Śrī Rudram is the most sacred prayer-chant to worship Lord Shiva. It is a Vedic chant taken from the Krishna Yajurveda’s Taittiriya Samhita. It comprises of two parts, the Namakam and the Chamakam. It is believed that wherever the Rudram is chanted, that place becomes free from disease, drought, thefts and other ills. The Shiva Purāṇa explains that by chanting Rudram, one gains both worldly pleasures and liberation. In the current situation, where people are facing extremely challenging times, HSTL is proud to bring this sacred chanting program to raise positive vibrations in society.
By Ramesh Krishna, India
I came to Rudram chanting and learning class by chance. I take it as blessings from Lord Shiva that I am even here. April 27th, I had to undergo slipped disc surgery which is considered serious as it involves delicate bone disk replacement in the cervical spine. The operation was successful; however, during the post-operation consultation, the doctor mentioned that around 7% of people lose their voices due to damage to the vocal cords. This news was a bit concerning for me then, but with the grace that did not happen to me.
Few days after my discharge from the hospital, my wife showed me the FB page of Hari Narayanan Namboothiri. I take Bhagwatam classes with him, and while glancing through his page, I came across the HSTL Rudram chanting and learning session flyer. I had an interest in learning Rudram for many years and saw this as a great opportunity while I was at home recovering.
With this great opportunity, I had some concerns. It was difficult to chant for long, and I had to drink lots of warm water after a brief talk. During this time of hesitation, I remembered Hari Narayanan shared a poem on many occasions which went like, “What is the use of a tongue if you cannot chant with it? Eyes that do not see Krishna, what is the use of eyes? If you cannot hear Kirtans, then what is the use of ears?” As I considered the poem, I understood the meaning and decided to take the course. As I was recovering, my voice was coming back slowly.
During the first few days of the chanting sessions, I had to drink warm water to soothe my throat during my allotted part. However, as days passed, I felt comfortable chanting the entire Namakam and Chamakam with my fellow participants. Even the negative aspect of my health later turned into positive energy. I only missed a few days in the beginning due to my circumstance; after that, I made it every day!
In the beginning, I had few apprehensions about the whole process of learning Rudram online. It is said, one needs to learn Shri Rudram directly from a Guru face to face. But as the days passed, I was astonished that I could feel the blessings of Mohanji and the grace of Sri Parameshwaran, and I felt as if Sri Bhavan were sitting next to me and teaching me. I got to experience face-to-face teaching from a guru, and I did not feel at all this was an online course. If I felt I was making mistakes while chanting, I sent messages via WhatsApp and would get corrections immediately. I felt very grateful for all the support.
I am also very grateful to the entire HSTL Team, Sri Bhavan, Dr Revathy, Dr Unnikrishnan, Anoop, and all my fellow participants during this chanting session. Lastly, I wish you all the blessings of Sri Parameswaran and the Grace of Mohanji. Jai Mohanji! Aum Namah Shivaya!
By Hemant Panda, UK
Jai Mohanji, everyone! I would like to share my experiences of chanting Rudram over the last 41 days. I have been chanting Rudram for the last few years. We do that in a group once a week, every Friday. When we chant in a group, any mistakes that we make get camouflaged amongst everyone’s chanting. And anything that we learn or correct during that week is forgotten by the time next Friday comes.
What the daily chanting has given me in the last 41 days is, first of all, when we chant in the mornings, the mind is fresh and active. Secondly, because it’s daily, whatever we learn, we remember to follow through for the next day. Thirdly, this was more like re-learning Rudram all over again because we were going through learning modules; any errors I was making while chanting, I was able to identify and correct them.
There is a big difference between chanting Rudram and chanting Rudram correctly. Those who are familiar with Rudram will know that it is full of intonations and mātrās (rhythmic patterns). When you chant correctly or knowing that you are in a position to chant correctly gives you immense satisfaction; these 41 days have really helped me towards that.
I also discovered that when we do meditation or Kriya, the mind wavers, and it takes some time before we realise that the mind has gone somewhere and to bring it back. But while chanting Rudram, I found that it’s a continuous meditation process for 35-40 minutes. To chant with precision, the mind must be actively focused and engaged in every word, pronunciation and intonation. The moment the mind wonders, we realise it because we make errors. The intonations and mātrās simply won’t flow the way they should. This has been another advantage of chanting continuously – the mind has been able to be engaged throughout the process.
More than the chanters who have made an effort to chant, I would say the biggest credit should go to the teacher because chanting is one thing, but teaching Rudram is an incredibly challenging job. Particularly to a group of people who are not familiar with the language or do not necessarily have an orientation towards the way of precise chanting, intonations and mātrās – a big thank you to Shyama for that.
Most importantly, immense gratitude to Mohanji for starting this initiative, allowing us to participate in the chanting and for his grace and blessings throughout these 41 days. It has certainly helped me build discipline, fix the errors that I used to make while chanting, and, more importantly, allowed me or given me the confidence to chant solo, which I had never been able to do before.
Thank you very much to everyone who participated, to the teacher and to our dear Mohanji for allowing me to participate in this programme.
By Anitha Rajan, India
I am a student of the HSTL (Himalayan School of Traditional Language) Sri Rudram chanting and learning sessions. The experience I received was on our 41st first day of chanting. It was only the grace of Mohanji which made this experience come to life.
It started like any other day. I sat down with my notes to chant along with our teacher Bhavan. That is when Revathy suggested to everyone, “Just close your eyes, listen and try to feel the chant.” I closed my eyes as instructed and started to listen and soak in the vibrations of the chant.
A few moments later, I had a vision where I saw a giant right leg resting on the ground. I also saw someone’s hands firmly clasping and hugging that leg. I was not sure if they were my hands. A few moments later, I saw a left leg, placed at a distance from the right one. At the same time, a right hand came into view, holding a big trident rooted firmly to the ground next to the feet. Now I could see the face of the being that I was witnessing. It was a very handsome figure with a majestic face and features, which I could not recognise. The entire figure shown now was of a beautiful and fair being. I consider this as a Shiva darshanam (vision) gifted to all of us by Mohanji.
At the end of our chanting, the profoundness of the image or vision did not dawn upon me. However, the following day, it filled my heart with so much love. I wanted to share this beautiful experience with everyone as Mohanji always advises us. Thank you to Lord Shiva and Mohanji for this life-changing experience. Aum Namah Shivaya!
Shambhavi Agrawal, UK
I had wanted to learn the Lalitha Sahasranama for a while now, but I felt it was too difficult, and I would never be able to chant it. When I saw the Sri Rudram learning course, I thought, let me try. I know I can’t do but let’s try.
I am amazed at how quickly I learnt to chant the Sri Rudram. It may not be perfect, but when I could not even read a line and now can chant 11 Anuvakas, it’s a miracle. On the last day, when we were chanting, and Mohanji’s message was played, I felt that my body pores opened, and the whole Rudram was travelling inside me. The only thought that came up was that Mohanji had initiated me with Sri Rudram. That experience was so beautiful that tears start flowing when I think of it; my loving gratitude to Mohanji for his blessings.
Shyama Jeyaseelan, UK
The 41-day Rudram Namakam and Chamakam learning and chanting programme has been a beautiful journey of grace and blessings. While helping others learn to chant, I have also learned and discovered so much, not just in improving my chanting but also in discipline, self-confidence, willpower, gratitude, and humility.
The Central European Time (CET) zone group had participants from many countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, India, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. It was wonderful to see how much effort and time participants put in to learn this beautiful and powerful Vedam.
My love and gratitude to Mohanji for this amazing time together. Not only did we have the opportunity to learn something powerful together, but we were also able to send the positive and healing energy and the vibrations of the group to Mother Earth and all her beings, especially to all those affected by the current pandemic.
My gratitude to all the participants who joined early every morning with so much enthusiasm; and to the HSTL team for the loving support, and most of all to Mohanji for his presence, blessings and love, which are ever-present with us.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 13th July 2021
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