Thursday 3 January 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 2

Chanting for change.
2.1.2013, Mumbai

The first time I heard about Buddhist chanting was from actor Mita Vashisht during a screening at a film festival. She revealed that she was a part of a group who met and engaged in collective chanting for the welfare of the needy. Over the years I came into contact with various people from all walks of life, they had all been through life transforming experiences and were now addicted to chanting as a way of life.
This evening I accidentally walked into a home where members of the family and immediate friends were preparing for a chanting session. ‘Would you like to participate?’ the hostess asked me politely. I nodded and was drawn into the adjoining room where all of them sat on the floor facing in one direction. The senior chanter led the group and everybody followed her rhythm. Slowly and gradually the room reverberated with echoes of Nam Myoho Rengge Kyon…Nam Myoho Rengge Kyon…Nam Myoho Rengge Kyon…
I discovered that I was chanting the lotus prayer myself, not as loud or as forcefully as the others or even conscious about it but absorbed in the mesmerizing and magical effect of the vibrations in the room.
As I emerged from the session I wondered if this is how it feels after meditation.

1 comment:

  1. The Lotus Sutra is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential sutras, or sacred scriptures, of Buddhism. It is highly valued in the Mahayana tradition, which spread throughout East Asia.

    Its key message is that Buddhahood--a condition of absolute happiness, freedom from fear and from all illusions--is inherent in all life. The Lotus Sutra is also unique among the teachings of Shakyamuni in that it makes the attainment of enlightenment a possibility open to all people, without distinction based on gender, race, social standing or education. In this way, it is seen to be a full expression of Shakyamuni's compassionate intention of opening the way to enlightenment to all people.