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Unique Practice to Enhance Sadhana

From: "Shantatma Deva"
Subject: Unique Practice to Enhance Sadhana
Date: Mon 28 Mar 2011 07:13:55 +0530



In the life of each and every sadhaka-- in the life of each and every
A'nanda Ma'rgii-- there is an inherent desire to make sadhana better and
better. This is the common feeling amongst all devotees.

To that end we follow Baba's various do's and don'ts. Before sadhana we do
half-bath, find a quiet place, do sastaunga pranam, and then sing and dance
kiirtan before sitting for meditation.

However in this ultra-modern and technological era, where machines and
gadgets often dominate our lives, there is the tendency just to listen to
kiirtan via a stereo etc-- and not sing ourselves. This can happen. Because
that reliance upon technology can enter into every sector of our existence,
including our devotional practices like kiirtan. So while living in this
modern era we should be aware.

Because Baba's guideline is that to get the real benefit of kiirtan then
one must sing-- loudly.

Baba says, "To proclaim the glories of Parama purus'a, the Supreme
Consciousness, in a loud voice is termed 'kiirtana'. The Sam'skrta root
verb kirtt means to 'utter something loudly so that others may also hear
it'; thus kiirtana means to proclaim the glories of the Lord loudly for all
to hear." (AFPS-4)

And here again Baba delivers the same message, in slightly different language.

Baba says, "Kiirtana means to utter good words loudly; not mentally, nor in
a whisper, but loud enough for everyone to hear. It is never done secretly,
but always openly...So devotees will openly sing praises to Parama Purus'a.
Kiirtana means, as I said a little earlier, to sing the Lord's glory in a
loud voice." (Ananda Vacanamrtam-7, p.36)

As Baba explains above, part and parcel of "doing kiirtan" means singing
kiirtan-- not just listening to kiirtan. And best is to dance as well. And
then in this way one can get 100% benefit: A unique devotional feeling
overcomes one's entire existence and one feels a deep sense of peace
within. This we have all surely experienced.

                       THE SCIENCE BEHIND SINGING

As we know there is an underlying science behind all our
spiritual-cum-devotional practices. And in this respect Baba guides us that
by singing kiirtan we are engaging more of the body's organs than if we
just simply listen. By singing the mouth, throat, tongue, and vocal chords
are also involved. And this enhances one's ability to focus on the kiirtan.

Baba says, "At the time of kiirtana, the vocal cord sings, the ears hear,
and the hands and feet dance, and thus all the organs are kept preoccupied
with the divine. They are not allowed to move wherever they want but are
kept engaged. There is a popular Indian superstition that when ghosts are
not kept busy they break the necks of their prey. Similarly, if the sensory
and motor organs are not kept engaged in the attainment of the divine, they
may lead one astray. Kiirtana is therefore most beneficial as it keeps all
the organs fully engaged in a spiritual pursuit." (AV-8, p.13)

Thus by singing kiirtan the mind is more engaged in the devotional practice
of kiirtan than if one is just listening. And best is to dance also. And by
this way our sadhana will be improved.

                         DOES NOT TAKE EXTRA TIME

Some may say or think that they do not have time to stop and sing kiirtan.
But the reply is that singing kiirtan itself need not take any extra time.
One can sing kiirtan while doing their mundane duties such as when cleaning
the kitchen or when bathing etc. So singing kiirtan itself can be done
frequently throughout the day. It is a way to spiritualise all our daily
activities and then when we sit for sadhana we will automatically feel the
difference. So while driving or walking or when preparing lunch, we can
sing kiiran. Actually, if we look carefully, we will come across some many
moments in our day where we can sing kiirtan in a loud voice-- thereby
enhancing our devotional life.

                           NO SHYNESS OR COMPLEX

And last but not least none should consider whether they have a "beautiful
voice" or not. Doing proper kiirtan is not a matter of singing in tune or
in a particular pitch. That is the important characteristic of kiirtan.
Because when we sing kiirtan Parama Purusa only thinks about the sweetness
and sincerity of the devotee's heart-- not the tune or melody. So no one
should suffer from any type of complex about whether they have a good voice
or not. That is not the point.

Rather we should always remember that we are only singing to please Parama
Purusa. And for this we simply need to awaken that devotional feeling that
is naturally inside us all.

Ultimately between Parama Purusa and the bhakta there is an inherent
relation of love-- that is based solely on the heart. And with this feeling
we should sing and sing our kiirtan.

                            BABA'S BLESSING

By Baba's grace singing and dancing kiirtan brings tremendous bliss in the
life and enhances our sadhana. We should always remember that no matter
what circumstance we may find ourselves in, always He is listening to our
kiirtan. This is His unfathomable blessing upon us.

Baba says, "Everywhere you are with Parama Purus'a, and never in this
universe, nowhere in this universe, are you alone. So you are never
helpless. Wherever you may be, do your Kiirtana, 'Ba'ba' Na'ma Kevalam.' He
is with you. You are never alone. Your are never weak. You are never
helpless." (AV-12)


                 PRABHAT SAMGIITA

"Tumi a'cho, a'mio a'chi, a'r keu nei e tribhuvane..."  (P.S. 2027)


 Baba, You are my dearest One; by Your grace I love You so much. For me,
in this entire universe-- tribhuvan*-- only You and I exist. There is
nothing else in this whole creation except You and I. Baba, by Your grace
You have brought me here. And with Your love and compassion You are
nourishing me, always keeping me under Your shelter. Baba, by Your divine
grace I always receive Your tender love and care-- both in times of great
joy and as well as during times of intense suffering. Always, in each and
every circumstance, I feel Your sweet and loving presence.
 Baba, by Your grace You bless me with Your blissful touch in the
effulgence of the new dawn. Baba, Your charming smile gets expressed in the
blossom of the lily and in the flowering of the lotus. Baba, in the dry,
burning desert You are the soothing balm. By Your grace in that unbearable
heat You provide a cool oasis and lush verdant leaves. You are ever
gracious. Baba, You saturate my dreams with Your divine love.
 Baba, in the form and fragrance of the sweet flowers, You dance and
emanate in the vast blue sky. Baba, You always manifest Your divine Self in
each and every cell of my being-- as well as in the most distant corner of
my mind. Baba, by Your grace Your magnanimous effulgent smile shines like a
blissful lightening bolt throughout my entire existence-- inside and out,
as well as in each and every pore of this vast, infinite cosmos.  
Baba, You are that most effulgent and loving Personality-- I surrender
at Your alter...

*Tribhuvan: The prefix "Tri" means 'three' and the term "bhuvan" means
'world'. And here Baba further clarifies what He exactly means by
tribhuvan, or the three worlds:

 Baba says, "Tribhuvana means the expressed world, the psychic world and the
astral world or, you may say, Causal World." (AV-2)

               Process of Channlisation     

Baba says, "If people have a healthy body and mind their glandular system
will remain balanced and they can easily channelise their physical energy
into psychic and spiritual activities. This process of channelisation is
the only way to check the mental flow towards crude propensities." (AFPS-9,
p. 35)           

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