The third meditation we’re going to learn is called sankirtan. Sankirtan means congregational chanting: two or more people come together and chant the mantras. Normally it’s done with the accompaniment of a musical instrument, but it doesn’t have to. Tonight we’ll use guitar. It’s done in a method called shravanam-kirtanam. ‘Shravanam’ means to hear. ‘Kirtanam’ means to chant. So I will chant and you’ll listen. And then you chant and I’ll listen. Back and forth.
We’ve learned four mantras tonight: GAURANGA, NITAI-GAUR, the maha-mantra and HARIBOL. I’m going to use all these mantras. All you have to do is listen and repeat. And don’t worry about the quality of your singing voice. This is not a talent show. This is meditation. So don’t worry. And all voices are beautiful when they’re chanting mantras. So just relax, chant the mantras, meditate on the sound, and have a nice time.
So you can see sankirtan could be a lot of fun. You can do it any way you like: any type of music, any tune. Lord Gauranga said, “There are no hard and fast rules for chanting the Holy names.” Everywhere in the world: every nation, every society, every culture has traditional song and dance. So it’s obvious: people like to sing and people like to dance. So you take that natural tendency, you add the mantras and you’ve got this spiritual experience.
We’ve heard a lot tonight about the transcendental sound, how it has it’s own power, it’s own potency. And just by coming in contact with this sound vibration, automatically we receive the spiritual benefit. This is not limited to just the people who chant the mantra. It also includes all who hear the mantra. And that’s not limited to just the people in human bodies. Wherever there’s life, there’s a person. So the dogs, the cats, the birds, the bees, the trees… Everybody benefits from transcendental sound. So the next time we’re out walking and a little dog runs across in front of you, go, “Haribol! Haribol!” Help him out. Pigeons: very good candidates. They just come down and you say, “Haribol!” You get to chant, they get to hear; perfect.
You see, silent meditation, at best, is all about our self. But with mantra meditation, the more, the better. So spread it around. “Haribol!” is a very good way to say “Hello” and “Good bye”. If your friend comes up and you say “Hello”, that’s nice, friendly, but it’s material sound. But if your friend comes up and you say “Haribol”, that’s completely different. Now they are in the presence of transcendental sound. And they get benefited spiritually.
So take these meditations, apply it to your own life, and spread them to others. And if you apply these meditations to your life, they will change your life in a very wonderful way.