For the first class of the new fall season, it seemed only right to bask in the luminosity of Gayatri mantra. For readers of this blog who do not attend class, here is the mantra in transliterated Sanskrit:
As I wrote in the previous post, Gayatri mantra is considered the sound form of light. So Sanskrit, as a language of vibration, is offering us a sonic vessel of liquid light. Pour it into your bloodstream. Chant it with all your heart. Meaning is secondary, almost irrelevant. Still the mind loves something to dwell on, hence the beautiful imagery of the literal English translation:
Earth. Atmosphere. Heavens.
We meditate on the sacred light of the effulgent source.
Let that light infuse our entire being.
savitur of the source
varenyam to be held sacred
devasya of the effulgent
dhimahi we meditate on
dhiyo thoughts, intentions, prayers
yah which (source)
procadayat should direct, urge, inspire
Here’s a clip of the first round of chanting from this week’s class:
Here’s my dharma talk:
This last clip contains a short dharana to ease into final chanting of the evening: a second round of Gayatri [approximately 26 minutes], followed by Om Namah Shivaya.
And the final word goes to Rumi. Here’s the text I read at class, from Coleman Barks’ & Michael Green’s, The Illuminated Rumi:
In any gathering, in any
on the street, there is
a shine, an elegance
Today, I recognized that the jewel-like beauty
is the presence.
Our loving confusion,
the glow in which
watery clay gets
brighter than fire,
the one we call the Friend.
I begged, “Is there a way into you, a ladder?”
“Your head is the ladder, bring it down under your feet.”
The mind, this globe of awareness, is a starry universe that when you push off with your foot, a thousand new roads become clear, as you yourself do at dawn, sailing through the light.