February, 2023

Say My Name

I loved Breaking Bad. When Walter White tells the bad dude to say his name “(Heisenberg”) before he is ultimately killed, it is a thrilling moment in this new modality of the great American story-telling format.

“Say my name.” “Say my name.”

This Saturday, February 18, is Shivaratri. It is one of highest and most holy days in the Hindu calendar. We are told that saying the name of God on this day provides one with “1,000 merits.”

So, SAY THE NAME OF GOD on Saturday. Chant like your heart would break. Sing like you could never stop.

Because words carry vibrations. And words have power. Words build actions. Actions build character.

I will be joining a saptah, a 7-day chant with my a group from Ganeshpuri, India and South Fallsburg, N.Y., where I spent many years with my teacher.

I will be chanting the name of God over and over and over again.

Chanting is an ecstatic practice. I used to hate it. I loathed it because we were required to chant for at least an hour before we could get to what I considered the real meat, the nectar of all practices: meditation.

Oh, how I loved meditation.

But my Guru would get very angry if we meditated during the chant, riding on the waves of other’s singing, bathing in the toil of their labors.

So, I chanted. For many years.

Then, one day, it happened.

During a kirtan (a call and response chant), I felt a wave of heat begin at the base of my spine and tingle up to my head and between my ears. My eyes rolled upwards, and the chant began chanting me! I wasn’t chanting! IT was chanting!

From then on, the practice of chanting has served to purify my devotional practice in unimaginable ways. I often chant “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” over and over, praising God with the pitch sound “ahhh”.

That sound occurs in many names: Baba, Yahweh, Krishna. It is the Alpha and Omega. Amen.

So keep your bhav, place your attention, if not your words, on God, on Spirit, on Source, this Saturday, the new moon of February, where devotees around the planet will join in vibrational bliss with you.

Chant. Sing. Chant the name of God on shivaratri.

Love, Gopita

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