quote from Bede Griffiths …
founder of a Christian-Hindu Ashram in India . . .
“We have to try to discover the inner relationship between these different aspects of Truth and unite them in ourselves. I have to be a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jain, a Parsee, a Sikh, a Muslim, and a Jew, as well as a Christian, if I am to know the Truth and to find the point of reconciliation in all religion.”
George Harrison on Chanting –
“…it’s really a process of actually having a realization of God, which all becomes clear with the expanded state of consciousness that develops when you chant. ”
From An Interview with Bhagavan Das:
Bhagavan Das: I identify with love, I identify with attention, with consciousness,
with awareness. There’s only one religion, and that’s compassion. I love
Hinduism, I love Buddhism, I love Jesus, I have a lot of connections.
Buddhism is probably the best bet for most people because it’s not a
religion, it’s a science. Science is good, because people don’t have to
Interviewer: Yet you say that the nature of the true self is bliss.
Bhagavan Das: But you see, you have to discover that. It’s not a concept. It’s
like, back off from the drama and just be still. Get up early in the
morning and sit for 15 minutes; just look at what we think is real.
Where is our self? Who is our self? My self changes all the time; I
don’t know who I am. We just flow into whatever the thing is. I
mean, what do you identify with? The yoga thing is good, we all
need something to keep us in a satsang, an association of like-minded
souls. So we go to the center and do yoga and hang out with people
who are working on themselves.
Krishna’s description of Bhaktas from the Bhagavatam:
“They do not care for anything. Their hearts are fixed on Me. They are without ‘mine-ness’. They have no egoism. They make no distinction between sorrow and happiness. They do not take anything from others. They can bear heat, cold, and pain. They have love for all living beings. They have no enemy. They are serious and possess exemplary character.”
About Kirtan by Ram Dass from Be Here Now:
Song, dance, chanting and prayer have been throughout the ages traditional forms of bhakti yoga. At first such rituals are a matter of curiosity, and you are the observer. Then you arrive at the stage of peripheral participation—a “sing along.” Then in time you become familiar with the routines and you start to identify with the process. As your identification deepens, other thoughts and evaluations fall away until finally you and the ritual become one. At that point the ritual has become the living process and can take you through the door into perfect unity. To know that these stages exist does not mean you can jump ahead of where you are. Whatever stage you are in, accept it. When you have fully accepted your present degree of participation, only then will you experience the next level.
Singing and music: Most familiar to us is the use of a song to open the heart. Hymns such as Holy, Holy, Holy . . .Amazing Grace—have touched the hearts of millions with the spirit. In India, bhajan (the singing of holy songs) has been until recent times practically the only social function in the villages. Evenings, the men gather, squatting or sitting on the ground in a circle with their chillums (pipes) and a harmonium, a set of tabla (drums), perhaps a serangi or violin (stringed instruments) and cymbals . . . and they take turns singing the stories of the holy beings such as Krishna and Ram. Night after night they participate in this simple pastime, keeping themselves close to the Spirit.
It is often startling to the Westerner to realize that it is not the beauty of the voice but the purity of spirit of the singer that is revered by these people. It was only when music was profaned that it became a vehicle for gratification of the senses. Prior to that, it was a method of communion with the Spirit.
A special form of bhajan is called kirtan . . .which is the repetition in song of the Holy Names of God. Perhaps the most familiar of these in the West at present is:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
The melody of kirtan is usually basically simple and it is only after many repetitions that the process of coming into the spirit starts to happen. Singing the same phrases over for two to five hours is not unusual for the true seeker. And you will find as you let yourself into the repetitive rhythm and melody that you experience level after level of opening.
a quote from Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux, O.S.B.)…a Cathlolic Benedictine Monk who studied meditation with Hindu masters
“Om is the dawn of Being in the Father, SAT. Om is the Being’s Self-Awareness, its awakening to itself in the Son, CHIT. Om in the Third Person is the tremor at the ultimate threshold of sound which is the Spirit in God and in the Universe, ANANDA.” Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux, O.S.B.)