Thursday, April 26, 2012

May The Whole World Be Joyous!

My son came with me to the Midwest Yoga Journal Conference last year, although he didn’t attend any asana sessions with me (he was about one and a half), he really grooved to the Kirtan. With several hundred yogis chanting Om, his face lit up like the sun and I could almost swear there was a halo of light around him.

With wobbly walking skills, he kept trying to meander through the people. Nervous about him “bothering” people, I kept trying to still him. Persistence won out (his, not mine!) and I let him be free. Lo and behold, he walked straight to an older man with silver in his hair and crinkles on his face from many smiles. He lifted his arms to be picked up, and with a mix of wonder and fear, I watched him settle in to chant Lokha Samasta Sukino Bhavantu with a total stranger. A stranger to me, it would seem, but not for my son who seemed to know this man with the wordless understanding of soul. He wandered no further and was content.

Lokha Samasta Sukino Bhavantu is a mantra meaning “May all beings everywhere be happy and joyous, may the world have peace.” It seems natural that such a wish would resonate with a child. After all, do not manifestations of spirit seek to have abundance of joy and peace on Earth?

Although not a mantra found in the written Vedas, there is strong oral tradition associated with this phrase. This makes it a very accessible chant for those shy about chanting in general or concerned about religious confusion. Every belief, the world over, can resonate with intending happiness for all.

Beginning or ending your day or practice with this simple chant may be just one small way to bring a little more joy to the world. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

"One of my favorites is Lokha Samasta, by Mike Cohen" - Kirsten Hedden

April 16, 2012 

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