Om namo narayanaya
[ “I bow down to the Divine” ]
A German, a Brit, a Nepali, a Canadian, and a Dane … ; a Keyboard, a Guitar, a Bamboo Flute, a Bass, and Percussion … ; an audience of 1200 … ; and, the heartbeat of primal rhythm behind the sound of the universal vibration of OM … All of these coming together in swaying, harmonic, chanted Oneness.
It was Friday night at the California Center for The Performing Arts in Escondido. Deva, Miten, and Manrose (with Joby and Rishi and John, a guest bass guitarist) were in concert. We, along with 1,198 (or so) others, were there.
Words, of course, cannot describe what must be experienced. But imagine chanting the words “Om namo narayanaya” 100 times in constant, rhythmic but rapid repetition. [Make up you own tune, and try it: “Om na-mo na-ray-an-aya” …. Go ahead, give it a go! And here’s a link to YouTube with Deva chanting it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHM6RO0OBwQ ].
On the surface, “Bowing down to the Divine” in this way may be experienced solely (or, more appropriately, “soul-ly”) as a devotional act. But done with 1,198 (or so) others, the more all-embracing feeling is that of being aligned, connected, and flowing with other souls and the Heart of the Universe — an experience of Big Love if there ever was one!
Reflecting on this experience and the overall evening, several observations come to mind. First, although the chants were born out of the Hindu tradition, the multi-national composition of the performers (and audience) serve as a testament to the underlying oneness that marks deep spirituality. Yet, even in the oneness, each individual expressed their uniqueness. One in all — and all in one.
Second, while the words alone (if chanted as a solo) would be sufficient, the blending of the instruments and the ~ 1,205 (including the band) voices produced a richness and texture that is so much fuller than a single dimension. It’s not about all the “each one”, but “all ones” in synchronous harmonic waves — including all the “sharps” and “flats” expressed during the chants.
Third, the realization that the chants originated as far back as perhaps 5000 years ago, provides a dimension of the timelessness of basic spirituality. And, what’s really cool is that the musical instruments were a blend of the ancient and the modern. It is said that Krishna’s favorite instrument was the bamboo flute. Hearing Manose (the Nepali) play it so masterfully transported us back millennia.
On the other hand, the sounds of electronic keyboard and guitars provided a contemporary element. The music was both ancient and modern — as are we. [To experience these textures of old and new, watch another Deva’s “Moola Mantra at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLsiWN5b-hQ — it has almost 2.7 million views!].
Mostly, this was a deeply spiritful (note the term — ours for full of spirit!) experience. It reminded us of the importance of losing the self to find the connection to others and the Heart of the Universe. Chants like these are transcendent. They take us beyond ourselves only to help us discover ourselves as part of the greater whole… to The One that is our shared essence.
Yes, the chants may flow out of the Hindu tradition. But within them, we reconnect to the primal basic nature of the cosmos — the pulsating, vibrating waves and rhythms that lie beneath both the all of our universe and the uniqueness of our individuality. They are, indeed, an expression of Big Love’s essence.
Take some time to connect with Big Love today!
Olivia & Steve
It’s Your Turn!
If you’re not familiar with Deva, Miten, and Manose (or, if you are, but haven’t connected with them lately) visit their website and take a tour of it (see: http://devapremalmiten.com ). As demonstrated in our blog (above), many of their chants, meditations, and musical numbers are on YouTube as well. Listen to some to have a feel for them. And, observe your experience as you do so.
If you’re willing, please share your responses in the comment section under this blogpost as it appears on the Big Love Community Facebook page.
Big Love News:
Our “promotion” of Deva, Miten, & Manose illustrates one of “Big Love’s” primary ideas: that wisdom, wholeness, oneness, co-creation, and nitty-gritty is something we may experience as a part of everyday life. As we do, we celebrate and share it. To do so is to more fully practice the concept of inclusivity — especially as an expression of Oneness.
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