In August of this year, I bought a CD entitled ‘I Prayerfully Bow’. The album is subtitled ‘Flute with Tibetan Singing Bowls, Tambura & Aum Chant’. The flute music is played by Premik Russell Tubbs, the Tibetan singing bowls played by Utsahi St-Amand and the AUM chant by Sri Chinmoy.
I was intrigued by the titles and explanation, so I purchased the album without an inkling of what it sounds like. It turns out to be one of my favourite recordings to use for meditation and I have been using it almost every day.
The AUM chant alone creates such an immense sense of sacredness deep within and all around. It immediately calms my body and mind – all mental chatter disappears in response to that sublime and ancient sound, and a deep stillness and expansiveness comes to me.
I understand the quotation on the back of the album from Sri Chinmoy: “When we chant Aum, what actually happens is that we bring down Peace and Light from above and create a universal harmony within and without us. When we repeat Aum, both our inner and our outer beings become inspired and surcharged with divine Light and aspiration”
On top of that, the serene flute music and the Tibetan sounds take your consciousness into a colourful inner landscape of beauty.
Interspersed with each segment of flute music are the English transliterations of ancient Sanskirt prayers that begin with ‘I prayerfully bow to….’, with all 61 devotional mantric verses invoking the different Hindu Gods and Goddess.
The multitude of Hindu deities are the personifications of the infinite aspects of the Divine, the 1001 faces of God.
This is shown quite clearly in the translations by Sri Chinmoy. An example:
Aum Uccharaya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the highest Absolute Lord Supreme.
Aum Viraya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the Hero Supreme.
Aum Mukundaya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the One who gives Liberation-Light.
Aum Achyutaya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the Immutable One.
Aum Surjaya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the Sun God.
Aum Pranaya namaha
I prayerfully bow to the Supreme who owns the Universal Life-Breath.
One surprising element found in the transliteration of these sacred prayers is that some of the prayers are invocations of the impersonal God…
Aum Abhabe namaha
I prayerfully bow to the One who is not to be found in the creation and Who is beyond the creation.
Aum Krishnayam namaha
I prayerfully bow to the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
Whilst these ancient prayers invoke a deep sense of reverence and gratitude during meditation, they are also perfect for contemplation throughout the day.
~ By Durba (Durba is an enthusiastic member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Auckland, New Zealand)