Michael Mamas Blog

Learn more about me on the CRS Michael Mamas page and my Sri Somesvara Temple bio page.
You may also be interested in my Vedic Knowledge website and blog and my Current Events Blog.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Chanting

Photo by Joy Anna Hodges

It is so very uplifting and beautiful when the temple is filled with people chanting. It permeates the temple and cultures the heart with an exquisite feeling of sublime spirituality and devotion to God. It is nice that some of the Mount Soma residents have been exploring and enjoying chanting. Like many things, whether or not one chooses to chant is certainly a personal choice, but if done wisely it can be beneficial. Like everything, it boils down to ‘healthy relationship with’. I recently discussed chanting with Pandit Prasad and we offer the following:

The healing benefits of chanting can be particularly enjoyed if there are psychological, energetic, or emotional blocks. Clearing such blocks through chanting can, of course, be highly beneficial and open the physiology and energy system with numerous benefits possible. Some find such benefits through other pathways… for example, dance, singing, various forms of yoga or healing, personal relationships, etc.  

When people are meditating regularly for a long period of time, impurities can get stirred up as they clear out of the physiology. Things like chanting, exercise, etc. can help clear them and the resultant experiences can then be quite desirable, even dramatic. Of course, that is an individual matter. Some will take to and derive benefit from one thing. Others will take to another based upon physiological needs and personal affinities. 

At times, the result of adding exercise, chanting, or diet change can be truly dramatic. We just need to keep them in the context of the nature and structure of life and existence, such as we have discussed in the school. In our enthusiasm, when we start a new practice, it is best to not go overboard. Of course, such enthusiasm is understandable, though it is always best when we come back into balance.  

As with all new practices, there are certain guidelines we do well to note:  

Chanting for some can result in excess emotional indulgence which can turn a person into what is often called a “bliss ninny.” Then they begin to judge another person’s level of enlightenment based upon “bliss ninny” standards. This is common in many religions and social groups. Those who behave in a certain manner are considered more ‘spiritually evolved.’ Of course, we know that another person’s level of consciousness cannot be judged based upon the surface or upon our own personal affinities.  

When the heart is overly enlivened (as described in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine), it can distort perception.  When blocks are cleared and emotions are excessively indulged, people can blur emotions with enlightenment. That can become an obstacle to true spiritual growth. Getting emotional about union with God can be confused with deeper union which transcends emotions. In such a case, chanting (like other things) can become a distraction that pulls people away from a deeper spiritual path. Discernment can be compromised. 

We also do well to remember the elevator analogy: when you have been meditating and evolving rapidly, it is like climbing high in an elevator. If you take a moment to look at the view from that height, it is spectacular. So the inclination can be to stay with that level, be distracted by it, and hesitate to go back to what got you to that level in the first place. As a result, you can cease to continue climbing in the elevator to even higher levels.  

It is as if for many years we have been cultivating a beautiful garden with fruit trees, etc. Then, if we pick a fruit and enjoy it, we may think it is the fruit that gave the gift. Actually, of course, the real gift is the cultivation that bore the fruit, not the picking of the fruit. Years of meditation and study make many fruits available, and the physiology of meditators becomes like ripe fruit. Various practices you then employ can pick the wonderful fruits we have been cultivating. 

Excess chanting can even create a hypnotic state of euphoria. For that reason, some temples in India do not allow certain groups of people following such a path to even enter the temple. As stated earlier, those hypnotic states can lead a person to believe they are getting enlightened, when actually they are being misled. After spending time in India, many people become acutely aware of all sorts of practices done in the name of spiritual growth, that are more truly forms of mind manipulation. They could be forms of chanting, healing, or various spiritual practices. That is why I like to recommend: “Safety first!” 

Bottom line: Like everything else, it is a matter of ‘relationship with’. Better to have a good relationship with a bad thing (i.e., staying away from it), than a bad relationship with a good thing (for example, excessive indulgence in it or emphasis upon it).  

Remember that the deepest level of Bhakti transcends emotions. Bhakti is rooted in the transcendental depth of your being. Personally, I most cherish the experience of Bhakti I enjoy in deep meditation. However, I also love listening to, and being swept away by, the feeling evoked when the visitors chant at temple gatherings. When Pandits gather and chant together, it is exquisite.

So, if you enjoy chanting, do so wisely and be sure the Mantras you use, and the amount and ways you use them is done properly. If you are at Mount Soma, it is wise to take advantage of the opportunity to have it monitored. Panditji and I are asking that you allow us to do so. If you would like to chant, please let us know what you would like to do, so Panditji and I can confer with one another and offer our assistance. Then, with our blessings, if you like chanting and feel you are getting benefit from it, ENJOY!

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

One Religion?

Photo by Joy Anna Hodges

A friend in India emailed me saying that there is a movement in India, saying, “a new concept is fast moving here, that is one earth one religion.” 

I responded by saying that religions are 1/2 spiritual and 1/2 cultural. The idea of ONE religion is not correct. There is one central God, worshipped differently in different cultures. Even polytheistic religions recognize that all the Gods are aspects of the One. However, whitewashing the world is not correct. Multinational corporations tried to do that decades ago. It was a huge failure.

Cultural integrity is a good thing. Yet, racism is cultural integrity gone insane. As humanity evolves, religions will honor and respect one another. They will live in harmony and mutual support, not opposition or friction. It will be the laws of Mother Nature that determine which religion flourishes in which part of the world… not the laws of men. The laws of nature differ in different regions of the world. The laws of nature, for example, differ on mountain tops versus desserts. Cultures culture the lives of the people to live in harmony with nature. Mother Nature cultures each culture. When we live in foreign lands, we honor the culture of that land, while maintaining the integrity of our personal lives.

I was born and raised Christian. Yet, I have learned of the tremendous value of Vedic wisdom, knowledge, and technology. All humanity can benefit from those Vedic principles. Similarly, all humanity can benefit from science. But it is not right thinking to believe we must abandon our cultural integrity to benefit from things Vedic or scientific.

There will, and should always be, differing affinities and faiths throughout the world. That is natural and good. Peace, love, and harmony will only arise from Unity in the midst of diversity. We must learn to live together in harmony on all levels of life: family, neighborhood, community, society, nation, continent, and world.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving Thank You

I have received a number of lovely cards, letters, and emails, for which I am deeply thankful.

My heart… my heart… my heart… so touching.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Photo by Joy Anna Hodges
© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

“Jupiter and Venus Opportunity” Revisited

Here at Mount Soma, both planets Venus (Shukra) and Jupiter (Guru) were visible last night (Sunday night, Nov. 24, 2019).  Please read the “Jupiter and Venus Opportunity” blog for the details.  A number of people looked and made their personal wishes and wishes for Mount Soma, as did I. 

Together we are all doing something truly great.  Through the ancient Vedic technology of consciousness we employ the principle of mapping to heal the planet. As we sweep clean the house, we do not mind if some dust is stirred.  We remain undaunted.  We keep going forward, forward, always forward.  Steady hand on the rudder!

Tonight, Monday night, there will be one last opportunity to see Jupiter and Venus in this rare configuration again.  Weather permitting visibility, I will be again watching and making my wishes.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Jupiter and Venus Opportunity

November 23-25, Jupiter and Venus will be very close to one another. As the sun sets, they will become visible for a short period of time in the southwestern sky. Viewing them and praying for what you would like is considered a good opportunity to have your wishes fulfilled. On November 24, they will be the closest together (‘hugging’) but all three days offer the opportunity, and since clouds may obstruct your view, it would be good to watch for them all three days.

Jupiter is for knowledge and spirituality. Venus is for material gain and wealth. So, together, they offer the full range of Absolute and relative blessings.

Photo by Joy Anna Hodges
© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.