Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt
This might seem like a rather complicated mantra to begin with, but it holds special meaning for me. I was living in Nanaimo, B.C. around 10 years ago, and attending a weekly yoga class there. The teacher went to India for the summer, came back and started up her classes again. But she added 15 minutes on to each of her classes so that she could share chanting with us. She would turn Deva Premal on, and we would sing along as best we could, trying to figure out how to pronounce the unusual sounds. This is the language of Sanskrit, one of the oldest known human languages, which is about 5000 years old. This was my first introduction to chanting, and the only chant I knew for many years.
There are many different translations to chants. I will share with you what I learn as I research these chants; what resonates with me most, as to what the chants mean.
The Gayatri Mantra states, “O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us.”
It seems rather fitting that a chant about illumination would be my introduction to chanting. My inner light has brightened as a result of that experience 10 years ago, and has led me to a deeper understanding of myself beyond what I could have possibly imagined at the time.
I hope you enjoy it.