Sa Re Sa Sa as a healing mantra on one’s yogic journey.
Sa Re Sa Sa is a famous mantra in the Kundalini Yoga community, which embraces ancient mantras and modern affirmations as a critical aspect of everyday yoga and meditation. The Sa Re Sa Sa chant is believed to remove adversity and negativity from within, awakening one’s Infinite Creative energy and removing obstacles to higher consciousness.
Sa Re Sa Sa chant is often a starting point in one’s yogic journey, which rings true for the duo Shunia, whose members, Suzanne Jackson and Lisa Reagan, share a love of yoga, meditation, and singing; both have followed a path from opera’s world stage to immersion in a chant. The duo’s mission is to merge music, mantra, and movement with healing and connection.
The pronunciation of the Sa Re Sa Sa mantra is relatively straightforward, as shared below.
“Sa Re Sa Sa”
Sa re sa sa
Sa re sa sa sa rung
Har re har har
Har re har har har rung
The meaning is Infinity is everywhere. Creativity is everywhere.
And the pronunciation are thus:
Sa (sah) is the infinity of God. It is the element of ether and spirit.
Re (ray) is a musical note, a connector.
Har (hahr) is the creativity of this Earth. It is the dense elements, the power of manifestation, the tangible.
Rung (rung) These sounds are woven together in this chant and then projected out through the sound of Rung, which is the totality of all things.
“Sa Re Sa Sa is the first Kundalini mantra each of us learned, and it was the first one we chanted together,” says Lisa Reagan of Shunia.
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Adds Shunia’s Suzanne Jackson, “We didn’t know we were both interested in chant until we spent an entire week together while rehearsing for the opera ‘Carmen’ with the Washington National Opera. Late one night Lisa and I talked about the power of music and language and shared our personal experiences with this chant. They were incredibly similar, and we decided to sing the chant together, so we sat facing each other, mirroring the mudra and joining the vibrations of our voices together. It was a transformational experience and no coincidence that this is now one of the most joyous chants on our album.”
The Sa Re Sa Sa mantra opens the chakras (energy centers located within our bodies) for any other mantra’s full effect. It is a sensitizing meditation for the impact of the inner sound current. You have a physical body and an energy body. The chakra system is the main conduit for energy. Our chakras must be aligned if we are to live at our highest potential. The original practice of mastery in the mantra required that you master this before any other mantra.
Understanding and embracing the wisdom of mantras, the power of chant, Pranayama, and the meaning of a particular mantra will increase the effectiveness in one’s practice. Put merely, mantras can be enjoyed in many ways, whether sung, chanted, or just listened to in the background.
The Wisdom of Mantras
Mantra is a Sanskrit word, from “manas” meaning to think, and “tra” meaning vehicle. So think of a mantra as a “mind-vehicle,” intended to transport us beyond our thoughts. Mantras come in many forms, typically melodic, and are believed to resonate with numinous qualities, usually in the form of a word or phrase repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
How would Shunia translate their years of mantra practice into a bit of advice?
“I believe mantra practice will help you to become your authentic self. I think we are so blessed to live here on this beautiful planet,” says Lisa Reagan of Shunia. “Although at times it feels difficult, I truly believe that it is a gift to come to Earth. We have lessons to learn here, and this planet is our teacher. So, I would say the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to live from your heart.”
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Some mantras require quite a bit of repetition, but they can be learned by example as one participates in chanting. Initially, they may sound unusual to our ear because Kundalini Mantras are typically in Gurmukhi, a sacred Indian language; occasionally, more modern mantras and affirmations are in English.
Even if their meanings are not known, mantras share vibrations of peace, prosperity, connection, among other qualities, and are understood by their positive impact.
One develops very personal relationships with, and interpretations of, the mantras as we learn and practice each one. Sa Re Sa Sa was the first mantra that Shunia learned at the beginning of their practices, leading to a more in-depth study of chant.
The Power of Chant
We are all interconnected on the planet. Ancient religious ideas are now being proven by contemporary science, including the practice of repeating the same phrase over and over again for a beneficial effect on body, mind, and spirit. This practice is known as chanting, from the Latin cantare “to sing” and is usually expressed iteratively, reciting tones in specific pitches, sometimes like prayer, and can be done either singularly or in a group practice. Chanting is practiced by many traditions, usually as a route to spiritual development.
Chanting allows one to focus on sound current and breath, calming the mind and body. This leads to more profound relaxation and a stronger connection to the divine. Chanting has the unique power to overcome adversity, to open, and to soothe.
Pranayama, Mantra, and Music
Meditation and yoga have introduced the importance of “the breath,” or Pranayama, in Western culture. As we seek ways to improve wellness and stay positive in this challenging time, understanding Pranayama is a useful tool.
Breathing causes the movement of energy, and it can either energize the body or help the body to relax. In modern yoga, the practice of Pranayama in exercise consists of synchronizing the breath with movements, which is especially true in Kundalini yoga.
Pranayamas are yoga breathing techniques that enhance one’s practice. “Lion’s Breath,” “Breath of Fire,” and “Sitali Breath” are examples of Kundalini yoga breathing exercises that may aid in relaxing or energizing oneself, depending on the desired effect.
Practicing various breathing techniques can also aid one’s ability to chant or sing mantras over time, as in kirtan or bhajan. Proper breathing ensures that you don’t run out of breath or energy. In their videos, one can see that the powerful breath technique supports Shunia’s diction while singing, enabling every syllable’s enunciation to full effect and clarity in every word.
Music in Practice
Sa Re Sa Sa is perfect as the basis for chant’s personal practice; it inspires one to work through adversity and create openings for a more promising future. With this foundation, different mantras specific to one’s goals and needs can be added to a personalized collection of mantras.
Music overall has many benefits for stress management and overall health, helping to calm your physiology, lift your mood, slow your breathing, and create other stress-inducing changes. Some prefer silence or ambient background noise to accompany meditation, but listening to certain music types during meditation can be very powerful. Chanting vibrates the body and can change brain chemistry, therefore affecting the body, mind, and spirit. Living life at this higher vibration brings us peace and happiness as we become closer to the highest vibration of all….the creator of the universe!
Shunia blends the art forms of chant, mantra, and opera into an exciting new sound through their music. Everything is vibration. All the energy in the universe exists at different vibratory levels. In discovering this hidden dimension through the power of singing chant music, Shunia felt a calling to share this profound experience.
In chanting Sa Re Sa Sa, one may find a deep focus that activates various states of being such as:
Experience “Sa Re Sa Sa” in action in the animated new video by Shunia, as musicians and dancers join them in breathtakingly beautiful locations. The vocals in “Sa Re Sa Sa” are by Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson (Shunia) and Hassan Hakmoun, singing in Gnawa, his native Moroccan language, thanking God for the beauty of this Earth and this life.
“Sa Re Sa Sa” is the first of eight tracks featured on Shunia’s forthcoming album, SHUNIA. SHUNIA is the second album by Shunia; the duo released ASCEND in 2017. Visit ShuniaSound.com for all music, videos, and social media connections.