deep meaning was really explained. For me it was a fulfillment. For me, it’s just the transformation. I had a lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings, just emotions and when I would get up in the morning and the consciousness gets so focused just by the chanting. I am continueing to feel even more positive, spacy maybe, but for me I just love it. More importantly, I want to say thank you for everybody, everybody here. In Art of Living we use the words: One World Family. So I just go anywhere. Now I am with my family in New Jersey. I don’t know Panditji how much more I can thank you for all that you have done in the transformation.“ ~~ Denise, Richmond, Virginia

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