Bhakti, devotional yoga, is never your first choice when you start doing yoga.
It usually starts with asanas, meditation, sometimes reading or talking about yogic philosophies, practises that seem to have more apparent effect on you – remember, we are immersed in a culture that likes fast results and prefers obvious to mysterious.
In the beginning your first “live” mantras will flow through your ear at the start or end of yoga practice. It sounds strange at first. You don’t understand what these words mean, it could be a shamanic recipe for chicken soup for all you know. Yet they sound so profound. This vibration has unique patterns, it’s enigmatic, it’s wise, it’s deep and concise.
Then one day a friend or a teacher will invite you to a kirtan. Kirtan is a concert where musicians play Indian (or not) instruments and chant, everyone is invited to listen and chants mantras together. You are curious, nothing to do that night, your friend sounds enthusiastic, so you agree and come.
Here we are in a circle, anticipating. First sounds are exotic, laying out mandalas of new notes, so pleasant, calming. You are present.
After few minutes of listening, you feel fizzy sensations roaming through your body, as if tiny little fish start swimming in your blood and it makes you feel alive. It’s an unknown invisible magnet that pulls some deeply hidden part of you, calls it to come out, calls again, pulls it through all kinds of mental resistance, and before you know it, after a deep inhale, your voice joins the rest of voices that propel your soul through your throat to join the Divine.
Who would have told you will chant “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama” in ecstatic trance with all energies elevated, together with tens or hundreds more hippies like yourself? Well, that’s how open minded you became, congratulations. Congratulations and thank you, heart. It always gets its way.
If your heart is that open, then nothing to do but join all other hearts 6 of July to chant to one of the most deep, grounding, inspiring, calling inside out kirtan voices – the one of Krishna Das.
I rejoice knowing we will be together chanting beautiful ancient recipes to happiness.