Doug & Hillary Willhite’s

Sacred Mantra Music

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Jai Hanuman Kirtan

Serve as Hanuman Served

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Bhakti Yoga

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“Your own self-realization is the greatest service you can render.” ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

Click on tracks in the song list to Play. Click on the track again to Pause.  If a Song Player doesn’t work, try reloading the webpage. Players are HTML5 & supposed to be compatible with all computers, including Apple mobile devices. Please “share” these songs with your friends via Facebook & other social media.

Doug & Hillary Willhite’s sacred Bhakti Yoga Kirtan songs are intended to be chanted with by the listener. Sing along to lighten your day, raise your vibration, & feel the joy emanate from the depths of your spiritual heart. :)

The Himalayas meet the Appalachians! Our music is a hybrid of east & west influences. Lyrics are sacred mantras from the ancient Bhakti Yoga tradition sung in a call & response format. Music is influenced by folk, folkrock & the blues. The singing of these mantras is powerful medicine for the mind & heart. The music is the “syrup” which helps the medicine to go down.

These songs were performed & recorded by Doug in “live takes” playing acoustic guitar or harmonium while singing & playing percussion with his feet. He added bass & lead guitars in subsequent takes. His wife, Hillary, sang harmony & response vocals. Her voice was overdubbed to create a group chorus effect.  A responsive chorus is a traditional aspect of Call & Response Kirtan. 

Our music is all natural, locally grown & certified organic.   :-D  We use only the freshest ingredients (real instrumentation & undoctored vocal performances). No MIDI (computerized instruments), drum machines, synthesizers, sequencers or sampling were used in these recordings.  Recorded, mixed & mastered in a low-budget home studio. All Songs Copyright 2013 & 2014, Douglas R. Willhite, Hanuman Das Songs (*except where otherwise indicated below).


 

Regarding these mantra-songs:

The following descriptions are merely opinions.   ;-)  We aren’t Sanskrit संस्कृतम् scholars.  If you really want to know what these mantras mean, we suggest you chant them in a spirit of open-minded inquiry & experience their meaning firsthand. The mantras are simple; however, it is our observation that they may only be understood intuitively within the depths of an open & childlike heart.

These chants were designed to help you evoke & release unique aspects of your own spirit or magnificent potential. We are by no means suggesting that you join a new religious group, follow a charismatic guru, hold blind faith in ancient deities, give away your personal autonomy & empowerment, or relinquish your current religious beliefs.

Just as having a daily Hatha yoga practice has proven beneficial to Christians, Jews & folks from all walks of life, by the same token practicing Bhakti yoga mantra-chants may bring happiness & inner-peace to anyone (including atheists & nonbelievers).

We encourage daily practice.  The regular chanting of these time-tested mantras (divine names) has been a keenly effective way of bringing more joy & focused intention into our lives.  We think the mantras will help to awaken & release your magnificent potential as well as they have served countless others throughout the ages. Perhaps you may think of these Bhakti chants as yoga asanas (deep-centering stretches or exercises) for your mind, heart & soul.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 1

Om Gan Ganapatiye Namaha

GANAPATI

Tradition teaches that chanting this powerful, sacred & ancient mantra removes any & all of the obstacles within your body, mind, heart & circumstances which prevent you from reaching your goals.  It evokes your innate spiritual warrior. When you embark upon a new endeavor, it is wise & prudent to chant or evoke this divine name.

This is the ‘mul’ mantra (mul or muula means primordial matter; root cause, basis or foundation) of Lord Ganesha ~ also called Ganapati, Ganapathi (Sanskrit: गणपति ). The mantra was said to have first been mentioned in Ganapati Atharvarshisha, which was written by Atharva Rishi after he had Ganapati’s darshan. (“Darshan” means the blessing & vision offered by a holy being.)

There are quite a few ways to pronounce this mantra, especially the second word “gan”, which is often pronounced gam, gum or gung. Various authorities stress different pronunciations, however, the meaning is virtually the same: the devotee offers salutations to the Lord of the World or the Lord of the Troops.

“Gan” is a bija (beeja) mantra, meaning seed, source, germ, primary cause, mystical letter or syllable that forms the essential part of a mantra. A Bija Mantra is a “seed” from which realization grows, as a tree grows from a seed. Usually a single-syllable mantra is called “seed” because of its small size as a dot or point of sound. “Gan” means flock, troop, multitude, number, tribe, series, class of animate or inanimate beings, body of followers or attendants, troops or classes of lesser deities especially certain demi-gods considered as Shiva’s attendants such as the Âdityas, Visvas, Vasus, Tushitas, Âbhâsvaras, Anilas, Mahârâjikas, Sâdhyas & Rudras.

“Namah” means to salute or salutations.

“Om” or “Aum” (Omkara) is the sacred syllable which begins many Vedic mantras & represents the Supreme Creator. Considered sacred by both Brahmans & Buddhists alike, the sound of Om is said to contain a mystery which symbolizes the universe. Its full form is Aum: the Universal Brahman; sacred, primordial sound of the Universe; mystic sound of the Eternal; the primal sound or First Vibration from which all creation has emanated; the first manifestation of the unmanifested Absolute; a word of solemn affirmation & respectful assent (sometimes translated as “yes, verily, so be it” & in this sense compares with ‘Amen’). Also the unstruck, primeval sound, continuous bell-like inner resonance & the inner divine melody heard by Yogis.

Photo is of a murti (devotional statue) of Lord Ganesha. Tradition teaches that a consecrated murti is imbued with a deity’s spiritual essence

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 2

Om Hrim Kali Durga Namah

Om Namo Namah

Kali

Kālī Ma (Sanskrit: काली ) also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit: कालिका ) is the goddess associated with time, death & shakti (power & energy). The name Kali comes from kāla. Since Shiva is called Kāla (the eternal time) Kālī, his consort, means the time has come or death. Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, she is actually a warrioress against the forces of ego & evil. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess, Ma Durga.

Durga_mata.1

The goddess Ma Durga ( Sanskrit: दुर्गा ), meaning the inaccessible or invincible”; is the most popular incarnation of Devi & one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon. Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi-Parashakti. The Devi Gita declares her to be the greatest Goddess. She is considered the supreme Goddess & primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. Whatever deity one is worshiping, ultimately, they are worshiping Durga. She is every goddess, including Lakshmi & Saraswati in her mild form; Kali & Chandi in her wrathful form. She is also Mahadevi, the supreme power, & is called Durga Shakti or Devi Durga, the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti, the ultimate power inherent in all Creation.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 3

Om Jai Ma

Om Srim MahaLakshmiye Namaha

JaiMa

Lakshmi (Sanskritलक्ष्मी ) is the goddess of wealth, material & spiritual prosperity, good fortune & the embodiment of beauty, charm & grace. She is the wife of Vishnu (God). Also known as Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck & is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery & money-related sorrows. She is described as bestowing coins of prosperity & flanked by elephants signifying her royal power. In some texts, she has an owl as her vahana (vehicle). Her expression is always calm & loving. The lotus symbolizes the fertile growth of organic life, as the world is continually reborn on a lotus growing out of Vishnu’s navel. Without her grace nothing in this world would survive. She forms the basis of the entire gamut of creation.

Lakshmi is called Srim (Shreem) because she is endowed with six auspicious gunas (divine qualities) & is the source of strength even to Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on Earth as the avatars, Rama & Krishna, Lakshmi took incarnation as his consorts, Sita (Rama’s wife) & Radha (Krishna’s lover).

She is worshipped daily in Hindu homes, businesses & temples. Diwali (the festival of lights) is celebrated in her honor during the month of October. Ceremonies include people offering food & sweets, chanting her 108 names, reciting prayers, singing devotional songs & placing small oil lamps outside homes in hopes that she will bless them.

Mahalakshmi is the embodiment of love from which Bhakti (devotion to God) flows. It is through Love, Bhakti or Lakshmi that the atma (soul) is able to reach Vishnu (God). Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between her husband & his worldly devotees. Lakshmi represents a more soothing, kind, warm & approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of devotees. When asking Vishnu for grace or forgiveness, a devotee often approaches Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi. She is the personification of spiritual fulfillment & embodies Vaikunta (the spiritual world & abode of Lakshmi-Narayana-Vishnu) or what would be considered heaven in Vaishnavism. She is Param Prakriti (the divine qualities & embodiment of God’s superior spiritual feminine energy) which purifies, empowers & uplifts individuals. Hence, she is called the Goddess of Fortune & is believed to be the mother of the universe. Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning “to perceive or observe”. This is synonymous with lakṣya, meaning “aim” or “objective”.

MahaLakshmi has many names & is known to be very closely associated with the lotus & her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as: Padma (lotus dweller); Kamala (lotus dweller); Padmapriya (One who likes lotuses); Padmamaladhara devi (One who wears a garland of lotuses); Padmamukhi (One whose face is as beautiful as a lotus); Padmakshi (One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus); Padmahasta (One who holds a lotus); Padmasundari (One who is as beautiful as a lotus). Her other names include: Vishnupriya (One who is the beloved of Vishnu); Ulkavahini (One who rides an owl); Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Aishwarya, Lalima, Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Samruddhi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya, Jaganmaatha (Mother of the Universe); Rukmini & Satyabama.

Mahalakshmi is known to preside over 16 forms of worldly wealth including siddhis (spiritual powers) & jnana (spiritual knowledge). Others are: Fame; Knowledge; Courage & Strength; Victory; Good Children; Valor; Gold, Gems & Valuables; Grains in abundance; Happiness; Bliss; Intelligence; Beauty; Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation; Morality & Ethics; Good Health; & Longevity.

Ashta Lakshmi
आदि लक्ष्मी (ఆదిలక్ష్మి; ಆದಿಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Ādi Lakṣmī The First manifestation of Lakshmi
धान्य लक्ष्मी (ధాన్యలక్ష్మి; ಧಾನ್ಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Dhānya Lakṣmī Granary wealth
धैर्य लक्ष्मी (ధైర్యలక్ష్మి; ಧೈರ್ಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Dhairya Lakṣmī Wealth of courage
गज लक्ष्मी (గజలక్ష్మి; ಗಜಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Gaja Lakṣmī Elephants, symbols of wealth
सन्तान लक्ष्मी (సంతానలక్ష్మి; ಸಂತಾನಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Santāna Lakṣmī Wealth of continuity, progeny
विजय लक्ष्मी (విజయలక్ష్మి; ವಿಜಯಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Vijaya Lakṣmī Wealth of victory
विद्या लक्ष्मी (విద్యాలక్ష్మి; ವಿದ್ಯಾಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Vidyā Lakṣmī Wealth of knowledge and education
धन लक्ष्मी (ధనలక్ష్మి; ಧನಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ) Dhana Lakṣmī Monetary wealth

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 5

Om Sri Dhanvantari Namaha

DHANVANTARI_3

Dhanvantari (Sanskrit: धन्वन्तरि ) the celestial healer, is an Avatar of Vishnu (incarnation of God [*see below]) in the Bhakti Yoga tradition. Dhanvantari appears in the Vedas & Puranas as the physician of the devas (deities, demi-gods & angels) & as the deity of Ayurvedic medicine. 

It is common practice among yogis & Hindus to chant or pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound health (both for oneself & others), especially on Dhanteras (the first day of the five day Diwali festival in India.

*The following definitions are a few terms appearing on this blog:

~ “Sri“ (Sanskrit: श्री ) adds deep respect, veneration & divine feminine attributes to a title.

~ “Avatar” (Sanskrit: अवतार  avatāra means “descent”) is an incarnation or descent of the Supreme Lord into the material world in one of His many forms; it literally translates as “One who descends”. Vishnu (God) descended to earth in past epochs to further humankind’s evolution, realign humanity with truth & dharma, & keep evil in check.

~ “Mantra” (Sanskrit: मन्त्र) means a sacred utterance, numinous sound, syllable, word, or group of words observed & believed by sages, seers & yogis to have psychological & spiritual powers. Mantras may or may not have literal meaning; the spiritual value of a mantra comes when it is audible, visible, or present in thought. Earliest mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, & those are at least 3000 years old. Mantras are now found in various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism & Sikhism.

~ “Vishnu” (Sanskrit: विष्णु ) is God as the All-encompassing, Almighty, Omnipresent Preserver of the Universe. The “Trimurti” (Holy Trinity or three forms of God) is composed of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva. Brahma is the Creator of the Universe, Vishnu the Preserver or Sustainer & Shiva the Destroyer. Vishnu is said to have descended (incarnated or born into earthly form) ten times. His incarnations included Rama (twice), Krishna, Buddha, Kalki, a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a man-lion, & a dwarf.

 ~ “Deva” (Sanskrit: देव ) means deity. A “Devi” is a feminine deity. The Vedas (the earliest comprehensive literature) contain mantras for pleasing the devas to obtain blessings. The Rig Veda, the earliest of the four vedas, enumerates up to 33 devas. Some devas represent the forces of nature & some represent moral values. The main devas addressed in the Rig Veda are Indra, Agni (fire) & Soma, the latter two representing modes of sacrifice, called yajña. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says there are 33 devas in the celestial world, in terms of performance of yajñas. The post-Rig vedic Aitareya Brahmana suggests a hierarchy among devas. Many of the deities taken together are worshiped as the Vishvedevas, the “all-deities”.

Nature Devas are responsible for elements such as fire, air, rain & trees. The higher Devas control much more intricate tasks governing the functioning of the cosmos & the evolution of creation. Mahadevas, such as Lord Ganesha, have such tremendous tasks under their diligence that they are sometimes called Gods (under the Supreme One God).  (Note: Mahadeva generally refers to Shiva). There are also many other lesser celestial beings, such as the Gandharvas (male celestial musicians) & the Apsaras (female celestial dancers). The musicians & dancers are married to each other. Vayu, the Lord of the Wind (& father of Hanuman), is an example of an important Deva. Also, Death is personified as the Dev Yama.

These celestial beings are not to be confused with the One & only Supreme God. The TrimurtiIshvara (God) or Brahman (Supreme Spirit) is the Ultimate Reality, Lord, & Controller of the Cosmos. A famous verse from the Katha Upanishad states: “From fear (profound respect) of Him the wind blows; from fear of Him the sun rises; from fear of Him Agni & Indra & Death run.” Ishvara Brahman is the only Ultimate Reality, & all Devas are simply mundane manifestations of Him / Her. The Vaishnavites (who often translate deva as “demigod”) cite various verses that speak of the devas’ subordinate status. For example, the Rig Veda (1.22.20) states, oṃ tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam sadā paśyanti sūryaḥ: “All the suras (i.e., the devas) look always toward the feet of Lord Vishnu.” In the Vishnu Sahasranama the concluding verses state: “The Rishis (great sages), the ancestors, the devas, the great elements, in fact all things moving & unmoving constituting this universe, have originated from Narayana,” (i.e., Vishnu, Ishvara Brahman).

~ “Vedas” (Sanskrit:  वेद  means knowledge”) are a collection of Sanskrit writings which (in the east) are widely considered the most ancient & sacred teachings in the world. They form the foundation of all Yogic & Hindu philosophy. Tradition teaches that the Vedas were revealed in deep states of meditation to the Vedic Rishis (seers / sages). In modern times there are said to be four Vedas (Rig-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, & Atharva-veda), plus 108 Upanishads.

~ “Upaniṣhads” (Sanskrit: उपनिषत् ) are 108 Sanskrit books or treatises that embody the philosophy of the Vedas. Considered the most significant philosophical sections & crest jewels of the Vedas, the Upaniṣhads are found in the Āraṇyaka & Brāhmaṇa portions of the Veda. They are also called “Vedānta”, meaning the culmination of Vedic knowledge, & were explained systematically by Dvaipāyana Vyāsa in his Vedānta-sūtra.

~ “Purāṇas” (Sanskrit: पुराण means of ancient times) are eighteen major & eighteen minor ancient Vedic texts which are said to have been compiled about five thousand years ago in India by Srila Vyasadeva that are histories of this & other planets; discussing topics such as the creation & history of the universe, incarnations of the Supreme Lord & demi-gods (deities), & the history of the dynasties of saintly kings.

~ “Ayurvedic medicine (Sanskrit: आयुर्वेद ) means “life-knowledge” & is a system of traditional indigenous medicine native to the Indian subcontinent, &  a form of alternative medicine.

~ “Yajña” (Sanskrit: यज्ञ; also yagya, yadnya or yagam), is a ritual of offerings accompanied by chanting of Vedic mantras (also worship, prayer, praise, & sacrifice) derived from the practice in Vedic times. Yajna is an ancient ritual of offering & sublimating the havana sámagri (herbal preparations) in the fire. The sublime meaning of the word yajna is derived from the Sanskrit verb yaj, which has a three-fold meaning of worship of deities (devapujana), unity (saògatikaraña) & charity (dána). An essential element is the ritual fire – the divine Agni – into which oblations are poured, as everything that is offered into the fire is believed to reach God.

~ “Dharma” (Sanskrit: धर्म ) is from dhri, meaning to hold together, to sustain, harmony, The Way, righteousness, compassion, Natural Law, essential nature, morality, ethics, Divine Design, Truth, philosophy, Natural Order, flow, spirituality, wisdom, purest insight, cosmic norm, blueprint, inherent or intrinsic nature, Law of Being, duty, responsibility.

~ “Sanatana” means eternal, perennial, never beginning or ending, abiding, universal, ever-present, unceasing, natural, enduring.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 5

Om Mani Padme Hum

Om Mani Padme hum

Oṃ Maṇi Padme Hūṃ (Sanskrit: ओं मणिपद्मे हूं ) is the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. It is commonly carved onto rocks or written on paper which is inserted into prayer wheels. When an individual spins the wheel, it is said that the effect is the same as reciting the mantra as many times as the wheel turns.

The first known description of the mantra appeared in the Karandavyuha Sutra. In this sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha stated, “This is the most beneficial mantra. Even I made this aspiration to all the million Buddhas & subsequently received this teaching from Buddha Amitabha.”

Mantras may be interpreted by practitioners in many ways. The middle part of the mantra, “maṇi padme”, is often interpreted as “jewel in the lotus”. In Sanskrit, “maṇí” means jewel or gem.

Three translations:

“The mantra ‘Om Mani Päme Hum’ is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable ‘Om’ it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, ‘Ma’ helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, & ‘Ni’ helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance & patience. ‘Pä’, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, ‘Me’ helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, & the final sixth syllable ‘Hum’ helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom. So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra & accomplish the six perfections?” ~  Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

“These are the six syllables which prevent rebirth into the six realms of cyclic existence. It translates literally as ‘OM the jewel in the lotus HUM’. ‘OM’ prevents rebirth in the god realm, ‘MA’ prevents rebirth in the Asura (Titan) realm, ‘NI’ prevents rebirth in the Human realm, ‘PA’ prevents rebirth in the Animal realm, ‘ME’ prevents rebirth in the Hungry Ghost realm, & ‘HUM’ prevents rebirth in the Hell realm.” ~ Karma Thubten Trinley

“The meaning of this mantra is: with ‘OM’ we are calling Avalokiteshvara, ‘MANI’ means the precious jewel of enlightenment, ‘PADME’ means liberation & ‘HUM’ means bestow. Together, the meaning is: ‘O Avalokiteshvara, please bestow the precious jewel of enlightenment to liberate all living beings’. Through the recitation of this mantra we train in the compassionate mind of bodhichitta.” ~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 6

Om Radha Krishnaya Namaha

Knock-Knock-Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

radhakrishna

Radha & Krishna (Sanskrit: राधा  कृष्ण) are divine lovers symbolizing the union of the sacred feminine & holy masculine & all the noblest finest qualities of our Supreme Creator. While Krishna enchants the entire world, Radha enchants & controls Him with the sweet nectar of Her irresistible love.

Tradition teaches that when we chant this ancient holy mantra we are permitted to share in a taste of the indescribable blissful ecstasy of Radha & Krishna’s celestial love making.

*”Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” was written by Bob Dylan & Eric Clapton

 


 

 MMM: VOL 2: SONG 7

Om Shanti Om

Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

cosmic

*Sung to the tune of “Play with Fire” by The Rolling Stones.

“Shanti”, Santhi or Shanthi ( Sanskrit:  शान्तिः śāntiḥ ) means peace, rest, calmness, tranquility, or bliss. The poet T. S. Eliot, in his poem The Waste Land (where he spelled it Shantih) translated it as “The Peace which passeth understanding”. Inner peace, refers to a state of being mentally & spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge & understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress.

“Om” or “Aum” (Omkara) is the sacred syllable which begins many Vedic mantras & represents the Supreme Creator. Considered sacred by both Brahmans & Buddhists alike, the sound of Om is said to contain a mystery which symbolizes the universe. Its full form is Aum: the Universal Brahman; sacred, primordial sound of the Universe; mystic sound of the Eternal; the primal sound or First Vibration from which all creation has emanated; the first manifestation of the unmanifested Absolute; a word of solemn affirmation & respectful assent (sometimes translated as “yes, verily, so be it” & in this sense compares with ‘Amen’). Also the unstruck, primeval sound, continuous bell-like inner resonance & the inner divine melody heard by Yogis.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 1

Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama

Ram Bolo Hanuman
Hanuman Murti
The Bhakti Yoga tradition teaches that this chant, known as the “Taraka Tantra” (meaning that meditation on this mantra can take one across the ocean of rebirths when prefixed by OM or AUM & chanted 108 times or more) balances masculine & feminine energies, purifies the mind & heart, & absorbs awareness into union with Spirit, Soul or Higher Self.

In Sanskrit “Sri” stands for Shakti or Sita, the Divine Mother. “Ram or Rama” (Sanskrit:  राम ) is the name of the Supreme Being. “Ra” symbolizes the fire that burns our karma. “Ma” represents water, which means the peace that passeth all understanding.  ”Jai or Jaya” means glory or victory to the Spirit over the flesh.  Paraphrased in part, from the book Ramayana at a Glance, by Sadguru Sant Keshavadas & Himalayan Heritage, Issue 53

“Bolo” means to chant, sing or pray from the depths of your heart. “Hanuman” (Sanskrit: हनुमान् ) is considered a powerful deity from an ancient race of monkey-people known as the Vanaras. Sri Lord Hanuman-ji was an exemplary devotee & servant of Rama & Sita, the supreme cosmic mates.

Photo is of a lifelike murti (devotional statue) of Sri Lord Hanuman-ji at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram, Taos, New Mexico. Tradition teaches that a consecrated murti is imbued with the deity’s spiritual essence.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 2

Gayatri Mantra
Sri Anandamayi Ma
AUM BHUR BHUVAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM,
BHARGO DEVASAYA DHIMAHI,
DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT.

Meaning: We meditate on the glory of the Almighty Creator of this universe who is worthy of our worship.  May She illuminate our minds & lead us along a righteous path.

The Gayatri Mantra is one of the world’s oldest & most powerful mantras. Highly revered, it is based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rigveda (3.62.10), attributed to the rishi (sage) Viśvāmitra. In the ancient Indian epic, The Ramayana, Rama & his brother, Lakshmana, faced the sun at sunrise & sunset & chanted this transcendent prayer. The Gayatri Mantra was exclusive to males in the Brahmin (priest) caste of India for many centuries. Modern Hindu reform movements spread the practice of the mantra to include women and all castes. Its use is now very widespread & available for your & everyone’s spiritual practice. Click here for a word-by-word analysis of the mantra’s inner meaning.

Photo of late Himalayan Bhakti Yoga master, saint, healer & sage, Sri Anandamayi Ma.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 3

Hara Hara Mahadeva Shambho

Om Namah Shivaya Nataraja Om

shiva

“Om Namah Shivaya” is a Sanskrit mantra designed by ancient & highly skilled Bhakti Yoga masters to create a powerful transformation in human consciousness. Tradition teaches that Shiva is the destroyer of ignorance, illusion & the darkness that stands in the way of perfect union with the Source of All Life.  ”Hara, Mahadeva & Shivaya” are a few of Shiva’s divine names. “Shambho” means benevolent. “Nataraja” means Lord of the Cosmic Dance.  ”OM or AUM” is the primordial sound vibration or cosmic YES. “Namah” means to bow & to honor.

Tradition says that when we repeat these divine names we evoke & give birth to the seeds of divinity that lay dormant within our psyches. Essentially the vibrations contained in the divine names & the One Spirit of God are one & the same ~ virtually indistinguishable; therefore, to repeatedly utter Shiva’s name is the act of expressing & being Shiva or the Spirit of God in action on earth.

Photo is an artist’s depiction of Lord Shiva.  Om Namah Shivaya!

 


 

MMM: VOL 1: SONG 4

Hanuman Chalisa / Sita Rama

Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 10.45.05 AM
Photo of Gurudev Sri Neem Karoli Baba-ji, the late Himalayan Bhakti Yoga master, saint, sage & healer. Affectionately known by devotees (including Doug & Hillary) as “Maharaj-ji”.  He said, “Every line of the Hanuman Chalisa is a maha-mantra (great mantra).”

It’s not necessary to ask Hanuman (Sanskrit: हनुमान्Hanumān) for anything for He is the knower of all hearts. Maharaj-ji would very often tell people to recite the Chalisa when they came & asked for blessings. Then when their prayers had been answered & they came to thank him, he would say, “I didn’t do anything. It was all Hanuman-ji’s grace.” Hanuman lives only to serve the God within us & to prepare us to live fully in the spirit.  [from Krishna Das's website]

Lyrics traditional, by Tulsi Das:

Shree Guru charana saroja raja nija manu mukuru sudhari
Baranaun Raghubara bimala jasu jo daayaku phala chaari
Buddhi heena tanu jaanike sumiraun pawana kumaara
Bala budhi vidyaa dehu mohin harahu kalesa bikaara
Jaya Hanumaan gyaana guna saagara,
Jaya Kapeesha tihun loka ujaagara
Raama doota atulita bala dhaamaa,
Anjani putra Pawanasuta naamaa
Mahaabeera bikrama bajarangee,
Kumati niwaara sumati ke sangee
Kanchana barana biraaja subesaa,
Kaanana kundala kunchita kesaa
Haata bajra aura dwajaa biraajai,
Kaandhe moonja janeu saajai
Shankara suwana Kesaree nandana,
Teja prataapa mahaa jaga bandana
Bidyaawaana gunee ati chaatura,
Raama kaaja karibe ko aatura
Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiyaa,
Raama Lakhana Seetaa mana basiyaa
Sookshma roopa dhari Siyahin dikhaawaa,
Bikata roopa dhari Lankaa jaraawaa
Bheema roopa dhari asura sanghaare,
Raamachandra ke kaaja sanvaare
Laaya sajeevana Lakhana jiyaaye,
Shree Raghubeera harashi ura laaye
Raghupati keenhee bahuta baraaee,
tuma mama priya Bharatahi sama bhaaee
Sahasa badana tumharo jasa gaawain,
asa kahi Shreepati kanta lagaawain
Sanakaadika Brahmaadi muneesaa,
Naarada Saarada sahita Aheesaa
Yama Kubera digapaala jahaante,
kabi kobida kahi sake kahaante
Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin keenhaa,
Raama milaaya raaja pada deenhaa
Tumharo mantra Bibheeshana maanaa,
Lankeshwara bhaye saba jaga jaanaa
Yuga sahasra yojana para bhaanu,
leelyo taahi madhura phala jaanu
Prabhu mudrikaa meli mukha maaheen,
jaladhi laanghi gaye acharaja naaheen
Durgama kaaja jagata ke jete,
sugama anugraha tumhare tete
Raama duaare tuma rakhawaare,
hota na aagyaa binu paisaare
Saba sukha lahai tumhaaree sharanaa,
tuma rakshaka kaahu ko dara naa
Aapana teja samhaaro aapai,
teenon loka haanka ten kaanpai
Bhoota pisaacha nikata nahin aawai,
Mahaabeera jaba naama sunaawai
Naasai roga hare saba peeraa,
japata nirantara Hanumata beeraa
Sankata ten Hanumaana churaawai,
mana krama bachana dhyaana jo laawai
Saba para Raama tapaswee raajaa,
tina ke kaaja sakala tuma saajaa
Aura manorata jo koee laawai,
soee amita jeewana phala paawai
Chaaron juga parataapa tumhaaraa,
hai parasidha jagata ujiyaaraa
Saadhu santa ke tuma rakhawaare,
asura nikandana Raama dulaare
Ashta siddhi nau nidhi ke daataa,
asa bara deena Jaanakee Maataa
Raama rasaayana tumhare paasaa,
sadaa raho Raghupati ke daasaa
Tumhare bhajana Raama ko paawai,
janama janama ke dukha bisaraawai
Anta kaala Raghubara pura jaaee,
jahaan janama Hari bhakta kahaaee
Aura devataa chitta na dharaee,
Hanumata se-ee sarva sukha karaee
Sankata katai mite saba peeraa,
jo sumire Hanumata bala beeraa
Jai jai jai Hanumaana Gosaaee,
kripaa karahu gurudeva kee naaee
Jo sata baara paata kara koee,
chootahi bandi mahaa sukha hoee
Jo yaha parai Hanumaana chaaleesaa,
hoya siddhi saakhee Gaureesaa
Tulasee Daasa sadaa Hari cheraa,
keejai naata hridaya mahaan deraa
Pawanatanaya sankata harana mangala moorati roopa
Raama Lakhana Seetaa sahita hridaya basahu sura bhoopa

CLICK HERE for an english translation of the Hanuman Chalisa

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 5

Jaya Bhagavan

Bhagavan Krishna

*Sung to the tune of “Jaya Bhagavan”, by Krishna Das.

“Jaya” means victory or glory to.  ”Bhagavan” (Sanskrit: भगवान् ) is a divine name for Sri Krishna, the Lord of Love, or the One Universal Spirit of Life which lives within the spiritual heart of everyone & is the True Self of every sentient being in the universe. Thus, Jaya Bhagavan means, “victory to the Truth of Love that animates your being & lives within your spiritual heart.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 6

Guru Om Gurudeva

SRI NEEM KAROLI BABA SANTA MAHARAJ-JI

“The key is that God, Guru & your true self are one. The quickest way through your “stuff” is to learn how to listen inside. The inner guru is always there for you once you recognize it. You must honor your own path. You must be able to trust that there is a place in you that knows what is best. There is a tendency to look to others for guidance. Only you know what is suitable for you. Trust your intuitive heart. The Quakers call it the “still small voice within.” When it speaks, listen.” ~ Ram Dass

A “Guru” or “Gurudeva” is an illuminated or highly-evolved spiritual teacher or master (literally one who can lead you from “gu” darkness to “ru” light) & a guide to your spiritual liberation. “Chamatkari” is a Hindi word meaning miracle worker. “Satguru” is a Sanskrit word meaning a true teacher who reveals the Real Self.  ”Sat” means God. “Mahan” means great. “Sharanam” means refuge, protection or shelter.

Photo of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji) who was written & spoken about extensively by the popular author & teacher Ram Dass, over the past forty-plus years.

Neem Karoli Baba (Hindi: नीम करोली बाबा) or Neeb Karori Baba (Hindi: नीब करौरी बाबा) “left his body” on September 11, 1973, in VrindavanIndia. Known to devotees as Maharaj-ji, he was a Hindu satguru and devotee of Lord Hanuman-ji. He is known outside India for being the guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s, the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass & Bhagavan Das & the kirtan wallahs (professional bhakti yoga musicians) Krishna Das & Jai Uttal. His ashrams are in Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India & in Taos, New Mexico, USA.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 7

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Swami Vivekananda

We call this song, “The Maha-Mantra Blues.”

This mantra is known as the Maha-mantra & is widely considered the great mantra of India. It is a gift to every human being & certainly not exclusive to any particular religious group.

Tradition teaches that Lord Krishna offered humankind His sacred mantra so that we would always, throughout the ages, have His Blessed Vibrational Presence with us & within us. Sri Krishna’s hallowed divine energy vibrates within the sounds of the Maha-mantra. When we chant it we are graced with His joy, peace & happiness.

“Hare”, “Krishna” & “Rama” are each divine names of the Beloved. Some sages of India have translated the mantra as, “O Lord! O energy of the Lord. Please engage me in Your divine service.” 

 

For the above photo, it seemed only fitting to picture Swami-ji Vivekananda alongside India’s great Maha-mantra. Vivekananda was the first yoga master to come to America & bless our culture. He journeyed here in 1893, arriving in Chicago to address the Parliament of World Religions. Disappointed to learn that no one without credentials from a bona fide organization would be accepted as a delegate, Vivekananda contacted Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University who invited him to speak at Harvard. On learning that Vivekananda lacked credentials to speak at the Chicago Parliament, Wright said “To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens”. Swami-ji gave an inspired speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in which he introduced Yoga philosophy & Hinduism. He began with, “Sisters and brothers of America …”.

 


 

 MMM: VOL 1: SONG 8

Saraswati Ma Jaya / Om Ma Saraswati

Jai Ma / Kali Ma Kali Ma Jai Ma Kali Ma

Saraswati Ma 2

Saraswati Ma, the goddess of knowledge & arts, represents the free flow of wisdom & consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas. Chants to her, called the “Saraswati Vandana”, often begin & end Vedic lessons. Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva & the goddess Ma Durga. It is believed that Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom, learning, musicianship, singing, arts & crafts. She has four hands representing four aspects of human learning. She has sacred scriptures in one hand & mala beads (which represent “japa”, mantra-chanting or spiritual practice) in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love & life on a stringed instrument called the veena. She typically is depicted in a white dress (a symbol of purity) while riding a white swan, symbolizing “Sattwa Guna” or purity, discernment & discrimination. Above the surface of water her swan appears to be still & at ease, while below the surface it paddles along representing the necessity for ongoing spiritual practice.

Kali

Kālī Ma (Sanskrit: काली) also known as Kālikā (Sanskrit:कालिका) is the goddess associated with time, death & shakti (power & energy). The name Kali comes from kāla. Since Shiva is called Kāla (the eternal time) Kālī, his consort, means the time has come or death. Hence, Kāli is the Goddess of Time and Change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, she is actually a warrioress against the forces of ego & evil. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. Kālī is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga.

 


 

MMM: VOL 1: SONG 9

Hallelujah Jehovah

Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum
JESUS
This song was inspired by one of Doug’s first spiritual teachers, a remarkably insightful man named Lloyd Arthur Meeker who wrote & taught under the pen name “Uranda”. At the age of 25, in 1932 Uranda founded a Christian church called Emissaries of Divine Light (EDL).

Uranda taught that the true pronunciation of the Hebrew word “Jehovah” is YAY-OH-VAH, meaning “The Spirit of God in action on earth through human beings.” When asked how he acquired such an unusual & deep understanding of the stories in the Bible, he answered with a twinkle in his piercing blue eyes, “I was there!”  :-D

“Hallelujah” means joyous praise in Hebrew. “Shanti” is a Sanskrit word meaning deep abiding peace. “Aum or Om” is a primordial name for the pure love & light vibration of Almighty God.

UrandaUranda intuitively developed & taught a wonderful healing technique which he called “Attunement”. Attunement aids in healing & evoking deep feelings of peace & wellbeing in the body & mind. Perhaps Uranda’s legacy may be that a number of folks around the world were trained in how to share Attunements & continue sharing them today, more than sixty years after his passing.

This song is a tribute to Uranda, his EDL successor, Lord Martin Cecil, & their spiritual master, Jesus Christ. Martin was of British aristocracy & thus carried the title “lord”.  He was also known to be a profoundly aware spiritual man of impeccable integrity. He & Uranda were in deep agreement regarding their true purposes & both taught from the King James Bible.  If they knew anything about the Himalayan Bhakti Yoga masters & the Sanatana Dharma, they never mentioned them.  :-)  On that note, a quote from the Rig Veda, line 1.64.46., seems only fitting:

Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti, “Truth is one, the wise call it by many names.” / “One Truth, many paths.”

First photo above is an artist’s depiction of the hallowed spiritual master, Jesus (Christ) of Nazareth, meditating in blissful peace.  The photo beneath Jesus is of Uranda.

Video made by Doug & Hillary’s dear & talented friend, Justin Jones of Watermoore Imagery, Hemet, CA.

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