Singing or listening to music makes us forget ourselves, which is what prayer is all about. In our thirst for freedom, we call from the depths of our souls. Music reminds us of this call, as it stirs the soul’s yearning. In truth, we all are hungry for our own soul, and its light and song, isn't it? For centuries, mystics and prophets have used music to express their realization. In India, poet saints like Meerabai and Kabeer lost themselves in ecstatic devotional hymns and dohas. For these wise beings, music served as a powerful vehicle for enlightenment, inspiring others to the path.
According to the tradition of nada yoga, the yoga of sound, as our mind becomes quiet, we can hear the inner music. Nada yoga concurs with quantum mechanics in its view that the entire cosmos is comprised of vibrating frequencies. The subtler our consciousness, the more we can tune into and experience these vibrations, both in our bodies and in the universe as a whole. Kali Yuga is considered a time of great agitation in the atmosphere and in the human mind. There's a tension that leaves so many people anxious and drained. Because of the intense vibrations, silent meditation can be a bit challenging, so the sages prescribed practices to help us drop inside more easily.
Of all the methods, chanting or naam-smaran (remembering Lord's name) is considered the simplest of all. The repetitive chanting helps us let go of painful emotions that sometimes stay lodged in the heart like splinters. By providing a powerful point of concentration and helping us feel, chanting moves us beyond the personal and limited narrative of our life. This is why it’s such an effective technology on our journey to self-knowledge. As we sing and chant words over and over, our mind relaxes and drops into the heart and the healing journey begins. It reaches the state of pure devotional and unconditional love, Bhakti. Music makes us transit to another dimension of existence where we experience no boundaries and differences. Perhaps that’s why almost every culture and civilization has used sound as a form of prayer. Music has always been a bridge between matter and spirit—a force that unites us through the language of the heart.