This is the message I found in Alanna Kaivalya’s new book, Sacred Sound. In Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth & Meaning of Mantra and Kirtan (New World Library, April 15, 2014), Alanna Kaivalya explores both the myth and meaning behind twenty-one mantras, or chants, that stem from the yogic tradition. She also describes the myth, text, or context each mantra comes from or is associated with, and explains how these rich myths relate to our modern-day spiritual practice.
If you’re like me, this is what you might struggle with. We all have a story, and man it can be hard to interpret what your story means at times. These ancient myths teach us important lessons and provide analogies that we can relate to our own personal story to find meaning. This book does a great job of going beyond the myth and relating it to our lives. It’s an invaluable tool as you search to find meaning in the every day.
Divided into two sections, The first part contains a group of common mantras that are important for the modern day yoga practitioner, and the second features popular kirtan- or call and response- chants commonly used by modern day kirtan teachers. Each of these chants contains a deeper wisdom that can illuminate the yogic path.
Of these chants Alanna writes, “Let their vibrations and related myths uplift your mind, outlook, and sense of well-being to generate an overall feeling of harmony.”
I’m still riding that wave of harmony I found in the Redwoods. And I can’t help but think that a lot of that energy was supported through mantras and songs just like these. I recommend you check out this book, and see if you can’t find your own wave to ride.
Alanna Kaivalya is the author of Sacred Sound. She is the yoga world’s expert on Hindu mythology and mysticism. Her podcasts have been heard by more than one million people worldwide, and her Kaivalya Yoga Method melds mythology, philosophy, and yoga. Visit her online at http://www.alannak.com.