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Sound and vibrations are the source of everything that is.
The Gospel of John says (1, 1-3): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made“.
The Indian tradition  believes the mantra “OM” (pronounced as “A-U-M”) to be the seed of creation, the original vibration of the Universe.
Even science has recently come up with the idea that everything is made of vibrations (and that which vibrates creates a sound).

What happens when we put sounds together in a sequence? We create Music, and music has always had an important recreational, social, ritual and spiritual role, in every culture and tradition all over the world. Music can change our mood, and can do much more… but even if it could ‘only’ do that its power would be great. Its power is actually is huge.
Music is made of sounds and thus of vibrations. We are made of vibrations, everything is made of vibrations. Therefore, music can influence us at every and any levels, from the physical and mental to the emotional and subtlest ones.

Ancient yogis understood the role of Sound and integrated it in their practice (Nada Yoga is a yogic discipline entirely based on the importance of sounds). Musical instruments play an important role in yoga, and the most important instrument is probably the Voice. Voice is used by the teacher to give instructions and guide the students throughout the practice, but it is also used by everyone to repeat mantras and to sing kirtans and bhajans.

What is a mantra? Mantra means “instrument that frees the mind”. Mantras are short sequences of Sanskrit syllables, discovered by ancient yogis while practicing long and deep meditations: they were able to hear and then pass on the sounds created by our body’s and mind’s vibrations. We could hear those sounds too, today, if we entered a very deep state of meditation.

The repetition of mantras brings several benefits, from relaxation and a decrease in stress levels (with resulting benefits for one’s overall health), to the increased ability of expressing one’s emotions, to a rebalancing of the two sides of the brain (Yoga Journal Italia, n.90, February 2015).
Mantras can be repeated mentally, they can be whispered or chanted.
If a mantra is chanted, it becomes a kirtan.
bhajan instead is a devotional chant, usually in Sanskrit, but not necessarily.

Here are two bhajans.

The first one is called ‘Alek alek’ and is played on the djembé:

alek alekThe second one is called ‘Govinda jai jai Gopala jai jai’ and is played on the guitar:

govinda jai jaiI am self-taught both in singing and in playing those instruments, but I hope you will get the message and the beauty of these chants anyway :)

And if you like, subscribe to my Youtube channel, where you will find chants, meditations and asana sequences :)

#lovelovelove,

Eleonora,
your #EarthandSoulWanderer