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PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015

In Honor of ! Divine C"ple

Deva Premal & Miten: Living Embodiments of Aum & the Gayatri Mantra Pg.11 The Divine Couple: The Apex of Reality Pg.8 Eternal Lovers Pg.16 The Enchantment of Divine Romance Pg.18 $5.95 Issue Number 5

Nada-Brahman & The Principles of Shiva-Shakti Pg 23 7

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Pranava

Editorial Note Welcome to the first issue of our second year of Prana Magazine! In this winter addition, we honor ‘The Divine Couple’! What better way to stay warm during these cold & long dark nights! Within many sacred traditions, we discover enchanting stories about the origins of the Universe, & in such stories we always find The Divine Couple as the Center & Cause of it all. We have all heard of the ancient Isis & Osiris, Adam & Eve- the symbolic Mother & Father of humanity, the primordial Purusha & Prakriti, Vishnu & Lakshmi- the abundant creative & sustaining essence of all, Samanthabhadra & Samanthabhadri- the United Couple of the Dharmakaya, Ometecuhtli & Omecihuatl- the Aztec ‘Lord & Lady of Duality’~ etc. etc... It is through the mystical union of these two polarities that the seeds of universal life are engendered. Within kirtan culture, we’re continually hearing & chanting the holy names of the avatars of the Divine Couple that take birth here on earth, & who are always delighting in the drama of Divine Romance & Erotic Mysticism: Radha & Krishna, Rama & Sita, Yeshua & Miriam the Mag-dala, Padmasambhava & Yeshe Tsogyal, Shiva & Shakti, to name only a few...

The   voice   of   the   Life-Force   in    motion The   Primordial   Seed   Mantra   OM The   All-Pervasive   Word   of   God-dess

Pranava Magazine:

Editorial PRANAVA MAGAZINE: THE ART & CULTURE OF KIRTAN IN THE WEST WWW.PRANAVAMAGAZINE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF J.Yochanan Russell

It is within these enchanting dramas that we find the clue of how to give birth to the soul, which is that individual spark within us all that longs for reunion with our Source. Such an opportunity is available unto those who are willing to embark upon the path of Dharmic Relationships. We are living in a fortunate time within the degenerate era, a mini-SatyaYuga, where we can tap in to the wellspring of experiential knowledge in order to manifest relationships that foster spiritual development & liberation, which transcend all conventional aspects of romance once & for all... Now is the time!

Assisting Editor Shannon Chambers Senior Contributors: Maturanath-ji, SHanti SHivani-ji Contributors Geoffrey Earendil

Enlightenment is possible in one lifetime, & this is especially true through the cooperation of the couple that engage in a dharmic relationship. “What is sought in the yoga of (sexual) union is a quality of relationship into which each partner enters fully in order that both may be liberated simultaneously. This level of intimacy is not easily achieved. Therefore, often a man and a woman would forge a lifelong spiritual partnership. In other cases, male and female tantrikas would go into retreat and practice together for a year or two to accomplish specific religious goals together. When the breath, (sexual) fluids, and subtle energies of the yogic partners penetrate and circulate within one another (gathering & absorbing in the Central Channel by way of Trans-Orgasmic-Sexual-Alchemy), they produce experiences that otherwise are extremely difficult to generate through solitary meditation.� ~From “Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism� ~by Miranda Shaw

Art Director J.Yochanan Russell Advertising, Marketing & Circulation J.Yochanan Russell Aricle Submission Inquiries & to Request our Media Kit for Ad Submissions: pranavamag@gmail.com

Our gracious contributors have offered some of their most sublime writings for this issue, & with the interview with Deva Premal & Miten on pg.10, I hope you find this addition inspirational & most enjoyable! All-Ways with Love, ~J.Yochanan -Editor in Chief

Table of Contents: Deva Premal & Miten: Living Embodiments of Aum & the Gayatri Mantra Pg.11 The Divine Couple: The Apex of Reality Pg.8 The Enchantment of Divine Romance Pg.18 Eternal Lovers Pg.16 Nada-Brahman & The Principles of Shiva-Shakti Pg 23 pranava reviews by Lloyd Barde Pg 22


Our Gracious Contributors

Shanti Shivani is is a singer/nada yogini/sound healer, internationally acclaimed seminar leader and recording artist. She is one of the few Western pioneers bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the West.  Shanti has been leading kirtan & singing Buddhist, Sufi, Gregorian & Hebrew chants  internationally since 1993. She brings a wealth of vocal, meditative, and movement experience to her classes. She has several albums to her credit and has been recording as a solo artist and in collaboration with many World Music artists since 1993. She currently lives in Eugene, OR .www.shantishivani.com 

As

a gifted teacher of Bhakti Yoga, Author and a Certified Ayurvedic

Lifestyle Counselor, Matura has conducted hundreds of classes, and lead uplifting kirtans in America, England, Australia & India, inspiring others to seek and serve the Conscious Spiritual Reality that is the basis of all world faiths. A preview of Matura's forthcoming book "Absolute Abundance" can be previewed here:www.abundantlives.org

Geoffrey

Earendil (pictured here with his beloved, nisha bhairavi) has been

teaching Hatha Yoga for more than 15 years. A student of the common roots of Chi Kung, Hatha Yoga, and Ayurveda he is an initiate of a traditional Kaula Tantra lineage. He teaches physical practices to support the subtle body from Long Beach, CA.  With Gratitude to Chogyam Trungpa, Dr.Robert Svoboda, Vamadeva Shastri, and Nisha Bhairavi. Find him at: www.vajradeha.com


Oh Goddess, without Shakti I would forever be like a corpse. When I am in Sacred Union with Shakti, I - Shiva, am the giver of Passion to All. Mantras need to be repeated not alone, but together with a Woman. I am Shiva, only thanks to Unity with Shakti. If Success in Spiritual practice (Siddhis) does not come from being with a Woman, then Higher One, everything that I say is useless... You need to leave all Holy places, and no matter what seek the company of a Woman. Hence, I say that Success is achieved only in the presence of a Woman, and no other way. ~Guptasadhana-tantra 5.10-17


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015

JAI SRI RADHA KRISHNA!

“Sri Sri RadhaK r i s h n a represent the divine couple in supreme purity of selfless love, beyond mundane materially motivated activities, s e x u a l i t y, p o l i t i c a l involvement and the profit and loss of this world...�

The Divine Couple: The Apex of Reality By Matura Matthew Bennett

These

days we often hear the

cliche expression "we are one" or "all is one" but what does this actually mean? and is there any true reality to these statements? We are tired of fighting, tired of racism, sexism and bigotry. Tired of economic disparity and in our desperation we seek to unite everything and everyone in a unified field of reality. To be utterly united into oneness is to become mono, or monotonous. It is neither practical nor real for we are dynamic beings that are part of a unified yet diverse field of activity composed of energy and information. True unity or oneness is harmony. The unified functioning of many diverse elements in a cocreative expression of life. Like in a musical symphony, many diverse elements unite in a unity of diversity that produces harmony. On a karmic level diversity leads to entropy, vitiation and suffering, on a

transcendent level diversity produces divine harmony, bliss and lila. The Universe fundamentally operates by the dynamic play of two distinct yet unified forces called purusha and prakriti, represented materially as the male and female aspects of sexuality. The Purusha is the subjective self, the non-material atman or spiritual self who’s subjective presence gives rise to all perception by activating the latent shakti of prakriti. The purusha is nirguna (without material qualities), beyond time, karma and the mind. Its nature is sat-chita n a n d a , i n ot h e r w ord s, n on assailable existence, sentience and bliss. By the presence of the conscious purusha, prakriti or the other 24 elements of matter beginning with earth, water, fire and air are activated and made perceivable. The transcendent nature of the purusha is the main

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subject of the second chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, where the Upanishadic version of its transcendent nature is fully delineated. This purusha or conscious spiritual self has no beginning or end, and is a unit of transcendental consciousness. It can exist independent of prakriti, or matter in its liberated stage. The prakriti is the latent matrix of material potentiality. It is the foundation of all observable phenomena and is the subtle repository of the three modes (sattva, rajas & tamas) and the pancha mahabhutas (five great elements- namely earth, water, fire air and ether) and the three subtle elements of Mind (manas) intelligence (buddhi) and ego (ahankar). Prakriti only exists in relation to Purusha. It ultimately has its origin and dependence there. In other words, matter is an illusory idea existing within the reality of eternal consciousness.


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015

The combination of purusha and prakriti gives rise to the individualized sense of ego or ahankar (often called false ego, in contrast to the true ego of the purusha) that is essentially our misconceived identification with the material phenomena of the biological organism, the mind and emotions. It has been described as the “I fabrication” or the illusion of our separate individualized experience. It is also conceived as the “knot” joining matter and spirit. When purusha confuses itself with prakriti, or consciousness misidentifies itself as matter, karma and its attendant sufferings of birth, old age, disease and death arise along with the endless and pointless suffering of countless rebirths in samsara, the illusion of reincarnation. Sexual energy is the fundamental shakti or power that generates action in the material sphere. The dynamic between male and female energies produces the countless varieties of expression in this world. Among many religious systems sexuality has been decried as a source of bondage and suffering. Indeed the songs, dramas and art of countless centuries of human experience seem to confirm that desire is the cause of suffering

The divine pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna are extolled everywhere in Indian Vedic culture as the archetypical apex of divine love and the zenith of the so u l 's co m m u n io n w i t h Divinity. However these ideas are more misunderstood than realized and are often mistaken as worldly tinged love and attract many who handle them with an unawareness of the high significance and profound purity of their divine characteristics. Such subtle realities can never be the object of our objective observance but always remain beyond the scope of our sensuously permeated perceptions. It was with this higher understanding that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur once told his disciple (my Gurudeva, Srila Sridhar Maharaja) that "Vrindavan is for shallow thinkers!" My Gurudeva recalled that when he heard his own Gurudeva say this~ it was if he fell from a great height, or a thunderbolt hit his head. How could Vrindavan, the apex of transcendental reality be for "shallow thinkers"? Srila

and every person who has ever felt attraction for the opposite sex understands the heady exhalation and inspiration borne of sexual and romantic attraction, the apex of its union, as well as the sorrow and devastation when separation inevitably comes about. The problem lies not in sexuality itself but the vitiated nature of the material atmosphere in which we find ourselves. Some systems such as Tibetan Vajrayana and shakti tantras which aim to free the self from its suffering in material identification have harnessed sexuality as an aid to find release from bondage and suffering. The bhakti movements in their traditional lineages have generally advised the individual to refrain from sexuality through the practice of bramacharya (spiritually motivated celibacy) leading to full renunciation of the order of sanyas, yet all the while holding the divinely pure pure spiritual ideal of divine union and separation as the highest ideal of spiritual love. This is the science of rasa-tattva or the path of bhakti-love, also called prema.

Saraswati Thakur went on to explain that it is the example, practice, theology and revelations, and especially service-oriented Kirtan of Sri Chaitanya Mahapraphu that is of major significance for the conditioned jiva souls. It is through Nabadwip Dham and appharad banjan that specifically (the plane of highest mercy, forgiveness and grace) that Chaitanya Deva revealed, through the Kirtan Movement, that all of the potency of Madhurya rasa of Sri Sri Radha Krishna's divine love play become acessable to the conditioned jivas. sri krishna chaitanya radha krishna nahe anya The transcendental lila's (pastimes) of Sri Krishna are not accessible to us directly, but through the mercy and revelation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all becomes accessible and realizable in a safe systematic way. Those who approach Radha Krishna directly become misguided because the Madhurya rasa, or divine love play of Radha-Krishna are a closed

circle whereas the Audharya lila rasa of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is an infinitely wide all encompassing circle of u n p r e c e d e n t e d magnanimity, beauty, grace and mercy wherein the jiva can not only make its debut in devotional life, but even be upgraded from jiva tattva to chit shakti. Meaning that an individual soul can easily progress from the bondage of being in a materially conditioned state to the exalted liberation and prema-rasa of divine love. This is the great gift of Chaitanya Deva and the understanding that brings true significance to the understanding and observance of the union and separation of Sri Sri Radha Krishna, the supreme expression of the divine couple.


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015

In India there are 6 prominent philosophies but basically there are two main divisions of faith. The Shaktas and the Vaishnavas. The Shaktas primarily hold Devi and Shiva as their ista devatas, and in some cases consider the impersonal Brahman to be supreme. Their sadhana's are mainly tantric in nature and utilize ascending methods of kundalini yoga and tantra. One of these paths is outlined in Patanjali's yoga-sutras which guides one to raise awareness up through the chakras to an enlightened state of union with the Divine in Brahman realization, who’s nature is exemplified in the following stanza of the Bhagavad-gita: brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāńkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiḿ labhate parām "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." In His purport to this verse A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami explains: “In this verse from the Bhagavadgītā it is said that a person who accepts the theory of monism — being always engaged in empiric philosophical discussions about spiritual life — becomes joyful and is relieved from all material lamentation and hankering. At that stage, one is equipoised. He sees all living entities as spiritual beings. After attaining this elevated stage, one can make further progress by positive engagement in pure devotional service. The conclusion is that devotional service mixed with ritualistic fruitive activity is inferior to spiritual service based on empiric philosophic discussion and freedom from the modes of nature. However, spiritual culture that further brings the jiva soul to a positive engagement in the pure devotional activities of Bhakti Yoga in a mood of full surrender is far superior than the mere negation of material involvement characterized by moksha of the yogis and nirvana of the Buddhists. It is superior because it affords the soul the opportunity to unfold the inherent spiritual rasic love characterized by

Shanta (peacefulness), Dasya (servitorship), Sakya, (friendship) Vatsalya (guardianship) and Madhurya, (intimate conjugal love) these elevated spiritual emotions are conspicuously absent in moksha or negation of material life.” I n h i s A n u b h ā ṣ y a c o m m e n t a r y, Ś r ī l a Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that this stage — devotional service mixed with speculative knowledge — is also external and not within the jurisdiction of pure devotional service as practiced in Vaikuṇṭhaloka. As soon as there is some conception of materialistic thought — be it positive or negative — the service is not spiritual. It may be free from material contamination, but because there is mental speculation the devotional service is not pure and freed from the contamination of material life. A living entity who wants to be completely pure must be above this material conception. The negation of material existence does not necessarily mean spiritual existence. After material existence is negated, spiritual existence — namely sac-cid-ānanda — still may not be manifested. Until one comes to the stage of actually understanding one's eternal relationship with the Supreme Couple, he cannot enter into spiritual life. Spiritual life means becoming detached from material life and engaging in the loving service of the Divine couple Sri Sri RadhaKrishna. Sri Sri Radha-Krishna represent the divine couple in supreme purity of selfless love, beyond mundane materially motivated activities, sexuality, political involvement and the profit and loss of this world. They are the original purusha and prakriti on the nirguna, or transcendental platform, beyond physical, psychological and material emotionality~ in the transcendental purity of selfless loving exchange and the ecstasy of that apex of spiritual reality. These are some ideas regarding the male an female aspects of material manifestation as reflections of the pure transcendent eros of the pure spiritual expression of the original Divine Reality of Spiritual loving exchange represented in the lila pastimes of Radha and Krishna. ~OM SHANTI!


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DEVA PREMAL & MITEN: LIVING EMBODIMENTS OF AUM & THE GAYATRI MANTRA BY: J.YOCHANAN RUSSELL During the autumn of 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Deva Premal & Miten on their North American Tour with the Guru Ganesha Band in Portland, Oregon. I was immediately taken by their genuine loving & warm presence they both radiated during our introduction. I was further taken & inspired by the musical offering they shared that evening, as it was my first time seeing them in concert. Their music has remained a steady soundtrack that resounded within many communities that I’ve circled through over the past 18yrs or so & I’ve always wondered who the people were behind such heartfelt moving devotional music. Due to the soft, yet powerful quality of their sound, it felt as if they lived in some other dimension, such as the realm of the Gandharvas (celestial musicians that are sustained by the smoke of incense)~ I had no idea that I would meet the musicians, who are actually tangible & in the flesh, that have for many years provided us with such healing chants & uplifting sacred sounds. If you’ve ever had the grace of receiving their musical offering live in concert, then you too have been effected deeply & inspired to incorporate the power of mantra in your daily life in practice. I love the energy between these two while on stage, & not to mention with Manose! They all have a way of drawing the listener in deeper through thoughtful commentary & fun banter. What Deva shares about mantra is truly authentic & filled with direct experiential insight! When I received the inspiration to make the theme in honor of the Divine Couple, what better embodiments of such within the genre of sacred music than Deva Premal & Miten?! We met up for an interview at Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree, CA., the day after their heart opening prayerformance that left everyone present buzzing & recalling highlights the next day.


Pranava: So great to have your what Osho's discourses were. So, the presence! How are you two feeling?! music was always fresh, sometimes wild, sometimes Zen-like... there Deva Premal & Miten: (Calm-blissful was always something new. It was laughter) M: We're good. I can say is amazing to be of service to so many this is where I want to be in this people of such a large gathering who p o i n t i n m y l i f e ; i s i t t h e  not only came to listen - and dance geographical spot that I wanna be in? but also, to absorb the vibrations of The answer is YES! We’re doing the music to enhance the experience good, we’re on the road on tour, we inner attention and meditation..and have our ups & downs with the new of course, as a preparation for set up, new musicians, our European Osho... sound crew, & we don’t normally have these issues but that's ok; M: Really coming together to be in w e ’ r e n o w h a v i n g m u s i c a l the presence of the Guru. He would explorations in the band, getting to come out & talk to us & answer know each other better & enjoying questions, so before he came out & the bliss of playing together... we when he left there would be music. were just talking on the way here So that’s what was happening. We about the Spirit of the music, it’s so were connecting with that invisible strong, it’s an invisible force, an power that we just had been talking invisible power that appears ..I don’t about. And the only sound we have know how but I know it’s there & I to describe this invisible-energetic feel it & I’ve felt it every time... presence is ‘AUM’. That’s where the that’s where we hang out, with this Sound comes in -AUM - that’s when invisible power...the Great Spirit we feel best, when we’re in that sound-flow of 'AUM’. And whenever P: It’s wonderful you mentioned this we can, we chant AUM - that’s our because I was just having the same thing more & more these day ... I convo with a fellow kirtan wallah & just met someone yesterday at the the exact words were spoken about concert who was saying that she now this force that takes over in mantra has an AUM School, where they do it music, I can truly relate as a for half an hour sessions ... So this is musician my self. It’s amazing when where all of these 24yrs of playing music has lead us to: AUM... that happens. And you guys have been doing this for years, allowing yourself to be an instrument of that force & spirit. How many years has it been now? DP: 22yrs!!   And before then we were living and playing music in the ashram in Puna. Miten was the ashram music co-ordinator, which meant he was responsible for the music which accompanied the nightly meditation gatherings of 2-3000 meditators. He and the ashram musicians would created a new piece every night depending on

P: Do you recall the first moment you had the chance to meet ‘AUM’? M: Not until very recent! I mean we’ve been chanting it for years, but wasn't until recently that I really realized what it truly is! DP: Our journeys are very different I grew up with AUM. I recall my father told me that I had to say it every time I put something down on a table, like a cup or something.... always: cup down.."...AUM.." and then on with your day...I was about 4 years old at the time! - he was an artist & even his signature was the AUM symbol as well, since the 50’s. So I grew up with AUM  all around... P: Yes, it has a power, a force... That’s why we call the magazine Pranava! M: I just wonder if it is a 'force' you know...? I think the reality is that it is absolutely still & present & not moving, & that’s actually THE Force, it’s not usually what we associate with, you know like a “positive force” or something ... it’s way bigger than “a force”.

P: In my view I see you two as Mantra Master’s & not so much ‘kirtan wallahs”, in the context of the call & response aspect of it all. P: That amazing! I recall when I first Would you agree? saw the Pranava bija mantra symbol; without even knowing what it was or what it meant I was drawn to it! It is M: Yes, we’ve never played kirtan so magnetic attractive! It excited actually, our thing is something something within me & ever since else... we enjoy exploring the that day I’ve drawn it everyday & its Sanskrit language and discovering the energetic power of the mantric has become apart of my signature! sounds - and then putting them to music. M: What you’re doing when you chant the mantra is that you’re inviting the universal energy to enter I love kirtan though - it's just not our into you - you're opening up without thing! effort - that’s why we feel good, its opening up to the Universal Light!


P: As “Mantra Masters”, how has that effected your life... In terms of how it has transformed you? is there a particular story you could share that speaks to that? DP: I feel my whole life is the ‘Gayatri’ because I was born to it - my father and mother chanting it for me during the pregnancy - and teaching me the mantra as a little kid so I sang it every night as a bed time song! The Gayatri is a prayer of the Sun ~ it’s an invitation and a celebration of Light, so that Enlightenment can inspire all of our actions with the Wisdom of the Light. Just like the Sun shines on everything on the planet, the Gayatri shines on every aspect of our lives & it’s illuminating every aspect of life & I love it all; the Gayatri really opened my voice. I was very timid before. The Gayatri really opened my vocal expression - rediscovering & connecting with the Gayatri when I was in my 20's was the opening & the flowering of my being! M: It’s amazing that it’s been with her forever! P: I recall that story you told in Portland back in Oct. about how during your birth the Gayatri mantra resounded the soundtrack! So you’re like the embodiment & emanation of that mantra for us all! M: Yes she truly is! P: What kind of responses are you getting from your devoted listeners of your music? DP: Oh, so many inspirational messages! ... so amazing! Just last week we received a message from a person who said that they were ready to take their life but the music came & gave them back the joy & the spirit to live. It is very powerful for us to contemplate that - very humbling - & I could at least think of many similar messages where people really had some strong intense challenges & the music came and carried them through. P: That’s very amazing! M: You know it also very organic - it's something that happened at the right time, & what I mean by that is that a whole arising has opened out of India to a whole generation o f westerners, & the result of that is what we experience now. When we started you could count on the street the kind of people that would show up at a mantra meditation event - singing in a yoga studio - but now you can’t tell; we go & play in Moscow for instance, and there are 4000 people there &it's like that all over, many different cultures, many different countries, many walks of life, & where we connect is in AUM, & we’re given that Taste ... & many people are now tasting it who knew that there was something more to life & they now find themselves in the mantras - and that keeps their inspiration in tact. ... & that’s where the stories come from. After playing for so many years we have hundreds of messages coming through, even from autistic kids asking for the Gayatri mantra & the teacher is like this has never happened before...!

“What you’re doing when you chant the mantra is that you’re inviting the universal energy to enter into you - you're opening up without effort - that’s why we feel good, its opening up to the Universal Light!” ~Deva Premal


DP: The animals respond as well! People who are animal trauma therapist are playing the music to heal them!

P: So where do we see DP&M going?

P: Yes & especially with the Gayatri! I hear that it was probably one of the first mantras ever chanted with its roots in Africa!

M: I’m less & less interested in the future...I'm just enjoying watching this organic experience unfolding.. DP: We’re enjoying the moment. everything is naturally expanding ... we have our touring schedule and we have our holiday programs - we don't look any further than that. We have been on the road without a 'home' for 20 years now...Our life is simply devoted to sharing the mantras.

DP&M: Probably!! The Sanskrit language was way before any organized ‘Hindu’ religion ... it is an ancient, energybased language - the Gayatri must be indigenous - its a prayer to the Sun, you can’t get more indigenous than that!

we have chanting holidays - for 17yrs now ~ In Costa Rica & in Greece & every year more and more people gather in the Name - under the Olive Trees of Corfu and on the beaches of Costa Rica...this is an example of true spirit arising...!

M: So what we’re involved in is the oral experience of this Presence that we’re discussing. It’s our Way! Sound is so powerful.. that’s where we find our nourishment, in sound.

M: Please come & be our guest! ~OM SHANTI!

M: You know there shouldn't be any surprise, we all know because we are all in it... we’re here because of it! Its just a confirmation.

P: I’m curious to see whats going to happen in this era, in the western world... What do you see taking place with mantric music in the next, say decade, as now we’re hearing it being expressed in american roots music, music of the deep south, reggae, rock, hip-hop etc... M: It's all good - although I have to admit - Sometimes I say to Deva, “you know I hear that stuff & I think that they’re abusing the mantra, or they’re just singing because it’s kinda BS, making a pop song out of something sacred... just to have something to  sing and are too lazy to write a song!!, etc”.. & that’s just my mind talking & Deva says to me: “the mantra doesn’t have any understanding of good & bad, or right & wrong, you know the mantra is like if you rub the lamp, the mantra Genie appears & there it is & where ever that mantra is heard is the right way at the right time - it doesn’t matter at all”. P: And that’s a good point! DP: But like Miten, I also feel very sensitive to the spirit of the mantras - and to create music that has certain energetic response; like when we do our recordings we totally respect the mantra so as not to bring any tamasic vibrations into the music... & we can all feel it if so.


World renowned chant artists Deva Premal & Miten with Nepalese bansuri maestro Manose will be sharing Songs for the Sangha on their 2015 World Tour. They are joined by Canadian bassist, vocalist and composer Joby Baker, along with noted English keyboard session musician and composer, Spencer Cozens. “Sangha”  translated  from  Sanskrit,  means  'spiritual   community' - and we are invited to enter into an enchanted world of unselfconscious participation and uplifting chanting. During the course of these inspirational evenings of music and meditation, this unique couple facilitate a transformational shift with unassuming grace and humour. Here we find ourselves transported to a place where our spirits are re-energised, refreshed and uplifted, leaving us ready to face, once more, this troubled world, in all its many diverse colours. Deva & Miten have been on the leading edge of the burgeoning global chant phenomenon for over 20 years. They met in 1990 in India. Studying meditation with their guru, Osho, they began a journey into love and creativity which has seen their music become the soundtrack for just about every 21st century healing modality, be it yoga, Pilates, shamanic ceremony, massage, rehab, detox or acupuncture. Their albums top charts across the globe, with sales of millions, and their annual tours play in concert halls, cathedrals and festivals around the planet. (Their 2014 concert tour took them to 24 countries.) They have also taken the ancient Sanskrit mantras into cyberspace, with over 200,000 people participating in their 21-day Online Mantra Meditation programs. Deva and Miten's mantra practice offers solace to so many. Emails from Iraqi war veterans, 9/11 firefighters, cancer survivors, prison inmates (they recently played for the inmates of San Quentin Prison), journalists, writers, peace-keepers, lawyers, shamans, teachers of autistic children, mid-wives and hospice caretakers all testify to the healing power of their incredible music. Deva and Miten see themselves as flame carriers of an ancient tradition; “The  music  we  make  is  born  out  of  a  committed  spiritual  practice.  We  meditate  - we investigate - and our music is a result of that experience. It's more a case of life and death than entertainment." “...Pure  magic...”  Eckhart  Tolle     “...My  favourite  album  for  Yoga...”  Cher     “...Passionate  and  powerful...”  Anthony  Robbins     “...Beautiful,  beautiful  music...”  HH  Dalai  Lama   "...Best singer on the planet...!" Greg Douglass (guitarist; Steve Miller Band/Van Morrison) For additional info, please visit devapremalmiten.com


ETERNAL

LOVERS By Geoffrey Earendil By Geoffrey Earendil

We know of the Eternal Lovers from our kirtan, from our call and response chanting of ‘Sita Ram, Sita Ram’ and ‘Radhe Govinda’. Their names circle one another in endless repetition, as the Night chases the Day. We may recognize the yab-yum (literally “father-mother”) of tantric buddhism, the Buddhas with consorts held in cosmic embrace, from thangkas and paintings. These beautiful images are easy to romanticize and eroticize. They lend themselves readily to our fantasies, our compulsive projections of love and sexuality. But in the iconography of mystic traditions there are always multiple layers of meaning which ultimately draw our awareness toward the deeper mysteries beyond embodied

forms and mundane identities. What, then are the subtle teachings offered by the Divine Couple? In many streams of esoteric Tantra, the Lovers are called Shiva and Shakti. In fact many of the classic texts of the Tantric tradition are presented as dialogues between the Cosmic Couple as they relax in bed between dalliances. On one level they simply remind us that, while in the world of form we are always in relationship; with each other, with our environment and all of its parts. Yet touching and being touched by all this complexity, all this distinction and variation, we begin to contact the Wholeness, the Unity, the Oneness. ShivaShakti, yab-yum, Father-Mother are this Oneness. Their intimate embrace represents their Union.


They are One, embodying the fullness of absolutely everything, all its limitless potential, all its possibility, all its intelligence, its efficiency and grace. And also They are Two; the Lord and His Lady. So limitless are They, They play at limitation. For no other reason than They can. This is Their love-play, and Manifest Creation, the Kulacudamani Ta n t r a t e l l s , a r i s e s f r o m T h e i r differentiation. Shakti, as Maya, clothes Herself in form and plays at difference from Her Beloved, to charm, to seduce, to delight. From the Kulacudamani Tantra, Kali (who is identical with Shakti) tells Her Lover, “I am madly fond of creation when I have covered myself in maya and become threefold, and I delight in the rapture that comes from union with the [Supreme]... Taking on the form of woman, which is my very nature and the essence of creation, I have expanded in order to know You." Unlike the taoist principle of yin and yang which might be understood as feminine and masculine energies which combine or clash to produce the Manifest Universe and its myriad effects, in the tantric traditions Shakti is Energy itself, all energy, and Shiva is Pure Consciousness, formless and inert. When Kali and Shiva truly unite in cosmic embrace, all difference, all separation is dissolved. The universe as we know it, which can only be known through its distinctions, its different, separate qualities, collapses into ecstatic Emptiness. This is why Kali is e q u a t e d w i t h t h e Vo i d , w i t h Annihilation. This is the ultimate Bliss, the ananda, referred to in the tantras. ShivaShakti, the Ultimate Source, the Causeless-Cause, the ineffable Tripura Sundari, also called ParamaShiva is beyond all distinctions, beyond all Space and Time, beyond all knowing. In order to know Itself, Pure Consciousness must stand beside Its self, standing separate as Subject and Object. In this sense, Shiva is the Eternal Witness, the Primordial Subject. When introspective, introverted, absorbed in meditation, all Potency, all Power (shakti) is reserved, withdrawn. All is still, static. For no other reason than the sheer pleasure, the enjoyment of it, a Desire to know Its self stirs within the Absolute Ineffable. This stirring is a movement, a pulse, a throb and expresses energy,

expresses Shakti. Thus, She appears before the Witness. She is the energy, the movement, the throb of Desire, as she is the Object of Desire and its resolution. She knows Herself through witness of the Subject, and He knows Himself in the reflection she presents. She is delighted and aroused, excited, which appears to increase Her energy and magnifies, multiplies Her display. Just as the form of a circle hangs upon its invisible center, so Shakti always looks back towards Her Beloved, even as She dances in difference, even as She plays at separation. Every step She takes away from Her lover, away from

absorption, towards complexity leads ultimately, inevitably back towards dissolution in His arms. For She is never without Her Consort, and always He is with Her, Identical. The 12th century Shaivite scholar Goraknath teaches: Sivasya abhyantare Saktih. Sakter Abhyantare Sivah. Antaram naiva janiyat. Candra-candrikayer iva. “Shakti is immanent in Shiva, and Shiva immanent in Shakti See no difference between the two, as between the moon and moonlight.” Shiva is Shakti, Goraknath continues, in the most concentrated and transcendent way, without expression, without movement, phenomenon or form. Shakti is Shiva in the most d y n a m i c a n d e x p a n s i v e m a n n e r, expressing the fullness of His intelligence, grace and compassion through the magical display of seemingly infinite variety. "In this way [Kali says] the five elements...the Gods, Brahma and all,

the earth and the ethereal plane have arisen as manifestations of Myself... You, Brahma and all the gods are part of Myself and have originated from My being. Indistinguishable from one another...Following them come man, the ego, the five elements, the sattva, rajas and tamas gunas also." (Kulacudamani Tantra) So even our form as human beings, men and women alike, has come about as a display of the Goddess Herself. Our individual consciousness, the human mind is a narrowed, limited portion of the One, Pure, Universal Consciousness, separated, differentiated through the expressive action, the Dance of Shakti, the Passion Play of Maya. Through us, as us, and delighting in the journey, Shakti dances Her way back into the Embrace of Her Beloved to dissolve in the Bliss of Absolute Absorption. This is Her maya, Her illusion, This is Her measure, step by step, from beginning to end. In Ultimate Union the Divine Couple is completely beyond our human knowing, beyond Space and Time which arise as Her Display, and yet this fragmented disoriented sliver of Cosmic Consciousness instinctively gropes through this dazzling labyrinth of difference and separation, seeking knowledge and understanding of its true self, its true nature, its ultimate source. We are Pure Consciousness seeking to know Itself, to look upon Itself with wonder and delight through the agency of Its Power, Shakti, the Mother. This is why as Shaktas, devotees of the Goddess, we appeal to the Mother. Is it not the Mother who responds to the cries of Her children? Is it not the Mother who comes forward? She is the Form of Liberation, and the Power. She is agency itself. Even as men we must allow Her to awaken in us, and allow Her Desire for Her Consort. Feel Her get carried away with Her longing and, surrendering to Her movements, allow Her to carry us away with Her. Back to the Source, back to Her Lover's embrace. Only She can climb into the lap of the Beloved. (Gratitude to the teachings of Swami Chetananda, Lama Wangdu, and ParvathiMaa, and to the Guidance and Inspiration of my own Beloved, Nisha


#e Enchantment of Divine Romance: #e A$ of Dharmic Relation%ips By J.Yochanan

“The heart is like a candle longing to be lit.

Lust is destructive when placed upon the inverted path, yet when

Torn from the Beloved it yearns to be whole again,

placed upon the path that ascends, it fuels the alchemical flames

but you have to bear the pain.

of transformation. We must transform the Fire of Lust into the

You cannot learn about Love.

light of Love...

Love appears on the Wings of Grace".

There are only a few rare souls who have accomplished this

~Rumi

arduous task... As Vajrayana Tantrikas, we wisely take lust on the path,

Each & every relationship that arises in life is given the most

extracting only the essence of fire from it. For this reason it is

blessed opportunity to be held as sacred, as it offers a most

stated that "we must steal the fire from the devil". The "devil" is

effective means to cultivate the dharma of spiritual development.

none other than the "I", the "myself", the psychological projection

When the genuine light of love blazes within the heart, then &

of the conditioned mind.

only then can authentic transformation & healing take place on

When so-called love is professed by the "I', it is only lust in

profound levels.

sheep’s clothing.

Yet the so called lover must always be vigilant & discerning, so as

The "I" of lust is cunning, deceptive, bewildering, a ball of

to know the distinction between lust & love.

confusion, a masochist that delights in the pleasure of pain & the

Lust is Fire. Love is Light.

pain of pleasure, etc...

Pranava P. 18


IPSUM: Vivamus est ipsum, vehicula nec, feugiat rhoncus, accumsan id, nisl.

3 Levels of Dharmic Relationships

The "I" of Lust is the one who plays tennis

The States of Consciousness achieved in TOS

with the heart as it suffers in the struggle

are none other than varying levels of

between opposites.

Enlightenment itself. Before consciously affirming & entering into

"Pleasure & pain come from craving &

a Dharmic Romance, we must be completely

aversion. Free yourself from these extreme

disillusioned with conventional romance. It

concepts. And what is the difference

is this type of romance that the "I" thrives

between pleasure & pain?

in.

Experience the emptiness (selfless-

There are 3 Levels/Expressions that Sacred-

interdependence) of every separate

Dharmic Relationships offer:

situation".

1. Purification

~Nagarjuna

2. Illumination 3. Perfection

The "I", the devil, is the one enveloped in

On the 1st level, everything that requires

constant craving & aversion & therefore the

purification is brought up to the surface.

one who experiences both pleasure & pain.

This level is the toughest as it exposes all

Authentic Love, on the other hand, only

that's hidden in the dark shadows of the ego

arises in the absence of the "I".

mind. All that comes up in this level is what

This Love appears on the Wings of Grace

needs to be purified & transformed. Those

when the heart experiences the Wisdom

sharing a conventional romance never go

that Cognizes Emptiness.

beyond this level. Instead, after all the

The secret of such a transformative

highs, all of the lows pour in with

experience is in Transorgasmic Sex (TOS).

bitterness, tears & resentment.

1. Purification Everything that requires purification is brought up to the surface. This level is the toughest as it exposes all that's hidden in the dark shadows of the ego mind. All that comes up in this level is what needs to be purified & transformed. Those sharing a conventional romance never go beyond this level. Instead, after all the highs, all of the lows pour in with bitterness, tears & resentment. 2. Illumination On this level more luminous type of love is revealed & experienced. The consciousness becomes illuminated w i t h ra d i a n t c o m p re h e n s i o n & enlightenment (freedom from afflictive emotions). At this level each person in the sacred relationship serves as a source of empowerment for each one, in order to lift each other unto the level of their most potent expression of an awakened soul, that is healed of every wound & negative tendencies to cause harm to oneself & others.

3. Perfection Here, the couple become the living expression of their divine selfless-self completely embodied. At this level, they perfect the beauty, the power & the inspiration of Love with grace & undiminished light. On the 3rd level, the couple become One Living Flame of Ecstasy & Truth, living deities that live upon earth as Kings & Queens of Nature. The resolution of every problem & issue is found here... At this level the couple gives birth to the Golden Embryo, which is the True Progeny of Love.


When the couple is willing to love with pure intention &

they perfect the beauty, the power & the inspiration of Love

devotion to the sacredness of being a mirror for each other,

with grace & undiminished light.

then they can rise unto the 2nd level. On the 3rd level, the couple become One Living Flame of In the 2nd level, a more luminous type of love is revealed &

Ecstasy & Truth, living deities that live upon earth as Kings &

experienced. The consciousness becomes illuminated with

Queens of Nature.

radiant comprehension & enlightenment (freedom from afflictive emotions). At this level each person in the sacred

The resolution of every problem & issue is found here... At

relationship serves as a source of empowerment for each one,

this level the couple gives birth to the Golden Embryo, which

in order to lift each other unto the level of their most potent

is the True Progeny of Love.

expression of an awakened soul, that is healed of every wound & negative tendencies to cause harm to oneself &

What makes relationships sacred & dharmic is our awareness

others.

& intention of that what we have can offer profound love, indepth transformation & liberation ... For the compassionate

On the 3rd level, the couple becomes the living expression of

benefit of the whole. -OM SHANTI!

their divine selfless-self completely embodied. At this level, “To love, how beautiful it is to love. Only the great souls can and know how to love.  Love is infinite tenderness... Love is the life that beats in every atom as it beats in every sun. Love cannot be defined because it is the Divine Mother of the world; it is that which comes to us when we really fall in love. Love is felt within the depths of the heart; it is a delectable experience; it is a consuming fire; it is divine wine, a delight to those who drink it. A simple perfumed handkerchief, a letter, a flower, give rise to great inner uneasiness, exotic ecstasy, and ineffable voluptuousness within the depths of the soul. No one has been able to define love; it has to be lived, it has to be felt.  Only great lovers really know that which is called love.  The Perfect Matrimony is the union of two beings who truly know how to love. In order that there truly be love, it is necessary for man and woman to adore each other in all the seven great cosmic planes.” -Samael Aun Weor

‘The Paradigm of Dharmic Relationships’ is an excerpt from the upcoming book entitled: ‘Esoteric Sexology & The Art of Dharmic Relationships’ by J.Yochanan Russell. Look for it on line & on shelves this year!


Pranava Reviews by Lloyd Barde Deva Premal & Miten with Manose Mantras for Life The initial releases by Deva Premal and Miten overflowed with memorable, catchy songs and chants that expanded the emerging genre of devotional music. To this day “the one by whom all others are measured,” Deva Premal possesses a voice unlike any other singer: pure, clear and with ease of access that feels ever so natural. Still memorable are tracks like “Idé Weré Weré” from Love is Space, “Om Tare Tuttare” from Embrace, “Awakening” from Soul in Wonder, “So Much Magnificence” from Songs for the Inner Lover, and of course “Gayatri Mantra” from her debut, The Esssence and on and on and on. More recently the focus of this Divine duo turned trio has taken a deeper turn towards really exploring the healing powers of mantras chosen for particular applications in everyday life. Then Deva recorded with the Gyuto Monks – with whom a western woman had never before been afforded the privilege of chanting and recording. Like its predecessors, Mantras for Life includes chants to invoke very specific intentions, among them: for animal welfare; for the blessing of children; for poetry, music and learning; for perfect timing; for physical strength, and for the earth itself. Based upon the tradition of Japa, a spiritual discipline centered upon the meditative repetition of mantra (in cycles of 108 recitations), Deva Premal and Miten invite the listener to join them in chant -- and to utilize humanity's most powerful healing tool: the voice. Mantras for Life was conceptually focused on supporting the listener on his or her journey into a committed meditation practice, and in its original intent had a minimalist approach to music. But, as the recording sessions unfolded, so did the musical expression. The harmonious balance between masculine and feminine energies is profoundly illustrated on this intensely evocative ― and ever repetitious ― album. www.whiteswanrecords.com SNATAM KAUR & PETER KATER “Heart of the Universe” “Heart of the Universe” is a ground-breaking musical partnership between acclaimed pianist, Peter Kater, and renowned Sacred Chantress, Snatam Kaur. It’s a journey through the intimate pathways of these soulful songs and ancient mantra chants enlivened by soaring piano arrangements and the rich textures of the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra.  As you allow yourself to surrender and fall deeply yet lightly into this very personal unfolding, you may just find your Self at the “Heart of the Universe”.  What distinguishes this from Snatam’s exquisite body of work is the predominance of songs sung in English.  These are basically poems from the Sikh tradition along with personal writings that she and Peter put to music. The music is not only supportive of the lyrics but also has a story to tell with the beautiful expressions of the piano and passionate energy of the orchestra. Snatam writes, “This album represents a soul's journey and experience on this planet. For the soul there is always a longing to merge with the Divine, with that which we are all connected to, which is in essence the Heart of the Universe. In our day-to-day lives most of us do not allow space for this connection, or even believe that it exists. I feel that the songs on this album are simply a pure experience of that connection. It is as if to say through music and song that yes, the voice of the soul is important, and the connection to the Divine is real. It calibrates our relationship to the Universe, reminding us that we in fact have an Infinite Source from which to draw upon and relate to.” Patrick Bernard “Yogini: Divine Feminine Natu th On “Yogini,” Patrick Bernard’s incredible 24 recording, the voice of the Mother calls you home. Subtitled “Divine Feminine Nature,” the music on this recording represents the creative force of the divine feminine within each of us. The work is rooted in the ancient wisdom of the Buddhist, Christian and Hindu sacred chant traditions. Patrick’s musical approach is to rearrange some of the most sacred chants and psalms from the East with the classic harmonic art of the West. They allow us to meet the divine feminine in the form of sound. Each section is dedicated to one of the Divine expressions of the Mother: Tara, the Goddess of the compassionate light; Blessed Mother Mary Magdalene; the multi-faceted jewel: Sri Amba Lalita Devi; the river of grace: MahaDevi Saraswati; and Srimati Radharani, the Queen of Vrindavan, the ultimate sacred place. In knowing Patrick’s music since 1987, I used to refer to him as the “male Enya”, due to the lush, layered depths of his music, brimming with lilting guitars, expansive keyboards, and gentle rhythms. His music invites you to take a break from the often dysfunctional society we live in. or when we are in need of a massage, a yogic stretch, a series of blissful asanas, and when we need to meet the real Giver of True Prosperity. Truly, it’s an invitation to spontaneous meditation and to move gently inward without hesitation. He has few peers in his ability to come to you and draw you in. Patrick says “We are essentially all coming from the same Source although superficially the spiritual traditions look different. The chants are intended as a portal to the sacred feminine in each of us, with no religious distinctions of faith or creed. That’s my point and this is what I try to express in these chants: the universality of the human soul. A starting place for peace in the world and in the heart of mankind.”


Nada-Brahman and the Principles of Shiva/Shakti

By ante ShantiinShivani facilisis dui ac suscipit

Pranava P.23


Y

PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015

ears ago I was suddenly, out of the blue,

blessed with the vision of Shiva and Shakti making love in the sky. It is, of course, impossible to describe such a cosmic experience. I can still see it on the inner plane. It has remained imprinted on my consciousness. What I can say is, that when I perceived the sexual union of Shiva and Shakti, I spontaneously knew that this is how the world is upheld. The thought also crossed my mind that a new world might be created at the peak of their union… Over the years I mentioned this vision to a few people but it was never validated until now when I started doing research for my article on Shiva / Shakti. I wanted to write an article that was related to Nada-Brahman and the path of Nada Yoga that I have been on for decades. My first inclination was to do some research on the raga-ragini schemes but I couldn't find much on them except for miniature paintings and tables showing the connection between the "male" ragas and their "wives", the raginis. The raga-ragini systems appeared in literature on music between the 14th and 19th century. The schemes usually consisted of six "male" patriarchal ragas that had five or six "wives" (raginis) and sometimes also a number of "sons" (putras) or "daughter-in-laws". One of these systems was ascribed to the legendary Hanuman according to Damodara (c.1625), but the different systems were in disagreement and by the beginning of the 19th century the raga-ragini schemes had largely fallen out of use.

In verse 18 Nada-Brahman is remembered as the deities Brahma, Janardana (Vishnu), the Supreme Shakti (Goddess) as well as Shiva: "nada-rupah smrto brahma nada-rupo janardana / nada-rupa para-saktir nada -rupo mahesvarah" The Sangita-Ratnakara by Sarngadeva (ca. A.D 1200-1500), probably the most important musicological treatise of India, contains an entire section on Nada-Brahman which opens with the following salutation: "We worship Nada-Brahman, that incomparable bliss which is immanent in all the creatures as intelligence and is manifest in the phenomenon of this universe (1). Indeed, through the worship of Nada-Brahman are worshipped gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, since they essentially are one with it (2)." (R.K. Shringy and Prem Lata Sharma, Sangita Ratnakara of Sarngadeva, 108-9) Most Shakta or Tantric schools view the Absolute as a neuter Brahman that divides during creation into male (Shiva) and female (Shakti). Swami Agehananda Bharati stresses this role in his chapter on Tantrism in the Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions (1981), pages 735-36:

"The Tantric seeker…conceptualizes Brahman as the union of the male and female principles; namely Shiva (benign) and Shakti (energy). In this initial polarity the male stands for the quiescent, for cognition, and for wisdom. The female represents action, conation, and energetic élan. While Shiva and Shakti belong to the general pantheon, they are here transmuted into the cosmic principles of cognition and action… The successful practitioner, My next move was to see what Guy L. Beck had to while identifying with Shiva if he is male and with say in his book "Sonic Theology" in regard to the Shakti if female, eventually transcends this partial, relationship of Shiva and Shakti and sacred sound, albeit divine quality to be the Absolute (Brahman)." and here I found a wealth of information on Nada Brahman. Nada Brahman is a compound word Nada-Brahman as the feminine Shakti manifests representing the concept of Brahman, the Absolute within the bodies of the syllables (varna) or letters Reality, manifest as Nada, the primordial sound. of the Sanskrit alphabet and is understood to be present there as matrkas or "little Mothers": " the The Agamic or Yogic notion of Nada-Brahman creative power, the mother of the universe, in its emerged in the context of music as late as the 8th aspect as being identified with the varnas or letters century A.D. wherein it appears in a text known as was called matrka. Her self was formed of the fifty the Brhaddesi by Matanga. Verse 17 illustrates the letters from a to ha (of the Sanskrit alphabet)." connection between Nada-Brahman, i.e. primordial Surendranath Dasgupta in "General Introduction to sound, and music, dance and the universe: Tantra Philosophy", (1941), page 169. "na nadena vina gitam na nadena vina svarah / na The energy centers or chakras in the human body nadena vina nrttam tasmad nadatmakam jagat" are repositories for the different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and harbor the matrkas on their "Without Nada-Brahman, there is no song, no respective lotus petals. musical notes, no dance: the entire universe consists of Nada-Brahman"


PRANAVA MAGAZINE WINTER 2015 To quote Guy L. Beck: "the adept of Shakta-Tantra utilizes the creative forces of language through the science of mantra. Mantras are believed to create their own special kind of resonance in space, in the realm of subtle sound or vibration, called Nada…The practice of mantra meditation…is conceived as a gradual regressive process whereby the aspirant attempts to "merge" back with the original cosmic Sound, or vibration, and thus into the unified Brahman. " The role of Nada-Brahman as the link between Shiva and Shakti is revealed to us in verse 1.9 of the Sarada-tilaka-Tantra written in the 11th century A.D. by Laksmana Desika, a Kashmiri Tantric of the ShriVidya tradition. "Bindu (primal seed) is the part in which the Shiva aspect is predominant, while in Bija (one-syllable phoneme) Shakti prevails. In Nada however, the elements of Shiva and Shakti are of equal strength (tayor mithah)." Tayor mithah means "the linking of the two", namely the male Shiva with the female Shakti,) and expresses the vibration resulting from the sexual union of Shiva and Shakti. The creation of the universe in Shakta Tantra is analogous to the process of human reproduction.

"Although the Ultimate transcends all duality, the Godhead is conceived as having two aspects, masculine and feminine, whose conjunction, described as a sexual union, is the first and necessary step, within God, toward cosmic evolution, the active principle being the feminine." (André Padoux, "Hindu Tantrism", 277) As Guy L. Beck writes: "Several Tantric cosmogonies describe NadaBrahman as being the vibration resulting from the sexual act of Shiva and his consort Shakti, a kind of "rumble in the cosmic mattress," as it were. Similar to the primordial vibration, or "pulsation" which is discussed by the Kashmiri Shaiva tradition as "Spanda", this "Nada vibration" filters down into human speech and activity. In fact, Tantrism views the material universe as an immensely complex web of vibrations and resonances which all originate from a single selforiginated point of sound, the "Nada-Bindu". Which brings us back to the opening of this article and my vision of Shiva and Shakti maintaining the universe through their sexual union. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! LOVE is all there is! ~OM SHANTI!


“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” ― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet


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