Why Do We Chant?

 Photo credit: http://www.wisdom.srisriravishankar.org/significance-chanting-mantra-108-times/

Photo credit: http://www.wisdom.srisriravishankar.org/significance-chanting-mantra-108-times/

Chanting invocations allow sound vibrations to dissolve any superfluous thoughts of the mind and penetrate every cell in your body with the rich, wisdom of the ancient yogis. Different mantras or chants are created for varying purposes but they all carry a rhythm of consciousness. Each vibration of a chant is beyond the mind’s comprehension, therefore allowing the student to enter a deeper state of meditation.

Chanting or mantra are mostly spoken in Sanskrit. The translation of ‘Sanskrit’ meaning ‘refined’ or ‘sanctified’, therefore signifying this ancient and sacred language’s intended purpose. Sanskrit is a highly ceremonial, artistic and scientific language that was designed so that each letter consisted of a sound relating to each one of our chakras (or energy centres of the body). The power of these sounds connecting to the chakras means that chanting in Sanskrit has the capacity to activate these energy centres to open, soothe, purify and energise. Chanting is carried out through sound and sound is a vibration - as is everything in the universe, contributing to our connectivity and oneness. These vibrations - and rhythmic intent and pronunciation of Sanskrit - have the ability to calm the mind like meditation and we know that when the mind is calm the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) response of ‘rest and digest’ is stimulated. So, the nervous system is slowed when the mind is calm, then the body relaxes and displays the following physiological responses: a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and respiration; the endocrine system regulates and releases hormones responsible for metabolism, reproduction, sleep cycles, growth and mood; brainwaves shift in alpha or even theta during deep relaxation; oxygen-rich blood returns to all organs for nourishment.

 

By Alyssa McLeod

 

References

Moksha Academy of Yoga, 2014, The Upanishads & The Vedas, p.1-10

The Art of Living. 2013. The Secret of Mantra Chanting. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.artofliving.org/secret-mantra-chanting. [Accessed 14 November 2016].